Friday, August 21, 2015

Washington 'asks' Wall Street to stop ripping us off

Regulators tell Wall Street to stop “depleting our retirement savings.”
Advisers can keep their "conflicted" commissions, but it's time to stop harming clients by depleting their retirement savings, says the chairman of the Labor Department's hearings on its proposed fiduciary rule. "We are absolutely not banning commissions," he says, a day after the hearings concluded. "We just want everyone who is working on retirement accounts to be acting as fiduciaries." Fiduciaries are legally bound to put their clients' best interests before their own when providing financial advice.

Citi may owe you money for misleading you—no one goes to jail
Citi mislead you about a ASTA/MAT fund and the Falcon fund by claiming they were “safe,” “low-risk” and “suitable” for traditional bond investors.
Brokers/advisors should never use the words “safe” “low-risk” or “suitable” without written proof from the owners of the firm/bank/fund. Avoid the Pimps!

Can regulators control former bosses?
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has named Robert Steven Kaplan, a former Goldman Sachs executive as president.
This is a revolving door—lunch with your old buddies at our expense?

Farmers kill 500,000 cows so they can raise milk prices?
Most of the food we eat is produced and controlled by just 4 “farmers.” By a 1922 law, they can band together to market products and demand “fair” prices. Agribusiness has purchased most farmland and receives $956 Billion in subsidies (our taxes) to grow or not grow depending on “incentives.” These gifts are from our “representatives” who receive cash to continue the myth of the American farmer plowing his/her 200 acres 18 hours a day. Actually many of our “reps” receive $ millions themselves.  Sweet deal!

Plague from flees at Yellowstone
A second tourist who had been visiting California’s Yosemite National Park has been diagnosed with plague. A visitor from Georgia got tested after hearing that a camp ground had been closed to spray pesticides to kill fleas that carry plague.

What is your hospital’s rank for care you need?
Mayo tops the list for many care categories. What about yours?

How can you protect someone you are taking care of?
As a caregiver, the Office for Older Americans has put out guidelines for Managing Other People’s Money. You will learn how to protect them from scams and bad financial advice. How do you maintain communication with their family members?
Who will help you when you need it?

America’s real reality TV show: 2016 election—“you just can’t make this stuff up”
Trump to end citizenship as defined in the Constitution: citizenship granted to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” 14th Amndt forbids states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Congress has failed to end “birthright citizenship” many times. Supremes might revive racist Dred Scott for GOP!
Boston thugs say they were inspired by Trump to beat up homeless “Hispanic.” 1938?
Is Trump a citizen? Friedrich Drumpf emigrated from Germany.
Carson wants to reverse 14th Amendment too—all people born in America to foreigners lose citizenship. Is Carson a citizen?

Guess that leaves the American Indians to reclaim their land! Ms Liberty back to Paris?

Christie pays for his campaign with PA contracts—No bid contracts to his friends
Walker wants Congress to repeal ObamaCare again! 54 times so far; to get elected?
Kasich will close all teachers' lounges in schools across the country. De-fund schools?
GoP promises no regulations—China explosions had no regulations either.
RubioCare will reduce cost AND coverage for all but wealthy.

It’s getting hotter, despite what GOP says
July saw the highest average temperatures since record-keeping began -- globally, not just in the United States -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday

Is the 529 college savings plan better than credits deducted from your taxes?
If your joint income is under $160,000 you may receive a greater benefit by taking the tax credit up to $2,500 than by avoiding taxes on your 529 gains. (Tax on gain of 7% on $30,000 is only $525 in 25%-bracket.) Usually the credits are more valuable than the tax savings from a 529 distribution. Plus, 40% of the credit (up to $1,000) is refundable. When you use the 529 for any educational expense, you have to pay tax (but not penalties) on at least part of the money you withdrew from the plan in the previous tax year. Help from grandma’s 529 may hurt a child’s aid calculation in the next year.

CA valley sinking 13 inches in 1 year—infrastructure destroyed
Sucking water underground to grow crops may end growing before the usage regs slow it in 20 years in the San Joaquin Valley.

We are still wasting $8 million per HOUR we don’t have in Iraq/Afghan/Ukraine.
America needs to take care of American’s needs FIRST!
Rebuild America Act: a five-year plan would invest $1 trillion and create or maintain at least 13 million decent-paying jobs—Senate Budget Committee but GOP says no.

If you get a letter from the IRS, hackers may have stolen your data from IRS
“The IRS will begin mailing letters in the next few days to about 220,000 taxpayers where there were instances of possible or potential access to taxpayer information.” IRS is offering free credit monitoring services and a program that assigns them a special ID number that they must use to file their tax returns.

Edward Jones broker caught overcharging for munis—no jail time
Edward Jones has agreed to pay more than $20 million to settle SEC charges that it overpriced new issues of municipal bonds. “Because current rules do not require dealers to disclose markups on municipal bonds, investors receive very little information about their dealer’s compensation in municipal bonds.” Stina Wishman, Muni head, did not go to jail.

Steven Covey, Edwin Lichtig, and Rex Hofelter as Pension Funding, and Pension Income, caught deceiving consumers about the costs and risks of their pension advance loans. They gave lump-sum cash advances for agreeing to redirect all or part of their pension payments over a period of eight years.  NO JAIL TIME

Jacob Keith Cooper caught in fraud but no jail
Cooper, Total Wealth Management, had $90.2 million from clients and much of that money was lost. He got fees and kickbacks from the funds he was putting their money into. Regulators fined him but no jail time.

LA owes you money—overcharged for water, really?
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would credit or refund tens of millions of dollars to customers who were overbilled during the botched rollout of a new billing system. Not even fired supervisor.

Springstone caught! NO jail time
Springstone Financial was ordered to provide $700,000 in relief to victims of deceptive credit enrollment tactics. Many consumers who signed up for Springstone’s deferred-interest loan product at dental offices to pay for dental work were led to believe that the product was interest free. In fact, interest accrued from the date of the consumer’s purchase and was charged if the balance was not paid in full before the promotional period ended. Approximately 3,200 consumers who signed up for the product ultimately were charged and paid deferred interest.

State Farm sued for using “junkyard” parts to fix cars—no jail charge.
State Farm steered their customers to the company's preferred repair shops, which sometimes use "junkyard," "knock-off" or "after-market" parts instead of those provided by the manufacturer. The result can compromise safety, as well as aesthetics. 

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