This is not financial choice

Published 4:59 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Editorial by Jon Powell

While much of the country was focused on James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House, including our current representative Babin, passed a bill that will remove consumer protection from dangerous banking practices and allow the financial services business to return to the practices that led to the 2007 financial crisis. In their typical misleading way, the Republicans named this bill the Financial Choice Act. Even Fortune magazine, not usually thought of as the voice of the people, notes in a recent article – that the legislation limits consumer access to information and the ability to make informed choices by drastically weakening the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This bill also eliminates the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule that requires brokers and financial advisors to act in the best interests of their clients when providing investment advice about retirement. With this rule eliminated by Babin’s and his cohorts’ bill, a broker can provide advice that benefits himself over his customer. This is a classic case of favoring Wall Street over Main Street. There are other provisions of this bill that favor bankers over consumers such as removing the protections that protect depositors when banks fail. Banks do not fail from consumer protection; they fail when they are allowed to get away with risky business.

This is not financial choice and this is not legislation that serves the people in any way. But it is typical of Babin’s approach to favoring big moneyed interests over the good of the people. You will have a choice in this next election. Allow me to represent you and I will focus on the protections that prevent large, wealthy institutions from benefiting at the expense of the population and putting hard-working Americans at risk.