Frustration is the price of freedom, despite repeated and often unthinking cries for Congress to “do something.”
Anyone upset over the never-ending saga of the on-again, off-again fiduciary rule should thank the DOL for its bureaucratic caution (critics would say dithering), especially considering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau train wreck.
That agency is embroiled in controversy involving the Trump Administration (wait, what?) and its appointment of a successor to Richard Cordray, who resigned as director on Friday.
The CFPB was created by Dodd-Frank, and Dodd-Frank is the regulatory overlord of all things financial, so 401k advisors, of course, have a vested interest in the goings-on.
The brainchild of liberal gadfly Elizabeth Warren, its main mission appears to be reining in cigar-chomping Wall Street fat cats who laugh maniacally while evicting widows and orphans who can’t pay the rent.
A classic example of the “tyranny of the self-righteous,” the CFPB’s cause is just, which pretty much means it can do anything (at least in its own mind), damn legal precedent and following the law.
Overreach was the only reach with this supposed solution to bad behavior in the moral panic that followed the financial and housing crises. Never mind that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were the two politicians most responsible for seeding the conditions that led to the crisis, they then created a regulatory behemoth to save us from people like them.
The output, of course, is what we have now—regulatory zealots with no accountability and little understanding of capital markets subsisting on the legal equivalent of ramen noodles.
Fiduciary is a favored 401k topic, and critical to successful outcomes for millions of participants. With only one chance to get it right (and a clear indication of what happens when we don’t now unfolding before our eyes), we’re happy for the DOL slow-roll on this one.