Does Wall Street own the Senate?

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Captain Obvious here.

Yesterday it was announced that Elizabeth Warren would be appointed as a “special advisor” to the President.  This was an interesting twist as there was heavy speculation she would be appointed as the head of the new consumer protection bureau being created.

However Senate approval is required for the new head of the consumer protection bureau and the White House didn’t think it could get Ms. Warren confirmed by the senate.

Why would it be hard to get her confirmed?  After all, even the Wall Street Journal said, “There really is no other choice. . .  Giving the job to someone else would be like letting Steve Jobs come up with the iPad and then giving it to Microsoft Corp. ”

The problem is Wall Street knows she is going to stand up for the middle class.  Thus the question at the top of this article, who does the Senate represent, Wall Street or Main street?

Lest I be labeled as some sort of pinko commie for bringing up this discussion and supporting Ms. Warren, lets discuss a very similar topic, the fiduciary status of financial advisors.

In a recent survey, 97% of Americans believed, “”when you receive investment advice from a financial professional, the person providing the advice should put your interests ahead of theirs and should have to tell you upfront about any fees or commissions they earn and any conflicts of interest that potentially could influence that advice.”

The concept that a financial advisor is looking out for the client’s best interest is a concept that Wall Street is fighting tooth and nails.  In fact, in a number of lawsuits the defense of the stock broker, financial planner, name them what you will, is the firm was not a fiduciary and didn’t owe a duty to the buyer.  One particularly ballsy quote from a lawsuit is, “The Principal [name of the investment firm] was not providing investment advice, but was instead selling [the] company’s [investment] products.

Is that how your last financial planner presented things to you, they weren’t there to present you with investment advice, they were there to sell you inventory?

Along the same lines, the last time you elected your Senator, did they say they wanted to go to Washington to protect you, or the profit margin of Wall St?