Gary Cohn. The chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump and Director of the United States National Economic Council. He was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs.
We Baby Boomers came of age in the sixties and caused hell for the country’s war-makers and segregationists.
And they have been trying to pay us back ever since.
Now that many of us are retiring or retired, they see their chance.
Trump’s signature on the role-back of regulatory rules safe-guarding our retirement savings is an example.
The regs are part of what is called the Fiduciary Rule. Obama expanded it to cover more more of those on Wall Street who are investing retirement savings.
Although as in most government regulations there are a lot of pages addressing the Fiduciary Rule, it comes down to this:
If somebody is investing your retirement savings, they have to do it in your best interest. Not theirs.
Advisors who wish to continue working on commission will need to provide clients with a disclosure agreement, called a Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), in circumstances where a conflict of interest could exist (such as, the advisor receiving a higher commission or special bonus for selling a certain product). This is to guarantee that the advisor is working unconditionally in the best interest of the client. All compensation that is paid to the fiduciary must be clearly spelled out as well.Covered retirement plans include:
- Defined-contribution plans: four types of 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, employee stock ownership plans, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans and savings incentive match plans (simple IRA)
- Defined-benefit plans: pension plans or those that promises a certain payment to the participant as defined by the plan document
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
As soon as Trump took the oath of office in front of that tiny crowd in DC, he appointed Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs to be head of his National Economic Council.
Maybe Trump knew he did that. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe somebody slipped a piece of paper among other pieces of papers for him to sign and he didn’t know he was appointing Cohn.
Apparently that’s how Steve Bannon got to be on the National Security Council.
“Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.”
But, I digress.
The first thing Gary Cohn did was compose one of those Executive Orders Trump loves to use his Sharpie to sign, rolling back the Obama Fiduciary Rule protecting retirement savings of Baby Boomers and older.
“We think it is a bad rule. It is a bad rule for consumers,” said White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “This is like putting only healthy food on the menu, because unhealthy food tastes good but you still shouldn’t eat it because you might die younger.”
Yep. It’s just like that.