Friday, June 25, 2010

Sneaking It In

I could be wrong. But based on this, I'm pretty sure Sen. Collins is the author of the financial "reform" provision discussed here:

Equity indexed annuities...are complex financial products that promise a minimum return on your investment. But they often require you to tie up your money for long periods of time and charge hefty surrender fees if you need to pull out your money early. Unscrupulous salesmen, who collect lucrative commissions, have used deceptive marketing techniques to sell these products to senior citizens, which is why sales of these annuities have been the subject of many lawsuits.

But a provision in the legislation will prevent the S.E.C. from regulating them, a step backward, consumer advocates and the commission have argued, from what is now the case. The S.E.C. had adopted a rule to regulate these annuities as securities, but it had not yet been enacted. Now, the annuities would be treated as insurance products, which means they would be overseen by state insurance regulators.

"That means no securities antifraud authority, no rules against excessive compensation, and no securities regulators to help police the market for these abuses," [director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America Barbara] Roper said.
With negotiations now complete, this provision is virtually certain to become law.

So in about 24 hours, Sen. Collins has voted to kill unemployment benefits and jeopardize Medicaid, and succeeded in protecting scam artists who rip off the elderly. That's quite an achievement.

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