Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Still Not Clear

We still haven't been able to sort out whether Sen. Collins was behind the financial reform bill provision that explicitly blocks the federal government from regulating equity indexed annuities and the scam artists who push them on the elderly.

We do know that such a provision made its way into the bill currently before Congress.

And we know that Collins championed a proposal that would exempt variable annuity dealers from the fiduciary standards that would apply to other industry professionals.

What's unclear (at least to me) is whether these two proposals are one and the same. Or an earlier and later version of the same idea.

This article from last week seems to suggest that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) was behind the language that actually made it into the bill. But the discussion there isn't exactly exhaustive.

And in the context of a law meant to strengthen the government's ability to rein in financial shenanigans, it's striking how little public discussion there's been about this regressive, anti-consumer provision.

We'll continue poking around. Meanwhile, if anyone has the inside scoop, please do drop us a line.

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