I don’t know which is worse, that the government makes obvious moves to loot the people or that they are able to so easily announce such moves and everyone lets them do it. In my opinion, this Bloomberg headline is a fire alarm. “Retirement Savings Accounts Draw U.S. Consumer Bureau Attention”:
“The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take on a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they have put into retirement savings, a move that would be the agency’s first foray into consumer investments. ‘That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in in terms of whether and what authority we have,” bureau director Richard Cordray said in an interview. He didn’t provide additional details.’”
So, basically, they will do it if they can get away with it. This story didn’t seem to raise an eyebrow when it appeared. Over the weekend “Tyler Durden” at ZeroHedge noticed it:
“The obvious concept is that when the government runs out of money, or they face a drying up in interest for its debt, they will come for the $19.4 trillion in American’s retirement accounts. It seems that day may be finally drawing near. I stopped contributing to my 401k back when I worked at Bernstein, and I will probably now have to give more serious consideration whether I want to take the penalty and move the funds out of my retirement account entirely. I haven’t made any decisions, but will be watching closely.”
The excuse for this self-assumed “role in helping” us manage our retirements accounts is that the private sector should not be trusted:
“The bureau’s core concern is that many Americans, notably those from the retiring Baby Boom generation, may fall prey to financial scams, according to three people briefed on the CFPB’s deliberations who asked not to be named because the matter is still under discussion. The retirement savings business in the U.S. is dominated by a group of companies that handle record-keeping and management of investments in tax-advantaged vehicles like 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts. The group includes Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (TROW).”
Well, no one needs to wonder if they have fallen prey to a scam, because there is no reasonable doubt about it—they have! The scam is called Social Security. Another is called Medicare. Yet these people are going to be trusted to protect us from scams?
What about JPMorgan Chase and others? Are they completely trustworthy? I doubt it. But since when has the Federal Government shown any real interest in holding them accountable for fraud and other possible malfeasance? These groups are two big to fail and thus too big to jail. The government continues to bail them out. Furthermore, when we look at the role of Fannie Mae in the housing crisis (to name just one example) we don’t see any reason to hope that the Federal Government can protect us from financial fraud and corruption. On the contrary, they encourage it. They are at the center of it.
I don’t think this should be debatable: the group that encourages us to trust in Social Security is not going to protect our interests if they take over the management of our retirement accounts. This is just a new larceny. They’ve tapped out their old ways of pillaging us and are now looking for a new way.
The old way was to justify the housing bubble on the grounds of helping the poor and minorities get housing. The next scam may have a similar rationalization. According to the New York Times, Deal Book blog:
“There’s been no shortage of ideas for how to jump-start economic growth in the aftermath of the financial crisis. But a new one comes with a high-profile backer: the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson. At a three-day conference in New York that began on Wednesday, Mr. Jackson discussed a proposal for increasing the availability of capital by using pension money to make loans in low-income communities. The idea is getting a prominent debut at the 16th annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, hosted by Mr. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund. ‘We’ve got to think outside the present fiscal-cliff-debt-ceiling box,’ Mr. Jackson said in an interview on Wednesday. ‘We must have some plan for reconstruction.'”
Right. That’s exactly what I want to do with my savings for retirement–risk it all in loans to people who can’t pay me back.
Jackson made this at a major meeting that included Bill Clinton and other establishment ruling class figures. As insane as it sounds, there is no reason to think that the idea won’t be used to justify robbing America’s retirees.