Opinion: Trump fans, this is what betrayal looks like

trump-order-dodd-frank

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump ranted and railed against the “global power structure” that has  “robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” He promised to fight this “rigged system” on behalf of ordinary Americans, and would often cite Goldman Sachs, the New York investment bank, as the epitome of that global power structure.

The screengrab above, taken from a Fox News broadcast Friday, provides photographic proof that Trump has completely betrayed both that pledge and the voters who put him into office. An administration elected as a backlash against the elite has become an administration of, by and for that very elite.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. The evidence is right in front of your eyes.

See the tall, bald man standing to the right of the president? His name is Gary Cohn. Until late last year, Cohn was president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs. Today, he is Trump’s chief economic adviser and head of the National Economic Council. (Goldman Sachs gave Cohn a $285 million severance package when he left the company to work for Trump.)

The occasion captured in the screengrab is the signing of two executive orders, which Cohn helped to draft. The first EO instructs Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — another Goldman Sachs alumnus — to work to remove restraints on the financial industry that were imposed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. Under those rules, for example, banks that rely on Federal Reserve deposit guarantees are no longer allowed to bet on highly speculative and risky investments. Trump’s executive order attempts to undermine that restriction as much as possible.

Goldman Sachs and its stockholders are very pleased. Since Trump’s election, Goldman stock has jumped by 33 percent. As of 12:30 p.m. today, Monday, its has gained almost $5 billion in value just since the executive order was signed Friday.

Now, let’s focus a bit on the second executive order signed that day by Trump, which deals with the relationship between stockbrokers and their clients. It too tells us a lot about the true loyalties of this administration.

Most people think of their stockbrokers as investment advisers paid to help them maximize their wealth. That misconception is particularly popular among people whose main investments are in 401(k) retirement accounts. Such investors tend to be less sophisticated and more trusting; usually, they have no idea that stockbrokers are basically high-end salesmen who have no legal obligation to act in their customers’ best interests. Brokers can — and very often do — steer their clients into high-commission, high-fee investment products that make the brokers a lot of money, but eat up a big share of their clients’ retirement savings. And most of their customers have no idea that it’s even happening.

Under rules initiated by the Obama administration and due to take effect in April, that would change. Stockbrokers for the first time would have a fiduciary obligation to their clients, meaning that they would have to put their clients’ financial interests ahead of their own. Consumer protection groups, AARP and other groups strongly support that change, but the financial industry strongly opposes it because it strikes at a lucrative revenue stream.

Look again at the photo above. See the woman in the green dress, fists clenched in excitement, standing to the left of Trump? That’s U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) She has led the fight against the so-called “fiduciary rule,” and a peek into her campaign finance disclosures shows you that she has been well-rewarded for it.

Here’s a breakdown of her 2015-16 contributions, by industry source:

annwagner

As you can see, the finance, insurance and real estate industries contributed almost $900,000 to Wagner in that two-year cycle alone, far more than any other source.

Of course, when Wagner is explaining her opposition to the fiduciary rule, she doesn’t mention all the money poured into her coffers by the finance industry. In fact, to hear her tell it, she’s not doing it to help Wall Street at all. Instead, she says, “we are returning to the American people, low- and middle- income investors, and retirees, their control of their own retirement savings.”

That’s right, they’re doing it for the little guy. Out of the goodness of their beneficent hearts, Wall Street brokerage firms have spent millions of dollars lobbying against the fiduciary rule and invested millions more in politicians such as Wagner to ensure that small-time investors will still have the freedom they need to be duped into high-fee, high-commission investments that are totally unnecessary and counterproductive.

Because that’s the kind of people they are.

 

Reader Comments 0

1159 comments
Dunk13
Dunk13

Devon will be a good one!

mamanelle5
mamanelle5

I miss President Obama........................a lot.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Its official


Devos, who is not qualified to teach at a public school, now heads the Dept of Education


Just unbelievable. 

rimsky
rimsky

@Hedley_Lammar The GOP owns the clusterF lock stock and barrel.  Watch in 2018 the teachers will be voting D in larger numbers.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/07/opinions/trumps-moral-relativism-lucas-opinion/index.html


It is chilling to hear hoary Kremlin propaganda tropes used by the leader of the free world. But that is exactly what President Donald Trump did in his recent Fox News interview, in which he casually accepted that Vladimir Putin was a killer, but said that America was "not so innocent" and had lots of killers too.


"Whataboutism" was a favorite Kremlin propaganda technique during the Cold War. It aimed to portray the West as so morally flawed that its criticism of the Soviet empire was hypocritical.

gotalife
gotalife

Face it, trump is a disaster.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@gotalife 

"When the British House of Commons doesn't want to hear from you, you might be a loser." 

-- Thomas "Jeff Foxworthy" Jefferson

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Trump is blowing a gasket over this I bet

honested
honested

@rimsky 

After all, those Ukrainians prefer to be brutalized than be free.

gotalife
gotalife

You have a new OC in Atlanta.


Hide the booze.


Things are looking saner in DC.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

horrible that other people dont get the same opportunity

rimsky
rimsky

One of the neighboring HS in our area were thinking of teaching yoga as a curriculum.  Some Christian parent were up in arms saying the chants in the exercise was going to corrupt their child's brain by exposing them to Hinduism.  

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 but banning prayer is wrong.


No it isnt


Because guess what ? Certain prayers will be elevated over others. 


No one can stop anybody from paying silently to themselves.


My Aunt is super religious and a teacher in Georgia. She prays every day before starting class. To herself. Silently. 

honested
honested

@Hedley_Lammar 

but, but, but, if the prayer isn't public and sanctioned, how can the 'minders' ensure everyone is participating as ordered?

rmitch788
rmitch788

@HDB0329 One of my teachers had a sign over the door - "Hoping and praying should never be confused with studying."

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

rimsky

My son got out of HS about 2 years ago.  "Political ideology" was non existent in his classes

-

There's no such thing as any education where "political ideology" is completely absent. 

Surely you realize that without me having to go all intellectual on you, yes? 

rimsky
rimsky

@Donnie_Pinko What kind of Politics is involved in Physics Chem and Math.  I taught him about politics and business stuff.

And please go easy on your intellectual stuff.  I get a belly full every time I go see customers. 

TBS
TBS

"No it doesn't. Not in any shape form or fashion. "

Well in religious or philosophy class that discusses various religions with neither being held up as the one I see no issue.

But as part of some sort of creationism as science.. nope

To be clear I'm referring to public schools. If a private school wants to go with the 6000 years old shtick regarding the world or Jesus rode dinosaurs then so be it

Menace
Menace

@honested @TBS  Remember a college freshman World Geo class the prof taught like Anthropology.  In discussing creation an old lady brought the Bible and the prof gently steered her towards the facts and science.  She didn't like it and it ruffled ehr blue hair, but, the prof stood tough.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@honested @TBS 

During the final week of 10th-grade biology, our teacher closed the door to the classroom, and told us about evolution.  I still remember he compared it to what he called the "zap - pow" theory of creation.

honested
honested

@TBS 

When I was in high school, just discussing Evolution would bring about death threats from the knuckle dragging creationists and the "I didn't come from no monkey" crowd.

honested
honested

Back to the topic (the "so called president" and betrayal of the little guy), discussion of the fallacy encapsulated by "infrastructure through tax cuts" is finally being discussed.


Those who voted for chump to keep the roads from crumbling and the bridges from collapsing are the next cohort in for a surprise.

rimsky
rimsky

@Donnie_Pinko Sorry bubs.  I don't care what people say on twitter.  

NPR directly DID NOT implicate Assad.  They said there are factions in his army who have carried out these atrocities. 

rimsky
rimsky

Education should be as near neutral on political ideology as possible.

++++++

What do think public education is?  They deliberately keep religion out of it for good reason.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@rimsky 

Religion is not the only form of ideological indoctrination. 

"Political ideology" goes much further. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@rimsky obviously, your mind has dual paths not working together.

You post political ideology, then answer on religion.

Is it not two different topics to you?

rimsky
rimsky

@Donnie_Pinko @rimsky My son got out of HS about 2 years ago.  "Political ideology" was non existent in his classes.  I know I used to teach him all through that period.


rimsky
rimsky

@JohnnyReb @rimsky If you look at it religion is politics too.

And to you people Politics is religion also.