Does the current system of legalized bribery through campaign contributions matter?
Consider the case of a provision in the financial products regulation bill that would impose on stockbrokers the same sort of fiduciary duty lawyers have: to act in the interests of their clients when that conflicts with their own interests. It’s not a hard question, it seems to me, though I’d be willing to settle for a system where each brokerage house had to choose whether to be subject to such a standard or not, and disclose its choice to its clients.
The provision was in the original Obama Administration proposal and in Sen. Dodd’s version of the bill, but Tim Johnson of South Dakota wants to replace it with a “study,” and may get his way.
Campaign contributions aside, a fight over the fiduciary standard is a huge political winner for the Democrats. This is exactly the kind of issue we want to take into November. Go ahead, Goopers: explain why it’s “big government” and “the nanny state” and “socialism” to ask brokers not to cheat their clients. Good luck with that.
Here’s hoping some Senator offers the original proposal as an amendment to whatever bill comes out of committee.