Displaying items by tag: biden
Annuities have had a very strong 18 months or so. Ever since the pandemic began, demand has risen. Additionally, the pending inclusion of annuities in 401(k) plans will be a tailwind. However, a new regulation was just put in place in Connecticut which could spell trouble for the asset class. The state just put annuities under a best interest rule, the 16th state to do so. States have continued to use the National Association for Insurance Commissioners’ model rule as a template for covering annuities under BI legislation.
FINSUM: How far might this go? We think not too much further, if only because many of the states that would want to pass a fiduciary rule for annuities have already done so, which means that even if the DOL drags its feet on its new rule, most of the state-level regulations would have already happened.
Bank of America just put out a big warning that advisors need to pay attention to. The bank is warning that earnings growth could get “vaporized” across a couple of sectors. The reason why is tax hikes. BofA's Savita Subramanian posits that in a scenario where taxes rise to 25% next year (from 21% this year), 5% would be wiped off earnings growth, a huge margin in a year that is already set up to see some cooling after the red hot earnings growth of 2021.
FINSUM: Investors don’t seem to be adequately accounting for this risk. Despite the fact that Biden’s proposals will likely get watered down, there appears a high likelihood that taxes will rise next year.
Advisors, try to breathe just a tiny sigh of relief, your clients just got a victory. It is being reported by prominent political paper The Hill that big Washington lobbyists have already succeeded in greatly watering down Biden’s tax plans, and perhaps eliminating their chances. Evidently lobbyists have done very well at getting middle of the road Democrats to turn against Biden’s tax plans. Biden’s plans include increasing long-term capital gains taxes to regular income tax levels and eliminating the “step-up in basis” at death in inheritance.
FINSUM: This has two clear effects on Biden’s plan. Firstly, because the numbers are so tight, Biden can’t afford to lose anyone from his party in a vote. Secondly, and relatedly, this means the middle of the road Democrats have a lot more power to shape the proposal that makes it to a vote.
If there were ever a sign of things to come from the SEC, this is it. There has been a lot of speculation about how the SEC will approach enforcement of Reg BI under new chief Gary Gensler. It is widely expected that the new administration will be much tougher than under Trump. But even with that expectation, this week’s move is big. The SEC just hired the every-broker-curses-her-name longtime head of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America Barbara Roper as a senior adviser. Roper has been by far the biggest critic of Reg BI and was the biggest proponent of the Obama era DOL Rule.
FINSUM: The SEC could not have done a better job of signaling where things are heading. Time to buckle down on your compliance and start setting aside working capital to deal with beefed up protocols and more investigations.
Advisors and their clients have spent the whole summer dreading Biden’s tax plans. Two of Biden’s budgetary linchpins for raising taxes on the wealthy are: nearly doubled capital gains taxes and the elimination of the step-up in basis in inheritance. Until now, they had merely been proposals. However, yesterday the House Democrats passed a budgetary resolution to bring a full vote on the topic. It is expected to pass along party lines.
FINSUM: The Democrats have a very narrow path to getting this passed as part of their $3.5 tn spending package. However, if they can get every Democrat in the Senate to sign, it becomes a reality.