Daily Archives: February 7, 2017

Labor nominee Andy Puzder admits hiring undocumented housekeeper

Did he withhold FICA taxes from the housekeeper?

President Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary, fast-food executive Andy Puzder, said Monday that he previously employed an undocumented housekeeper. Puzder plans to continue to pursue confirmation for the cabinet position.

In a statement released Monday evening by a spokesman, Puzder said he employed a housekeeper “for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.”

“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status,” Puzder said. “We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California and submitted all required paperwork.” The information was earlier reported by the Huffington Post.

Read on.

Trump adds even more Goldman Sachs executives to his administration

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s administration is taking on a distinctively Goldman hue.

Trump is adding even more Goldman Sachs executives to his nascent administration. Trump’s top donor and close advisor, hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs alumna Anthony Scaramucci, will serve as a senior White House advisor, according to The Washington Post, and Trump’s transition team officially announced that Dina Habib Powell will be a “senior counselor for economic initiatives.”

Scaramucci, who runs SkyBridge Capital, is a vocal defender of big banks — at one point he accused President Obama to his face of “whacking Wall Street like a piñata.”

Read on.

How Wells Fargo is taking advantage of a hidden clause inside almost every customer agreement

There’s a clause hidden in most of the long company contracts no one reads. And it’s tucked away for good reason: A lot of people would probably think twice about signing if they knew the clause existed.

It’s called an arbitration clause, and it protects companies from lawsuits. A group of Wells Fargo customers is learning that the hard way.

But in February, the Supreme Court will decide if companies should be allowed to include arbitration clauses in their employee contracts.

Anyone, employees and customers alike, who signs a contract with an arbitration clause has to settle any legal dispute they might have outside of court, in a private arbitration hearing, where companies are far more likely to win.

Read on.

Donald Trump’s Executive Order Will Let Private Equity Funds Drain Your 401(k)

February 6 2017, 9:40 a.m.

DONALD TRUMP’S FEBRUARY 3 executive order enabling financial advisers to continue ripping off their clients could prove a lifeline for a surprising beneficiary: the private equity industry.

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would have forced investment advisers in workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s to operate in their clients’ best interests, rather than recommending high-cost, high-risk products that offer the advisers kickbacks and perks.

The Obama White House estimated in a 2015 report that conflicts of interest cost retirement savers $17 billion annually, though that figure has been challenged.

The fiduciary rule, finalized last year, was to go into effect in April. But the new order directs the Labor Department to review the rule, which is expected to initiate the process of rescinding it.

As Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs president and director of the National Economic Council, put it, the fiduciary rule “is like putting only healthy food on the menu, because unhealthy food tastes good but you still shouldn’t eat it because you might die younger.”

Read on.

Stearns Lending sells delegated correspondent lending business to Flagstar

Flagstar Bancorp is about to grow its correspondent lending business, as the bank announced Monday that it plans to acquire Stearns Lending’s delegated correspondent lending business.

According to details provided by Flagstar, Stearns correspondent business includes approximately 250 correspondent relationships, which produce more than $7 billion of agency and governmental residential mortgage loan production annually.

Read on.