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SEC 151A: Should advisors pop the champagne?

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If you are among those who are against SEC 151A, are you celebrating after subcommittees in the Senate and the House agreed to the Harkin Amendment, which would keep equity indexed annuities state-regulated?

Do you smell it in the air, the smell of victory? Do you hear the sound of the fat lady singing? Well, maybe you don’t because nothing’s over until the ink’s dry. And when we’re talking about Congress, even then, you wonder about them using that dastardly invisible ink that disappears once you get home.

I spoke with Andy Unkefer yesterday who was one of the leading forces in the grassroots organization that opposed the initial SEC ruling. As Unkefer mentioned in quoting wordsmith Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

He went on to say (Unkefer, not Berra) that “although opposition forces may influence whether the Harkin Amendment is changed or remains in the final bill, we do have reason to be optimistic. (We) will continue to work with NAFA and the Coalition for Indexed Products until this Bill is signed with the Harkin Amendment intact.”

NAFA leader Kim O’Brien issued a statement and rallying cry as well, reiterating Unkefer’s ideas and adding: “Please continue your sales and support of fixed indexed annuities to ensure that all Americans have a safe and secure retirement.”

A potential curveball hit early Monday when Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd died. Byrd was a dependable vote for the financial regulation bill. President Barack Obama spoke to reporters on Tuesday and said he feels confident the Bill will pass.

“I’m confident that given the package that has been put together that senators hopefully on both sides of the aisle recognize that it’s time we put in place rules that prevent taxpayer bailouts and make sure we don’t have the financial crisis that can take the economy. I think there’s going to be enough interest in moving reform forward that were doing to get this done.”

Return to for more updates on SEC 151A and finance reform.


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