Financial advisors know Alicia Munnell as the director of theCenter for Retirement Research at Boston College, whereshe leads a prolific research effort. But Munnnell also is thePeter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at BostonCollege’s Carroll School of Management.
Munnell and her team produce some of the most in-depthresearch in the United States on retirement. Their focusincludes everything from the value of annuities to financialsecurity at different ages, complex Social Security issues, thestate of different pension plans and health care challenges.
Her background is steeped in government policy. She wasa member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors(1995-1997), served as the U.S. Department of Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy (1993-1995) and worked atthe Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (1973-1993), where shewas tapped as its senior vice president and director of researchin 1984.
In a recent interview, Munnell shared her insights on
President Biden’s Social Security plan, which she likes but
sees as “incomplete” because it doesn’t raise payroll taxes
Maxine Waters, D-Calif.,
didn’t waste time this year
and quickly held hearings
on market volatility tied to
GameStop and other stocks,
which she said threw a
“national spotlight on insti-
tutional practices by Wall
Street firms, and prompted
discussion about the evolving role of technology and social
media in our markets.”
Together with Rep. Joyce
Beatty, D-Ohio, chairwom-
an of the Subcommittee on
Diversity and Inclusion (cre-
ated by Waters), the commit-
tee is tasked with zeroing in
on diversity and inclusion
issues under its jurisdiction.
In late March, Waters and
Beatty requested that asset
managers — those with $400
billion or more in assets
under management — com-
plete a questionnaire regard-
ing the firm’s diversity and inclusion data and policies from
2016 through 2020.
“We are making progress to ensure a comprehensive under-
standing of diversity and inclusion performance in the finan-
cial services industry,” the two said in a letter to firms
like Charles Schwab and Fidelity. “However, this cannot be
achieved until organizations, especially the largest investment
managers, disclose their diversity data and policies with the
[Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion] OMWIs, Congress
and the public,” they explained.
Also in Congress, Sen. ElizabethWarren, D-Mass., now chairstwo Senate subcommittees —the Senate Banking CommitteeSubcommittee on EconomicPolicy and the Senate FinanceCommittee Subcommitteeon Fiscal Responsibility andEconomic Growth.
After taking the helm in earlyMarch, Warren vowed to “use these committees to hold bigcorporations and their executives accountable and to strengthen our banking, securities, and tax laws — and make sure theyare enforced.” Warren also wants to end student loan debt.
In early April, Warren — along with Rep. Ayanna Pressley,D-Mass., and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey —called on President Joe Biden to tackle the student loan debtcrisis by using his authority under the Higher Education Actto cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for each federalstudent loan borrower.
The SEC has three female commissioners: two Democrats,Allison Herren Lee and Caroline Crenshaw, as well asRepublican Hester Peirce. Also busy in Washington is thedirector of investor protection for the Consumer Federationof America, Barbara Roper, who stands ready to praise orcriticize rules coming out of the SEC and other regulators.