Now we know one reason Democrats blocked President Trump’s first nominee to be secretary of Labor: The bureaucracy is in open rebellion against the new President’s directives. The casus belli is the fiduciary rule, the attempt by Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez to rewrite the rules for offering investment advice. The rule was supposed to go into effect Monday.

Proponents argued that the new rule would raise the standards for advice given to retirement investors. In reality, it would make that advice more expensive while opening…

As someone who voted for Barack Obama twice, supported the Affordable Care Act, and could be persuaded to vote for the right kind of single-payer system, I’ve found the entire health-care debate over the past several months deeply depressing. That’s no doubt why my first instinct was to cheer when reading a recent rant against the right from an editor at The Huffington Post.

The transparently titled opinion column, “I Don’t Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People,” is a perfect expression of our political moment — in its utter exasperation at those on the other side of a policy debate, but even more so in how it casts these partisan opponents as moral monsters with whom communication, let alone persuasion, is simply impossible.

Read more at The Week.

A new report on the sales scandal at Wells Fargo & Co. portrayed its former chief executive as a tone-deaf leader who protected an irresponsible lieutenant and worked for board members who didn’t keep the pair in check.

The report, a long-awaited investigation of a scandal that ensnared the bank with regulators and politicians this past September, also said Wells Fargo’s board will claw back an additional $75 million in pay from former Chief Executive John Stumpf and the lieutenant, former retail-bank chief Carrie Tolstedt.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

Billy Graham died this morning, Feb. 21, in Montreat, N.C., at the age of 99. Given his long life, it is easy to forget how young Mr. Graham was when he first emerged in the public eye. At an age that today marks a point when many adults are just feeling confident in a career and starting a family, Mr. Graham was, at 31, leading his first major crusade in downtown Los Angeles. “Crusade” was the somewhat unfortunate name given to nightly religious services highlighted by a long sermon that included an invitation to the crowd to make a public decision to convert to faith in Christ. By luck, providence or charisma, that first big crusade was a hit, and went on for eight straight weeks. It is nearly impossible to imagine the American public remaining focused on one thing for so long today.

Read more at America magazine.

Peter Lazaroff (@peterlazaroff) is the director of investment research at Plancorp and blogs at Most people don’t know how to properly evaluate their financial adviser and overly rely on performance as the sole measurement of success. This is problematic because people tend to evaluate their portfolio over very short time horizons in which random…

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

The World Bank’s recent Global Findex report found that since 2014, 515 million new financial accounts were opened around the world. On the face of it, that seems like solid progress. But new research and analysis from the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion(CFI) is sobering on many levels.

Read more here.

Many Americans can’t remember anything other than an economy with skyrocketing inequality, in which living standards for most Americans are stagnating and the rich are pulling away. It feels inevitable.

But it’s not.

A well-known team of inequality researchers — Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman — has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality.

It seems counterintuitive, but every time you hear about a financial scandal in the Vatican, that is good news, not bad. It is good news because it shows — to quote the Vatican’s financial watchdog — that the regulatory system is working.

For too long, the church has been racked by financial mismanagement. Now, some will say the basic problem is that clerics shouldn’t be put in charge of finances. Because their training is in theology, they lack either the training or the interest in finances to develop the expertise necessary to run multimillion-dollar, multinational organizations and are too easily compromised by incompetent but devout lay advisers or duped by those with nefarious intent.

Read more at National Catholic Reporter.

A New York woman who wants to become a nun has been told she’ll have to wait to take her vows until she pays off her student loans.

Alida Taylor, 28, told New York’s CBS2 that her desire to become a nun happened after she graduated from the University of Louisiana, moved to New York and took a job with a Broadway costume designer.

Read more at Yahoo Finance.

It is now impossible to launder money at the Vatican bank, its chairman said upon release of an annual report showing 4,935 accounts that had been closed between June 2013 and December 2015. Jean-Baptiste de Franssu explained that the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), has tightened its rules to stop people using the institution to dodge taxes or hide their ill-gotten gains. 

Read more at The Tablet.