U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned the "financial and editorial arrangements" behind a current study on the DOL's proposed Conflict of Interest rule. The study was co-authored by former Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Dr. Robert Litan, who also gave testimony on the rule before a senate subcommittee. Senator Warren discussed her concerns in letters to the DOL and the Brookings Institution.
Specifically, Senator Warren questioned the following:
Senator Warren cautioned that the following factors have yet to be disclosed fully: (i) the financial industry's editorial input into Dr. Litan's work; (ii) the exact amount of the "sizeable" financial compensation associated with the study; and (iii) "the work-for-hire nature" of the funding group's commission for this work.
"These disclosures are highly disturbing: the study was presented as objective academic research, but the financial and editorial arrangements raise significant questions about the impartiality of this study and its conclusions," Senator Warren concluded.