Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Insider Trading Laws Don't Apply to Congress

Not to US Representatives, not to US Senators, and not to their staffs.
The aides identified by the (Wall Street) Journal say they didn't profit by making trades based on any information gathered in the halls of Congress. Even if they had done so, it would be legal, because insider-trading laws don't apply to Congress.
Apparently such laws are for the little people, who get sent to prison for insider trading.

Still, there were two attempts to ban insider trading by Congress and their staffs:
When the bill was introduced nearly five years ago, just 14 other lawmakers endorsed it. The current version of the bill has fared worse: Only nine lawmakers support it. There is no companion legislation in the Senate.
It looks from that like making the insider-trading laws apply to our political elites has a bipartisan lack of support. Laws are for the little people, as Glen Reynolds likes to say over at InstaPundit.

As the Wall Street Journal said:
Congressional aides have ringside seats on the making of laws that affect American business. Receiving salaries up to roughly $170,000 a year, they can glean information about policies and government action before the public. They have access to information about hearings or legislation that can move stocks and markets.
Of course, they claim that they would never use that information to make a profit. Nor would their spouses who are kept carefully in the dark about what Honey is working on.

The story is a bit old as I have been letting it lie fallow for a while in order to keep my blood pressure a bit lower. You can find it here, though.

I think things like this are exactly why God invented tar and feathers.

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