Authorities are investigating whether Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) violated federal insider trading laws when he liquidated most of his stock investments in February 2020 after receiving classified briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For Burr, the sudden sell-off of his personal stocks came on February 13 — when he dumped holdings worth between $628,000 and $1.7 million in 33 separate transactions, per recent financial disclosures with the Senate. Burr’s personal financial activity came days after he publicly projected confidence about the US response to the coronavirus, and around the same time as his committee was receiving daily briefings about the worldwide spread of the virus, according to a Reuters report.”
“For Loeffler, the sell-off of between $1.3 million and $3.1 million worth of stock she owned with her husband came starting on January 24, the same day the Senate Health Committee hosted an all-members briefing on the coronavirus (Loeffler sits on the committee). Loeffler’s husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, is the chair of the New York Stock Exchange.” -Vox
“Just 12 days before the 2008 economic meltdown, several members of Congress pulled their money out of the stock market. Congress had been forewarned about the impending economic bombshell in secret meetings with the Treasury Department and the Fed, and they used that information to move their personal funds out of the market at lightning speed. Meanwhile, millions of Americans lost their homes and their life savings.
“The day after the meeting with the Treasury, at least 10 senators made trades to protect their financial interests, while Americans remained in the dark. Senator Shelley Capito (R-WV) and her husband dumped between $100,000 and $250,000 of Citigroup stock on the 18th of November 2008 at $83 per share. The next day Citi stock fell to $64 per share. Congressman Jim Moran jumped ship too, frantically trading stock in 90 different companies — his biggest trading day of the year, -Source: RepresentUs
Of Stock Trading:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks about stock trading by government workers on December 12, 2021: “We’re a free market economy,” Pelosi said. “They should be able to participate in that.”
However, in February 2022, Speaker Pelosi has given the greenlight to draft legislation to prevent congressmen from profiting on inside information.
Earlier attempts to prevent government workers from secretly making private trades were gutted. The STOCK Act was one such attempt. Signed into law by President Obama in 2012 to provide transparency, it was gutted in 2013 when the requirement that 28,000 federal employees had to disclose their stock trades was removed. Congressmen and the President and Vice President were still required by law to disclose their trades, but they were allowed 45 days to meet this requirement.
Several congressmen and senators are working on legislation that will require all sitting members of Congress, their spouses and dependent children divest from certain investments or transfer them into a qualified blind trust within 120 days of the legislation being enacted. Incoming members of Congress and their families would have to do the same within 120 days of taking office. And there are exceptions in each proposed legislation to allow industry trading and blended funds.
A blind trust is a trust in which the trust beneficiaries have no knowledge of the holdings of the trust, and no right to intervene in their handling. The trust may buy and sell the holdings, but the beneficiary of the trust has no knowledge of the trades that take place.
We don’t know, yet, if this legislation will include a requirement for tens of thousands of government workers to disclose their private stock trades and/or if they will be prevented from profiting from inside information. Time will tell.
Of Working Men and Women:
A working man or woman has fewer opportunities to attain wealth in life. The more common ways include home appreciation, 401K retirement programs, and/or perhaps simple stock purchases and stock appreciation. No longer can one become wealthy in America by saving their money. The system is rigged to move money into capital investments like stocks or real estate. Unfortunately, the working man or woman does not have insider information to guide his trading decisions and does not have large amounts of discretionary money to steer into investing. A working man or woman feels the pressure of inflation and the downward pressure on wages more than anyone.
The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. If we all had a dollar for every time, we heard that canard, we’d all be wealthy. Even our nation’s poor people would be wealthy.
And yet, there is a taint, perhaps an odor, that accompanies the accumulation of wealth without working for it. To know that millions of dollars in wealth can be obtained (or protected) simply by trading stocks before the average Joe-, Jack-, or Jill- working person knows about this secret information is foul at best.
Why should government employees with special healthcare, special retirement plans, higher wages, and insider knowledge continue to profit over the working man or woman? Working men and women who pay the bills, raise children, save money, and believe that hard work pays off, are left in the dust by the government worker who listens at keyholes for private information and then trades on that private information.
Is it any wonder the working man and woman feel they are treated poorly by Washington and by capitalism? Is it any wonder that Washington, DC feels elitist with these special connections to create more wealth and where no work was performed to achieve it? Insiders trade on inside information and become wealthy.
There is a very long history of Congressional scandals involving insider trading of stocks.
You can read some of that history here: https://insidertrading.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002391
Our government is simply helping themselves when using nonpublic information for private trades. The Reform Party of the USA needs your help to implement solutions which ensure the economic benefits and risks of capitalism are shared equally by working men and women, and government employees.
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