‘Too many members of the Senate trade in stocks,’ Senate Banking Committee chair says
TAFC ClipBoard: Nancy Pelosi recently said that she would be open to a ban on stock trading in Congress, if the federal judiciary were included in the ban. Last year 2021 she supported stock trading by members of congress. Vehemently supported it as part of the American freedoms.
Doesn’t Nancy Pelosi see the conflict of interest? And if not, then why didn’t anyone back then or even now point that out to her? Doesn’t she have a staff that handles those matters that she needs brought to her attention? Why wait so long and then make her support of banning stock trading by members of Congress contingent of whether the federal judiciary joins in or not? she doesn’t control the federal judiciary. they are separate branches for the reason of preventing collusion. Yet here she is colluding.
Was she giving people plenty of time to decide what to do with their existing holdings? That should come under insider trading or a different category, but it is fixing nonetheless.
How did the market respond back then to her staunch support of congress trading stock on Wall Street. Did it go up or down. Wall Street usually responds to any movement that involves them, especially when coming from the federal government.
How did the market respond when she flipped positions to support the ban? She just gave the FBI lots of space to investigate stock trading crimes tracking members of Congress and how they react to this news.
Congress makes the laws regarding Wall Street, again, how could Pelosi not think or know that congress trading stock would be a conflict of interest? One wonders what these law making members tell their cocktail party buddies after certain laws are passed or blocked. Do they get the news before We the People?
Pelosi needs to retire. She shouldn’t have had to be told by anybody. She should have had the wisdom to know when to retire, and that she is way past due. She can’t play act that little girl naivete on this one, which is what she tried to do, talking about her freedoms, neglecting totally the term ‘conflict of interest’, like it was over her head and under her pay grade. She’s just a helpless woman caught up in this big bad man world.
Time to get out, before she’s forced out. She’s putting the American people and the country’s reputation at risk. What she did by supporting stock trading for members of Congress amounts to abuse of her powers that leads to corruption. What laws that she passed benefitted her husband and her husband’s friends? And how about all the people who must have voted on something that kept their stock trading in play by the members of Congress on Wall Street? Does Nancy Pelosi own stock? How about the executive branch? Does Joseph Biden own stock? She ‘ll do it if the federal judiciary does it, but not the executive branch? The executive branch signs the final bills, why not them? Ask her.
- The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012 ( Pub. 291, enacted April 4, 2012) is an Act of Congress designed to combat insider trading. … It was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 4, 2012./
Obviously this Act was designed to block insider trading using congressional knowledge, not to ban trading by law makers. There was so much room for corruption here, and even president Obama turned a blind eye to it. What he did was essentially put a stick-proof bandaid on the problem. Who knows, he probably owned stock too.
What do members of Congress do then, promise not to trade on knowledge until the law is passed? A lot of good that would do. They’d still have the knowledge and could act on it before the American people got wind of it. Who knows when a law is passed? Nobody follows all of them.
All congress is required to do now is report their tradings within forty-five days. Fifty-four congresspeople did not. There’s not enough oversight.
Dump the stock. Maybe this is why congresspeople get so rich in office. This investigation deserves a ditch-digger, a bulldozer and a well-digger. There’s a lot down there to discover.
Maybe this will put an end to only the rich survive in politics. The rich take care of the rich first. We the People get the crumbs. The so-0called greatest democracy in the world is run by a minority.
And it is not race-based.
Nancy Pelosi calls the USA a free market economy and lawmakers should be able to participate.
Poor people can’t. Lower middle-class working people can’t, with all their other expenses; they can’t afford it. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have her fingers on anybody else’s pulse but her own.
Adriana Belmonte·Senior Editor
Sat, February 5, 2022, 11:40 AM
The push for stricter regulation related to members of Congress trading individual stocks has been picking up momentum in 2022.
There are currently at least half a dozen bills that have been proposed in recent months to address the issue, which one senator said has gotten out of hand.
“Too many members of the Senate trade in stocks, and their spouses do,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “I don’t accuse anybody individually of a conflict of interest and in betraying the public interest. But the temptation — if you own shares of stock, everything looks like a conflict of interest because we vote on everything in the Senate. We vote on banking rules. We vote on environmental rules. We vote on labor rules. We vote on minimum wages sometimes, so there are all kinds of conflicts.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing on January 13, 2022. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Under the STOCK Act of 2012, lawmakers are required to report their stock trades within 45 days of the transactions. However, a report by Insider found that 54 members of Congress have failed to properly report their transactions.
“We need to write the strongest bill that we can get a majority of senators on,” Brown said. “It will be a challenge because a number of senators, especially Republicans, have complained about this. And there are a lot of people in the Senate that hold a lot of investments, and I’m concerned.”
‘You’re here for public service’
Several senators have come under scrutiny for insider trading practices since the pandemic first hit the U.S. In March 2020, the Justice Department announced that it would be investigating some senators to determine whether they traded ahead of the stock market crash triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
An investigation by ProPublica and The Center for Responsive Politics revealed that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time and received confidential briefings about the emerging threat of the coronavirus pandemic, and his wife sold numerous stock shares following those briefings.
Burr denied the allegations, and the Department of Justice ended its inquiry into his trading actions in January 2021, though the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) is reportedly still investigating.
Senator Richard Burr delivers opening remarks during a Senate Health Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID, January 11, 2022. Shawn Thew/Pool via REUTERS
Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), who was a member of the Senate Health Committee, reportedly sold stock on January 24, 2020, which was the same day the committee was briefed by administration officials on the coronavirus.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) were also scrutinized for their stock moves.
“You’re here for public service, not here to enrich your portfolio,” Brown said. “If you want to make more money, stay out of it. Don’t run for the Senate. Do something else. We have a public trust here.”
“We are a free-market economy,” she said during a press conference in December, adding that lawmakers “should be able to participate in that.”
Twenty seven lawmakers recently wrote a letter urging House leaders to act quickly to bring “commonsense, bipartisan” legislation to the floor banning members of Congress from owning or trading stocks.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) detailed the fundamental issue as she sees it.
“I am a member of Congress: Members of Congress have access to very sensitive security clearances,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We have access to very detailed, tailored briefs. We, our job is to try to anticipate and legislate for what we see is coming. And we should not have the ability to both have access to that information and be able to hold and trade individual stock.”
‘They were doing stock trading’
Members of Congress from both political parties have proposed legislation to limit stock trading among their colleagues.
A proposal from Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) would prohibit members of Congress and their immediate family members from conducting any stock transactions while serving in office and confiscate the lawmaker’s entire salary if they break the rules. U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Chip Roy (R-TX) unveiled a similar proposal to be passed in the House.
Sen. Jon Ossoff questions Treasury Secretary Yellen and Fed Chairman Powell during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the CARES Act September 28, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/REUTERS
Republican Senator Josh Hawley has also proposed a bill that would prohibit lawmakers and their spouses from owning or trading individual stocks.
Amid these discussions, however, Brown stressed: “Don’t forget about the Federal Reserve.”
Last October, Brown co-sponsored a bill — the Ban Conflicted Trading at the Fed Act — that would prohibit officials at the Federal Reserve from trading individual stocks. This came as a result of ethics concerns surrounding stock trades made by former Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who both left their roles after scrutiny increased on the Fed.
“We know about some compromise, if you will,” Brown said. “We’ve had Fed presidents around the country — a couple resigned probably because of this. They were doing stock trading.”
In January, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida resigned earlier than initially planned after it was revealed that he had failed to properly disclose his trading activities in 2020, raising the question of whether or not he benefited from Fed actions.
Brown said he would be meeting with fellow lawmakers to “get something significant through the Senate.”
“It won’t be exactly the bill the way that I introduce it or Senator Ossoff or Senator Merkley,” he said. “But we need to move and we need to include the Federal Reserve in it. We need to include — not all family members, not grown children — but we need to include spouses in these rules.”
Adriana Belmonte is a reporter and editor covering politics and health care policy for Yahoo Finance. You can follow her on Twitter @adrianambells and reach her at email@example.com.
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