Congressional Insider Trading Is What America Wants

I’m against big government.  Politicians are wasteful with our tax dollars and like to propose empty promises to maintain power. From that ding dong Congressman who sent pictures of himself in his underwear on Twitter, to Elliot Spitzer’s indecencies – when people have too much power, they let us down.  Given this view, I am perplexed why there are those out there who vote for more government!  Do you really want XYZ government agency controlling your every move and stealing from you?

60 Minutes recently did a terrific 15 minute spot about how Congressional lawmakers can freely trade stocks based on non-public information and the very bills they are voting on!  For example, if you are on the Healthcare Committee which is about to pass a law that requires all hospitals to provide the first $5,000 in expenses for free, you can actually short hospital stocks on this information even though nobody has a clue this bill will pass!

TELL ME WHY, WHY, TELL ‘EM THAT IT’S HUMAN NATURE WHY, WHY…

So I got to thinking, why do we allow Congressional insider trading to happen, when any one of us who acts on non-public information will go to jail?  The answer is simply that the public WANTS our Congressmen to enrich themselves since they provide us such great service!  If the public didn’t want Congressmen to have a leg up on real estate and stock deals, then we simply would elect officials who propose legislation to restrict this type of activity.

Everything is rational folks.  We feel sorry for our Democrat and Republican Congressmen and women who only earn $174,000 a year.   As a result, we allow them special opportunities the rest of us don’t have, even though the average household income is less than half their salaries!  Who cares if the top 5 richest congressmen are worth a combined $1 billion dollars.  We must help our leaders!

America loves big government.  If we didn’t, we’d have small government and less waste.  Watch this video and share your thoughts.  After you do, please don’t throw your computer out the window.

Readers, why do we allow the already privileged and powerful to play by different rules?

Anybody have a better reason for why Congressmen and women get to conduct insider trading?

Could you resist the temptation of not participating in IPOs and material inside information if you could earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in a week legally?

Photo: Our beloved Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco.

Regards,

Sam

If you enjoyed this article, please sign up for my RSS Feed or E-mail Feed to keep in touch.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

You can sign up to receive his articles via email or by RSS. Sam also sends out a private quarterly newsletter with information on where he's investing his money and more sensitive information.

Subscribe To Private Newsletter

Comments

  1. David M says

    Readers, why do we allow the already privileged and powerful to play by different rules?

    Because they are the ones that make the rules plain and simple! Why can Congress trade on insider information and not be prosecuted – because they wrote the law that allows this!

  2. Andy says

    I saw this too and was shocked! This is by definition insider trading, plain and simple. What makes me mad isn’t that fact that they are acting on non-public information, it’s that they do it so blatantly and there isn’t anything that can or will be done about it. They make the rules and those rules benefit them but screw the rest of us. It’s getting to the point to when I go to vote, if I see someone is an incumbent, I will automatically vote for the other person. The longer someone stays in office, the more disconnected with reality they become.

  3. Darwin's Money says

    Hilarious. Pelosi railing against the rich while she and her husband got in on 8 IPOs (which you and I don’t have a shot at). It’s such hypocrisy, it would be funny if it weren’t so damned wrong. I watched the episode and while I knew Congressional leaders have no shame, I was still floored. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    • says

      I’m impressed she bought $220,000 worth of Visa at IPO. Some institutional funds can’t get that allocation, let alone one person. Must of been nice to make $100,000 the next day and k ow the anti CC bill wasn’t going to pass that year!

      • Darwin's Money says

        In the 60 Minutes piece, the video of her basically mocking/chastising the reporter for even asking the question says it all. She thinks she’s above the law and anyone questioning here is an ass. Apparently the joke’s on us. She can do whatever she wants – and then, ironically, trash Wall Street fatcats. Isn’t preferential treatment and access to insider deals kinda like, well, what the Obama administration chastises wall street for?

      • TomPennington says

        You already gave the solution. Stop electing them! No one in elective office is performing such a valuable function that we cannot afford to replace him or her. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

  4. says

    Because the average American doesn’t care. There’s no reason for Congress to be fair to the American people. 40% of people vote R, 40% vote D, 20% of voters alternate from R to D every election cycle thinking that the talking points of those not in power will actually translate into action. It never happens, of course, but hey–at least there are still believers!

  5. says

    I don’t think a lot of people even knew about the Insider Trading until 60 Minutes tossed this story out there. I read when Megan McArdle wrote about it that whether or not they were actually beating the market was in question – but obviously some Politicians would have access to even better information.

    Perhaps people do know, but don’t care enough to vote against the party line (or they value some other issue more – like foreign aid, heh). I certainly don’t like the Insider Trading – you could use it to launder political donations just as easy as you can make bets based on pending legislation.

  6. Untemplater says

    Wow that is shocking and another reason why I don’t like politics. Making their own rules and screwing everybody else. Nice. What Andy said about second terms is so true. That’s why I have very low expectations if Obama gets reelected and anyone else in Washington for that matter. Power corrupts.

  7. says

    Ethics! Where are they? They question everybody regarding baseball and steroids, oil companies and pricing and even make laws, but they can basically use insider information to become wealthy. HMMM!!! Throw the bums out. What bothers me more is that it took 60 minutes to bring it to our attention (along with Sam). I guess I did not get the memo, is it a perk of Congress? Why not, they vote themselves a raises. Maybe I should run for Congress.

    • says

      I have been railing against Big Goverment for years (see the big Goverment category)! I feel I need to do my part to wake up the public who think politicians are there for them, and not themselves!

      Please people, if you vote for big government, they WILL screw you! Don’t be fooled by all their sweet promises!

  8. says

    Thanks for posting the video. I didn’t know the specific, but I always knew politicians are crooks. Politicians all over the world have taken advantage of land development information. It’s a bit surprising that it is so rampant in the US.
    The president in Thailand sold his TV/satellite company and changed the law so he didn’t have to pay tax. He got kicked out of the country for that one, but it was a long fight.

  9. says

    I just don’t see why they make it illegal for average American citizens to act upon non-public information. Obtaining that information requires hard work and knowing somebody that knows somebody. They’re too afraid of exposing more than they should or is it for the fact that all congressmen and women are selfish?

  10. Mike Hunt says

    Around the world, the top people in government are above the law that they write. Why all the shock and outrage here, then?

    Of course you will take some advantage of this if you or I were in power, since it is perfectly legal, no?

    The only risk to them is the random wacko who has an itchy trigger finger. Otherwise it’s gravy all the way.

    -Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *