Congressional policymakers know which bills will become laws long before the public. Sometimes, new laws can affect the share prices of large corporations, opening the door for potential congressional inside trading. As author Peter Schweizer notes, not only is the door open, members of the United States Congress may be engaging in insider trading to create illegal gains for themselves on the stock market.
‘Throw Them All Out’ hits bookstores
In Schweizer’s new non-partisan book “Throw Them All Out,” the 47-year-old former foreign policy adviser to vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin puts his finger on some disturbing information that “would send the rest of us to prison,” he writes. Schweizer claims to have uncovered evidence that numerous congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle participated in illegal insider trading.
Taking their word for it
While investigating Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Schweizer found that Kerry’s brokers purchased stock shares in 103 pharmaceutical companies in 2003. Kerry, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, was the chairman of the health subcommittee. His investments occurred just before new Medicare legislation passed, which created a new prescription-drug entitlement that was expected to pay big dividends for the pharmaceutical industry, not to mention savvy investors.
Schweizer speculated that if a pharmaceutical executive made such a trade before that kind of legislation passed, she’d likely be brought up on charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“They were all great picks,” Schweizer told The Daily Beast. “The only group in America that we exempt is politicians, who are probably the last people about whom we should be saying, ‘Oh, we’ll take their word for it.’”
Kerry spokeswoman denies claims
“Senator Kerry does not buy, sell, or trade stocks,” Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth proclaimed to the Washington D.C. press corps. She claims he missed much of the Medicare bill debate, as he was running for president in 2003.
Schweizer admits Kerry may not have been contacting a broker himself.
“It’s not that I think John Kerry is calling up his broker, on health care, and saying, ‘Buy this company, sell that company?’” Schweizer says. “The issue is one of a double standard.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner reportedly invested “tens of thousands of dollars” into health insurance company stock right before the public option portion of the health care reform bill was eliminated. Ranking House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Spencer Bachus allegedly made beneficial stock-option trades in 2008, just before the financial crisis. Rep. Jim Moran and Rep. Shelly Capito allegedly sold major stocks before the crash.
Among the most disturbing of Schweizer’s alleged discoveries is that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband participated in one of the hottest stock trades of the past decade when he purchased as much as $5 million in shares of Visa, not long after key legislation reached the House. Within two days after public trading began, Visa’s share price went up from $44 to $65 per share.
Where Congressional insider trading happens
Big Journalism: http://bigjournalism.com/jpollak/2011/11/13/throw-them-all-out-including-politico/
The Daily Beast: http://bit.ly/t6cXUL
Peter Schweizer Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Schweizer
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