Why are members of Congress allowed to trade stocks? Why are their immediate family members allowed to trade stocks? I don’t think they were really upset with the Gamestop situation as much as they were ticked off they weren’t tipped off and allowed to participate in the squeeze.
There is so much trading in the halls of Congress. They get inside information before anyone else, and they act on it. There are literally hundreds of examples throughout history. Recently we have seen Nancy Pelosi’s husband buy stocks ahead of executive orders and make a ton of money. We have seen Senators buy or sell stocks after hearings on the Covid crisis to make or avoid losses. Today I read where NJ Congressman Tom Malinowski made between $671k-$2MM on stock trades LAST YEAR. No wonder they don’t have time to read pending legislative bills, they must be looking at charts.
They trade futures too. Pending trade deal with another country? Before it passes make sure my order is filled in lumber, meats, or grains.
Other Congresspeople wouldn’t trade. Instead, they’d buy land. Then they would advocate for pork barrelled bills which would cause the land they owned to be developed. Disgraced former Speaker Denny Hastert was a master at this. He was one of the best land investors the state of Illinois ever saw. Amazing the wealth you can build on a teacher’s retirement and a small congressional salary.
Sometimes I don’t think people like Senator Dick Durbin want to stay in power purely for the power, it’s to be able to trade on inside information. Senator Dick has built quite a nest egg of personal wealth in his over quarter-century of public service. He’s gone from a middle-class kid to a very wealthy individual.
Hopefully, even the hard left-wing progressive Democrats would agree with the hard right-wing Republicans that was is going on is wrong. I think the bulk of the American public does.
I have a solution.
Blind trusts. Since the Congresspeople love to centralize power so much with lots of legislation, why not centralize the management of their personal finances? Put all their cash in a blind trust that replicates the S&P and QQQ. When America does well, they will do well. No stock trading or outside investing allowed. No fees. No manager buying and selling. When it goes up, they make money. When it goes down, they lose. If you are elected and you have a business, or private investments, you disclose them and the percentage of the business you own, along with any recurring income you might have from it. This way, when I debate happens on a bill or policy and a certain business or sector of the economy or region of the country will benefit, it’s all transparent and out on the table.
If you work for a Big 4 accounting firm, you and your immediate family members are subject to very strict code of investment. In many cases, they can’t invest in index funds out of conflict of interest fear. Why shouldn’t elected officials be the same?
This is beyond disgusting.
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