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'60 Minutes' ....Congressional Insider Trading
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'60 Minutes' ....Congressional Insider Trading

  #1 (permalink)
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'60 Minutes' ....Congressional Insider Trading

'60 Minutes' Blows The Lid Off Congressional Insider Trading

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Gee I am shocked. Congress is the source of many problems. Too bad they don't live by the rules they expect everyone else to follow.

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Peter2150 View Post
Gee I am shocked. Congress is the source of many problems. Too bad they don't live by the rules they expect everyone else to follow.

Yep, no surprise here. If the day comes when they would pass a "stock act" we might actually have some hope that the system will get cleaned up a little and it would restore some faith in government.
Pretty unlikely.....

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Yep, no surprise here. If the day comes when they would pass a "stock act" we might actually have some hope that the system will get cleaned up a little and it would restore some faith in government.
Pretty unlikely.....

Bet anything they pass would quietly exclude them. I wish they had to abide by everything they pass.

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"Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge" Act

Update: we have learned that the current iteration of HR 682 is HR 1148, it's purpose is "To prohibit commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, to require additional reporting by Members and employees of Congress of securities transactions, and for other purposes" sponsored by Tim Waltz, and as of June 1 was... referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Following yesterday's 60 Minutes grotesque special which finally exposed to the general public what most experts in the industry have known for many years, namely that the bulk of "profits" for Congressmen (at a fixed $174,000 salary for the current year) and Senators are made courtesy of perfectly legal insider trading, it is time to ask the logical next question: how is it possible that the US system of checks and balances has failed so spectacularly, as to allow a glaringly illegal activity for everyone else to proceed and to generate multi-million dollar windfalls for congressional and senatorial critters? It would be perfectly understandable if some very righteous anger accompanies said question. Well, as it turns out, some, very few, Congressmen have a conscience and do believe in operating within the confines of the law, and 2 years ago proposed HR 682: Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge Act. HR 682, sponsored by Rep. Brian Baird, has a purpose "To prohibit securities and commodities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, and to require additional reporting by Members and employees of Congress of securities transaction, and for other purposes." Wonder why you have never heard of HR 682, aside from the obvious: that Congress would never vote in a law to cut off this massive illegal form of funding for itself: "This bill never became law." Well, duh.
More: "This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session." Indicatively, the bill died when it was referred to, extremely ironically, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. So there you have it, and the question now is: who of the 435 members of Congress will be so kind to just say no to perpetuating this gross criminal act, and finally make it illegal for Congressmen to trade on inside information, just as it is for everyone else, and usually ends up leading to prison time and multimillion dollar fines for all those other "mortals" who are caught doing it. After all, is it too much to demand of Congress to follow the laws that are in place for everyone else???
And a letter penned by the original two bill sponsors to Nancy Pelosi. Logically, nothing ever happened afterwards.



Congress Must IMMEDIATELY Pass HR 1148: The "Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge" Act | ZeroHedge

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some more dirt....

FULL DETAILS: How Congress Insider Traders Abused The Public's Trust During The Financial Crisis

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WASHINGTON POST
By Marc A. Thiessen
November 14, 2011

Insider trading is illegal — except for members of Congress. A Wall Street executive who buys or sells stock based on insider information would face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and quite possibly a federal prosecutor. But senators and congressmen are free to legally trade stock based on nonpublic information they have obtained through their official positions as elected officials — and they do so on a regular basis.

On Sunday night, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” looked into this form of “lawful graft.” The “60 Minutes” story exposed, among others, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for participating in a lucrative initial public offering from Visa in 2008 that was not available to the general public, just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies began making its way through the House (the bill never made it to the floor). And it showed how during the 2008 financial crisis, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) — then-ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee — aggressively bought stock options based on apocalyptic briefings he had received the day before from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

The report was based on an explosive new book by Peter Schweizer that will hit stores on Tuesday. It’s called “Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison.” (Full disclosure: Schweizer is a close friend, a former White House colleague and my business partner in a speechwriting firm, Oval Office Writers.

The “60 Minutes” story only scratches the surface of what Schweizer has uncovered. For example, Bachus was not the only member of Congress trading on nonpublic information during the financial crisis. On Sept. 16, 2008, Schweizer writes, Paulson and Bernanke held a “terrifying” closed-door meeting with congressional leaders. “The next day Congressman Jim Moran, Democrat of Virginia, a member of the Appropriations Committee, dumped his shares in ninety different companies . . . [his] most active trading day of the year.”

Rep. Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.) and her husband “dumped between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citigroup stock the day after the briefing,” Schweizer writes, and “at least ten U.S. senators, including John Kerry, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Dick Durbin, traded stock or mutual funds related to the financial industry the following day.” Durbin, Schweizer says, “attended that September 16 briefing with Paulson and Bernanke. He sold off $73,715 in stock funds the next day. Following the next terrifying closed-door briefing, on September 18, he dumped another $42,000 in stock. By doing so, Durbin joined some colleagues in saving themselves from the sizable losses that less-connected investors would experience.” Some members even made gains on their trades, at a time when ordinary Americans without insider knowledge were seeing their life savings evaporate.

Schweizer also documents numerous examples of how members of Congress of both parties — including Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former House speaker Dennis Hastert — have used federal earmarks to enhance the value of their own real estate holdings. They have done so, Schweizer shows, by extending a light-rail mass transit line near their property, expanding an airport, cleaning up a nearby shoreline, building roads and bridges, and beautifying land and neighborhoods nearby — in each case “substantially increasing values and the net worth of our elected officials, courtesy of taxpayer money.”

Perhaps the most disturbing revelations come from Schweizer’s investigation into the Obama Energy Department and its infamous “green energy” loan guarantee and grant programs, a program Schweizer calls “the greatest — and most expensive — example of crony capitalism in American history.” The scandal surrounding Solyndra — the now-bankrupt, Obama-connected solar power company that received a federally guaranteed loan of $573 million — is well known. But Solyndra, Schweizer says, is only the tip of the iceberg.

According to his research, at least 10 members of President Obama’s campaign finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting tax dollars from these programs. One chart in the book details how the 10 finance committee members collectively raised $457,834, and were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.4 billion — quite a return on their investment.

In the loan-guarantee program alone, Schweizer writes, “$16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers — individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” That is a staggering 71 percent of the loan money.
Schweizer cites example after example of companies that received grants or loans and documents their financial connections to the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party. And he shows how “the [Energy] department’s loan and grant programs are run by partisans who were responsible for raising money during the Obama campaign from the same people who later came to seek government loans and grants.”

There is much, much more, which means that when Schweizer’s book hits stores Tuesday, heads in Washington are going to explode.

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