Unbelievably, according to a 60 Minutes report entitled Insiders, most Congressmen and Senators that come to Washington manage to leave with more money than they got here with. Forget about the altruistic public service nonsense, our Representatives and Senators are getting rich from their jobs and they are doing it in the stock market with privileged information only they can obtain. They then take that insider information and buy stocks or options on stocks and then turn around and sell them sometimes only days later and profit handsomely.
Some of those that have profited from this information that you and I can’t get our hands on is Alabama Representative Spencer Bachus who purchased stock options that bet on the economy nearly collapsing in the 2008 financial crisis while he made the public show that he was working feverishly to keep that from happening. John Boehner also purchased healthcare related stocks that later went up after he worked to kill the public option (which was later reinserted) in Obamacare. Boehner claimed that he does not make day to day trading decisions on his accounts, but gee whiz, doesn’t that information have to come from somewhere?
Nancy Pelosi and her husband also benefited from insider information when they participated in the Visa IPO and received preferential pricing on 5,000 shares at $44 each. Two days after their purchase the price of Visa stock went up to $64 realizing the Pelosi’s a $100,000 profit. This all happened at the time a piece of possibly damaging legislation to credit card companies was making its way through the halls of Congress. The legislation did not make it to the floor at the time yet 2 years later did pass, well after the time the Pelosi’s benefited from their IPO. The 60 Minutes report did not state whether Nancy Pelosi actually sold her stock 2 days later.
What is even more shocking is that when Nancy Pelosi was asked a direct question by Steve Kroft of CBS in a press conference about why she and her husband participated in this large IPO deal when pending legislation was working its way through Congress, she acted as if she didn’t know the point of the direct question. When Kroft later pressed her on the question, she lied through teeth and said that she did not “act upon an investment.”
Really, are you kidding me? This is the kind of behavior our leaders in Congress engage in and then they expect us to willingly follow the laws? Our lawmakers are engaging in a dangerous game when they claim they aren’t violating the letter of the law, and they aren’t here because this behavior is not technically illegal, but they are blatantly violating the spirit of the law. They know the rest of us cannot trade and benefit on information as they do. They know any of us would go to jail if we were doing exactly as they are doing, but they disregard that and do it anyway.
The bottom line as stated at the end of the 60 Minutes Insiders report is that the United States Congress has taken what would be a criminal organized crime operation anywhere in the country and our elected officials have turned it into a lucrative business model.
Welcome to your criminal Congress. Honestly, why would anybody vote for these crooks any longer?