Congress Protects Insider Trading for Congress

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by Peter Gorenstein in TechTicker:

Even a cynic can find Washington’s hypocrisy shocking at times. The Wall Street Journal reports [yesterday] a House bill that would force lawmakers to make greater disclosures on financial transactions and disallow them from trading on nonpublic information is going nowhere fast.
That’s right. Members of Congress are currently allowed to profit on insider trading!

The bill, which has been languishing in the House for four years, would require elected officials “to make their financial transactions public within 90 days of a purchase or sale” and “prohibit lawmakers from trading in financial markets based on nonpublic information they learn on the job,” the WSJ reports.

It seems they’re above the transparency they’ve been calling for on Wall Street.

This comes a day after the same newspaper reported several lawmakers profited by betting against the housing and stock market in 2008. And some did it using derivatives they’ve recently been railing against.

As our colleague Henry Blodget wrote Tuesday, “If you’re going to complain about how awful short-selling is and how evil and venal people are for doing it, you should probably abstain from the practice yourself.”

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