Congress Stock Trading Leads to Major Conflicts of Interest

Teen Vouge – In a story about Congressional stock trading rules, Healthy Markets Executive Director is quoted throughout the story. “A few years after the global financial crisis of 2008, there was investigative reporting that identified a number of members of Congress [who] had been trading stocks while the economy was cratering and the bailouts were being negotiated,” Gellasch tells Teen Vogue. “Not shockingly, some of these members of Congress appeared to profit handsomely from their trading. It gave rise to concerns that these folks were insider trading — that they knew information because of their jobs — either because they were being briefed by the [federal government] or the White House or Treasury, or because they were negotiating some of the terms of the bailouts themselves. So there was real concern about unjust enrichment [and] members of Congress using their jobs to benefit their personal finances.” The bill establishes two essential standards, says Gellasch: First, it bans insider trading and states that members of Congress have a duty not to profit off nonpublic information they learn in Congress; second, it sets new transparency, public disclosure, and reporting standards for financial transactions and investments. But because of the sheer amount of information and range of industries lawmakers get public and private insight into, Gellasch notes, the issue of insider trading becomes more complicated. (Full Story).

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