CNN Puts More Pressure on Bachus, Pelosi Regarding Insider Trading and Congress

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Congress Hearing Insider Trading

Following a “60 Minutes” report, CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night made insider trading and Congress his top story of the evening.  The “violators” were none other than former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, current House Speaker John Boehner and Alabama Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus.  Mr. Bachus has been one of the biggest advocates for online gambling prohibition and he is also allegedly one of the biggest of the “violators”.

What they did was not illegal but…

From Wikipedia…

In 2007, Bachus made trades with a number of short term stock options, betting that stocks would rise or fall for a quick profit or loss. Bachus made up to $160,000, including a bet in March that the stock market would drop that earned him between $15,000 and $50,000. Most members of Congress hold some stocks or mutual funds, but Bachus' rapid-fire trades are unusual for a leading member of Congress, particularly one with the key role of ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services.[10]

From July through November 2008, Bachus traded in options at least forty times, making money from betting against the market as it collapsed that year. During this period, Bachus was one of the Congressional leaders getting private briefings from Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke about the worsening financial crisis.[11] Bachus said that he "never trades on non public information, or financial services stocks".[12]

Bachus bought option funds that would go up in value if the financial market went down right before the Financial Crisis in 2008 directly following a closed door session with Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary, in which he was informed of the pending financial crash. 60 Minutes detailed the event in http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388130n

The top story is a result of a hearing in Washington that addressed the issue of insider trading and those in Congress.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told a hearing Thursday that Congress needs to re-evaluate its stock trading rules to assure the public that insider trading by members of the House and Senate does not occur.

“We must explore the application of existing laws to Congress and identify what actions may need to be taken to close possible loopholes.”

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