Sunday, June 24, 2012

Did they really think?....(part 4)

Did they really think they weren't trading on inside information?

I'm talking about our congresspersons, the ones who bought and sold stock of companies whose business was affected by legislation that was being considered in committee or in one of the houses of Congress.

The Washington Post reported on June 23 that 130 members of Congress—almost evenly split among Republicans and Democrats—have traded the stocks or bonds of companies that were actively lobbying for or against legislative proposals, while the legislation was being actively under consideration.

That kind of highway robbery is currently allowed under Congressional ethics rules. See, our elected representatives are forbidden from trading based on "inside information" about the companies themselves, but our public servants in Congress aren't forbidden from trading on "inside information" about proposed legislation.

The distinction is not a fine point. It's a grotesquely obvious loophole. The senators and representatives who did such trading should be ashamed of themselves.

The ethics committees of both houses should start some high-energy investigating. These people are enriching themselves while they're supposed to be doing the people's business.

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