Steadfast FinancesInsider Trading: Illegal for You and I, Not for Politicians

Insider Trading: Illegal for You and I, Not for Politicians

Filed in Consumer Education , Politics 1 comments

Just when you think American politics can’t get any more infuriating, you hear something like…

Between 25% to 40% of U.S. Senators are actively buying and selling common stocks, and on average, Washington insiders (e.g. Congressmen) beat the market index by 1% per month or 12% annually.

And who said it wasn’t possible to consistently beat the market?

It is suspected that these politicians are using their Congressional authority to gain insider information before said information is released to the general public, or even Wall Street. Naturally, since the Congress persons are outperforming the broad market by such a large margin, it’s only logical to suspect them of profiting from political insider trading.

Even better… political insider trading is NOT illegal. Whereas corporate insider trading is very much illegal (e.g. Martha Stewart & ImClone) and punishable by several years in prison.

The whole time listening to the report, I kept thinking of Gordon Gekko’s infamous quote in Wall Street about insider trading:

If you’re not inside, you ARE outside.

Then again, I suppose some Congress persons “won” their comped life after getting elected to such a position of power.

More detailed information can be heard via the NPR Marketplace radio report.

Hat tip to Alan Ziobrowski (Georgia State University) and Craig Holman (Public Citizen’s Congress Watch) for their research and insights.

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Posted by CJ   @   22 September 2009 1 comments
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