Want To Outperform The Market? Just Trade Alongside The SEC

Tyler Durden's picture

Goodbye SAC Capital. Hello SEC Capital.

A new study released by Rajgopal of Emory and White of Georgia State confirms what most have long known: SEC employees are immaculate stock pickers and "that a hedge portfolio that goes long on SEC employees’ buys and short on SEC employees’ sells earns positive and economically significant abnormal returns of (i) about 4% per year for all securities in general; and (ii) about 8.5% in U.S. common stocks in particular." But those wily regulators are tricky indeed: instead of frontrunning good news and outperforming on the upside, the "abnormal returns stem not from the buys but from the sale of stock ahead of a decline in stock prices." In other words, in a market in which hedge funds have given up on shorting stock, the best outperformer is none other than the very entity that is supposed to regulate and root out illicit market activity!

From the study's summary:

We use a new data set obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate the trading strategies of the employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We find that a hedge portfolio that goes long on SEC employees’ buys and short on SEC employees’ sells earns positive and economically significant abnormal returns of (i) about 4% per year for all securities in general; and (ii) about 8.5% in U.S. common stocks in particular. The abnormal returns stem not from the buys but from the sale of stock ahead of a decline in stock prices. We find that at least some of these SEC employee trading profits are information based, as they tend to divest (i) in the run-up to SEC enforcement actions; and (ii) in the interim period between a corporate insider’s paper-based filing of the sale of restricted stock with the SEC and the appearance of the electronic record of such sale online on EDGAR. These results raise questions about potential rent seeking activities of the regulator’s employees.

What questions? By now it is abundantly clear that enforcing a fair and efficient market is the last thing on the minds of SEC staffers. It is now also quite clear that in such times when said staffers are not browsing porn on the taxpayers' dime, they are trading stocks on illegal, market-moving information.

And since not even the most sophisticated hedge funds can generate returns through shorting, maybe it is time for the government to do something right, and spin off SEC Capital as a standalone hedge fund.

The added benefit: the 2 and 20 fees said fund charges can be used to pay down a tiny fraction of US debt, and maybe hire real private sector regulators who will do the public agency's job for a change.

And as John Lohman points out, when you already have all the inside info you need, there is no actually requirement to log into your Bloomberg.

Full study link here

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madbraz's picture

Isn't that the definition of insider trading? 

NotApplicable's picture

And that's just the trades they know about. My guess is there's plenty more they didn't see.

Occident Mortal's picture

How on earth can they be allowed to own the securities they are supposed to be regulating?

It's insanely stupid.

piceridu's picture

Talk to Congress...oh wait...

krispkritter's picture

Yeah, for more tips.  And here I thought people wanted Gov't jobs for the pensions, not enough apparently, they need more.

Divided States of America's picture

I know Emily Goodman and Wendy Kong....they both work night shift in the brothel close to the SEC office in DC.

NoDebt's picture

I just want to win the trash collection contract for the SEC offices.  I'll do fine on just that.

Keyser's picture

The fact that SEC employees are allowed to persoanlly trade securities speaks for itself. Rather loudly at that. 

nickels's picture

This is the sort of thing that could make even Eric Holder sick. -- oh wait..

Keyser's picture

It was just an attack of morals. Not to worry, it's passed now and he's off to the arctic circle where he will bash baby seals to death with a club. 

Cacete de Ouro's picture

New SEC motto: We short the stocks while watching shorties suck cocks

seek's picture

I'd imagine the SEC spouse hedge fund would outperform this by a wide margin.

lolmao500's picture

The SEC? You mean those perverts watching porn at work 24/7? So... trade alongside the SEC... trade porn companies shares?

Anyways... a sign of the times :


Rome days away from bankruptcy Eternal city warns it will go bust for the first time since it was destroyed by Nero


Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Them porn subscriptions don't pay for themselves.

Think of it as a business expense to keep the SEC disfunctioning smoothly.

OwnSilverPlayMusic's picture

This ain't the fox guarding the hen house.  This is the fox in charge of fucking KFC

bagehot99's picture


Where graft for the insiders is not even remarkable.

Market Rage's picture

There's something very wrong if they are allowed to trade.

Occident Mortal's picture

Exactly, how can you work at the SEC and own a portfolio of US equities?

NotApplicable's picture

Ummm... because government is merely the most organized form of crime?

The only thing surprising about this is that it surprises anyone at all.

onewayticket2's picture

"In a related story, two researchers were found floating in the Potamac today....story at 11"



Mercury's picture

Probably because they officially have no fiduciary duty, the violation of which often determines whether or not illegal, "insider trading" has taken place.

Mesquite's picture

I like that pix..!

krispkritter's picture

That was back in my trading days...

Hindenburg...Oh Man's picture

How in the world can these people be allowed to trade anything but the most benign and generally-focused securities?

ejamest's picture

What's next, Congress trading on inside info....oh, wait.

DontGive's picture

Wait a minute.. How dare you point out the hypocracy?!?

ebworthen's picture

Hippotocracy, but real Hippos have a number of self-redeeming qualities and work for their food.

Josh Randall's picture

What returns do the employees at S&P generate?

Colonel Klink's picture

._. my surprise face at learning this.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

buy stocks...

you, as in YOU cant loose in this free and fair marketplace...


there only 2 forms of real money free of counterparty risk...

hint - 1 was found yesterday by some old folks buried in coffee cans some hundred years ago...


Hammerabi's picture

MJ Pennystocks: Outperforming the Market Since 2013

wcvarones's picture

Illegal?  I thought insider trading applied only to nonpublic information from companies, not from regulators.

NoDebt's picture

Correct.  That's why they can do this legally.  These guys are still pikers compared to members of Congress.  Or Presidents and their spouses (rembember Hillary's huge 100% winning trades in a market she didn't even understand back in the 90s?)

Chippewa Partners's picture

@dangallaghersec   should enjoy the study.........  the only SEC commissioner with a twitter handle.............


lolmao500's picture

: I called ’s FM Lavrov to discuss , asked that work with US & our allies to rebuild a healthy .

Luuuuuuuuuulz.... Kerry is either the most foolish foreign minister ever... or he's just saying that kind of crap for propaganda on how Murica is for peace...

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  or he's just saying that kind of crap for propaganda on how Murica is for peace...

All societies are run by sociopaths.   Diplomacy is lawyers dealing with sociopaths.  Usually, lawyers are the sociopaths and their clients are just normal assholes.  But when dealing with nations it's all sociopaths.

unrulian's picture

Kerry is either the most foolish foreign minister ever...


ebworthen's picture


Employees of an equity market enforcment agency can trade equities?

I would be shocked and outraged if I did not know that the black flag had been hoisted against citizens by Wall Street and Washignton a long time ago.

Anyone would be hard pressed to identify the King's men from the true Pirates.

Hide your Wives and Daughters, and bury your Gold!

Downtoolong's picture

Imagine the results if they had access to trading activity of SEC employee inlaws.

Brokenarrow's picture

do you think they see these posts?  how can they not?

Anonymouse's picture

It's great to see the SEC is getting the best and the brightest.

Nothing to see here, people.  Move along.

NotApplicable's picture

That's why they're richer than you.

The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

Follow Old Yeller or get FUCKED.

Chuck Knoblauch's picture

The IRS could audit SEC employees and argue that these gains are additional compensation subject to payroll taxes? 

NOTaREALmerican's picture

We need to have self regulated markets where the basically honest poeople who buy and sell stocks in an open and honest market aren't bothered by the heavy hand of government interference.    It worked for the banks,  it'll work for the markets too.