Only in a banana republic would Congress be "forced" to hold hearings on whether to ban itself from illegal (for everyone else) insider trading. Which explains why below readers can watch precisely that, live from the house Committee on Financial Services.The legislation in question relates to bill H.R. 1148, the "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act." We wonder how long until Congress manages to scuttle this latest effort to keep the playing field between the muppets and everyone else. After all, someone has to leak critical rating agency information (such as the FT's break of a key S&P leak yesterday, or Nancy Pelosi knowing weeks in advance that Moody's would not downgrade the US) to the media and/or trading entities.
The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on congressional insider trading. The committee will look into allegations Members have enriched themselves through legal stock trades based on non-public information.
Today's hearing will look at a bill that aims to prevent lawmakers from using information they obtain through work to trade stocks. A form of the legislation was originally introduced in the House in 2006. The current bill is H.R. 1148, the "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act."
The House Ethics Committee sent a memo stating that members of Congress may be liable as insider traders, whether they obtain nonpublic information as part of their official duties or outside them.
A recent "60 Minutes" segment focused on financial transactions involving House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL). All three have denied wrongdoing.
- Representative Walter Jones (R-NC)
- Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
- Representative Tim Walz (D-MN)
- Mr. Robert Khuzami, Director, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)