I’ve just finished reading “Throw Them All Out” By Peter Schweitzer. It’s a well-documented look into how Members of Congress use their regulatory oversight roles to gain inside information and make lucrative investments. Sixty Minutes actually did a segment on the book.
If you or I used inside information to make stock deals, we would have more IRS, SEC, and FBI attention than we can stand. Members of Congress only have to run their deals before the House Ethics Committee. You know that committee — the one that slapped Bill Jefferson’s wrist over a freezer full of cash, gently scolded Barney Frank for running a gay brothel out of his townhouse, tut-tutted Charlie Rangel’s forgetting to pay taxes and report rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic, and tsk-tsked Gerry Studds for having sex with a teenage House page.
Legislation has been introduced that makes all insider trading laws that apply to US apply to Congress, as well. Sounds reasonable, right?
Well — as expected — the bill is getting a cool reception from “The Honorables.” Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) each sit on their chamber’s respective financial services oversight committees. Both men are conspicuously silent on the idea of supporting this legislation.