Assume for the moment you’re a stock investor in several companies. You’re told one day of a pending announcement that will immediately decrease the value of your stock in one of these companies. As a civilian, if you sell your stock, you’ve just made yourself vulnerable to prosecution and – as Martha Stewart is well aware – will likely serve jail time if the evidence manages to end up in the hands of the authorities.
In any other facet of life, protecting your money with such information would seem logical and reasonable. However, on Wall St., such behavior is prosecuted as “insider trading.” The intent of insider trading laws is to keep trading fair, i.e. publicly traded stock investment and sales must be kept fair. If you trade public stock based on private or secret information and either profit or protect yourself from a loss you otherwise would have suffered (which is the equivalent of profit), the system is no longer equal and becomes prone to rampant corruption.
However, what happens when the very people responsible for writing the rule book, insulate themselves from such prosecution? Well, in the cases of Nancy Pelosi, D-CA; Spencer Bachus, R-AL; and John Boehner, R-OH; as well as multiple other elected representatives, it means they have unlimited access to non-public information and will not hesitate to use the information to pad their bottom lines and personal fortunes.
Peter Schweizer, author of the book Throw Them All Out (a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree), exposed the trades made by various members of Congress who were in positions of authority on committees such as Bachus’ seat as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Pelosi and Boehner as minority and majority leaders were privy to virtually all information passing into the House and allegedly made moves as well.
Though Bachus is taking on a PR campaign accusing Schweizer of damaging his reputation recklessly (personally I’m not sure there’s a better insult at present than calling someone either Republican or Democrat) with frivolous information, however, Schweizer’s supporting information appears fairly solid.
He appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, take a look.
I can’t put into words how much I appreciate a member of the press antagonizing Pelosi & Bachus. This is further proof the inmates are running the asylum. There really can’t be any further doubt about this hypocrisy as many members of Congress should be prosecuted criminally for these actions and it’s bound to be swept under the rug.
And speaking of politically connected criminals getting away with fraud, theft, embezzling and other acts of felonious behavior, John Corzine’s MF Global leadership, which lost $600 million in investor money, will somehow manage escape prosecution as Corzine, former governor of New Jersey, is highly connected with the DNC.
What exactly is going on with the U.S.? By all accounts Congress responded to the unintended consequences of their interference with the free market by decriminalizing fraud, then giving billions of tax dollars borrowed from the future taxpayers to the banks who for all intents and purposes wrote the legislation Congress passed to allow them to trade in fiat assets. Mortgage derivatives and securities were the direct result of Congressional pandering to Wall St., as was the lending behavior of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Where is the outrage? Occupy Wall St. is losing momentum all over the country and they completely failed to hold the legislators accountable. Instead directing their anger toward those who were smart enough to recognize the obstacle to exponentially increasing their income was prison. So what did they do? They bribed Congress into removing the obstacle. Yet somehow Wall St. is the problem? No!
Only he who has the power to destroy something truly controls it. Well Congress? It appears you all are not only the puppets of Wall St., but the co-conspirators. In the meantime, the two parties are distracting the population with discussions of tax increases and spending cuts, when in reality you’ll not take the only path likely to resolve the problem of compounding debt, massive spending cuts to every facet of the federal budget with an across the board tax increase.
CBS’ 60 Minutes Segment on the entire scandal is below.