Some in Congress Move to Ban Insider Trading

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Congressional approval in the U.S. is at embarrassingly low levels. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found Americans' approval of Congress in the single digits. And a story that aired on "60 Minutes" last weekend is not likely to improve Congress's standing with the public. Insider trading is a crime in the U.S., but the laws that apply to most Americans do not apply to their lawmakers. According to the report, powerful members of Congress and their staffs have used their knowledge of privileged information to make vast sums of money in the stock market.

Public outrage over the story may be enough to get a long-ignored bill in the House that would ban lawmakers from insider trading passed. Republican Senator Scott Brown, who is up for reelection in 2012, is introducing a bill in the Senate to stop the practice. And a group of Democrats in the Senate say they will be proposing their own version next week.

Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich and Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, discuss the practice of insider trading in Congress, and examine whether the bill is likely to pass.

Comments [6]

Angel from Miami, FL

If congress members are not able to receive corporate sponsorship, vacation with rich circles, provide for the few at the expense of the many, and trade stocks using non-public information then what's the use of running for office in our legislative branch? Seriously, folks! Where are the perks in serving for the good of the American People?! Gawd.

Nov. 17 2011 11:18 AM
MC from NYC

New bans-which would require possibly non existant oversight-are not needed. What is needed is a congressional requirement that all members must publically post all stock trades, total shares traded, purchase price and sale price along side of a listing of bills they are working on and committies they are members of or consult with as well as the names of the lobbists they meet with. Maybe then we might get a glimps of how and why our government functions.

Nov. 17 2011 10:02 AM
Playaspec from Brooklyn

"A study of senators ... found members of the higher chamber even better at beating the market -- outperforming it by about 10 percent, an amount the academics said was `both economically large and statistically significant.`"

"... members of Congress .. trade on non-public information or to vote their own pocketbooks"

Interesting the number of sound bites claiming that there is no insider trading going on when factual evidence points to the contrary.

Nov. 17 2011 09:38 AM
Angel from Miami, FL

I think this demonstrates the disconnect our current congress has with the American People. They've bent the rules around themselves to maintain wealth and power. Unless you have a large voting block established an incumbent can go unchallenged for years. However, once you get a replacement in office that person succumbs quickly to the thrills and frills of that office. It seems the US Congress is as corrupt as the Chinese party members and Russian oligarchs. No wonder we can't get anything done. You have to be a billionaire to influence the millionaires who sit in the Capitol.

Is congress the new aristocratic caste?

Nov. 17 2011 09:29 AM

"This combined anger against both Congress and Wall Street.."
Gee, who else is missing that is up for re-election?
Distract, distract, distract.

Nov. 17 2011 08:37 AM
mothrover from Plainfield, New Jersey

Nothing Congress allows is more devastating to law and order, justice and faith in democracy than the immunity Congress has on trading on non-public information. They specialize in creating such information. Their power to use it to enrich themselves explodes any sense of common decency or honor in our elected U.S. representatives.

Nov. 17 2011 07:27 AM

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