Bloomberg: Your senator learns that a much- maligned weapons system now has enough votes for funding. Before the news gets to a reporter, he buys shares in the arms manufacturer for a quick, handsome profit.
What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing, according to the law…
U.S. senators, representatives and congressional staffers routinely attend high level, closed briefings or engage in conversations where secrets are disclosed that might send shares climbing or slumping if widely known.
That access lets them buy low and sell high based on material, non-public information, and they can do it without concern that their remarkable prescience will alert federal investigators of possible wrong doing.
Insider trading in Congress is not new. In 2004, I wrote about a study showing that the portfolios of US Senators "outperformed the market by an average of 12 per cent a year in the five years to 1998."
Hat tip: The Browser.