Insider-y Trading No Fun If Rep. Spencer Bachus Can’t Have Some
Did you treat yourself to an extra Tylenol PM last night after the local foosball cartel won and/or lost? In your ensuing fitful dreams, did you live in a country where federal officeholders can legally use confidential briefings with cabinet secretaries as opportunities to tweak their investment portfolios? YOU WEREN’T DREAMING, DUMMY, YOU WERE WATCHING 60 MINUTES!
Apparently, these Congress guys have rigged it up so they’re completely insulated from charges of insider trading, even when it’s September 2008 and the American economy is picking out a casket and wishing it had spent more time at the office, while Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson informs the various Congressional monstrosities he’s convened in a secure underground Plexiglas chamber that global financial markets should be collapsing within the hour. Yes, even then it was totally legal that Congressman Spencer Thomas Bachus III of Alabama immediately got his guy at Goldline on the horn and yelled, “Buy! Sell! Pork rinds!” or whatever it is these dudes with money say, all so he could pocket some profits based on his recently gleaned and very insider-y knowledge. Oh, don’t worry. He went from ranking member on to chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Plus it seems this is a pretty widespread practice so, you know, whatever! [Washington Monthly]