Since the scandal of congressional insider trading blew up back at the pandemic’s start in January 2020, various senators and representatives tried to respond legislatively. Their efforts generated headlines, but not much else.

By Eve Ottenberg, CounterPunch

Corruption in congress continues apace. Legislators get the inside skinny on a particular industry, including specific companies, and then make a killing executing stock trades on this illegal insider knowledge. A recent egregious example is Florida Democrat Lois Frankel. This representative sold shares of First Republic Bank, which was collapsing, and bought stock in the bank that took it over, namely J. P. Morgan. Frankel first sold her First Republic shares on March 16, and on March 22, “Frankel also purchased shares in J.P. Morgan,” according to Newsweek, May 1. The Treasury department started arranging bank actions to help First Republic March 16. So the bank had been in big trouble before that, the government knew about it, and this was the environment in which Frankel made her trades.

insider trading

Amid current banking woes generally, “several lawmakers are facing questions about recent stock trades, involving First Republic Bank.” Utah GOP representative John Curtis and Oregon Dem Earl Blumenauer “also reported trades of First Republic Bank stocks leading up to its failure on Monday.” Meanwhile “shares in First Republic…fell more than 75 percent last week” (the last week in April), Newsweek reported “after the bank announced that depositors withdrew $100 billion in March.” Suffice it to say, the congressional trades look not just fishy, but outright crooked.

Right on schedule, two House members from opposite political poles propose the umpteenth piece of legislation to wrestle the monster of congressional stock trading corruption into some semblance of respectability. Numerous other such bills preceded this. They went nowhere. What makes this one different is that Nancy “I’ll Trade Whatever Stocks I Want” Pelosi is no longer House speaker. She stood implacably in the path of any effort to clean up congressional financial depredations. She is now gone from the House speakership. So New York Dem Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Florida Republican Matt Gaetz teamed up.

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