The federal government has finally gotten the message that it’s time for stronger oversight of Wall Street and the financial services sector. It’s the opinion of my friends at Public Citizen that it’s also time to put an end to secret spending and insider trading by some in Congress and in the federal government. Public Citizen says a dangerous legal loophole still exists which allows members of Congress and high-powered executive branch appointees to exploit “insider” knowledge of the financial industry in order to turn personal profit. The consumer advocacy group believes that under current law, those who have access to the privileged “non-public information” gathered through official oversight proceedings, may be using that information for personal benefit in securities and commodities trading. Here’s what Public Citizen had to say about that:
Equally as abhorrent, lobbyists and traders who haunt the halls of Congress seeking insider tips from staff – known as “political intelligence consultants” – may also enrich themselves and their clients off of this confidential information. This type of “insider trading” would be illegal for you and me – so why should it be legal for government officials?
I agree with Public Citizen that this loophole must be closed and there is legislation pending that will get the job done. Congress should pass the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” which was introduced by Reps. Brian Baird (D-WA), Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY) and Tim Walz (D-MN). This legislation (H.R. 682) – if passed – would ensure that the same insider trading restrictions on others would apply to members of Congress and their staff as well as to others in the federal government. The proposed legislation prohibits officials from using non-public information for personal gain. The time to pass this vital legislation is now! If you agree, ask your Representatives and Senators to support H.R. 682.
Source: Public Citizen
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