100 Million Reasons Why No One Trusts Nancy Pelosi...

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
108,505
81,190
113
Democrats have the opportunity to do something that is good for the country, that would be commonsensical and populist. So why won’t Nancy Pelosi let them?

I’m talking about the “Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act,” introduced by the Democratic senators Mark Kelly and Jon Ossoff. This legislation (like a similar bill offered by Republican Josh Hawley) would prohibit members of Congress and their families (such as Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi) from buying and selling stocks while they serve. It would help combat the growing consensus that the game is rigged for the powerful and connected—a sentiment shared by top Biden economic adviser Brian Deese.

Indeed, among some observers, the idea that top political leaders aren’t engaged in insider trading has become a joke. As NPR’s Tim Mak recently reported, “Among a certain community of individual investors on TikTok, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stock trading disclosures are a treasure trove.” In fact, Mak writes, “you can get a push notification every time Pelosi’s stock trading disclosures are released.”

First, though, a brief (recent) history of this toxic problem is in order.

In the midst of the financial meltdown, on Sept. 16, 2008, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke held a secret meeting with members of Congress. The result, as Business Insider noted, was that “Congressmen privy to this information reacted—not by dropping everything and drawing up a plan to save the economy, but by dumping stock and avoiding the losses everyone else would take in the coming month. Others bought stocks in financial firms that would later be saved by the federal government.”

This event is detailed in a 2011 book—Peter Schweizer’s “Throw Them All Out”—which, in turn, inspired a segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes. But the story wasn’t just about the financial meltdown.

One of the politicians featured in the segment was Nancy Pelosi, who participated in a 2008 Initial Public Offering from Visa, as 60 Minutes noted, “just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies, began making its way through the House. Undisturbed by a potential conflict of interest, the Pelosis—whose net worth is well over $100 million—purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars. Two days later it was trading at $64. The credit card legislation never made it to the floor of the House.”

This is a bipartisan problem, and Pelosi was far from the only lawmaker featured in that memorable 60 Minutes episode that helped spark passage of the The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act—a flawed piece of legislation codifying that it it is illegal for members of Congress to use “any nonpublic information derived from the individual’s position… or gained from performance of the individual’s duties, for personal benefit.”

At least, that’s what the law is supposed to do. The real test would come during the next crisis, which turned out to be the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the law, members of Congress who received coronavirus briefings in early 2020 again made suspicious stock trades just after they found out, just ahead of the public and the markets , how bad the pandemic could be.

Despite the STOCK Act, none of the members received any serious punishment.

That’s because it’s nearly impossible to prove that someone acted solely on insider information. Perhaps this is why Pelosi, under pressure from her own party to actually ban stock trading for members and their families, is suggesting stiffer penalties for anyone who breaks the STOCK Act (in fairness, the fines are ridiculously small), rather than enact a more sweeping ban on lawmakers playing the markets.

It’s fair to say that the STOCK Act hasn’t accomplished its stated goal—and that in the decade since it became law, Pelosi hasn’t done anything to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

On Dec. 22, 2020, for example, Paul Pelosi invested between $500,000 and $1 million in 25 call options of Tesla stocks. Why is that a problem? As the AP reported, Joe Biden “signed his executive order directing federal officials to transition federal, state, local and tribal government fleets to ‘clean and zero-emission vehicles’ on Jan. 27”—less than five weeks after Pelosi’s investment.

The perception that the Pelosis may be profiting off of information she receives as Speaker of the House is problematic; as is the fact she is profiting from things she says are bad. According to Business Insider, the same day Pelosi called Facebook “shameful” and “irresponsible,” her husband was purchasing shares of Facebook, at a below market rate, that he would later sell for a hefty profit. Pelosi and her team claim that “The Speaker does not own any stocks. But, of course, her husband does, making this a distinction without much of a difference (which is why this new proposed legislation bans spouses from buying and selling stocks.)

Last month, in response to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet saying that, “It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office,” Pelosi was forced to confront her opposition to this reform. In an instant, this San Francisco liberal transformed into a Club for Growth conservative, insisting that “We are a free-market economy.”

I’m sure capitalism could survive Nancy Pelosi (and her husband) not being allowed to bet on the market while she is a member of Congress.

It’s rare that I side with AOC, but she’s right on this one. Banning lawmakers and their families from trading stocks would show that Democrats are holding themselves accountable, and using the majority they have been given to actually make politics less swampy. This appearance of impropriety, alone, is contributing to the erosion of trust in our institutions—a plague that, among other externalities, helped lead to the election of Donald Trump. And, of course, it would be a wildly popular thing for Democrats to do, heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

So why won’t Nancy Pelosi, who once promised that Democrats would deliver “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history,” support it?

I can think of more than 100 million reasons, but none of them are any good.

 
Last edited:

BrunoMars420

HR Legend
Feb 14, 2016
11,333
12,049
113
Love this bill. Let them only invest in certain mutual funds and that’s it. Working in my field of work in the financial industry I have to go through hoops to buy and sell stock and I have a list of stocks I can’t buy. Also if I invest in any company I have any inside info with then I’m fired for life from the financial industry.
 

NDallasRuss

HR Legend
Dec 5, 2002
32,117
17,354
113
Love this bill. Let them only invest in certain mutual funds and that’s it. Working in my field of work in the financial industry I have to go through hoops to buy and sell stock and I have a list of stocks I can’t buy. Also if I invest in any company I have any inside info with then I’m fired for life from the financial industry.
Exactly this!

When I started at my current company I had to register on this investment tracking (intranet) site and disclose all my investments. I had to review a list of restricted entities and sell anything that conflicted. From now on before I buy anything new I have to review the list to make sure it's allowable. And I wouldn't think to buy stock in clients I'm working with, or could have an impact on, because I'd be fired in an instant. But congresspeople are free to buy and sell, and make decisions (or at least get early/inside information) to continue profiting as much as they can in the time that they have.

I don't blame them for wanting to keep it this way. It just sucks that we continue electing/re-electing them and allowing it.
 

your_master5

HR All-American
Gold Member
Dec 15, 2002
4,281
1,462
113
Rs will block this. Nancy is a POS for opposing this, but even if she got on board the Rs would still oppose it.
Not sure that's actually true. Many Rs will agree with this, but put it up for a vote and find out Nancy. This is a no brainer rule
 

83Hawk

HR Legend
Sep 17, 2002
20,131
13,645
113
Democrats have the opportunity to do something that is good for the country, that would be commonsensical and populist. So why won’t Nancy Pelosi let them?

I’m talking about the “Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act,” introduced by the Democratic senators Mark Kelly and Jon Ossoff. This legislation (like a similar bill offered by Republican Josh Hawley) would prohibit members of Congress and their families (such as Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi) from buying and selling stocks while they serve. It would help combat the growing consensus that the game is rigged for the powerful and connected—a sentiment shared by top Biden economic adviser Brian Deese.

Indeed, among some observers, the idea that top political leaders aren’t engaged in insider trading has become a joke. As NPR’s Tim Mak recently reported, “Among a certain community of individual investors on TikTok, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stock trading disclosures are a treasure trove.” In fact, Mak writes, “you can get a push notification every time Pelosi’s stock trading disclosures are released.”

First, though, a brief (recent) history of this toxic problem is in order.

In the midst of the financial meltdown, on Sept. 16, 2008, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke held a secret meeting with members of Congress. The result, as Business Insider noted, was that “Congressmen privy to this information reacted—not by dropping everything and drawing up a plan to save the economy, but by dumping stock and avoiding the losses everyone else would take in the coming month. Others bought stocks in financial firms that would later be saved by the federal government.”

This event is detailed in a 2011 book—Peter Schweizer’s “Throw Them All Out”—which, in turn, inspired a segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes. But the story wasn’t just about the financial meltdown.

One of the politicians featured in the segment was Nancy Pelosi, who participated in a 2008 Initial Public Offering from Visa, as 60 Minutes noted, “just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies, began making its way through the House. Undisturbed by a potential conflict of interest, the Pelosis—whose net worth is well over $100 million—purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars. Two days later it was trading at $64. The credit card legislation never made it to the floor of the House.”

This is a bipartisan problem, and Pelosi was far from the only lawmaker featured in that memorable 60 Minutes episode that helped spark passage of the The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act—a flawed piece of legislation codifying that it it is illegal for members of Congress to use “any nonpublic information derived from the individual’s position… or gained from performance of the individual’s duties, for personal benefit.”

At least, that’s what the law is supposed to do. The real test would come during the next crisis, which turned out to be the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the law, members of Congress who received coronavirus briefings in early 2020 again made suspicious stock trades just after they found out, just ahead of the public and the markets , how bad the pandemic could be.

Despite the STOCK Act, none of the members received any serious punishment.

That’s because it’s nearly impossible to prove that someone acted solely on insider information. Perhaps this is why Pelosi, under pressure from her own party to actually ban stock trading for members and their families, is suggesting stiffer penalties for anyone who breaks the STOCK Act (in fairness, the fines are ridiculously small), rather than enact a more sweeping ban on lawmakers playing the markets.

It’s fair to say that the STOCK Act hasn’t accomplished its stated goal—and that in the decade since it became law, Pelosi hasn’t done anything to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

On Dec. 22, 2020, for example, Paul Pelosi invested between $500,000 and $1 million in 25 call options of Tesla stocks. Why is that a problem? As the AP reported, Joe Biden “signed his executive order directing federal officials to transition federal, state, local and tribal government fleets to ‘clean and zero-emission vehicles’ on Jan. 27”—less than five weeks after Pelosi’s investment.

The perception that the Pelosis may be profiting off of information she receives as Speaker of the House is problematic; as is the fact she is profiting from things she says are bad. According to Business Insider, the same day Pelosi called Facebook “shameful” and “irresponsible,” her husband was purchasing shares of Facebook, at a below market rate, that he would later sell for a hefty profit. Pelosi and her team claim that “The Speaker does not own any stocks. But, of course, her husband does, making this a distinction without much of a difference (which is why this new proposed legislation bans spouses from buying and selling stocks.)

Last month, in response to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet saying that, “It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office,” Pelosi was forced to confront her opposition to this reform. In an instant, this San Francisco liberal transformed into a Club for Growth conservative, insisting that “We are a free-market economy.”

I’m sure capitalism could survive Nancy Pelosi (and her husband) not being allowed to bet on the market while she is a member of Congress.

It’s rare that I side with AOC, but she’s right on this one. Banning lawmakers and their families from trading stocks would show that Democrats are holding themselves accountable, and using the majority they have been given to actually make politics less swampy. This appearance of impropriety, alone, is contributing to the erosion of trust in our institutions—a plague that, among other externalities, helped lead to the election of Donald Trump. And, of course, it would be a wildly popular thing for Democrats to do, heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

So why won’t Nancy Pelosi, who once promised that Democrats would deliver “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history,” support it?

I can think of more than 100 million reasons, but none of them are any good.

I know why Pelosi is blocking it.
 

nextinlineatOPsmoms

HR All-State
Dec 1, 2021
703
1,267
93
Not sure that's actually true. Many Rs will agree with this, but put it up for a vote and find out Nancy. This is a no brainer rule
I dont think many politicians would agree with this. You are a partisan hack if you think that the vast majority of politicians wouldn’t oppose it.

the only politicians that may put up a fight are the few justice democrats, but much like everything, when push comes to shove they will fold.
 

Jan Itor

HR Legend
Jan 31, 2009
27,535
11,603
113
Honestly, I hope I'm wrong. But I don't hold out much hope. I do agree that we need a vote. Whether it be D or R I want it going on the record who supports this and who opposes it.

Okay, you redeemed yourself.
 

Big Hawk D-Port

HR Heisman
Nov 29, 2004
6,093
6,827
113
Pelosi’s opposition to this is proof that one can never accumulate enough money to satisfy themselves. If Pelosi was smart she would get onboard to inoculate herself from criticism of pretty blatant insider trading. She is worth over $100M, I’d say she is good for the 5-10 years of life that she has left.
 

BGHAWK

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 1, 2001
17,523
10,096
113
Was this a right wing concern in 2017 and 2018 when trump and the repubs were in charge? Probably not.
 
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goldmom

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
18,221
21,151
113
Pelosi’s opposition to this is proof that one can never accumulate enough money to satisfy themselves. If Pelosi was smart she would get onboard to inoculate herself from criticism of pretty blatant insider trading. She is worth over $100M, I’d say she is good for the 5-10 years of life that she has left.
She grew up in a political family in Baltimore. Having clean hands meant you would go in poor and come out that way. And we can count on one hand pols who did that. On either side.
 

your_master5

HR All-American
Gold Member
Dec 15, 2002
4,281
1,462
113
I dont think many politicians would agree with this. You are a partisan hack if you think that the vast majority of politicians wouldn’t oppose it.

the only politicians that may put up a fight are the few justice democrats, but much like everything, when push comes to shove they will fold.
Where did I say the vast majority wouldn't oppose it? Yeah politicians are greedy and want power. Saying this is an only Dem backed rule is stupid, when you have a Rep with a similar bill there too. That's was my point. It should be put to a vote but the leading Dem is blocking it. We would know then.
 

nextinlineatOPsmoms

HR All-State
Dec 1, 2021
703
1,267
93
Where did I say the vast majority wouldn't oppose it? Yeah politicians are greedy and want power. Saying this is an only Dem backed rule is stupid, when you have a Rep with a similar bill there too. That's was my point. It should be put to a vote but the leading Dem is blocking it. We would know then.
I perhaps misunderstood what you meant when you said “many Rs will agree with this”.

i would like to see a vote on it and see where it lands. If it was a private vote, i am guessing 98% of the politicians would be against it.

If it was a public vote, you would see a lot of pandering about why it needs to be passed, but 98% of them would just give excuses as to why they couldn’t vote to pass it.
 

BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
38,193
38,212
113
This is one of those ideas that I suppose people's opinions change on pretty quickly once they get into office. Just like their opinions on term limits miraculously changes once they come up on whatever limit they set for themselves while campaigning (ahem...Ron Johnson).

Sadly, this likely won't ever change. By the way, I thought the STOCK act was disbanded by legislation buried in another bill a couple months after it was passed. I could be misremembering things though.
 

BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
38,193
38,212
113
I perhaps misunderstood what you meant when you said “many Rs will agree with this”.

i would like to see a vote on it and see where it lands. If it was a private vote, i am guessing 98% of the politicians would be against it.

If it was a public vote, you would see a lot of pandering about why it needs to be passed, but 98% of them would just give excuses as to why they couldn’t vote to pass it.
Yup, it's not just R's that don't want people to pay attention to this.
 

Capital1Hawk

HR All-American
Jan 23, 2007
3,426
1,782
113
People become politicians to gain wealth and power. Both sides. Then they attack each other so we don’t notice.
Don't tell that to this board. They think only their side are the holy ones. 2 party system is a joke. Would prefer no parties and only independents that truly represent their constituents. Will never happen but it's a dream!
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
45,559
36,954
113
39
Would support the bill but this is a bi partisan issue. When the R's take control of congress. . . it's not like they are suddenly going to be pushing this bill.
 
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Hawk_4shur

HR Legend
Jan 2, 2009
14,930
19,528
113
The bill has no chance. It is the same as the foxes voting to ban visits to the hen house.

Making money on insider trading is a crime and should be punished. But it should also be a crime to vote to help your own stock portfolio.

Power, greed, corruption - that's our Congress.