Several Senators who sold stocks after a briefing on the Coronavirus in late January accused of Insider Trading

According to Forbes.com, revelations of insider trading among numerous US Senators has been reported in recent days. After a briefing about the coronavirus in late January, it is being reported that a number of Senators sold stocks that they thought would tank in the following economic crisis. Among these senators is Richard Burr of North Carolina and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia. Burr is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and was a fierce opponent of a bill that ultimately banned the practice of insider trading when it was passed in 2012. He sold 33 stocks held by both him and his spouse, some of which were in sectors negatively affected by the outbreak. At the same meeting with Burr was Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, who sold stocks valued in the millions. She also bought stocks in two companies that could benefit from the outbreak, including a company that offers teleconferencing software. ~

According to Investopedia, insider trading can be described as “the buying or selling of a publicly traded company’s stock by someone who has non-public, material information about that stock.” The practice of insider trading was not banned in Congress until 2012, when the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act was passed. It states that members of congress, other government employees, congressional staffers, members of the executive branch, and members of the judiciary are not permitted to engage in insider trading gleaned from information ascertained through their government positions. ~

According to BBC, Senator Burr tweeted that his decision to sell stock was made “solely based on public news reports,” citing the CNBC network. Loeffler’s office issued a statement saying that “[Loeffler’s] investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisers without her or her husband’s knowledge or involvement.” Among a number of Senators who have been accused of insider trading but claim innocence is Diane Feinstein (D., CA) and Jim Inhofe (R., OK). Feinstein claims that she takes no part in her husband’s financial decisions, and Inhofe states that he also did not take part in any of his investment decisions and was not present at the briefing. ~

Leave a Reply