They Made Millions of Dollars As They Made Millions Homeless
If you thought that the US government could not get any dirtier, think again. Less than two weeks before the financial crisis of 2008, several congress members sold their shares in an act of clear insider trading. They were given prior notice of the crash by none other than the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department– organisations that we had trusted to safeguard the futures of millions.
These organisations had known that the crisis of 2008 was coming and may have even orchestrated the timing of the crash, seeing as they could predict it with such prescience. Their first choice was not to prevent it, nor to inform the People of it, but to save the money of the corrupt rulers.
Policy expert and research fellow at the Hoover Institution Peter Schweizer’s book reveals examples highlighting exactly how they had benefited from insider knowledge.
Senator Shelley Capito and her husband sold 350,000 dollars worth of Citigroup shares just one day before it crashed by a quarter in value.
Congressman Jim Moran had his single largest trading day of the year, just a few days of the secret meeting. He sold his positions in about 100 companies.
Representative Spencer Bachus even publicly pretended to be trying to prevent the crisis- his trading history however revealed that he had really been betting that the American economy would crash.
Despite being blatant cases of illegal activity that should get them thrown behind bars, high-ranking officials are not bound by insider trading laws.
60 minutes investigated the matter in 2012 and interviewed Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institute.
In the interview, Schweizer said:
“It’s really the way the rules have been defined. And the people who make the rules are the political class in Washington and they’ve conveniently written them in such a way that they don’t apply to themselves.”
“These meetings were so sensitive– that they would actually confiscate cell phones and Blackberries going into those meetings. What we know is that those meetings were held one day and literally the next day Congressman Bachus would engage in buying stock options based on apocalyptic briefings he had the day before from the Fed chairman and treasury secretary. I mean, talk about a stock tip,” he added.
Why Politicians Can’t Be Prosecuted
The investigation caused a public outcry over the matter, and forced Congress to pass “the STOCK Act”- an attempt at holding members of government to the same standards imposed upon ordinary Americans. But did you REALLY expect the foxes to penalize themselves for robbing the hen-house?
The bill was soon rendered powerless, with Congress changing elements that would have held them accountable. Soon, insider trading was fine again- and they would not be held to account for their prior crimes.
Whenever a high ranking government official gets accused of insider trading, other politicians rush to defend him- how can you prosecute a politician, when politicians control the legal process?
For example, a former staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee, Brian Stutter was guilty of insider trading. However, he avoided charges because House Speaker John Boehner refused to hand over the evidence, and claimed that Sutter had legal immunity.
When the SEC investigated Congressional insider trading,, lawyers for the House blocked the inquiries on principle– lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from inquiries.
IPOs For Favors: Bribery 101
Initial Public Offerings are shares that get sold by companies when they first take their company public. For major IPOs, share prices can skyrocket soon after launch. What you probably don’t know is that politicians are often given a first pick at these shares BEFORE the public- so that they can benefit enormously at our expense.
Case in point: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was offered early access to VISA IPO stock- just as tough credit card legislation that VISA did not like arrived at the House.
Pelosi made 100,000 dollars on the IPO when VISA’s share price rose by 50% in two days. As Speaker of the House at the time, she also prevented the tough credit card legislation from reaching the floor for a vote.
Backs were scratched, bribes accepted, nearly every politician has engaged in it one way or the other, be it insider trading that occurs with EVERY legislation they make or break or IPOs. Yet there they sit in their position of power and not in a prison- impervious to such trivial things as the law or public opinion.
This Article (Congress Told To Sell Stocks Two Weeks Before 2008 Financial Crash (And Other Kinds of Legalized Fraud)) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author(CoNN) and AnonHQ.com.