Like a fresh coat of paint on a termite infested house

STOCK Act signing axes congressional ‘insider trading’

Bill-signing ceremonies are pretty rare events in these times of gridlock and congressional backlog; so are moments of bipartisan backslapping and handshaking. But both happened briefly today when President Obama, surrounded by a few actual Republicans, signed and praised legislation passed by Congress.

The measure was the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, better known was the STOCK Act. A long-lingering piece of legislation, it shot to the top of the priority list after a “60 Minutes” investigation highlighted instances of what the program called congressional “insider trading” — lawmakers using information gleaned on the job, “non-public information,” for personal profit.

The STOCK Act affirms that lawmakers and staff are not exempt from federal insider-trading laws and gives the House and Senate ethics committees the authority to enforce new rules. It also requires lawmakers to disclose more information about their stock trades.

The bill as it passed was watered down in the House, angering some advocates. The House stripped out a provision that would have required people who gather “political intelligence” to register as lobbyists, and left out measures relating to prosecuting corruption.

The liberal-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said it was “lukewarm” on the legislation.

Still, lawmakers and the president, who pushed for the legislation in his State of the Union speech, took a victory lap.

Between the federal budget and its power to regulate commerce any bill coming out of Congress can make a company’s stock value skyrocket or plummet. If you happened to have inside knowledge as to what Congress was going to do next you could make a fortune. As a matter of fact, some members of Congress have done pretty well playing the stock market, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Martha Stewart went prison for insider trading. If you or me did what she did, we’d get locked up too. But for years those rules didn’t apply to Congress. I’m not gonna get ecstatic because they finally closed one barn door.

The STOCK act may sound pretty, but it’s just the illusion of reform. It’s like slapping a band-aid on a cancer. And they only did that because 60 Minutes exposed them.

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15 Responses to Like a fresh coat of paint on a termite infested house

  1. DeniseVB says:

    I think they nailed Martha on lying to a Fed ?

    Oh I’m sure both parties have done these insider tricks and why neither side blew the whistle. Aholes.

  2. WMCB says:

    Martha Stewart didn’t go to jail for insider trading. She lied in the course of her defense against charges of insider trading, and went to jail for obstruction and lying.

    But otherwise, the piece is spot on. It’s a whitewash, and something to campaign on, nothing more.

  3. T says:

    Now you know why they raise millions of dollars for a $150,000/yr job ;-).

  4. DandyTiger says:

    Martha went to jail for supporting and generously funding the Democratic party in the, I think it was, 2004 cycle.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I thought her sentence was unusally harsh. Not a big fan, but I like her enough to know putting a domestic diva in prison was an overkill.

      I still think Blago’s sentence was too harsh.

  5. DandyTiger says:

    You’ll quickly be able to tell if the STOCK bill can actually do the job of stopping insider trading. If the majority of those in congress quit, you know it’s doing a good job. Because making big money is the reason 90% of them are there. If they can’t make nearly as much, they’ll leave.

    Waiting for all the retirement announcements…. {taping fingers}

  6. WMCB says:

    Oh, great. Gang of youths beat a 78 year old man in Toledo, Ohio, screaming “This is for Trayvon!” Think any of the assholes who decided to go all lynchmob will get called out by the media for this? Oh, wait, that WAS the media.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Okay, can WE NOW arrest Sharpton, Jackson and the Black Panther guy for inciting violence !? Or that guy using the crosshair on his twitter account @killZimmerman ?

      Spike Lee is one lucky dude that the couple who’s address he retweeted didn’t get firebombed. Wonder what that settlement was ?

    • Erica says:

      Do you think Barack will say the man looked like his grandfather?

  7. foxyladi14 says:

    it will get a lot uglier before it,s over. 👿

  8. HELENK says:

    watch Detroit in the next couple of days. do not know how this will turn out

  9. yttik says:

    “Martha Stewart went prison for insider trading.”

    Not really. She was never actually charged with insider trading. They got her for obstructing an investigation, refusing to spill the beans on her buddy.

    LOL, this is an important distinction because if the Feds ever show up to question you, remember you don’t really have the right to remain silent. Anything you don’t say, can and will be used against you.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Nah, now they can just make you disappear into some foreign prison of torture thanks to the current president and our last president. Hey, at least the destruction of our constitution is bipartisan.

  10. votermom says:

    From Palin’s FB:

    We Remain Determined to Defeat Crony Capitalism
    by Sarah Palin on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 12:07pm ·
    Today we saw a small step forward in reform with the signing into law of the STOCK Act. Though many of us feel that the bill was watered down and thus could have been much stronger, this is at least a small step in the right direction. Obviously, there is still a lot more we need to do to combat government corruption (especially in addressing the rampant crony capitalism in our government’s executive branch, which we see so clearly on display in the Obama administration). The best parts of this Act are a requirement for more immediate financial disclosure (with lawmakers required to disclose their trading activities every 45 days instead of just once a year) and a provision that outlaws sweetheart IPO deals like the ones Nancy Pelosi benefited from in the past.

    Today’s reform victory wouldn’t have been possible without the great research done by Peter Schweizer in his groundbreaking book “Throw Them All Out” and the investigative reporting of “60 Minutes” based on Peter’s book. We should all applaud them, and look forward to the next steps in our movement to eradicate the cronyism and government corruption in DC.

    – Sarah Palin

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