Wednesday 30 November 2011 - 17:06
Islam Times Exclusive:

Insider Trading Reaps High-Ranking Members of U.S. Congress Millions

Story Code : 118692
Insider Trading Reaps High-Ranking Members of U.S. Congress Millions
 Schweizer found yet more evidence that many, especially high-ranking members of the U.S. Congress like Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner routinely engage in insider trading to profit from activity that would send ordinary Americans to prison (link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/peter-schweizer-s-new-book-blasts-congressional-corruption.html).

Schweizer, a William J. Casey research fellow at the Hoover Institution, combed through Congressional financial disclosures dating back to 2000 to see what kinds of investments legislators were making. His research found that Washington's culture of corruption has quite a few players involved in insider trading. Leaders of both houses of Congress, as well as members of key committees have made millions of dollars since 2000 because of their illicit activities and ties to Wall Street.

For instance, trades made during the 2003 Medicare overhaul, which provided a huge boom to the pharmaceutical industry, were financially rewarding for many of the corrupt Congress critters involved in the "overhaul." Massachusetts Senator John Kerry -- chairman of the health subcommittee of the Senate's powerful Finance Committee – is one of the wealthiest members of Congress who invested heavily in the stock market. While negotiations that didn't limit the price of drugs neared completion, Kerry was busily trading his stocks in Big Pharma. Schweizer's research shows that Kerry's capital gains from those 111 trade deals netted him millions of dollars.

Kerry’s Impeccable Time Has Manifested Itself More Than Once

Kerry's impeccable timing in drug company stock trades manifested itself again in 2007 when the government was deciding whether or not to discontinue Medicare reimbursement for certain anemia drugs used by cancer patients. Shares of stock in Amgen, the manufacturer of some of the drugs, dropped 15 percent but Kerry's wife, who happened to be an Amgen shareholder, unloaded between $500,000 and $1 million in Amgen shares more than a week before the government announced it was limiting reimbursement (link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/peter-schweizer-s-new-book-blasts-congressional-corruption.html).

As for John Boehner, when the debate over Obama's health-care reform package was being engaged, Boehner was investing "tens of thousands" of dollars in health-insurance company stocks which made sizable gains when the proposed public-option in the reform bill was killed.

Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, was in on sensitive high-level meetings during the 2008 financial crisis that resulted from Wall Street's fraud and greed. Bachus made a series of deals in profitable stock option trades after meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Bachus bet the market would fall while making millions from insider trading deals. The TARP bailout netted Bachus another fortune because he was privy to pertinent insider information.

Pelosi Acquired VISA Stock While Blocking Legislation That Would Adversely Affect Visa

Bachus wasn't the only member of Congress with insider information building personal wealth while screwing the public they allegedly serve. Democratic Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia sold shares of stock after meeting with Bernanke and Paulson. Republican Rep. Shelley Capito of West Virginia also unloaded stocks as a result of meeting with Bernanke and Paulson. Many members of Congress had greater access to insider information than the public, and they all capitalized on it.

Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) played a major role in pushing the health-care reform bill while manipulating health-care stocks he owned for personal profit, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) also helped craft Obama's health-care reform bill while busily investing millions of dollars in stocks and funds related to health-care and pharmaceutical companies. Rep. Dennis Hastert (D-Illinois), while Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007, inserted a $207 million earmark into a federal highway bill for a parkway near land he owned in rural Illinois. Hastert's worth went from less than $300,000 when he entered office to close to $11 million by the time he retired in 2007. Indeed, the Congressional insider trading scandal is outrageous (link: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-congress-insider-trading-scandal-is-a-disgrace-rep-spencer-bachus-should-resign-immediately-2011-11).

But Congress has deemed itself above the law, and claims to live by its own rules -- which everyone knows is a lie – so no insider-trading cases have been brought against Congress, and at least for now, none will be. As we've all seen repeatedly, especially since the appointment of George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000, any issue involving Congressional ethics is ignored. Congressional ethics are nothing but oxy-morons as most of Congress has no ethics.

Few in Congress have exemplified this as well as Nancy Pelosi whose wealth has tripled in the past few years while helping create the massive financial meltdown. Pelosi and her husband have a significant stock portfolio. In 2008, Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, made a big play -- between $1 million and $5 million -- on Visa, whose initial stock offering jumped from $44 to $65 just 48 hours after public trading began. The $44 price was reserved for institutional investors and mutual funds, as well as a select group of individual investors. However, the Pelosi's acquired their Visa stock shortly after legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that if passed would adversely affect Visa's business. The proposed legislation would have allowed retailers to negotiate low fees with the major credit card companies who, fronted with losing billions of dollars from those fees, opposed it. The proposed bill -- with Pelosi's help -- never made it the floor for a vote (link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/peter-schweizer-s-new-book-blasts-congressional-corruption.html).

The U.S. Government Is Completely Corrupt

In fact, the bill that Pelosi killed never reached the House floor 3 times and Visa was never adversely affected. Two years later, when the gutless Dodd-Frank Wall Street "Reform" and Consumer Act was approved by the House, the value of Pelosi's Visa shares had more than doubled while the Stock Market tanked and the American public lost their homes and went bankrupt. Pelosi denies any wrongdoing, but the facts prove otherwise.

The U.S. government is completely corrupt. Congress isn't alone in bilking U.S. taxpayers out of billions of dollars while enriching themselves. After proclaiming in 2009 after he was sworn in that taxpayer money would not be doled out to political friends and lobbyists, President Obama awarded billions of taxpayer dollars to companies with Obama campaign connections (link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/how-obama-s-alternative-energy-programs-became-green-graft.html). $16.4 billion of $20.5 billion -- in green-energy loans and grants that were part of the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- went to companies with connections to Obama, who blatantly lied when he made that fraudulent proclamation. In fact, more than 200 lobbyists were appointed by Obama to run various parts of his administration.

Washington lives in its own fantasy world. A Roll Call study of Congressional financial disclosures revealed that the net worth of members of Congress has grown by 25 percent since the financial meltdown of 2008. During the same period, the average American household has lost as much as 20 percent of its net worth (link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/peter-schweizer-s-new-book-blasts-congressional-corruption.html). For now the practice of Washington's culture of corruption capitalizing on insider trading is legal, but some feel it's time for the law to change. Indeed, many feel it's time to put an end to our f-- you system of Government (link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/16-11).
©Islam Times
Author : Bill Lindner