March 13, 2012
By Mark Wachtler
March 13, 2012. Washington. (ONN) There’s been a great deal of outrage recently over the illegal insider trading going on in Congress. In reality, Congressmen have been immune from the laws they pass for so long, they regularly commit crimes without a second thought. The criminal act of insider trading is one of the blatant crimes rampant throughout Congress. Using privileged and secret information, these elected officials make millions using a criminal scam that would put any other American behind bars. Here are the Congressmen getting rich from insider trading.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the most blatant offender of Congressional insider trading, making tens of millions in profits from his priveleged position. Image courtesy of the Washington Post.
When consumer advocate and current Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren testified before Congress during the peak of the economic collapse, she made a point to spell out the word ‘traders’, as in ‘investment traders’. Why? Because the crimes perpetrated against the American people by the global banking cartel and America’s elected officials – before, during and after the US housing bubble burst – bordered on treason. And the fierce defender of average Americans didn’t want to risk the possibility that Congress thought she was calling them ‘traitors’.
All too often these days, acts may be ethically and morally criminal, but they’re no longer legal crimes. Throughout America’s history, and the history of all nations, there is a category of crime that is considered so devastating and so damaging that it risks the very existence of the United States of America. Those crimes fall under the category of treason, and treason is punishable by death.
The US doesn’t put spies and traitors to death anymore. When President Bill Clinton was caught being paid by the Communist Chinese Army to transfer top secret missile technology to our nation’s military enemy, he merely returned the money and transferred the technology anyway. When President George Bush was caught funding and arming the Taliban and al Qaeda with tens of billions of dollars in undocumented cash payments, at the same time we were fighting a war against them, he was simply excused as having a flawed war plan. When President Barack Obama gave himself the power to assassinate American citizens without charge, trial or conviction, and then proceeded to murder Americans for the first time in our nation’s history, nobody cared.
So why should anyone care if so many members of Congress over the past few decades have made their own personal fortunes, sometimes in the tens of millions of dollars, by abusing the trust and power instilled in them by the American people?
The new law
Last month, there was an outrage from the American people when they found out that Congressmen were immune from insider trading laws and they were taking full advantage of it. Back in November, Whiteout Press published a scathing article describing just how corrupt the situation in Washington and on Wall Street had become. Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘Insider Trading is Legal for Congressmen’ for more information.
A few days later, the show 60 Minutes introduced the American people to the scandal. The result was a new insider trading law governing Congressmen. The law however only requires federal elected officials to report their insider trades and is so insincere, one Wall Street Journal description called it yet another example of ‘phony insider trading reform’.
Throw Them All Out
Last year, a book came out written by the acclaimed Peter Schweizer titled, ‘Throw Them All Out’. The book detailed two main subjects – insider trading by Congressmen and President Obama’s fraudulent ‘stimulus program’.
One example of the wonderful nuggets of information the book unearths is an all too common statistic that Whiteout Press ran weeks ago in its ‘Statistic of the Week’ section:
‘Emblematic of every US House Speaker in modern times, including Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Newt Gingrich (R-GA), when Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was elected Speaker of the House in 1999, he had a net worth of approximately $220,000. When he retired as Speaker 8 years later in 2007, Hastert’s net worth had magically risen to $11 million dollars. – From the book, ‘Throw Them All Out’ by Peter Schweizer’.
Some other wonderful facts Peter Schweizer digs up in his book are (from Throw Them All Out):
- During the economic boom from 2004-2006, Congressmen saw their net worth nearly double, increasing by an astounding 84 percent in just those two years. By comparison, the average American only saw their net worth increase 20 percent. When the economy crashed in 2009, the average American had their net worth plunge 22 percent while Congressmen still saw their net worth increase.
- The average American investor loses money compared to the market average. The average CEO beats the market by 7 percent per year. The average hedge fund also beats the market by 7 percent per year. The average US Senator beats the market by 12 percent per year.
- A study by Stanford Univ. found that corporations that make political contributions and hire lobbyists are less likely to face enforcement actions by the SEC. And if they are subject to an SEC action, they face lower penalties on average.
- A number of Congressmen made a fortune buying and selling healthcare stocks at the same time they were debating President Obama’s national healthcare law known as Obamacare.
- A number of Congressmen made a fortune buying and selling banking stocks at the same time they were drafting and pushing the historic bank bailouts.
- A number of Congressmen made a fortune buying and selling insurance company stocks at the same time they were debating the bailout of AIG, the largest insurer in the world and a company that would have brought down hundreds of other banks and insurance companies intertwined with it.
- A number of Congressmen made a fortune buying and selling automotive stocks before and during the government bailout of the American auto sector.
- A number of Congressmen made a fortune buying and selling infrastructure stocks while designing President Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus program.
- A number of Congressmen made a fortune buying and selling military defense stocks while crafting the yearly military budget which decides what programs will and will not be funded.
- A number of Congressmen made fortunes buying and selling land whose value crashed or skyrocketed based on the legislation they were personally drafting.
- A number of Congressmen made fortunes by including earmarks in the nation’s budget to fund local improvements that would increase the value of their personal real estate assets.
- A number of Congressmen even pushed through earmarks in other states, just to benefit one of their own investments, enriching the Congressmen in the process.
Peter Schweizer’s amazing book doesn’t stop there. He names names. And they’re some of the most powerful names in America. Rather that republish the entire book here in this small column, Whiteout Press will simply list all the Congressmen and women Peter Schweizer exposes in his book. Within its pages, he provides the specific details for each elected official guilty of insider trading, as well as the timing, trades and elaborate measures some took to blatantly leverage their power and top secret clearance to enrich themselves.
Congressional Insider Traders (in the order of their appearance in the book). Some are recently retired or have become high-paid lobbyists. But most are still in office, still using the power and influence of their office to enrich themselves through insider trading.
Rep Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
Sen John Kerry (D-MA)
Rep John Tanner (D-TN)
Sen Jim Webb (D-VA)
Rep Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Sen Tom Carper (D-DE)
Rep Melissa Bean (D-IL)
Rep Jared Polis (D-CO)
Sen Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Sen Shelden Whitehouse (D-RI)
Rep James Oberstar (D-MN)
Rep Jeb Bradley (R-NH)
Sen Max Baucus (D-MT)
Rep John Boehner (R-OH)
Rep Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Rep Amo Houghton (R-NY)
Rep Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
Rep Jim Moran (D-VA)
Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Rep Shelly Capito (R-WV)
Rep Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)
Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Sen Robert Torricelli (D-NJ)
Sen Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Sen Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Rep Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Sen Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Rep Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep David Hobson (R-OH)
Rep Heath Shuler (D-NC)
Rep Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Rep Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Rep Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Sen Harry Reid (D-NV)
Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Sen Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Sen Bill Frist (R-TN)
As readers can see, this is one impressive list of Congressmen guilty of insider trading. And the sad fact is, it is nowhere near complete. The most powerful and highest ranking members of Congress are on this dubious list, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and Speakers of the House John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Hastert.
One paragraph from Peter Schweizer’s book seems to sum up the current state of the United States government:
“Welcome to the insidious world of crony capitalism. Cronyism exists not so much as outright bribery, using suitcases full of cash, but rather in accepted insider routes to wealth: Members of Congress trade stocks based on privileged information. They insert earmarks into bills to improve their own real estate holdings. Campaign contributors receive billions in federal grants. Nobody goes to jail.”