The Pelosis’ trading individual stocks must stop
Trading of individual stocks in Congress might not be illegal but it has to stop.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and husband Paul are bad enough but it’s not just them.
Everyone is outraged by Paul Pelosi’s purchase in June of between $1 million and $5 million of stock in Nvidia, a semiconductor company, which is bound to benefit from legislation before Congress this week which will give $52 billion in subsidies to the computer chip industry.
It’s just the latest in a string of prescient purchases for the Pelosis, revealed by financial disclosures required to be submitted periodically.
For instance, Paul Pelosi exercised options to purchase 25,000 Microsoft shares worth more than $5 million on March 19 last year, less than two weeks before the Army announced a $22 billion contract to buy augmented reality headsets from Microsoft which boosted the value of the shares.
But flying under the radar are lots of other members of Congress benefiting from the same uncanny luck, in a bipartisan grift that taints everything in Washington.
Take Pelosi’s fellow Democrat, New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, one of the most active traders, with 134 trades in the first quarter of 2021 alone. Like Paul Pelosi, he is partial to tech stocks. After years of a steady stream of small share trading, last year Gottheimer switched to more risky options trading, with trades worth up to $1 million a pop.
Last year Gottheimer bought 64.5 million of options and sold 62.18 million, mainly Microsoft, according to publicly available information compiled by the website “Unusual Whales” which estimated his return at 12.7%.
Frank Pallotta, Gottheimer’s Republican challenger in Northern New Jersey’s 5th district, has spent almost three decades on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and is disgusted by the lax rules in Congress around insider trading.
“It boggles the mind that Congress, that has access to far more sensitive information at a higher level than Wall Street, isn’t subject to the same rules.
“It’s a license to steal.”