Insider trading? Congress and Admin not subject to the same rules

As usual, there’s a different set of rules for Congress, the Administration, and staff.

Not only do they get gold-plated healthcare, while designing an East German system for the rest of us, they apparently aren’t subject to the same insider-trading rules that the rest of us are under.

According to Politifact,

Thomas Newkirk, a partner with the law firm Jenner and Block, told us that indeed there’s some uncertainty about how insider trading rules impact members of Congress and their staff.

For example, in 2001, a financial consultant meeting with the Treasury Department learned that the department planned to kill off the 30-year bond. In turn, the consultant tipped off traders at Goldman Sachs who proceeded to use that information to make the firm lots of money. It was considered insider trading because the consultant knew he was not supposed to release the information, Newkirk said. Federal regulators settled with Goldman Sachs and the consultant for about $10.3 million in September 2003.

But with members of Congress, it’s different. Unless lawmakers have some express confidentiality agreement — whether it’s in writing or in word — they can do whatever they want with the information they obtain on Capitol Hill, Newkirk said.

Bruce Carton, a former Senior Counsel with the SEC’s enforcement division and current editor of Securities Docket, agreed there is uncertainty about the rules. “Insider trading depends on some kind of duty. You can steal information, but unless you have some sort of duty of confidentiality to it, you’re not going to be held liable,” Carton said.

Right now, there is no duty of conflict for Congress, their staff or executive branch employees, he said.

Hey I have an idea : How about a Pulitzer to the writer or writers who actually get off their arses and investigate what is probably the scandal of the century just waiting to be discovered?

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