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Politicians, Health Officials & Insider Trading?

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Politicians, Health Officials & Insider Trading?
Politicians, Health Officials & Insider Trading?

    • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s wealth has increased from $41 million to nearly $115 million since 2004
    • at issue noted on a recent Twitter thread by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, it’s how politicians made their millions
    • In the last two years, nearly 75% of Pelosi’s stock trades have involved Big Tech stocks, totaling over $33 million in trading
    • The trading has occurred as major legislation was proposed, controlled by the Committees Pelosi oversees, that could reshape the future of the industry
    • Pelosi’s five most-traded stocks in the last two years — Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and Google — were those that stood to be most affected by pending legislation

Politicians receive very comfortable salaries. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for instance, earns $223,500 a year, making her the third-highest-paid elected official in the U.S. Pelosi comes in as No. 6 on a list of the wealthiest members of the 116th Congress.

Since 2004, her wealth has increased from $41 million to nearly $115 million, according to OpenSecrets, which began tracking lawmakers’ personal finances that year.

At issue as noted on a recent Twitter thread by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, it’s how they made their millions:4

In the last two years, nearly 75% of Pelosi’s stock trades have involved Big Tech stocks, totaling over $33 million in trading.

“That has happened as major legislation is pending before the House, controlled by the committees Pelosi oversees, which could radically reshape the industry and laws that govern the very companies in which she and her husband most aggressively trade,” Greenwald wrote in a blog.

Greenwald also revealed that Pelosi’s five most-traded stocks in the last two years — Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and Google — were those that stood to be most affected by pending legislation,

and not just any legislation, but legislation that she was working to negotiate and work through Congress.

Four of the companies — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — were directly identified by the House Antitrust Subcommittee as being monopolies,

Meanwhile, Pelosi’s husband, Paul, purchased risky options in Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in February 2020,

which he sold in June, netting more than $5 million in profits.

He also cited two other “disturbing incidents” in which Paul Pelosi had impeccable timing with his investment decisions,

including exercising nearly $2 million worth of Microsoft call options within two weeks of a Microsoft contract to supply the U.S. Army with augmented reality headsets.

The other incident involved the purchase of about $1 million in Tesla stock after calls made prior to the government announcing incentives it would offer to promote the shift toward electric vehicles.

Politicians are in good company, as top health officials also cash in on stock options tied to the companies they oversee.

For instance, Dr. Julie Gerberding — director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2002 until 2009, who after leaving the CDC became president of Merck’s vaccine division in January 201023 — sold half her Merck stock options for $9.11 million in January 2020.

In March 2020, a group of legislators introduced the Ban Conflicted Trading Act.

This “prohibits members of Congress and senior congressional staff from abusing their positions for personal financial gain through trading individual stocks and investments while in office or serving on corporate boards.”

“We are here to serve the public, not to profiteer.” Senator Jeff Merkley, who introduced in March 2020 the Ban Conflicted Trading Act to the Senate

It must be noted that this same tale can be found on both sides of the aisle. Just look at the 2020 Senate races in Georgia that removed both incumbent GOP candidates. As well, the endless insider trading based on the pandemic is in itself an epidemic among elected officials. Politicians, Health Officials & Insider Trading?