60 Minutes Uncovers Pelosi Insider Stock Trades
In a piece relying on data collected from the conservative Hoover Institution, “60 Minutes” revealed that elected officials like Pelosi are exempt from insider trading laws – regulations that carry hefty prison sentences and fines for any other citizen who trades stocks with private information on companies that can affect their stock price.
In the case of elected officials – this secret information ranges from timely details on lucrative federal contracts to legislation that can cause companies’ stocks to rise and fall dramatically.
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How do they get away with it? Lawmakers have exempted themselves from the laws that govern every other citizen.
Pelosi, D-Calif., and her husband have participated in at least eight IPOs while having access to information directly relating to the companies involved. One of those came in 2008, from Visa, just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies, began making its way through the House.
“Undisturbed by a potential conflict of interest the Pelosis purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars. Two days later it was trading at $64. The credit card legislation never made it to the floor of the House,” Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” reported.
Kroft confronted Pelosi at a regular press conference after she declined an interview.
Kroft: Madam Leader, I wanted to ask you why you and your husband back in March of 2008 accepted and participated in a very large IPO deal from Visa at a time there was major legislation affecting the credit card companies making its way through the —through the House.
Nancy Pelosi: But —
Kroft: And did you consider that to be a conflict of interest?
Pelosi: The — y — I — I don’t know what your point is of your question. Is there some point that you want to make with that?
Kroft: Well, I — I — I guess what I’m asking is do you think it’s all right for a speaker to accept a very preferential, favorable stock deal?
Pelosi: Well, we didn’t.
Kroft: You participated in the IPO. And at the time you were speaker of the House. You don’t think it was a conflict of interest or had the appearance–
Pelosi: No, it was not —
Kroft: — of a conflict of interest?
Pelosi: —it doesn’t — it only has appearance if you decide that you’re going to have — elaborate on a false premise. But it — it — it’s not true and that’s that.
Kroft: I don’t understand what part’s not true.
Pelosi: Yes sir. That — that I would act upon an investment.
The Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer stressed that what Pelosi did was completely legal.
“There are all sorts of forms of honest grafts that congressmen engage in that allow them to become very, very wealthy. So it’s not illegal, but I think it’s highly unethical, I think it’s highly offensive, and wrong,” he told Kroft.
“… Insider trading on the stock market. If you are a member of Congress, those laws are deemed not to apply,” Schweizer added. “The fact is, if you sit on a healthcare committee and you know that Medicare, for example, is — is considering not reimbursing for a certain drug that’s market moving information. And if you can trade stock on — off of that information and do so legally, that’s a great profit making opportunity. And that sort of behavior goes on.”
Pelosi’s office issued a statement Sunday saying, “It is very troubling that ‘60 Minutes’ would base their reporting off of an already-discredited conservative author who has made a career out of attacking Democrats.”
Schweizer’s books include “Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy,” and “Architects of Ruin,” according to Schweizer’s page on the Hoover Institution website.
Insider trading on green energy in Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein offices
The Wall Street Journal reported about a staffer in Harry Reid’s office who nearly doubled his $3,500 investment in a renewable energy firm in 2008. Sen. Reid helped pass legislation that benefitted the firm.
Congressional Staffers Gain From Trading in Stocks
WASHINGTON—Chris Miller nearly doubled his $3,500 stock investment in a renewable-energy firm in 2008. It was a perfectly legal bet, but he’s no ordinary investor.
Reid’s spokesman tried to defend the staffer, Reid’s top energy policy adviser, by asserting that he had no influence over tax incentives for renewable energy firms.
Under federal securities law, of course, it is not important whether the staffer had any influence over legislation, Sen. Reid or anyone or anything else.
If it can be shown that the staffer breached a duty of confidentiality in using “inside information” as the basis for buying and selling the stock, then he may very well be guilty of the crime of insider trading.
In May 2009, the Associated Press reported,
Federal prosecutors and the FBI have been investigating possible illegal insider trading by two Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement attorneys who were in a position to receive sensitive information about agency probes of public companies.
Similarly, if the staffer had material information that the public didn’t have and he took advantage of it in the buying and selling of securities, he could have committed a serious crime — as well as anyone he may have tipped off.
Reid’s staffer has denied wrongdoing, but that should not be dispositive.
The Department of Justice, FBI and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ought to be investigating the staffer as well as any other potential insider trading violations described in the WSJ article.
At the very least, the staffer should be afforded the same opportunity as Martha Stewart to chat with federal investigators — that worked out so well for her.
Don’t expect this to happen, however, as Sen. Reid and other members of Congress will no doubt quietly work to quash any investigation.
Big Brother Has Turned Green
The environmental movement has cultivated a warm and fuzzy public image, but behind the smiley-face rhetoric of “sustainability” and “conservation” lies a dark agenda. The Greens aim to regulate your behavior, downsize your lifestyle, and invade the most intimate aspects of your personal life.
In this stunning exposé, Steve Milloy unveils the authoritarian impulse underlying the Green crusade. Whether they’re demanding that you turn down your thermostat, stop driving your car, or engage in some other senseless act of self-denial, the Greens are envisioning a grim future for you marked by endless privation.Steamrolling nearly all opposition with its apocalyptic predictions of environmental doom, the Green movement has gained influence throughout American society–from schools and local planning boards to the biggest corporations in the country. And their plans are much more ambitious than you think, says Milloy. What the Greens really seek, with increasing success, is to dictate the very parameters of your daily life–where you can live, what transportation you can use, what you can eat, and even how many children you can have.
Citing the tactics and goals of Green groups as explained by their own activists and leaders, Green Hell demonstrates:
* How Green pressure campaigns threaten the safety of your home and your car, and public health overall
* Why the election of President Obama portends a giant leap forward for coercive Green policies
* Why Greens obstruct the use of all forms of energy–even the renewable sources they tout to the public
* How wealthy Green elites stand to profit fabulously from the restrictions and regulations they seek to impose on the rest of us
* How Green pressure campaigns are hamstringing the military and endangering our national security
* Why big business is not only knuckling under to the Greens, but is aggressively promoting the green agenda to the detriment of its own stockholders
* What you can do to help stop the great Green machineA one-of-a-kind, comprehensive takedown of the entire environmental movement, Green Hell will open your eyes to a looming threat to our economy, our civil liberties, and the entire American way of life.
–Fred Barnes, Executive Editor, the Weekly Standard
“Green Hell is the `inconvenient truth’ on extremist, growth-killing environmentalism. A must-read for those interested in keeping America free and prosperous.”
–Steve Forbes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes”Regardless of whether you believe global warming is a fraud, the fact is that the current depression, the past spike in oil prices, and the coming technology of electric cars are all going to solve whatever problem exists. Liberals want to use climate change as an excuse to take over the economy and regulate everything and this book exposes their plans.”
–Dick Morris, FOX News commentator and former political consultant to Bill Clinton
“This book describes why the world can’t afford to fall for global warming alarmism and environmental hysteria. Steve Milloy shows how to avoid the environmentalists’ vision of our future.”
–VACLAV KLAUS, President of the European Union and President of the Czech Republic”Free market capitalism is still the best path to prosperity. Green Hell is a must-read for anyone who wants to keep America on that path and away from Soviet-style command-and-control environmentalism.”
–Larry Kudlow, Host, CNBC’s The Kudlow Report
Former President Barack Obama liked to portray himself as a politician watching out for the little guy.
But it looks like he spent much more time protecting his rich friends – and manipulating the government to help make them a fortune.
It was all part of a scheme that looks a lot like insider trading – or what author Peter Schweizer calls “smash and grab.”
In his new book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Schweizer lays out how Obama used government regulations to help lifelong pals buy up companies for pennies on the dollar.
Basically, the Obama Administration would threaten and devalue companies, and Obama’s pals would be ready to swoop in and buy them on the cheap.
And apparently nobody ever stopped to consider the effect that this plot would have on ordinary shareholders – who lost millions – or the employees at the companies.
In an interview with Breitbart, Schweizer gives one shocking example – the case of Marty Nesbitt, who has been described as Obama’s “best friend.”
After Obama was reelected on 2012, Nesbitt set up a private equity firm called Vistria to invest in highly regulated industries – in other words, industries that Obama and his administration can help control.
Schweizer points to Vistria’s acquisition of online learning giant the University of Phoenix as an example of Obama and Nesbitt working together on a “smash and grab” deal.
The Obama Administration had threatened to withhold GI Bill money from the University of Phoenix over the quality of its education, sending its share price tumbling.
Then, Nesbitt and Vistria were able to purchase the university for “three cents on the dollar,” Schweizer reports.
After the deal was made, the Obama Administration withdrew its threat to withhold federal funds.
Schweizer says Obama repeated the strategy throughout his presidency to enrich liberal billionaires like Tom Steyer and George Soros, who have both worked to ruin current President Donald Trump.
“Barack Obama smashes coal companies, [and] what do these guys do? They go in, they buy them for pennies on the dollar, and when the regulatory weight is lifted, their valuations increase, and they make a lot of money, and you see that pattern in all of these industries,” Shweizer said.
And what happens to other shareholders – the ones who aren’t friends with Obama? They’re left holding the bag when the companies are devalued.
Schweizer says that some of the ill-gotten gains realized by Obama’s friends eventually found their way to the Obama Foundation.
It’s a scheme that absolutely cries out for a federal investigation. But with so many Obama puppets still left in the government, we won’t be holding our breath.