Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Public policymaking and personal profiteering

I suspect that this will fail, as have previous attempts, but "Sens. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., today are introducing the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2011, which would prohibit members or employees of Congress, as well as executive branch employees, from using nonpublic information obtained through their public service for investing or any attempt at personal financial gain."

You might be surprised to find out that Congress has conveniently exempted its members from insider-trading rules that would prevent them from profiting financially from the information they obtain as part of their jobs.  Recent studies coauthored by my Lindenwood colleague Jim Boyd (here and here) have shown that Senators and members of the House of Representatives are surpisingly adept at personal financial matters.  Hmmm.  Might there be a connection?