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Your Take: Congressional Insider Trading

They say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. For years, I’d read about how members of Congress were exempt from your typical insider trading rules. If a company insider were to make trades on private insider information, and they were caught, there would be serious consequences. They’d have to pay restitution and, most likely, receive probation or jail time. If they were a member of Congress, well, nothing would happen to them. I’d always been perplexed by this but, in the past, no one had done anything particularly egregious with that “get out of jail free” card.

Then 60 Minutes put it center stage. Last Sunday, they aired a piece [3] about members of Congress profiting from private information and how that was completely legal.

Here’s the funny part… we’ve known about this for years. I certainly heard about this many years ago but it’s one of those things where members of Congress know that it would be extremely embarrassing if they traded on insider information and they were caught. Considering how much money they can make by taking on new roles after office, like becoming lobbyists, it seems silly to make just a few bucks while you’re in office and put that in jeopardy. That was always my thinking anyway.

Anyway, Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts filed a bill [4] in Congress that would remove that exemption. I think it’s a good idea, what do you think?