Latest Congressional Outrage: Insider Trading

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Using information not publicly available to make money in stocks is illegal. Unless, as it turns out, you're a member of Congress. These people are out of control.

Did you watch 60 Minutes last night? If you did, I hope you’re as enraged as I am about our “representatives” using their access to non-public information to line their pockets. The same techniques used by members of Congress to trade ahead of market-moving news would land anyone else in jail.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the story below. If you’d rather read than watch, you can check out the script here on the CBS News website.

There’s a reason that nobody should be able to use non-public information to make money in stocks: It creates an unlevel playing field and strips markets of credibility and fairness. And there’s an even better reason that members of Congress shouldn’t be allowed to do so: It impedes their ability to do their job, which is ostensibly to represent “we the people”, not their own selfish interests.

In my opinion, this sort of self-dealing is something you’d expect from people like Muammar Gaddafi, not members of the U.S. Congress. What makes it even worse is that this is a problem that’s simple to solve. Members of Congress should do what the President does – have their assets in blind trusts so they have no ability to influence the investments they own. Common sense should dictate this. But since that obviously doesn’t work, I guess yet another law is in order.

What do you think? Should trading on inside information simply be another Congressional perk? Log on to our Facebook page and share your view.

Stacy Johnson

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