Insider trading must stop |

Insider trading must stop

Dear Editor:I can’t help but ask these tired rhetorical questions:- Are our leaders comfortably ensconced in the pockets of the powerful?- Does your congressman or senator have his hand in Wall Street’s private cookie jar?Well, you can stop wondering if elected representatives from both parties are getting too cozy with Wall Street. Allegations of insider trading by our leaders have come to light in recent articles and on “60 Minutes.” Watch and learn – and be outraged. This is quite simply fraud committed by our elected officials. Our lawmakers have made it legal (only for themselves) to trade on inside information, but it remains an unethical and immoral conflict of interest – and we must demand that it stop. Please tell your representative to co-sponsor re-introduction of HR 1148, the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge” Act (STOCK Act). This bill has been introduced several times since 2004, but has been ignored until now.From a petition that circulated during the last attempt to pass this act: “For years, academic and journalistic analyses have described the significant outperformance of members of the House and Senate, including their staffers and family members, when investing in the stock market. In some cases, members of Congress have been clocked at 12 percent annual outperformance of the S&P 500. (Warren Buffett, during his tenure as head of Berkshire Hathaway, only managed 10.8 percent.) Such investing success seems extreme. It raises suspicions that our legislators, elected to do the people’s business, are in fact trading on their non-public knowledge of laws-in-progress and planned. This gives them the ability to achieve investing returns beyond those ordinarily achievable by the lay investor. While such action does not currently violate any laws, it should. Please tell your representatives to pass the STOCK Act now.”Greg PoschmanAspen