“60 Minutes” aired a startling segment last night that is truly “must see TV”.
Since the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 it has been illegal for someone to make an investment decision on information not available to the general public. That is unless you are a member of congress.
In a segment titled: “Congress: Trading On Inside Information” 60 Minutes sheds light on the little known fact that members of Congress can legally profit from trading on non-public information made privy to them during their deliberations on the Hill. In other words if a member of Congress knows that a bill is soon to pass that will cause a rise in the value of certain commodities; he or she is legally permitted to make personal trades on Wall Street that take advantage of that insider information. Conversely, if a member learns that upcoming legislation will cause a decrease in the value of certain commodities that the member holds in his or her portfolio; the member is legally permitted to sell off those shares to avoid a financial loss.
Records show that Congressional members have been taking advantage of this loophole for decades…and making millions in the process. Efforts by a few concerned members to pass legislation that would close the loophole have received little support. The only people who can correct this inequity are the very people who profit from it.
This is just another example of why Washington is broken and why the disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots” grows ever wider.