Tag Archives: insider trading

It was inevitable, one should suppose, that crisis would produce scandal

I suppose it was expected, that we shouldn’t be surprised at the news flying out of Washington, D.C.

The world is reeling from a deadly pandemic. Now we hear that some members of the U.S. Senate sought to take advantage of their power, their influence, their access to classified information to — allegedly! — score huge profits.

What is it about crises that they seem to attract this kind of potentially scandalous behavior?

We are saluting the heroes and Good Samaritans among us who are performing acts of kindness, empathy and care for those who need help coping with the coronavirus.

It’s also good to condemn those who potentially could use their influence to (a) mislead the public regarding the severity of the crisis and (b) profit from their misdirection.

Several senators allegedly have sought to do profit from the confusion and chaos brought by the pandemic.

One of them allegedly is Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C. He attended a classified meeting in January where he and other senators were told of the dangers that the coming pandemic posed to the economy, as well as to people’s health. Burr then soft-pedaled the threat, telling the public that all would be just fine.

Meanwhile, he allegedly sold millions of dollars of stock just prior to the stock market’s shocking collapse. Do you get it? Sen. Burr got his while the gettin’ was still good, leaving millions of other Americans in the lurch while their retirement accounts were flushed away as investors started to panic.

Is this how it’s supposed to go? Of course not! It’s just a sickening symptom — again, allegedly — of behavior that those in power too often exhibit.

There needs to be a full, frontal investigation into what Burr and some other senators knew and when they knew it. If they are determined to have committed illegal acts, they need to be prosecuted aggressively … for violating their sacred public trust.

None of us should be surprised that this scandal has been revealed.

This won’t happen, but it’s worth asking for it

We need to see the stock trades of President Trump and his family in the month of February.

This is a tweet fired off just a day ago by David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and, yes, a noted critic of Donald John Trump.

Frum has raised a legitimate issue with regard to the pandemic virus and the scandal that has erupted in the U.S. Senate regarding senators who sold stock in companies in which they were invested on the eve of the stock market collapse.

You see, the senators allegedly had inside knowledge of what was about to happen, so they — again, allegedly — dumped the stock at a huge profit before it lost a ton of its value.

They were engaging in happy talk about the market and everyone’s retirement accounts. Except they allegedly knew the bottom was about to collapse on the market’s value.

Hmm. Didn’t Donald Trump also engage in that kind of low-balling of the coronavirus pandemic threat? Um, yeah, I believe he did.

Hence, we have David Frum raising the pertinent issue regarding the Trump family’s investments. The public’s ability to see such activity is likely to be fought hammer and tong by Trump, just as he has fought like hell to keep his tax returns away from public review.

They throw ’em in jail for this kind of thing, senators

What do you know about this?

Four U.S. senators, three Republicans and a Democrat, allegedly have been caught doing something that gets many of the rest of us tossed in the slammer.

GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, along with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, allegedly dumped a whole lot of stock immediately before its value tanked. A coincidence?

Many of us are quite skeptical of the timing of it all.

It’s called “insider trading,” which is what some individuals are able to do when they get information about investment value that isn’t known widely to the rest of the public.

Burr has asked for a Senate Ethics Committee probe into the matter. He also denies doing anything wrong. Sure thing, senator. That’s what they all say.

Feinstein is the Senate’s senior Democrat; Burr chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee; Inhofe has been in the Senate for many years; Loeffler is a GOP newbie, having just taken office in recent weeks after being appointed to succeed Sen. Johnny Isaakson, who retired.

This doesn’t look good for any of them.

Calls are beginning to mount for a full-blown investigation into what they knew and when they knew it. Others are calling for all of them to resign.

This is infuriating, if true. Part of me wants to grant them all the due process they deserve; they are, after all, citizens just like the rest of us and they deserve the presumption of innocence. Another part of me, though, tends to believe the allegations. They need not quit the Senate just because someone has leveled a serious charge against them.

However, all Americans — millions of whom are suffering terrible financial pain as a result of this pandemic — need and deserve answers into what these so-called “guardians” of the public trust knew before they dumped their stock and made all that dough.

GOP incumbent changes mind, pulls out

Christopher Collins was defiant one day. Then he thought better of his defiance.

He has made the correct call.

As the New York Times reported: “I respect Chris Collins’s decision to step down while he faces these serious allegations,” Representative Steve Stivers, an Ohio Republican and the chairman of the House Republican campaign committee, said in a statement. “As I’ve said before, Congress must hold ourselves to the highest possible standard.”

Collins is a New York Republican House member who is facing charges of engaging in insider — and illegal — trading of stocks. He has represented a reliably Republican district.

He also is notable for another reason: He was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy. He became one of the president’s few go-to guys in the House of Representatives.

What now? Well, I normally wouldn’t care about the future of a New York congressman who said on the day of his indictment that he would seek re-election, only to announce today that he is ending his campaign; the technical term is “suspending,” but it’s over, folks.

This is a big deal for those of us who want to see Democrats take control of at least one congressional chamber. There needs to be some check on the reckless, feckless behavior coming from the White House. Collins’s departure in one sense might help allow the election of a Democrat in that upper New York House seat.

Democrats’ magic number for retaking the House stands at 23, meaning they need to flip 23 seats to get a majority. It looks do-able.

As for Collins’s indictment and the allegations leveled against, it flies in the face of Donald Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” that gives Washington, D.C., its putrid aroma.

See ya, Rep. Collins.

Troubles dog lawmaker and … Trump

Chris Collins isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill back-bench member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He’s a Republican from upstate New York. He now is in a good bit of legal trouble, taken been into custody by the FBI on an insider trading charge. He has pleaded not guilty. Yes, Rep. Collins is entitled to mount a vigorous defense.

However, he also is known for something else: Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald J. Trump’s candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

Right there is what makes this case a good bit larger than it otherwise might be.

Collins has been accused of calling members of his family to deliver some insider information on the purchase of drug-company stocks. It’s a serious charge to be sure. Rep. Collins also allegedly was brazen and blatant in his flouting of the law. He allegedly boasted about it.

Then we have the political backdrop of the upcoming midterm election. Democrats think they have momentum on their side in their attempt to flip Congress back to Democratic control.

This burgeoning difficulty regarding Rep. Collins, the pledge to “drain the swamp” and the assertions that this guy thinks he’s above the law doesn’t bode well for Republicans.

Then we have the president …