Do you want to make a lot of money investing, but you’re not as smart or talented as Warren Buffett? Well, I have good news for you: there is another alternative and it’s called being a member of Congress.
The most successful stock trader today is not the “Oracle of Omaha” or his billionaire sidekick, Charlie Munger. It may actually be the outgoing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and her husband, Paul Pelosi.
The Pelosis have made tens of millions over the last few years trading stocks, and their timing is often impeccable. But the Pelosis’ extraordinary market gains are not the result of them being more intelligent than the world’s smartest investors. Rather, it’s due to the fact that, as the House’s Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has enjoyed access to important insider information. For years, Ms. Pelosi has had the privilege of knowing, before basically anyone else, when critical legislation will be up for a vote and how it will benefit or harm specific businesses and industries. The Pelosis have reaped enormous benefits due to Ms. Pelosi’s privileged position.
Of course, the Pelosis are not the only ones engaging in these corrupt and unscrupulous practices. Politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as judges, often utilize their access to insider information to enrich themselves. Congress members’ stock trading puts average investors at a disadvantage.
No politician of any significance had ever moved to prohibit these practices until last year when public pressure to ban members of Congress from engaging in stock trading intensified. Unsurprisingly, Nancy Pelosi initially declared her opposition to any bill prohibiting congressional lawmakers (and their spouses) from stock trading. However, she soon recanted her public position after receiving blowback from progressive lawmakers.
Congressional Stock Trading Bills.
Lawmakers drafted multiple measures aimed to prohibit members of Congress (and their spouses) from owning individual equities in recent months and were garnering support among legislators of both parties. But then, out of nowhere, Pelosi and her congressional acolytes introduced a new bill, which reportedly was designed to sabotage the efforts of the bipartisan congressional members. Pelosi and her crew’s maneuvering effectively ensured that any legislation prohibiting congressional stock trading wouldn’t see a vote.
This whole situation illustrates how broken our political system is. But it does not have to be this way. If Americans desire change, we must stop voting for and rewarding the same corrupt and reprobate politicians.
Ashton Cohen is an attorney, investor, writer, and host of Ashton Cohen: The ELECTile Dysfunction Podcast.