When ethics rules are unethical


Members of Congress and their families have regularly traded stock in companies who lobby on bills affecting those companies. Almost 1 in every 8 trades by lawmakers or their families had to do with companies involved in legislation. These trades happened while bills were considered, and before bills were passed, meaning that these trades were dependent on a knowledge of the likelihood of the bills passing which nobody outside of this small number would have.

“[D]uring the financial crisis” at least 34 lawmakers took advantage of their relationships with “Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; his successor, Timothy Geithner; or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke” “during the financial crisis” to decide what to sell and buy.

Why is this not an illegal use of insider knowledge?

Because these are the people making the rules.


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