Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to the chairs of the Committee on House Administration urging them to advance legislation banning members of Congress from directly owning or trading stocks while in office.
The letter, sent by 19 lawmakers ranging from Mark Pocan (D-WI) to Matt Gaetz (R-FL) outlined three key provisions: preventing family members and children from owning stock, banning exceptions for stock owned prior to entering office, and backing up any legislation with effective enforcement.
Congressional stock trading restrictions would disproportionately impact the national security space; A Sludge 2021 analysis of financial holdings found that “The maximum value of the investments held by federal lawmakers in the ‘Big Five’ contractors — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics — is over $2.6 million, making up nearly 39% of the total stock holdings identified.”
Several members of Congress snapped up new shares of defense company stock just before the invasion of Ukraine. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bought shares of Lockheed Martin the day before the invasion, while John Rutherford (R-FL) secured valuable Raytheon stock the day of the invasion itself. Between December 1, 2021, and April 13, 2022, the stock price of Lockheed Martin skyrocketed by 42.8 percent while Raytheon increased by over 24 percent, both well out-pacing the S&P 500 which actually decreased in the same time period.
Some of those lawmakers even have an outsized role in creating national security policy itself. A recent Business Insider analysis found that 15 members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee Congress who own stock in defense giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
Another analysis found that four members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees arms control, had at least four members invested in defense companies. One member of the Committee, Gerry Connolly (D-VA), alone owned $498,000 worth of stock of Leidos — a military contractor that merged with Lockheed Martin in 2016 — as of last year. Leidos’ stock jumped over 27 percent from mid-February to early March.
Financial disclosures from EcoHealth Alliance reveal that the controversial nonprofit collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology experienced a nearly 350 percent surge in investment income following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Run by notorious COVID-19 origins propagandist and Chinese Communist Party-funded researcher Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance received funding worth millions of dollars from Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Health (NIH) agency to work on “killer” viruses with the Wuhan lab. Summaries of the joint research – now wiped from the Chinese lab’s website – reveal scientists creating “chimeric” viruses that spread in humans at rates “equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.”
Following EcoHealth’s “longtime” collaborations with Wuhan, the American nonprofit experienced a sizable surge in its investment income, according to the group’s 990 filings and analysis by ProPublica.
In the Fiscal Year 2019, which runs until June 30th, EcoHealth reported $81,277 in investment income. The following Fiscal Year, which encompasses the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, EcoHealth Alliance reported $359,381 in investment income.
The sizable shift in income amounts to a 342.2 percent increase.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband purchased 2,500 shares of Tesla stock amid Democrats’ push for increased green energy spending.
Paul Pelosi, the Democratic House leader’s millionaire husband, purchased the tranche of Tesla stock on Thursday, when the company’s share price reached about $872 per share by the end of day, according to congressional filings published Monday. Pelosi bought the shares, worth roughly $2.18 million at the time, at a strike price of $500 per share.
Since Paul Pelosi’s purchase, Tesla’s share price increased nearly 19% to over $1,036 a share, making his tranche worth nearly $2.6 million.
Federal authorities are investigating three Democratic megadonors who made an enormous bet on shares of Activision Blizzard just days before Microsoft agreed in January to acquire the video game company for $69 billion.
The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are both looking into the suspiciously timed trading activity of Barry Diller, owner of the Daily Beast, his stepson Alex von Fürstenberg, and his friend David Geffen, a longtime Democratic donor who gave $500,000 to the scandal-plagued Lincoln Project in 2020.
“Suspicious” is perhaps too generous a word to describe the three men’s decision to buy roughly $108 million worth of Activision stock options on Jan. 14. The transaction, privately arranged through JPMorgan Chase, allowed the wealthy Democrats to buy more than four million shares of Activision at the bargain price of $40 per share. Four days later, Activision announced that Microsoft would pay $95 per share to acquire the company. Imagine that!
Diller, who has donated $2.4 million to Democratic candidates and committees since 2016, just happens to be a “long time friend” of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. They served together on the Coca-Cola board of directors. Diller insists he did nothing wrong, telling the Wall Street Journal the amazingly profitable trade involving his friend’s company was “simply a lucky bet” and “one of those coincidences.”
This month, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that members of Congress should not be criticized for owning personal stocks.
Days later, she bought millions of dollars worth of call options for stocks in various companies.
According to disclosures signed Wednesday, Pelosi purchased between $1.75 and $3.6 million worth of call options between Dec. 17 and Dec. 22 for companies including Google, Salesforce, Roblox and Disney.
Her largest purchases were between $500,000 and $1 million for Google and between $600,000 and $1.25 million for Salesforce.
According to the New York Post, Pelosi said on Dec. 15 that members of Congress should be able to hold individual stocks in the U.S.