Eliminate Legalized Insider Trading by Federal Legislators

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Target: The United States House of Representatives

Goal: Eliminate legalized insider trading by forcing federal legislators to place their stock holdings into blind trusts, where assets are not disclosed to them and they cannot intervene in their handling.

Currently, some federal legislators are getting away with legalized insider trading on the stock market. Legislators not only have access to inside information, but often end up making vital decisions which can directly affect the stock market. As there are few rules regulating what information can be used by legislators in their selection of personal stock purchases, many federal legislators utilize their access to increase their personal wealth.

Probably the best example of this legalized insider trading by legislators can be found during the 2008 economic crash. According to reputable reports, 34 federal Congressmen – divided nearly evenly between the parties – made significant stock portfolio changes after meeting with experts to discuss the crisis. A foreknowledge of the crisis’ consequences, as well as the future recovery measures (ex. stimulus bills), gives these legislators an advantage in investing and allows them to make large amounts of money.

There is no reason that legislators should not be held to the same rules that govern all other citizens who have insider information. In order to fix the current legislator conflict of interest problem, legislation should be passed that forces all currently sitting legislators to place their holdings into blind trusts for the duration of their term of office. A blind trust is a trust where the owner has no knowledge about the specifics of their investments and control over the investments runs through a trusted proxy. By passing legislation which mandates blind trusts for legislators, the conflict of interest problem would be absolved, with no costs to the taxpayers or the legislators.

Sign this petition to signal your support for legislation which would mandate all legislators put their stock holdings into blind trusts during their terms in office. Our legislators should focus entirely upon enacting good policy, not on enriching themselves personally.

PETITION LETTER

Dear United States House of Representatives,

As you are already aware, there are few rules restricting members of the federal legislature from using their inside access to profit in the stock market. Members of the legislature are privy to huge amounts of inside information, yet currently there are no restrictions preventing them from using this information for personal gain in the stock market.

I, as well as everybody else to sign this petition, support the enacting of federal legislation which mandates all legislators put their stock portfolios into blind trusts during their terms in office. While some legislators currently do this voluntarily in order to avoid the appearance of bias, there is no current requirement that they do so. A blind trust is a good compromise because it allows for legislators to maintain a stock portfolio, yet not have an undue advantage over those who aren’t privy to inside information.

Protect the impartiality and integrity of the federal legislature: use blind trusts to stop all conflicts of interest (or even just the appearance of such) created by inside information learned during the legislative process.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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130 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Valerie Leonard
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
  • Ricki Newman
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