“It’s one big club, and we ain’t in it,” Comedian George Carlin once said.

When you look at what Rep Lois Frankel (D-FL22) did recently, it appears to be true. She sold stock in First Republic Bank before it collapsed in March and bought stock in JP Morgan Chase, the bank that bought it. Is that “insider trading?” And how did she know which bank would buy the failed one? She blamed her financial advisor was solely involved in handling her stock trading.

In truth, she was following a congressional tradition. A 2022  NY Times investigative report identified 78 members of Congress or their family members who bought or sold financial assets over three years in companies that may be affected by their legislative committee work.

Ms. Frankel is on the House Appropriations Committee and, as such, was privy to financial information before it was made public. That’s insider trading, and yes, it is illegal. But it seems that Congress has appointed themselves above the law.

Frankel purchased all deposits & assets Without the Debt. Chase now handles 10% of all deposits in our country. Imagine their stock rising with the purchase of First Republic. Did someone know something? Sounds like insider trading to me. She did list the sale on her financial disclosure, but officially, that doesn’t matter. If it isn’t proven to be insider trading, nothing happens. But, of course, there will be no investigation.

Frankel is just following a congressional tradition that is followed by both parties. As reported by the NY Times:
97 current senators or representatives who reported trades by themselves or immediate family members in stocks or other financial assets that intersected with the work of committees on which they serve, according to an extensive analysis of trades from the years 2019 to 2021.
The examples the Times gives include:

“Representative Bob Gibbs, an Ohio Republican on the House Oversight Committee, reported buying shares of the pharmaceutical company AbbVie in 2020 and 2021 while the committee was investigating AbbVie and five rivals over high drug prices.

The timing of one trade by the wife of Representative Alan Lowenthal, Democrat of California, was especially striking: His disclosure statement said she had sold Boeing shares on March 5, 2020 — one day before a House committee on which he sits released damaging findings on the company’s handling of its 737 Max jet, which was involved in two fatal crashes.”

One person in Congress was left out, the Times explains

“The 97 members the Times analysis identified do not include Speaker Nancy Pelosi; her disclosure filings were not flagged because she does not sit on any legislative committees. Her husband, Paul Pelosi, is a real estate and technology investor who reported buying and selling between $25 million and $81 million worth of stocks, options and other financial assets between 2019 and 2021, according to Ms. Pelosi’s filings. Among them were investments in high-profile companies like Alphabet — the parent company of Google — that are regularly the subject of congressional and regulatory scrutiny.”

Business Insider added details of additional congressional members.

S 3504, introduced by Senator Josh Hawley, was introduced last year. It says: “Except as provided in subsection (b), a Member of Congress, or any spouse of a Member of Congress, may not, during the term of service of the Member of Congress, hold, purchase, or sell any covered financial instrument.” Lois Frankel isn’t the first legislator to engage in what seems to be inside trading. She is simply the latest.
Who is next?


Some of this post was first seen at Conservative Firing Line.