View Full Version : Government Reform: Ron Paul on the STOCK Act?

12-17-2011, 01:47 AM
Genuinely curious on this one, and I have mixed feelings, myself. The STOCK Act is advertised as banning Congressmen from trading on nonpublic information. It's in the process of revision, so what'll actually be in it is up in the air. A version released in November has it requiring disclosure of most stock/options trades, gags Senators (and their related workers) from disclosing nonpublic information on potential future legislature to individuals if there is intent to financially aid those individuals the information is given to, and bans Congressmen (and their related workers) from trading on that nonpublic information. The various STOCK Act bills floating around are largely supported by Dems, with few (R) cosponsors. Eric Cantor effectively killed the House version during committee, which had the most co-sponsors. Since '06, the STOCK Act has been killed three times.

Interestingly, a Republican committee in the Senate decided to release the STOCK Act as S 1903 a few days ago in a 7-3 vote (it was actually 7-2, but McCain said he would've voted "nay" and was absent). The bill's text which came out of committee can be viewed here (http://insidertrading.procon.org/files/S1903StockAct.pdf).

Opponents argue it's vague, an unnecessary restriction on speech, and will have unintended consequences. Proponents argue it's been made necessary by recent examples exposed by the Media, and will prevent politicians from profiting off of citizens who simply aren't privileged to the same kind of information.

ETA: On the 16th, Cantor implied he'll be bringing the STOCK Act back out for a vote within the next few months.

12-20-2011, 02:51 AM
For those curious... Ron Paul on STOCK Act from a few days ago:

Ron Paul: Well, I haven’t thought the issue completely through, I didn’t see the 60 Minute report, but it seems like if you had the right kind of people in Washington, then there wouldn’t even be a suspicion of a problem like this. But, without knowing about this in detail, I can’t imagine why the members of Congress wouldn’t be under the same laws that you would be under on insider trading. So, a lot of times when things like this come up, a lot of grandstanding goes on and they come up and say all of a sudden we’re going to have a fancy piece of legislation.

So I haven’t made up my mind about the legislation, but obviously, if we have access to information we benefit by it. I think that’s a pretty serious offense. But in some ways, that’s the culture of Washington. When you think about individuals who have been in Washington and they know the system, and then they leave Congress and they make millions because of this insider information and trading and they become lobbyist. So I think the culture of big government so often in bed with big business, is a very dangerous situation. But if there are some rules and laws we can pass to restraint the congressmen from doing this, we should certainly look at them.


Edit: Curiously, I recently read a smear piece on Ron claiming he favors insider trading, so.... *shrug*