Insider Trading in Congress?

Did Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, John Kerry, and several other lawmakers benefit from something similar to insider trading during the financial crisis? Hoover Institution research fellow Peter Schweizer analyzed lawmakers’ financial disclosures and found that it often appeared they did. Pelosi, for example, was one of the select investors invited to buy Visa stock at a lower rate at about the same time that a bill that would adversely affect Visa’s business failed to reach the House floor. (Pelosi’s office dismisses Schweizer as a “right-wing hack.”) John Boehner, meanwhile, invested tens of thousands of dollars in health-insurance company stocks as Congress was preparing to kill the public option in President Obama’s health-care reform. (His office said a financial adviser made the trades, not him.) Several others carried out such suspicious trades, including Kerry and Rep. Spencer Bachus from Alabama, who repeatedly bet on the market during the financial crisis after meetings with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

An earlier version of this news summary stated that Nancy Pelosi “blocked a bill that would adversely affect Visa's business." In fact, the bill passed committee but never made it to the floor of the House.