Archive for August 12th, 2009

stock tradingYes, it seems amazing on its face. Under current laws (or lack thereof), members of Congress and high-powered executive branch appointees can exploit “insider” knowledge of the financial industry  to turn personal profit.

Basically, had Martha Stewart been a member of Congress, she wouldn’t have been sent to the slammer for five months and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet for another five for convictions related to insider trading .

If this all sounds a little hard to believe, you’re not the only one. The St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) didn’t believe it either, so the newspaper set about investigating our assertion that the potential exists for lawmakers to legally engage in insider trading, and that the situation must be addressed. Its conclusion? “Public Citizen Gets It Right About Insider Trading Rules.”

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It was one of the last acts of the Supreme Court’s term that ended in June, but you probably didn’t hear much about it. However, when it all shakes out, the result could be the undoing of a century of campaign finance laws — laws that help curb the influence of big corporations over government.

In June, the Supremes decided not to rule on a narrow campaign finance case (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) and instead pushed it to September 9.  In a rare move, the court decided to reopen two other landmark cases, one of which validated the core principle of the landmark McCain-Feingold law, indicating that it may roll back the current limits on corporate giving to candidates.

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