We just returned from the STOCK Act bill signing. The measure, which bans insider trading by members of Congress, has been pushed by Public Citizen since 2006. Craig Holman, our government affairs lobbyist, in particular has put a huge amount of time into lobbying for the bill. It was Holman who gave “60 Minutes” the idea to do a piece on congressional insider trading when they called him last fall in search of ideas. So kudos to Craig!
The bill isn’t as strong as we would like. For instance, it doesn’t prohibit insider trading by so-called “political intelligence operatives” who prowl the halls of Congress for information to use in stock trading to disclose their clients and activities. But it’s good. As Holman said today:
“This is a good bill — the most significant ethics achievement of the 112th Congress. But it could and should be stronger, and legislation is pending to strengthen it. Wall Street didn’t want this, and Congress passed it only because they were shamed into it. Still, it is a good step.”
The signing ceremony itself was really short. It was done in an auditorium that holds about 100 people.