Repost from The Daily Beast.
If you want to get rich, get elected.
This truism is the worst kept secret in America. As NPR observed: “Young investors have a new strategy: watching financial disclosures of sitting members of Congress for stock tips.”
That racket was reported six months ago, and nothing has changed since. Members of Congress still enjoy unprecedented access to inside information, and whenever there’s a crisis, they are quick to cash in on it. The latest example involves Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While Congress was debating “economic sanctions, military assistance, and billions of dollars in emergency spending, to deal with this crisis in Ukraine,” reports CNBC’s Ylan Q. Mui, “more than a dozen members reported trades—either their own or by their spouse or by their child—in sectors that were directly affected by the war in Ukraine.” CNBC estimates the total trading activity since Feb. 1 to be about $7.7 million.
“It looks like Congress saw this as a gold rush,” Fox News’ Jesse Watters observed last week. “They knew what sanctions could be coming down, and all they had [were] dollar signs in their eyes. Members from both sides of the political aisle poured money into the market…so as Ukraine burned to the ground, Congress got rich.”
Waters pointed out that Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, bought energy stocks in late January that “shot through the roof” since their purchase. “Maybe she knew something we didn’t?” Watters concludes, “And unfortunately, she’s not alone.”
The day before Russian tanks crossed into Ukraine, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted: “War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable and convenient.”
She’s right. Greene later revealed that just two days before Russia’s invasion, she bought stock from a major defense contractor, an oil company, and an energy company.
In a statement to Business Insider, Greene said that her “investment advisor has full discretionary authority over our accounts.” I guess we’ll have to take her word on that.
This behavior is all too common. When it comes to profiteering, members of Congress never let a major crisis go to waste.