The Week (US)

Elected officials shouldn’t trade stocks


Timothy O’Brien

Financial conflicts of interest remain “alive and well in Washington,” said Timothy O’Brien. In 2012, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) fought for the passage of the STOCK Act, which aimed to combat insider trading, claiming that officehold­ers should not profit off the “special knowledge” they gain in government. But last week Paul divulged, 16 months late, that his wife invested in the maker of the coronaviru­s-fighting drug remdesivir on Feb. 26, 2020—just before most people realized we were entering a pandemic. “Many details remain murky” about the purchase, and an investigat­ion is warranted. But “the basic problem is bipartisan” and widespread. Last year, fellow Sens. Kelly Loeffler, James Inhofe, Dianne Feinstein, and Richard Burr were investigat­ed, though not charged, for potential insider trades made after an early briefing on Covid. Democratic New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski admitted in May that he’d failed to disclose up to $1 million in trades of stocks of companies involved in pandemic response. Clearly, the STOCK Act’s definition of “nonpublic informatio­n” is too easily evaded. To stop this ongoing scam, legislator­s, their staffers, and their families should be barred from investing in individual stocks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States