The Misguided Rush to Ban Congress’s Stock Trades


Banning stock trading by Members of Congress is back on the agenda, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer hop aboard the populist bandwagon. But in the rush to act, clear thinking is hard to find. The risk is that onerous rules could stop good business men and women and those who aren’t political lifers from seeking office.

The Stock Act already bars Congress from buying or selling based on nonpublic information. Transactions over $1,000 are supposed to be disclosed, so day traders on Capitol Hill are at political risk, since voters will find out. It also isn’t obvious that congressional investors have some mysterious foresight about the market.


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