Senators and insider trading

Good day all. A story broke that is in the process of going nuclear regarding several members of the United States Senate. It seems that a few of them dumped all their stocks just before the stock market tanked due to the Chinese Flu Panicdemic

Three of the four are Republicans and the fourth is Dianne Feinstein. Now there may be a perfectly legitimate reason for these senators to have sold before the collapse, but there are rumors that they had all received a briefing on what was going to happen with regards to the Kung Flu and the wrecking of both the American economy and the global economy. Here are the details from Fox News:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and three of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.

First, this is Fox, which is why they led with Feinstein. Still, if all four had information that regular investors didn’t have, well there are laws regarding this.

Feinstein, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in California biotech company Allogene Therapeutics, between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, The New York Times reported.

I haven’t checked, however I would think that medical and biotech companies, while being hit like everyone else, would be the ones who would make a mint from the Chinese Flu. Meanwhile, these four worthies are desperately trying to cover their rather ample backsides.

Feinstein defended herself in a series of tweets on Friday, saying she has “no control” over her assets and the stocks in question were her husband’s transactions.

“During my Senate career I’ve held all assets in a blind trust of which I have no control. Reports that I sold any assets are incorrect, as are reports that I was at a January 24 briefing on coronavirus, which I was unable to attend,” she tweeted.

“Under Senate rules I report my husband’s financial transactions. I have no input into his decisions. My husband in January and February sold shares of a cancer therapy company. This company is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation.”

Reports identified the three other senators as Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, all Republicans. Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, used more than 30 transactions to dump between $628,000 and $1.72 million on Feb. 13, according to ProPublica.

From what I’ve heard regarding Burr, he’s big on protecting the Deep State, using his position to protect the intelligence services. However, I can’t cite this and only have heard rumors. If anyone can provide authenticated information, please post it in the comments. I don’t know anything about Loeffler and I would like to hear from Mr. Inhofe.

The report said the transactions involved a significant percentage of the senator’s holdings and took place about a week before the impact of the virus outbreak sent stock prices plunging to the point where gains made during President Trump’s term in office were largely erased.

Senator Burr filed a financial disclosure form for personal transactions made several weeks before the U.S. and financial markets showed signs of volatility due to the growing coronavirus outbreak,” a Burr spokesperson said. “As the situation continues to evolve daily, he has been deeply concerned by the steep and sudden toll this pandemic is taking on our economy.”

Well, at least he didn’t try to hide his sales.

On Friday, the senator tweeted an updated statement saying he relied only on “public news reports” to guide his decision on the sale. Still, he said he’s asked for a Senate Ethics Committee review of his actions.

And this is entirely possible. There was a lot of information out there and he might have seen it. It’s also possible that he heard something or read something in the course of his duties on the intelligence committee. Still, he is asking for an investigation and if he provides all his records, it’s possible that everything he did was above board, which is more then I can say regarding Feinstein.

Burr was an author of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, a law that helps determine the federal response to situations such as the coronavirus outbreak, ProPublica reported. Burr’s office would not comment on what kind of information Burr might have received about coronavirus prior to his stock sales, the outlet reported.

NPR reported that Burr made ominous comments about coronavirus behind closed doors last month.

There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” Burr said at a Feb. 27 meeting of business leaders in Washington. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

This is NOT like the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. While this isn’t good, I don’t believe we’ve hit 500K people infected globally. It’s also not being reported that most people recover. An aside. I heard from an old workmate that she and her family had tested positive. She and her two children had very mild symptoms, while her husband was a bit more ill. None needed hospitalization and were only tested after they had started recovering. This is why I refer to the Chinese Flu as a “Panicdemic,” not a pandemic.

Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock Jan. 24, the same day she sat in on a briefing from two members of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, The Daily Beast reported.

Nice going dimbulb. Perhaps the Governor should have listened to President Trump and not appointed you to fill out the term of Johnny Isakson, who retired for health reasons.

Between that day and Feb. 14, the couple sold stock worth a total between $1.2 million and $3.1 million, the report said. In addition to the sales, they also purchased stock in a maker of software that helps people work at home – just before millions of Americans were forced to leave their offices because of the outbreak, the report said.

Inhofe sold as much as $400,000 in stock all on Jan. 27, in companies such as PayPal, Apple and real estate company Brookfield Asset Management, The New York Times reported.

The statement said: “The New York Times allegations are completely baseless and 100 percent false. I was not at the briefing on January 24. I was meeting with pro-life kids from Oklahoma here for the March for Life and the new nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania. I do not have any involvement in my investment decisions.

That would be very easy to verify. It’s also true that the Hew York Times is not as reputable as it once claimed it was. They have a long history of not reporting all the facts if it doesn’t fit their agenda.

In December 2018, shortly after becoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I instructed my financial advisor to move me out of all stocks and into mutual funds to avoid any appearance of controversy. My advisor has been doing so faithfully since that time and I am not aware of or consulted about any transactions.”

That timing could actually fit, especially if he had records regarding the sell orders and other instructions. This would be very easy to verify and, assuming that Inhofe is cooperative, and I’ve seen nothing to say he isn’t, could be cleared up in a matter of a week or two.

As for Loeffler, Burr and Feinstein, I have a sneaking suspicion that they are going to be screwed, blued and tattooed. Of course, if they do have all their records in order and can prove they didn’t have insider information, they may be able to walk away with their profits. Of the three mentioned, It’s Loeffler that I see as in the biggest potential hole. Well, we will find out soon enough.

Thatisall

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