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Old 11-14-2011, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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"60 Minutes" strikes a nerve...

A television report that questioned whether members of Congress are making investment decisions based on insider information drew a heated response from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of those highlighted.

A report on CBS' "60 minutes" on Sunday said Pelosi was among several lawmakers including Republicans such as House Speaker John Boehner who had profited from transactions that raised the possibility of conflicts of interest.

The report said Pelosi and her husband participated in a 2008 IPO involving Visa even as legislation that would have hurt credit card companies was being considered in the House. Pelosi was speaker at the time and the legislation failed to pass in that session.

In an exchange with CBS correspondent Steve Kroft, Pelosi denied that the transaction was a conflict of interest. And in a statement on Sunday, after the show aired, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the report failed to note her work for the rights of credit cardholders.

"Congress has never done more for consumers nor has the Congress passed more critical reforms of the credit card industry than under the Speakership of Nancy Pelosi," Hammill said.

It is not illegal for members of Congress to buy stocks or make land deals based on information they're privy to through their positions. And the profits are often substantial.

A recent study of House members' stock transactions showed them beating the markets' return by about 6 percentage points annually from 1985 to 2001. A 2004 study involving the same authors showed senators beating the market by 12 percentage points annually.

Those results "are way outside the boundaries of random luck," said the studies' lead author, Alan Ziobrowski, a business professor at Georgia State University.

Ziobrowski said Congress is preoccupied with three things: regulation, taxes and the federal budget.

"If you know a piece of legislation is coming down the line and you can trade in that, you can make a lot of money," he told msnbc.com.

Pelosi's spokesman, Hammill, said the CBS report left out critical information. He said the legislation in question was passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on Oct. 3, 2008, the last day the House was in session before the election break that year and a time when the House was grappling with TARP. He noted that the next Congress passed the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights along with the Dodd-Frank legislation, which he called "a stronger, more direct approach to addressing swipe fees."

Hammill also criticized CBS' use of one source for the report, conservative author and editor Peter Schweizer.

"It is very troubling that '60 Minutes' would base their reporting off of an already-discredited conservative author who has made a career of out attacking Democrats," Hammill said.

Schweizer is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and is the editor of Bigpeace.com, a website focused on national security founded by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.

In a follow-up story on Monday, CBS News said they had verified every piece of information included in the report.

CBS noted that the "60 Minutes" report also discussed transactions of Boehner and another Republican, Rep. Spencer Bachus, who denied any impropriety.

Boehner said he leaves daily transactions to a broker. "I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities in my account," Boehner told "60 Minutes."

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I'd say this report was way overdue.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yeah if that is the case then it is a hugely overlooked scenario. i never would have thought about it like that.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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its not really a hugely overlooked scenario.

for at least 30 years congress and the "in" people have gotten the joke-

get into power by lying, take as much as you fucking can, hopefully enough to last you thru the nuclear winter that will probably be comming, and get as far away from that shithole as you possibly can.

thats why business > government.

at least businesspeople wake up thinking how to sell more shit and produce more products, not just how to get theirs by taking it from the public treasury.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I always assumed insider trading was as illegal for a politician as it was for anyone else.

It explains alot of bullshit project legislation that gets passed from both parties.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If people think that the very rich and very powerful do not do this all the time, without so much as thinking about it, then they are idiots. The rich control everything, they talk to one another, have favorites, constantly are owed "favors" and the pay-backs are handsome but often unethical.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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at least businesspeople wake up thinking how to sell more shit and produce more products, not just how to get theirs by taking it from the public treasury.
Wow, what an excellent example of exactly where your ignorance lies. Thanks for the insight.
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