Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.
Showing posts with label David Perdue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Perdue. Show all posts

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Schneider proposes (more) insider trading reform for Congress; background guarantees to outrage

Ever feel like it's harder and harder to pay higher and higher bills, even while the news raves about low unemployment, a rising stock market, and the rich get richer?  Feel like our members of Congress are out of touch and only working to line their own pockets?

Not all paranoia is delusional.  Fuel your outrage with Money, Power, and Radical Honesty: A Look at Members of Congress' Use of Information for Financial Gain, an article published by attorney Spencer K. Schneider, once my teaching and research assistant, in the Pepperdine Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & The Law in November.  Here is the abstract.

Cleared of wrongdoing due to lack of evidence, Senators Kelley Loeffler and David Perdue continued their bids for re-election, and control of the Senate, in the Georgia run-off. Both Senators Loeffler and Perdue traded stocks in the run-up to the COVID-19 crisis after receiving classified briefings. These are just two of many instances of members of Congress profiting after receiving classified information. While the American public remained uninformed as to the true crisis looming as COVID-19 spread, members of Congress received private briefings and quietly sold securities such as travel and hotel related interests, and purchased other securities, such as remote-work software and medical equipment related interests.

Many members of Congress also profit from federal money earmarked to increase the value of their personal land deals, from access to IPOs, and from corporate board seats. While corporate executives, members of the executive branch, and ordinary citizens are subject to strict insider trading laws, members of Congress sail through loopholes and exceptions that are hand-crafted for their benefit. This article reviews proposals for fixing the problem before proposing a comprehensive solution focused on limiting the financial opportunities for members of Congress and strict reporting requirements.

While many proposals to address this problem exist, none come close to preventing members of Congress from profiting in these often nefarious ways. To ensure that members of Congress work on behalf of the American Public—and not their own pocketbooks—the comprehensive and drastic reform articulated in this article is required.

Spencer K. Schneider
Mr. Schneider worked on a piece of this article when he was still a law student under my tutelage.  I remember being flabbergasted by the background section, and then, in January 2021, thinking that we all should be at the Capitol ramparts, but for different reasons.  What's perhaps most disheartening is that past purported reform efforts in Congress have been devoid of will or insincere in execution. I know that Schneider worked hard on his reform proposal and sought advice from skeptical experts. Whether meaningful reform will precede frustration-fueled revolution in this country is anyone's guess.

The article is Spencer K. Schneider, Money, Power, and Radical Honesty: A Look at Members of Congress' Use of Information for Financial Gain, 14 J. Bus. Entrepreneurship & L. 296 (2021).  Schneider is licensed in Massachusetts and bar pending in his present home state of California.

UPDATE, Jan. 28: Less than a week after I posted this item, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah published a nice exposé on congressional insider trading, incorporating some of the same data that fueled Schneider's article and my ire: