Pelosi Defends Stock Ownership, Buys Millions

Pelosi Defends Stock Ownership, Buys Millions

( – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) might be a left-wing Democrat, but she’s also one of the richest people in Congress. She’s made money by investing in stocks, and despite unease about how easy it is for legislators to game the system, she doesn’t want to stop.

Last December, Pelosi sparked controversy when she argued against scrapping congressional exemptions to insider trading laws. For ordinary Americans, it’s illegal to profit from buying or selling stock based on information not publicly available – but until 2012 those laws didn’t apply to members of the House and Senate, and even now that it does, violations are never enforced. Pelosi and her investor husband have bought into at least eight Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) where her job gave her access to insider information, and now she’s sitting on a personal fortune of at least $120 million.

On December 15, Pelosi told journalists “we’re a free market economy,” arguing members of Congress should be allowed to participate. This was misleading. Nobody’s arguing legislators shouldn’t be able to buy and sell stocks – just that they should have to obey the same laws as everyone else. Pelosi was trying to make it look like she was defending the right to invest in stocks, but she’s really defending the ability to break insider trading laws.

Pelosi hasn’t let the controversy slow her down. In the week following her comments, she bought up to $3.6 million of stock options in a range of tech companies.

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