NPR - Young investors have a new strategy: watching financial disclosures of sitting members of Congress for stock tips.
Among a certain community of individual investors on TikTok, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's stock trading disclosures are a treasure trove. "Shouts out to Nancy Pelosi, the stock market's biggest whale," said user 'ceowatchlist.' Another said, "I've come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi is a psychic," while adding that she is the "queen of investing."
"She knew," declared Chris Josephs, analyzing a particular trade in Pelosi's financial disclosures. "And you would have known if you had followed her portfolio."
Last year, Josephs noticed that the trades, actually made by Pelosi's investor husband and merely disclosed by the speaker, were performing well.
Josephs is the co-founder of a company called Iris, which shows other people's stock trades. In the past year and a half, he has been taking advantage of a law called the Stock Act, which requires lawmakers to disclose stock trades and those of their spouses within 45 days.
Now on Josephs' social investing platform, you can get a push notification every time Pelosi's stock trading disclosures are released.
Still Josephs views trades by federal lawmakers as "smart money" worth following and plans to track a large variety of politicians. "We don't want this to ... be a left vs. right thing. We don't really care. We just want to make money," he said.
Pelosi is hardly the only lawmaker making these stock disclosures. So far this year, Senate and House members have filed more than 4,000 financial trading disclosures — with at least $315 million of stocks and bonds bought or sold. That's according to Tim Carambat, who in 2020 created and now maintains two public databases of lawmaker financial transactions — House Stock Watcher and Senate Stock Watcher. He says there is a significant following for his work.
If you can't beat them, join them. And make no mistake. We will never beat them.
So why not get in on the action and tail these crooked assholes?
I love the fortitude of these tik tok'ers, to not only delve into the financial dealings of all of our upstanding elected officials, but to also share the wealth with us peasants.
True Robin Hood shit.
There's even rumblings on twitter of some fintech nerds that are in the process of setting up an ETF based solely on the King and Queen of investments, (No, not Warren Buffett and Geraldine Weiss). We're talking about Nancy and Paul Pelosi.
Now obviously Nancy is no moron. Like any good criminal knows, you never put anything in your name. All her investments run through her husband Paul. And Paul does not miss.
The man is to stocks, what Biff Tannen was to sports betting.
You don't just fall ass backwards into a house over looking the Pacific Ocean in the nicest neighborhood in San Fransisco.
Moronic schlubs like me have been stomping our feet about the double standard and hypocrisy of politicians being allowed to trade based on information they are not only privy to, but ah you know, the fact they can enact legislation that can positively and negatively affect any and every market, industry, and business they so desire.
When the real smart ones were busy getting to making money off their moves.
A Pelosi spokesperson said that she does not personally own any stocks and that the transactions are made by her husband. "The Speaker has no prior knowledge or subsequent involvement in any transactions," said the spokesperson.
At least one financial services consultant, Matthew Zwijacz, is planning to set up a financial instrument that automatically tracks congressional stock picks, because, in his view, lawmakers are "probably privy to more information than just the general public."
Gee, ya think Matt?
And we're not just talking a few lucky rides on some blue chips like Microsoft either (which the Pelosi's own a fuck ton of btw)
They're hitting every number on the craps table.
And not to just pile on little old Nancy here. It's everybody. Both sides of the aisle. Per usual.
But not everybody is corrupt (lol). There is a group of bipartisan Senators looking to make things right.
A surge of interest following congressional financial disclosures came near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when a flurry of reports indicated that lawmakers sold their stocks right before the financial crash.
NPR reported how Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr privately warned a small group of well-connected constituents in February 2020 about the dire effects of the coming pandemic. He sold up to $1.72 million worth of personal stocks on a single day that same month.
A bipartisan group of senators also came under suspicion, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein, James Inhofe and Kelly Loeffler. After investigations by federal law enforcement, none were charged with insider trading — a very difficult charge to make against a sitting lawmaker.
So you mean to tell me the SEC can hunt down Martha Stewart like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive and lock her away because she was accused of insider trading after she sold four thousand ImClone shares one day before that firm's stock price plummeted?
But we can't make our elected official's financial transactions transparent?
And believe it or not, it hasn't been an easy task.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois, is part of a bipartisan group of House and Senate members who have introduced legislation banning lawmakers from owning individual stocks. He has run up against a lot of opposition to the idea.
"As I understand it, one of the perks of being a member of Congress, especially from the late 1800s on, was to be able to trade on insider information. That was a perk of being in Congress. And that has got to come to an end," Krishnamoorthi said.
Literally laughed out loud at this. You mean the people that make our laws don't want to make a law prohibiting them from making gross amounts of money based on insider information? No way.
And it looks like things might actually begin changing though. Don't hold your breath because this will still require actual enforcement, but at least it's a start.
But as with most things in life, if you missed the boat, you're left holding your dick on the island.
Because as everybody knows, if you're not first, you're last.
p.s. - if you really want to go down a rabbit hole of corruption google Pelosi and Feinstein's husbands' real estate dealings between Sacramento and San Diego via eminent domain for a proposed high-speed rail system.
p.p.s. - Dave went in-depth on why politicians shouldn't be allowed to trade on his show with Eddie this week. It's a great listen aside from the Steven Cheah part. No offense Steven.