The question before the court was whether it was still insider trading if the insider got nothing in return for giving the information to the outsider who traded. The court ruled that no exchange is required: Giving information as a gift is still insider trading.
Fine, but there is nothing in the decision that event hints at the deeper question about why we criminalize this behavior at all. Without knowing the answer, we not only have a crime that we cannot justify, we have no guiding principle to help in determining what the contours of this crime should be. And that is what has led to the murkiness that characterizes this area of law.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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