Despite headlines to the contrary, there is little evidence that unlawful insider trading — misusing nonpublic information to trade stocks — is widespread on Capitol Hill. Recent research disseminated by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research found that lawmakers reap no outsize return on their stock investments, including those made in areas in which lawmakers hold committee assignments.
Furthermore, potential conflicts of interest also exist in fund investments, real estate transactions and other business interests of lawmakers, their families and their staffs. Focusing only on stock ownership gives an incomplete picture, and it’s hard to imagine that prohibiting stock trading alone would do much to move the needle on the crisis of voters’ confidence in Congress. At the same time, prohibiting lawmakers from trading stocks might carry unintended consequences.
For one, it might limit the pool of people who are willing to run for office….
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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