First of all, the Romney campaign’s claim that the transactions were index trades is not consistent with what’s in the original disclosure reports. AlterNet discussed the controversy with money and politics expert Thomas Ferguson, who has written extensively on the bailout. He explained, “Ryan did own some index-based securities, but they stand out in the summaries. They are different from the many trades Ryan was making in individual stocks. It is perfectly obvious that he sold shares in Wachovia, Citigroup and J. P. Morgan on September 18 and he bought shares in Paulson’s old firm, Goldman Sachs, on the same day. If these were index trades, what’s on the form is nonsense.”
Citing accounts from congressional circles , Ferguson explains that Paulson had been told by the White House not to discuss the darkening situation with Congress. But sometime between 2:30 and 3pm on September 18, Paulson finally spoke with then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. He told her that a very bad situation had developed, and that it could involve something much worse than the failure of a giant bank, possibly even a broad collapse of the whole economy. Pelosi immediately demanded that Paulson come over and brief congressional leaders. He agreed. Ferguson reports that his sources say the meeting did indeed begin after markets closed. But he also notes that word of the meeting circulated to the leaders well before markets closed at 4pm.
Congress Riddled With Insider Trading
Study find 1-in-8 Congress trades pose potential conflict of interest
The Washington Post has pored over the 45,000 stock transactions made by members of Congress between 2007 and 2010, in a mammoth investigation into just how bad the government's insider trading problem is. The result—130 members of Congress or their families bought and sold up to $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that comes before their committees. That amounts to 5,531 trades, or nearly one in eight (although the Post notes that not all these trades are insider trading, only that the trades represent potential conflicts of interest).
It is also a problem split fairly evenly between the parties, with 68 Democrats and 62 Republicans. Sen. John Kerry had the highest value of stocks that overlap with companies that appeared before him, between $42 million and $86 million, while Texas Rep. Michael McCaul had the highest number of overlapping trades. Only six senators use ethics-committee approved blind trusts, and the House does not even keep track. "Members need to bend over backwards to show people they are there for the good of the country," said former Rep. Brian Baird, who co-authored a failed bill to stop insider trading in Congress in 2006, adding "if there is an appearance of an impropriety, there just might be an impropriety.
You're right. That whole sentence is speculation, a guess.
It is speculation to say "The point is that Ryan had access to information that others did not and traded on that information to make excess profits at the expense of others who lost the same amount because they lacked access to that privileged level of information."
As I pointed out, the timing of that day's trades, and his other trades for the year, have been dealt with.
Ryan is accused of insider trading, based on the suspicious timing and direction of stock trades he made on a day when he had access to information that others in the market did not.
Here is where I become confused. Are you suggesting the appointment of a special prosecutor whenever an allegation or guess is made about a politician? Remembering that they are appointed by Holder's DOJ? My goodness, where will we ever get them all? Besides, you want him to have the power to indict. Indict for what? Even if, and I stress the "if," everything that everybody in alternet and ATS, and The Huffington Post can imagine is true, what law has been broken?
That's why I'm calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor. We now need someone with subpoena power and power to indict to look into these allegations, at least if we care that markets remain free of even the appearance of insider trading.