Are Members of Congress Abusing Their Positions to Profit Personally?


Representative Spencer Bachus (Republican, Alabama), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (which oversees the financial services industry), is under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, for allegedly trading on non-public information he gleaned as a result of his elective office and leadership role in Congress. (“Rep. Bachus Faces Insider Trading Probe: Report,” The article did not say whether the Securities and Exchange Commission or Department of Justice is also investigating.

Last November, “60 Minutes” aired a story about members of Congress using their privileged positions to obtain and trade on material, non-public information, specifically information from nonpublic briefings held during the financial crisis. Generally, such trading would be a violation of the securities laws. Bachus, who was featured in that story, denied that he traded on inside information.

Bachus was quoted as saying in a statements: “The Office of Congressional Ethics has requested information and I welcome this opportunity to present the facts and set the record straight.”

In the wake of the 60 Minutes story, Congresses’ single-digit approval rating, and the recent publication of a book on insider trading by Congressmen entitled “Throw Them All Out,” the House “overwhelmingly passed new curbs on insider trading by lawmakers and other government officials despite complaints from Democrats and some Republicans that key anti-corruption provisions were dropped.”

Page Perry is an Atlanta-based law firm with over 170 years of collective experience maintaining integrity in the investment markets and protecting investor rights.