Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feds Engage in Insider Trading... And It's Perfectly Legal

Veronique de Rugy writes at NRO about a Wall Street Journal editorial exposing the practice. She says pretty much everything I would need to. So, without further ado:
Now, this is called insider trading in the private sector, and people are going to jail for it. Whether one thinks that insider trading is a crime that deserves punishment is not even the issue here.

What is stunning is that while insider trading is illegal in the private sector, it is totally legal for government employees to do it, because insider-trading laws don’t apply to Congress. Basically, Congress passed a law making insider trading illegal for the private sector and exempted itself. [emphasis added]

Some lawmakers find the double standard shocking, and a few years back, a few of them proposed a bill that would prevent members and employees of Congress from trading securities based on nonpublic information they obtain. That bill went nowhere.
I'll just add this: That highlighted statement encapsulates everything I've been writing about for months about the Federal rape of the rule of law.

Every single person engaged in this — since they can't be jailed or deported, as they deserve — should be shunned by every person who learns their names. Restaurateurs should refuse to feed them. Gasoline station owners should refuse to sell them gas. Banks should refuse to accept their deposits.

This policy – once in force in many subtle ways in America – is the one, peaceful and unstoppable method of public protest that would truly bring the Federal government to heel. Associate the appropriate consequences once again with immoral behavior and it would taper off to a livable hum, as it was in generations past.

Waiting for Congress to tame itself, no matter who is elected — as the old Samuel Johnson saying goes — represents the triumph of hope over experience.

3 comments:

Ken said...

What is stunning is that while insider trading is illegal in the private sector, it is totally legal for government employees to do it, because insider-trading laws don’t apply to Congress. Basically, Congress passed a law making insider trading illegal for the private sector and exempted itself. [emphasis added]

A more perfect indictment of the notion that the State can either protect liberty or even restrain itself would be hard to find. If a novelist wrote it, any decent editor would red-pencil it as ham-fisted cardboard cariacature.

As for shunning, I agree with you one hundred percent.

Jeff Perren said...

Ken,

I see you've succumbed to your inner anarchist. We part company on this issue. It's true that a fascist government is horrendous, but still paradise compared to no government.

I won't argue the point here, though. There's plenty of pro and con out there, and I'm sure you've read a lot of it already. It's not a subject which gets much of my time these days. My usual response is: call me in 500 years when society has evolved to the point that anarchy becomes a viable option.

Ken said...

Well, I'll not belabor the point on your free ice cream stand. ;-) I'll probably take it up on mine at some point, though, and when I do I'll let you know.