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Take STOCK to the Bank?

A GovExec article published April 4th, announced a set of “new financial disclosure requirements” enacted to prevent insider trading by members of Congress and top executive branch officials.

According to the STOCK Act, each Member of Congress or employee of Congress owes a duty to the Congress, the United States Government, and the citizens of the United States arising from trust and confidence. So, if that was ever in doubt, here it is, in writing, for all to witness.

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act seeks to clear-up a so called “ambiguity” in the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act by prohibiting members of Congress and their staffs from trading on information obtained from their work which is not available to the general public. The new law requires lawmakers and their staff to disclose any securities trades of more than $1,000 within 30 days of the transaction and also compels all disclosures to be available electronically.

OMBWatch said the act would bring disclosures “under a common legal standard and significantly expand the number of officials whose reports are available online.” Excuse my naiveté, but I thought The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 was enacted for that purpose, as it was intended to preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions and for other purposes”?

Will this Act prevent (or even deter) future economic meltdowns similar to recent foundation?

What do you think?

Laws are made by lawmakers; lawmakers are quite adept at finding loopholes through which to maneuver (Note: the “ambiguity” found in the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act through which some found ways to “squeeze”). In this case, it might be safer to be optimistically cynical than cynically hopeful.

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