Thursday, January 19, 2006

mister inside and mister. . . inside

I hate to traffic in what a major news outlet might still classify as rumor, but this is just too outrageous to keep to myself. Josh Marshall, AmericaBlog, and Josh Orton (of dKos) all follow-up on an appearance by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY28) on Air America. There, Rep. Slaughter reported that day-traders were operating out of the Congressional offices of Senate Majority leader Bill Frist and former House Majority leader Tom Delay, trading on insider information.

"I'm going to track this down, I know it's true," Slaughter told us, "that Frist, DeLay and probably others had some day traders working out of their offices." Those working out of the Congressional offices "would find out there's a bill being written by lobbyists, that there would be no asbestos bill ... and when the market opened the next day, the cost of asbestos stock had doubled."

I guess I shouldn’t be so amazed—I mean, the greed of this kleptocracy knows no bounds—but it is just so incredible to think that these guys believed they could get away with it.

Oh, wait, they did get away with it.

Update: Oh my god, you guys! It turns out it’s legal! Yes, it may smell like three-month-old chicken parts, but it is not illegal to peddle inside information on pending legislation for purposes of making a killing in the stock market. No, this is not a joke. Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA3) appeared on Air America Thursday to say just that. He also said he will introduce a bill designed to prevent this in the future. . . and when I’m old and gray and the Democrats are back in control, maybe it will become a law.


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