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    Hey Paul Ryan haters, your congressional insider trader suspect actually is Sheldon Whitehouse

    Hey Paul Ryan haters, your congressional insider trader suspect actually is Sheldon Whitehouse

    Paul Ryan falsely was accused today by left-wing bloggers, most notably Matthew Yglesias (formerly of Think Progress now of Slate), of insider trading based on confidential information provided by the Treasury Secretary to Congress on September 18, 2008.

    That day, Ryan traded Citigroup stock.

    The accusation fell apart when someone noticed that the congressional meeting was in the evening of September 18, after the markets closed and Ryan already had completed his trades.  Yglesias issued a retraction, and even New York Magazine defended Ryan on the charge of insider trading (which at the time would have been legal for members of Congress).

    If Yglesias and the rest of the left-blogosphere want to chase someone for insider trading based solely on the timing of trades around the September 18 congressional briefing, then they need look no further than their hero Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), as I detailed on November 19, 2011, Sheldon Whitehouse, luckiest investor in America?

    Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has been vicious in his attacks on opponents of Obamacare, is accused of insider trading in the days before the October 2008 market crash:

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island also made a flurry of trades in the days after the Paulson-Bernanke meeting with legislators.

    At minimum, Whitehouse sold $250,000 in the stocks below between September 18-24, 2008. He may have sold as much as $600,000 in the stock below according to disclosures.

    As I noted at the time, Whitehouse denied that he directed the trading:

    Whitehouse spokesman Seth Larson dismissed the book’s accusations, saying the senator is not actively involved in managing the investment fund in question.

    Whitehouse “neither directed his financial advisor to undertake any transaction during that time, nor ever took advantage of any exclusive or secret information,” Larson said in an email.

    I always found this explanation a little too cute with the terminology.  Whether or not Whitehouse “directed” the trades, there are unanwered questions as to how Whitehouse’s money manager had such good timing, whether the money manager traded in similar patterns for other clients, and whether Whitehouse had any communications of any nature with the money manager in the time frame.

    It wasn’t only the trading near the time of the market crash which raised questions, Whitehouse also had really lucky timing on the sale of Amgen stock:

    I don’t know that Sheldon Whitehouse traded on inside congressional information, but the timing is a lot more suspicious than that of Paul Ryan.

    It’s time for Whitehouse to release all the records and make the money manager available for questioning.

    It’s also time for the Ryan-haters to realize they wished to hard for something, and now they have it.


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    Alan Kellogg | August 13, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Why is it wrong for people to take advantage of information which is readily available to anyone who shows initiative and resoucefulness; who use techniques and procedures which do not misrepresent the situation and which any can use, not just a few, to take advantage of a situation? Or are laws against insider trading an example of punishing competence?

      Milhouse in reply to Alan Kellogg. | August 14, 2012 at 12:01 am

      What are you talking about? That is outside information, not inside. Inside information is information that is not available to anyone, no matter how smart or well-informed, and that was revealed to one in confidence in the course of ones work. Such as congressmen getting briefings because of their position in Congress.

        Inside information is exactly how John Kerry enriched himself to the tune of 200 million dollars:

        Alan Kellogg in reply to Milhouse. | August 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

        And what is the difference? In one case the actor is using his position, and his initiative, to take advantage of a situation. In the other case the actor is deliberately misrepresenting the case to gain an advantage over others. That is the difference between ignorance and lies, for ignorance can be over come, while lies are used for immediate gain.

        You are convinced that one should never take advantage of ignorance, so you would regulate against it. I, in contrast, recognize that ignorance will always be taken advantage of, and that it is better to encourage initiative by rewarding those who exhibit it. Be knowledge power, then learn, and don’t rely on others to cover for your lack of effort.

        Regulations against insider trading only give a false sense of security, for there will always be those better informed, with more get up and go.

        Equality of opportunity rarely produces equality of result.

    […] to reporting on the Romney/Ryan 2012 campaign. This chestnut comes by way of Legal Insurrection: Hey Paul Ryan haters, your congressional insider trader suspect actually is Sheldon Whitehouse Paul Ryan falsely was accused today by left-wing bloggers, most notably Matthew Yglesias (formerly […]

    These people are becoming parodies of themselves. But so thought Charlie Chaplin of Hitler, when Chaplin made “The Great Dictator.”

    Unfortunately, like then, the actions of these people have turned out to be anything but funny.

    […] more smear attempts collapse on the liars promulgating them. First up: can someone please tell me why anyone ever took Matt Yglesias seriously? Paul Ryan falsely was accused today by left-wing bloggers, most notably Matthew Yglesias (formerly […]

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