The media’s current hot story – this is written on the road on November 17th – is that various members of Congress and senators traded on insider information. Various commentators were agog at the idea that members of Congress and senators might game the system. Gee, is this behavior by politicians really a surprise?
This flap is because of a new book that wants us essentially to throw all current members of Congress and senators out of office.
Government information and briefings, presented to political leaders by Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke during the 2007-2008 crisis, did not seem to me to be trading on “insider” information.
By definition, insider stuff relates to information provided by “insiders” at publically-traded companies or by investment professionals, market makers or traders who are members of the securities universe The briefings given by Paulson, Bernanke and others were said to not be about companies and traded securities. They apparently had to do with the economy and what might happen with the market.
The SEC is not in charge of managing information from briefings to Congress about the economy (or, probably not in charge of anything to do with the politicians who run our country).