Lifestyles of the rich and Congressional


I've been ragging for a while now on the fact that Senator Ron Wyden's spouse is actively trading individual corporations' stocks, and has been doing so for nearly a couple of years. Like many people, I don't think members of Congress or their spouses should be playing the market in particular firms' securities. It's a terrible conflict of interest. Maybe through blind trusts – maybe. But ideally, they'd be limited to investing in index mutual funds that track the stock market broadly.

A couple of alert readers have pointed out to me that not only is Mrs. Wyden an active wheeler-dealer in stocks, but Mrs. Earl Blumenauer is as well. An outfit called Unusual Whales has been posting about congressional Wall Street hay-making here, and when you look, there in the top echelon of conflict-laden politicians is grouchy old Earl the Pearl himself.

Also up toward the top is the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who recently made a mealy, pouty, little speech about how it's a capitalist society, and Congresspeople should be allowed to cash in on it. Yeah, and as the charts show, she oughta know.

Anyway, I thought I'd head over to the official web page of the clerk of the House of Rerpresentatives and dig out some of the formal reports on the money meanderings of Earl the Pearl, just as I have with old Gatsby Wyden. And holy moly, is Blumenauer rolling in dough, or what? His 2020 annual report alone runs 20 pages

Most, but not all, of the reports relate to stock and bond doings by his spouse, Margaret Kirkpatrick, and the report is quick to point out that the deals are from his "spouse's retirement portfolio." It makes it sound kinda distant and not worth worrying about right now. But Kirkpatrick, a prominent attorney, is already retired, or certainly she's of retirement age, and so her "retirement portfolio" is basically her wallet.

I'm a little too busy to get into the weeds in the reports just now, but it's pretty obvious that the Wydens aren't the only ones playing the market in individual issuers' securities. The Blumies play, too. 

They shouldn't be allowed to.

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