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-   -   NC Senator dumped stocks before the market crash (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892116)

Bijou Drains 03-19-2020 05:19 PM

NC Senator dumped stocks before the market crash
 
https://www.propublica.org/article/s...s-preparedness

He's not running for re-election in 2022

muldoonthief 03-19-2020 05:39 PM

You buried the lede a bit - it was Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who was getting daily classified briefings on the status and progress of Covid 19 weeks before the big shutdowns started to happen.

elucidator 03-19-2020 05:59 PM

Foolishness. And an alarming lack of faith in The Donald, who is on the case. And did he really imagine that the all-important hospitality industry would be orphaned without aid? Or was he so dumb that he failed to invest in hotels with immediate proximity to golf courses?

Run for re-election? He should run for cover.

ThelmaLou 03-19-2020 06:05 PM

There's a Pit thread on this in case you want to say something rude.

Sherrerd 03-19-2020 06:11 PM

Burr's voice was recorded. And wouldn't you know it,

Quote:

... in his public comments about the threat of COVID-19, Burr never offered the kind of precise warning that he delivered to the small group of his constituents. ...despite his longtime interest in biohazard threats, his expertise on the subject, and his role as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr did not warn the public of the government actions he thought might become necessary, as he did at the luncheon on Feb. 27.
https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/81819...ts-on-covid-19

dalej42 03-19-2020 06:42 PM

Before people salivate, it’s not a Dem pickup, NC has to appoint a same party replacement. Most likely it’ll be a placeholder that has no intent to run in 2022. I’d suggest Elizabeth Dole, but she’s too old.

elucidator 03-19-2020 07:02 PM

"Salivate"? Why does that ring a bell?

jasg 03-19-2020 07:56 PM

I wonder if the money he saved by selling early will be enough to offset his legal costs?

Bijou Drains 03-19-2020 09:01 PM

I wonder how much the Trump family dumped?

SlackerInc 03-20-2020 12:31 AM

A real sleazebag, but it shows that more broadly, government officials should not be able to buy and sell stocks outside of some kind of defined monthly contribution to an index fund. Even if you're not as scummy as Burr, the temptation to act would be high if you knew you might be facing financial ruin.

RioRico 03-20-2020 12:44 AM

Insider trading is a capital offense in some places. Maybe not directly, but tragic suicides occur, alas. Are US Senators routinely frisked or run through metal detectors?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 22199631)
I wonder how much the Trump family dumped?

Not enough to pay back their Russian owners, apparently.

RioRico 03-20-2020 12:54 AM

timeout dupe

Bijou Drains 03-20-2020 06:31 AM

Sen. Kelly Loeffler from Georgia also dumped a lot of stock

Jonathan Chance 03-20-2020 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dalej42 (Post 22199451)
Before people salivate, itís not a Dem pickup, NC has to appoint a same party replacement. Most likely itíll be a placeholder that has no intent to run in 2022. Iíd suggest Elizabeth Dole, but sheís too old.

You're assuming facts not in evidence. Do you think he'll resign and be prosecuted?

Icarus 03-20-2020 08:02 AM

And to show that it's not only GOP senators who do this, Dianne Feinstein is also listed as selling off stock.

The whole lot of them should resign.

Ravenman 03-20-2020 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icarus (Post 22200165)
And to show that it's not only GOP senators who do this, Dianne Feinstein is also listed as selling off stock.

New articles report that three senators sold stocks before the crash: Feinstein, Loeffler, and Burr. Feinstein and Leoffler say that their assets are held in blind trusts, so an investment manager makes decisions without consulting them. I think without further evidence that they somehow violated the blind trust, it probably isnít fair to criticized them personally for selling assets, when they likely had no idea what was going on.

Notably, Burr does not seem to be claiming that his assets were in a blind trust.

In the immortal words of Rick Perry, ďOops.Ē

Fiveyearlurker 03-20-2020 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 22200179)
New articles report that three senators sold stocks before the crash: Feinstein, Loeffler, and Burr. Feinstein and Leoffler say that their assets are held in blind trusts, so an investment manager makes decisions without consulting them. I think without further evidence that they somehow violated the blind trust, it probably isnít fair to criticized them personally for selling assets, when they likely had no idea what was going on.

Loeffler is gonna need a better explanation for buying stock in Citrix while simultaneously dumping her other stock. Until she provides that, the most likely explanation is that she was involved in those decisions.

Monocracy 03-20-2020 08:27 AM

Anyone could have sold stock before the market crash. It wasn't like COVID19 was some big secret that only Senators knew about. Unless they were dealing with some inside information, or purposefully legislated to make the plague outcome worse, I don't see where the problem is.

Czarcasm 03-20-2020 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icarus (Post 22200165)
And to show that it's not only GOP senators who do this, Dianne Feinstein is also listed as selling off stock.

The whole lot of them should resign.

About that stock that Feinstein's husband sold off: Barrons reports that it was her husband that sold off biotech stock.
Quote:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein disclosed that her husband, Richard C. Blum, sold a biotech stock in January, when it was trading near its 2020 intraday lows.
Blum, the founder and head of investment firm Blum Capital Partners, sold $500,001 to $1 million in Allogene Therapeutics stock (ticker: ALLO) on Jan. 31, according to a form the senator filed with the Secretary of the Senate. Specific values arenít required for disclosure, only ranges.
. Biotech stock is something one would want to invest in if one thought a pandemic was possible, but
Quote:

The day that Blum sold Allogene stock, shares of the cancer researcher traded for as low as $21.28, just above the current 2020 intraday low of $21.25, which was set the next trading day, Feb. 1. Since then, however, Allogene stock has been rising, closing Friday at $27.00 for a year-to-date gain of 3.9%, while the S&P 500 index, a proxy for the broader market, has fallen 8.6%. Last year, Allogene stock slipped 3.5% while the S&P 500 rose 28.9%.
If this was "insider trading", it was the worst in history.

Fiveyearlurker 03-20-2020 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monocracy (Post 22200220)
Anyone could have sold stock before the market crash. It wasn't like COVID19 was some big secret that only Senators knew about. Unless they were dealing with some inside information, or purposefully legislated to make the plague outcome worse, I don't see where the problem is.

"As the head of the intelligence committee, Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security. His committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings around this time, according to a Reuters story."

"Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) reported the first sale of stock jointly owned by her and her husband on Jan. 24, the very day that her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials, including the CDC director and Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on the coronavirus. "

Horatius 03-20-2020 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monocracy (Post 22200220)
Anyone could have sold stock before the market crash. It wasn't like COVID19 was some big secret that only Senators knew about. Unless they were dealing with some inside information, or purposefully legislated to make the plague outcome worse, I don't see where the problem is.



It's not just that he sold stocks. He also used his public position to publicly down-play the seriousness of the crisis, at a time we know, now, for a fact, that he knew it was much more serious. That's clearly an attempt to manipulate the market - deny the public good information long enough for him to get his money out, and screw everyone else. He abused his public trust to enrich himself.

Flogging's too good for this rat bastard.

Bijou Drains 03-20-2020 10:06 AM

Burr claims he only used public information to sell. I think there is no way to prove or disprove that .

Do Not Taunt 03-20-2020 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dalej42 (Post 22199451)
Before people salivate, itís not a Dem pickup, NC has to appoint a same party replacement. Most likely itíll be a placeholder that has no intent to run in 2022. Iíd suggest Elizabeth Dole, but sheís too old.

Would there be a special election in November, assuming a resignation?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 22200358)
Burr claims he only used public information to sell. I think there is no way to prove or disprove that .

Oh, man - that's smart! I don't know why no one else in the history of insider trading has ever thought of that defense!

Mundane Super Hero 03-20-2020 10:53 AM

[DiplomacyFilterAtMax]This seems to qualify as an Ethics violation... [/DiplomacyFilterAtMax]

Bijou Drains 03-20-2020 10:53 AM

Yes there would be a special election on Nov. if Burr quits now. Which means both NC Senate seats would be on the ballot. The other one is incumbent Tillis (R) vs. Cal Cunnigham who won the Dem primary super Tues

Do Not Taunt 03-20-2020 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 22200430)
Yes there would be a special election on Nov. if Burr quits now. Which means both NC Senate seats would be on the ballot. The other one is incumbent Tillis (R) vs. Cal Cunnigham who won the Dem primary super Tues

Do you know what the cutoff is? When would Burr have to resign / his successor take office by in order to trigger a special election in the fall? I don't know how the D bench is looking in NC these days, but I think they'd have to have a shot there.

Left Hand of Dorkness 03-20-2020 11:31 AM

Tom Tillis, our other (endangered) Republican senator, has called for Burr to give a full accounting. He is not planning to join his colleague under the bus.

Whether or not he's committed insider trading, though, it looks like he purposefully deceived the public about whether the US was fully prepared for this crisis. That is, in my mind, a far greater evil.

Falchion 03-20-2020 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 22200179)
New articles report that three senators sold stocks before the crash: Feinstein, Loeffler, and Burr. Feinstein and Leoffler say that their assets are held in blind trusts, so an investment manager makes decisions without consulting them. I think without further evidence that they somehow violated the blind trust, it probably isnít fair to criticized them personally for selling assets, when they likely had no idea what was going on.

As I understand it, Loeffler claims that her (and her husband's) investments are in a blind trust and the decision is made without their knowledge (specifically neither of their knowledge).

Feinstein is saying that her assets are in a blind trust, but that the investment decisions at issue were made by her husband without her input. So, I think, a significant portion of Feinstein's sales were intentionally made by her husband (whatever the implications of that).

Inhofe (who was also implicated, although at a much smaller scale than the others, I think -- $400k vs. Feinstein's $6 million) claims that the sales were part of an ongoing effort (since late 2018) to move all of his assets from stocks into mutual funds and he has no knowledge of any of the details of the transactions.

I don't think it would be unreasonable to make Loeffler and Inhofe "prove" their lack of control (although I don't know how you would do that).

Burr does not appear to have any real explanation (or excuse).

Little Nemo 03-20-2020 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness (Post 22200507)
Tom Tillis, our other (endangered) Republican senator, has called for Burr to give a full accounting. He is not planning to join his colleague under the bus.

He's probably pissed that he didn't get tipped off.

Left Hand of Dorkness 03-20-2020 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Falchion (Post 22200515)
I don't think it would be unreasonable to make Loeffler and Inhofe "prove" their lack of control (although I don't know how you would do that).

Agreed, and I think the same would apply to Feinstein. As for how you'd prove it, I'd like the senators and their financial advisors/brokers to face law enforcement interviews about the details of any sales and any conversations they had with one another prior to those sales. If there are disparities, widen the investigation.

Fiveyearlurker 03-20-2020 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 22200358)
Burr claims he only used public information to sell. I think there is no way to prove or disprove that .

I had inside information but it did not impact my decision and I just happened to do act in a manner consistent with the inside information and not the information that I was publicly espousing is not a tenable position to hold.

Atamasama 03-20-2020 02:10 PM

Someone needs to explain to Burr how insider trading works.

Let's say at 10 AM you read an article that has financial tips and decide to sell a stock based on that, but you don’t have time to call your broker because you have a 10:30 meeting you need to get to. You sit in the meeting and you learn about an impending pandemic that isn’t available to the public, and you need to start planning for the possibility of massive disruption. At noon you call your broker and sell your stock. It doesn’t matter that you had made the financial decision prior to learning insider info, and that the info didn’t influence the action you later took. It looks like it did, it’s even plausible that it did. As a result, you look guilty as hell and unless someone can read your mind you have no way to prove you weren’t. The prudent thing would have been to not act at all.

It’s the same reason judges recuse themselves from certain cases. Not because they can’t be fair in their judgement but they have no way to prove that whatever potential bias they have didn’t factor into the decision. All conflict of interest rules are based on that fact; it’s not whether or not you are guilty, but the appearance of guilt and inability to prove innocence will lead you to be treated as if you’re guilty.

I work in the public sector and that kind of thing is drilled into us. You’d think someone at his level would have this down.

Mangosteen 03-20-2020 04:03 PM

I thought all "Insider Trading" is legal for all Congressional Representatives, the President and Federal Judges.

Bijou Drains 03-20-2020 04:06 PM

the real golden rule , he who has the gold makes the rules

Atamasama 03-20-2020 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangosteen (Post 22200939)
I thought all "Insider Trading" is legal for all Congressional Representatives, the President and Federal Judges.

STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge)
It hasnít been legal since 2012. By the way, the law passed the Senate 96-3 and Burr was one of the three who voted against it.

OttoDaFe 03-20-2020 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 22200969)
STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge)
It hasnít been legal since 2012. By the way, the law passed the Senate 96-3 and Burr was one of the three who voted against it.

Well, there you go: he voted against it, therefore it doesn't apply to him. QED.

Anyway, what about Benghazi?

SlackerInc 03-20-2020 04:58 PM

Mike Pesca, whom I tend to trust, is saying he didn't have any confidential administration. But he has studied these issues closely, so he would be able to judge the danger more readily than your average bear.

Fiveyearlurker 03-20-2020 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OttoDaFe (Post 22201031)
Well, there you go: he voted against it, therefore it doesn't apply to him. QED.

Anyway, what about Benghazi?

How are we not calling this "Burrisma"?

Aspenglow 03-20-2020 05:31 PM

I think Richard Burr is as corrupt a Republican as any of the rest of them, but when Tucker Carlson starts eagerly calling for a fellow dirt bag's head on a platter, I can't help but drift into Ulterior Motive territory.

Then I remembered that behind the scenes Burr, as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has resisted opening another investigation into Hunter Biden, telling his fellow Republicans that to do so is to play right into Putin's hands.

Burr should be investigated, youbet. But perhaps calling for his resignation at this point may be premature. If you're a realpolitik Democrat, that is.

Sherrerd 03-20-2020 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker (Post 22201075)
How are we not calling this "Burrisma"?

#Burrisma has been getting a lot of play on Twitter, today.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness (Post 22200507)
...Whether or not he's committed insider trading, though, it looks like he purposefully deceived the public about whether the US was fully prepared for this crisis. That is, in my mind, a far greater evil.

There you go. Silently cashing in would have been deplorable. But deliberately misleading the public to facilitate gain: Censure would fall short of what's called for, here. Expulsion then indictment sounds more reasonable.

Ann Hedonia 03-20-2020 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aspenglow (Post 22201077)
I think Richard Burr is as corrupt a Republican as any of the rest of them, but when Tucker Carlson starts eagerly calling for a fellow dirt bag's head on a platter, I can't help but drift into Ulterior Motive territory.

Then I remembered that behind the scenes Burr, as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has resisted opening another investigation into Hunter Biden, telling his fellow Republicans that to do so is to play right into Putin's hands.

Burr should be investigated, youbet. But perhaps calling for his resignation at this point may be premature. If you're a realpolitik Democrat, that is.

Maybe. But Carlson is an outlier on economic policy within the Fox universe - he’s a populist, he believes in economic regulation and he’s praised Elizabeth Warren’s economic policies.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/05/polit...ism/index.html

He’s still a nasty racist asshole, but he does manage to be right about of a couple of things.

RioRico 03-21-2020 12:12 AM

We have a simple, traditional way to adjudge Sen Burr's probity. Bind him and toss him in a pond. If innocent, he sinks. If guilty, he floats and can be pitchforked. Easy-peasy.

Bijou Drains 03-21-2020 06:51 AM

I bet NC GOP is probably already thinking of who they might pick if he decides to quit.

Damuri Ajashi 03-21-2020 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SlackerInc (Post 22199895)
A real sleazebag, but it shows that more broadly, government officials should not be able to buy and sell stocks outside of some kind of defined monthly contribution to an index fund. Even if you're not as scummy as Burr, the temptation to act would be high if you knew you might be facing financial ruin.

You would have to compensate government official a lot better to impose that sort of restriction on them. I know some people who have to file financial disclosures on a quarterly basis and they steadfastly avoid buying individual stocks particularly in industries that has dealing with their agency but how do you prevent them from selling their S&P 500 mutual fund and investing in bond funds when they see reports of how virulent COVID19 is?

CarnalK 03-21-2020 06:42 PM

You require blind trusts for elected officials?

iiandyiiii 03-21-2020 06:52 PM

I don't think blind trusts are necessary, but there should be extremely robust laws banning this kind of insider-knowledge trading, with examples made of any public officials who violate it.

Whack-a-Mole 03-21-2020 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 22202752)
I don't think blind trusts are necessary, but there should be extremely robust laws banning this kind of insider-knowledge trading, with examples made of any public officials who violate it.

You mean like the STOCK Act?

Quote:

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act (Pub.L. 112Ė105, S. 2038, 126 Stat. 291, enacted April 4, 2012) is an Act of Congress designed to combat insider trading. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 4, 2012. The bill prohibits the use of non-public information for private profit, including insider trading by members of Congress and other government employees. It confirms changes to the Commodity Exchange Act, specifies reporting intervals for financial transactions.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STOCK_Act
The problem is not that we do not have laws that cover this. The problem is the people who need to prosecute such people won't do it. I do not know if such a case would originate at the SEC or with William Barr's office but neither is likely to even start looking at this. Hell, Barr is more likely to pat him on the back and give him an "attaboy."

OttoDaFe 03-21-2020 08:13 PM

If Barr were to pursue any prosecution it would probably be because he wasn't cut in for a piece of the action.

MikeF 03-22-2020 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elucidator (Post 22199475)
"Salivate"? Why does that ring a bell?

Excellent!

Sherrerd 03-22-2020 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OttoDaFe (Post 22202871)
If Barr were to pursue any prosecution it would probably be because he wasn't cut in for a piece of the action.

Maybe, or it could be because he's too busy:

Quote:

The Department of Justice is using the coronavirus outbreak to ask Congress for sweeping emergency powers including suspending habeas corpus during an emergency, a power grab that was denounced by civil liberties advocates.

... "You could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying," National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers executive director Norman L. Reimer told Swan. "Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government."
https://www.commondreams.org/news/20...ergency-powers


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