You may have missed this story on Marketplace, which is aired on many public radio stations. Just file it under Another way everybody else gets screwed.
Members of Congress and other Washington insiders have average returns on the stock market that are well above average, according to a study by a professor at Georgia State University. The study was done by Prof. Alan Ziobrowski, who analyzed hundreds of financial statements from elected officials in DC. He shows that the returns reported are often more than one percent above the average investor -- that's 12 percent more per year.
Why? Because what happens in Washington can move markets, so if you know about pending legislation before most people, you can place your stock trades accordingly.
But wait a minute, isn't insider trading illegal? Whoops, apparently not, according to Craig Holman of Public Citizen. The Securities and Exchange act does not apply to elected officials, their staffs or lobbyists.
As the professor says, " the real danger is that members of Congress will vote their portfolios, instead of in the interests of their constituents."
Memo to activists: After we get some decent healthcare legislation, this might be a good act to get behind
THE LINK TO THE MARKETPLACE STORY IS HERE.