Office of Congressional Ethics Closes Investigation Into Bachus' Trades

Capitol Hill - IllustrationEarlier today, the Office of Congressional Ethics announced that they have closed their probe of Rep. Spencer Bachus after finding no evidence that he violated insider trading rules.

The Office of Congressional Ethics voted unanimously to drop the investigation, and Bachus has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Bachus released a statement in which he said that the investigation into his trading was a "long, painful and frustrating experience", and that the allegations were a "destructive and disruptive, media generated assault."

Bachus and his trades were thrust into the spotlight after a "60 Minutes" report aired last year. The report insinuated that Bachus (House Financial Services Committee Chairman) and several other high-ranking officials (including Nancy Pelosi) had used their positions to enrich themselves in the stock market. The allegation was that Bachus and the others had been privy to non-public information that they had used to trade on.

The specific allegation against Bachus was that he had used information gained via his position as House Financial Services Committee Chairman to bet against the markets during the market meltdown of 2008.

There is no denying that Bachus sat in on some very important meetings during the market meltdown of 2008, and there is no denying that he bet against the markets (his trades are a matter of public record). His defense? Anybody could have seen the drop in the market coming, and that he didn't use any insider information to come to that conclusion.

The Office of Congressional Ethics found Bachus' defense reasonable and dropped their probe.


The investigation into Bachus was the impetus for the passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK), which explicitly states that lawmakers are subject to the same insider trading laws as everybody else.

Source: - Ethics Charges Against Rep. Bachus Dropped

Filed under: General Knowledge

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