The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has named US Rep Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Brooksville) as one of the members of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee who engaged in the trading of financial stocks as the bottom fell out of the market last year. The trades were ironic, the Plain-Dealer said, because these same Representatives would later sit in judgement of these same companies, criticizing them for “greed.” Some of the trades occurred on the same day Congress voted on bank bailout legislation.
According to the Plain-Dealer, Ms. Brown-Waite purchased up to $15,000 in Citigroup stock the day before the House passed the bailout legislation. Less than two weeks later, on the same day Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was pressuring banks to accept the bailout money, Ms. Brown-Waite purchased up to $15,000 in Bank of America stock.
Of course, the lesson here might be to never look to a member of Congress for investment advice. On October 2, 2008, Citigroup stock was trading at $22.50. It closed on June 29, 2009 at $3.02. On October 13, 2008, Bank of America stock was trading at $22.79. It closed on June 29, 2009 at $13.19.
Ms. Brown-Waite was certainly not the only member of Congress involved in the trades. The full article can be found here.