Working Paper No. 09-35:
The Legitimacy of Political Intelligence Trading and the Threat of Insider Trading by the Treasury Department

Author(s):

J.W. Verret

Date Posted: July 2009

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Abstract:

This written testimony accompanied Professor J.W. Verret's oral testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services. This testimony highlights some of the costs of the Stop Trading on Government Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act. It argues that Section 2 of the Act, which would include in the definition of insider trading any trades based on material non-public information obtained from government sources about pending laws or regulations, stretches insider trading law beyond its original foundation in fiduciary duty principles in a way that risks harm to efficient flows of information about political risk in capital markets.