Congress unanimous: staffers don’t have to disclose financial transactions

Background checks for guns couldn’t pass, but Congress did find common ground in passing a new loop hole to the barely minted Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.  The usually too-divided-to-act US Congress found the consensus needed to set aside financial disclosure requirements for executive branch staffers wishing to trade stocks in their own accounts.  The disclosure requirement was originally included as concession to an otherwise outright ban policy on staffers making trades.  They could avoid public disclosure if they chose not to make trades.  But the new amendment, effectively guts the intent of the original Act, making it easier for some government insiders to get away with corrupt trades on inside congressional information.  See:  Insider Trading in DC just got easier.

This type of unfair privilege and disrespect for public duty undermines the rule of law foundation on which the free world has grown.  The fact that so many today in business and government do not understand the necessity of basic tenants like fiduciary duty, disclosure, transparency and appearance of justice, speaks poorly for the prospects of meaningful recovery and progress forward.

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