Wednesday, February 8, 2012
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released his version of the STOCK Act. It expands the prohibition on trading on nonpublic information to the executive branch (which is already prohibited). It also deletes the provision added by Senator Grassley that would require political intelligence consultants to disclose their activities and instead calls for a study of the issue. See Seung Min Kim, Eric Cantor under fire for STOCK Act tweaks, Politico. While Democrats are dismayed about this deletion, in fact, registration of political intelligence consultants is the wrong way to address the problem of inequal access to government information, as Professor Richard Painter argues in a blog on the Legal Ethics Forum, Senate Adds Flawed Political Intelligence Amendment to Insider Trading Bill. Professor Painter argues that the right approach is to restrain officials from leaking nonpublic information through an approach similar to Regulation FD.
The House passed its version on Thursday. NYTimes, House Passes Bill Banning Insider Trading by Members of Congress