What: At least 72 Congressional staffers on both sides of the aisle traded shares of companies that their bosses help oversee, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of more than 3,000 disclosure forms for 2008 and 2009. Insider-trading laws don’t apply to Congress.
How: A top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi profited by trading shares of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae two days before the government authorized emergency funding for the companies. An aide to Republican lawmakers interested in energy issues profited by trading in several renewable energy firms.
What’s being done: A few lawmakers proposed a bill to prevent members and employees of Congress from trading securities based on nonpublic information they obtain. The legislation has languished since 2006. Only nine lawmakers support it in the House, none in the Senate.