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GOP Prevents Reform Again, Keeps Unethical Trading Alive

GOP Prevents Reform Again, Keeps Unethical Trading Alive

Flanked by a rare bipartisan group of legislators, President Obama signed the STOCK act Wednesday, touting it as a great ethical achievement for the country. In theory, the act would prevent members of congress or their staff members from trading stocks based on any information that is not in the public domain. As Obama put it, it’s meant to assure that everyone “plays by the same rules.”

“It’s the notion that the powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else,” the President said.

The law also requires more frequent reporting by members of congress on the stock trades they’re making.

This should have been a pivotal moment, a victory for the people. In fact, members of both parties want you to think it was. But I can’t help but be cynical. According to experts, the bill is probably toothless and will have very little impact on politician’s trading behavior. Many argue that it’s just a way for politicians to tout bipartisanship and accountability in a time when they’re dismally unpopular. In the end, though, even those politicians who engage in the kind of trading this bill condemns may not face any punishment.

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