I see that the Fibbers are investigating a U.S. Senator on suspicion of insider trading:  good.

Burr drew the attention of lawmakers after it was revealed he sold off thousands of dollars worth of stock on February 13—less than a week before the stock market sharply dropped because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the shares were in companies like Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Hilton that took an especially hard hit as coronavirus travel restrictions went into place. Burr’s timely decision to sell netted him between $628,000 and $1.72 million.
More troubling is that Burr’s decision to sell came as his committee was receiving daily briefings on the threat posed by the virus. As such, many speculate the senator may have acted on insider information to protect his assets. If true, Burr could be found in violation of the STOCK Act, which prohibits the use of non-public information for private profit by lawmakers.

For people who can’t understand how politicians can come to Washington as “thousand-aires” and leave as millionaires after getting only a Congressional salary:  this is one of the ways they manage it.

And I don’t care that he’s a Republican, although I wish the Fibbers would go after all these dishonest pricks with the same zeal, regardless of party.

Yeah, I know:  I should be using the word “alleged” and “suspicion of” all over the place.  Let’s just say that I hold elected officials to a higher standard — they should behave circumspectly to avoid even the suspicion of wrongdoing.

What gets me is the stupidity of the action.  Had Burr, or anyone else for that matter, bought the hotel stocks after the price plunged (to be sold later at a profit when the share price rebounded), he’d have made just as much money.  But no:  let’s avoid losses, even paper losses, at all costs.  Greedy fucker.

And if the Fibbers find that Burr’s phone records show that he’d placed the sell orders last year and not right after he had a committee briefing, then I’ll apologize for all the above.  Somehow, though, I don’t think I’ll be apologizing.


  1. I was under the impression that US politicians had made them exempt from such trivialities.

  2. Yeah, you don’t have to use “alleged” when talking about politicians.

    If he just got lucky this time, then he’s not guilty in this specific instance, but any Congresscritter who’s increased his personal wealth by more than, say, 20% after being elected should just be run out of office on general principles. Also, the Congressional retirement plan should involve a lamp post and a rope.

  3. That’s not how it’s done, unless one is sloppy.

    One has friends, important and wealthy friends. (Which is appropriate for some as important as a a US Senator or Representative; it’s probable that before being elected, you ran in such circles.)

    These friends get you seats on boards of directors, which pay well. They arrange your participation in profitable business deals. You put up $25K; a friendly bank loans you $75K. You take a 5% stake in some enterprise, which buys some real estate for $1M, and sells it a few years later for $5M – purchase and sale both arranged with some friendly third parties. Your 5% is worth $250K; after paying off the bank, you’ve netted $150K. Rinse and repeat a few times. The deal doesn’t have to be a sure thing; your friends cover you against major losses if it goes south, but you cash in if it hits.

    What do they get out of it? A powerful official who is their buddy, and can do them favors – like rein in officious regulators, get approvals expedited, tweak leglslation… The favors don’t have to be obviously or even actually corrupt – even tycoons are entitled to “constituency service”. And there is no specific quid pro quo, so no question of bribery.

    And so, over an extended career in “public service”, one can accumulate significant personal wealth. (Though still small change compared to what the tycoons have.)

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