Government officials in the U.S. are investing and trading stocks of the companies that they regulate. I know, you’re shocked and scandalized.
The Wall Street Journal reports that over “2,600 officials at agencies from the Commerce Department to the Treasury Department, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, disclosed stock investments in companies while those same companies were lobbying their agencies for favorable policies. That amounts to more than one in five senior federal employees across 50 federal agencies reviewed by the Journal.”
Even top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency were investing in oil and gas. The head of the Food and Drug Administration invests in food and drug stocks. How can these officials lobby for health and the environment when they have a profit-related conflict?? Clearly, they can’t.
But this is allowed. All they have to do is disclose these matters and they can keep on doing it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid lip service to changing the rules with a stock trading ban, but the bill is weak and currently stalled in Congress anyway.