Yesterday, Lou Kaye over at Rock Netroots picked up on a story from the Richmonder out of Virginia that deserves a lot of attention.
Remember back in the early fall of 2008 when news of the economic collapse was just beginning to surface?
Paul Ryan was called to a meeting on September 18, 2008 with congressional leaders, Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson. The purpose of the meeting was to disclose the impending financial melt-down and call on Congress to help bail-out the banks.
(If you don't remember this week exactly - on September 15th Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and news of other possible banks crashes caused lending to freeze and wild market volatility.)
As the country's political and financial leaders met, one bank it was revealed was not in danger of collapse...Goldman Sachs. That Henry Paulson had been CEO of Goldman Sachs previously had nothing to do with it...yeah right.
Anyhoo, Paul Ryan left that meeting and started unloading his stock - the very same day.
From the Daily Kos:
"On 9/18/08.. Ryan sold shares in:
Citigroup, which lost 95% of its value in the next 4 months
GE, which lost 73% of its value in the next 4 months
Wachovia, which crashed and became part of Wells Fargo in the next month
JP Morgan which lost 66%
and he bought GS, which only lost 41%"How did your 401k or stocks do that fall? If you are like the rest of the country, you probably lost between 30 and 50% of your wealth.
Since the financial crash, Ryan has seen his wealth rise substantially. That's nice for him.
Now, in case the Siren's dear reader's are wondering if it is legal for the Congressman to dump his own troubled assets on very same day as meeting with the Treasury Secretary to discuss who the government - their current employer - is going to rescue with public money. You may be thinking this sounds like insider trading - a crime many a trader has gone to jail for committing.
You are correct. It IS insider trading.
It is also legal. Well, at least it was until this March when Democrats shamed the government in to passing the Stock Act.
However, whether this was ethical and befitting a candidate for Vice President is a completely different discussion. It is a discussion we should begin today.