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BREAKING: Lieberman, Collins to Hold Hearing on Insider Trading Laws and Congress

60 Minutes Story Sparks Examination

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced Wednesday they would hold a hearing to examine how insider trading laws apply to Congress.

 The hearing, requested by Committee Member Scott Brown, R-Mass., and sparked by a 60 Minutes report, is intended to clarify the laws and rules that govern members of Congress who may profit personally from non-public information they learn in the course of their work.

“Insider trading by members of Congress – if it occurs — is a serious breach of the public trust,” said Lieberman. “No one in Congress should be enriching themselves based on information to which the general public has no access. Our hearing will set the record straight about how existing laws and ethics rules apply to Congress and whether they are sufficient to prevent unethical market trading.”

Collins said: “Elected office is a place for public service, not personal gain.  We have a duty to examine and address practices that can create the appearance of wrongdoing or undermine the public’s confidence in decisions made by Congress.  

“I appreciate Senator Scott Brown’s leadership on this important issue.  We need to assure the American people that the decisions we make are decisions of integrity, in which their interests are put first.”

Senator Brown has introduced legislation intended to prevent members of Congress from profiting on information to which only they are privy.  That bill has been referred to HSGAC. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will introduce similar legislation soon. House members have introduced similar bills.


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Crony Capitalism: The Inevitable Outcome of Overreaching Government

Bill Frezza, Contributor

Would a farmer who put out a trough of slop be surprised if it attracted a bunch of pigs? Then why are activists who promote enlarging the size and scope of government shocked when one program after another is hijacked by corporations that find it easier to seek favors in Washington than customers in the marketplace? And, knowing that such corruption is inevitable, why do mainstream media dismiss those who advocate curtailing government powers as corporate stooges?

What leads anyone to believe that unconstrained power can be channeled in ways that don’t favor the politically connected? And why are the politicians who repeatedly put out the slop troughs, then theatrically rail against the pigs, rarely penalized at the polls?

How long will people continue to believe the “too big to fail” fear-mongering propaganda which both parties use to justify squandering public funds to socialize losses and privatize gains? How many times does a court economist have to be wrong about the impact of expensive economic interventions before we add him to the unemployment rolls?

If protestors are angry that Wall Street interests control the government, why do they want to increase the government’s role in the economy rather than decrease it? What makes them think that banging on drums and spouting incoherent slogans is a more effective way to influence politicians than the proven practice of putting them on the payroll? What would happen to the flow of campaign contributions from crony capitalists if money could no longer buy legislative and regulatory favors? And why do anti-corporate activists keep fruitlessly trying to cut off the flow of money instead of working to ban the favors that attract it?

How does the failure to distinguish between honestly earning profits by meeting customers’ needs and getting rich by looting the public treasury make it possible to end the latter practice without destroying the former? And if we cannot define and promote a sustainable form of capitalism weaned from government corruption, where are all the jobs the nation needs supposed to come from?

How disorderly can class warfare-inspired protests grow, while police are instructed to look the other way, before violence becomes a widespread means of political expression? Will Oakland, Portland, and other cities burn when springtime rekindles the Obamaville encampments that serve as the most potent symbol of this failed presidency? How can politicians, union leaders, and other opportunists not realize that encouraging this mindless thuggery will eventually blow up in their faces? Will the American public recoil when innocent people are killed solely because they work for politically disfavored corporations, or will they shrug it off as collateral damage, as did the Greeks?

When the government hands out other people’s money to crony capitalists promising “green” jobs, does this magically turn them into effective innovators? How are experimental technologies based on ideological fantasies supposed to achieve commercial sustainability by being rushed to market for purely political considerations? How does crippling the evolution of proven energy businesses through capricious regulations and endless environmental reviews make our energy future more secure, our economy more robust, or high paying jobs more plentiful?

Read the rest here.

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Bears Take Charge on European Debt Fears

DOW down 190

S&P down 46

NASDAQ down 20

A report out of Fitch got the markets nervous and we started to tank around 3 pm.

Market looking oversold so some covering might be to your advantage if your short.

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-AE88b-c0A&feature=related 450 300]

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