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More Politicians Trading Stocks They Directly Regulate? Yup.
A 130%+ gain, conflicts of interest, and more
Our beloved politicians are at it again, this time trading stocks in industries they directly regulate via House Committees. Below we lay out the details and timing of the trades. Is it insider trading? Honestly probably. Will they ever be punished. Most definitely Never.
First, meet Representative John Curtis, a Republican from Utah, who yesterday filed trades that not only showed a 130% gain but also looked like textbook conflict of interests. He reported selling United Health Group UNH 1.66%↑ along with two other healthcare stocks. The issue? He sits on the Health Subcommittee, directly regulating United Health & thus knowing about the COVID vaccine response before the public.
So when you study the timeline on his UNH 1.66%↑ trades, it makes you think.
3/27/20 - Bought ~15K at $222/share
6/22/21 - Bought ~15K at $379/share
1/14/22 - Bought ~15K at $452/share
3/9/22 - Sold ~15K at $465/share
12/20/22 - Sold ~15K at $504/share
Yes, these sells are small, but it clearly is profit taking. And if you do the math here, his most recent sell equates to a 130%+ gain. Uncanny.
Here are the rest of his trades filed from yesterday.
Next, meet Representative Lois Frankel, a Democrat from Florida, who late last week disclosed over ten new trades totaling up to $100K in volume. Putting aside the fact that she was selling Blackrock BLK -0.22%↓ , one of the most controversial companies out there, a couple of her other trades were what really caught everyone’s attention.
She purchased shares of Dominion Energy D 0.65%↑ & Union Pacific UNP 0.42%↑. Now, why did those trades raise eyebrows? Well maybe because she literally sits on Energy Subcommittee, directly overseeing the Energy Department and the companies that have exposure to it. This includes Dominion Energy & Union Pacific.
D 0.65%↑ —> Dominion Energy, Inc., commonly referred to as Dominion, is a power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, VA that supplies electricity and natural gas to numerous states in the US. It has outperformed the market but still is down 16% in 1Y.
UNP 0.42%↑ —> Union Pacific Corp. engages in the provision of railroad and freight transportation services. The Railroad's business mix includes agricultural products, automotive, chemicals, coal, industrial products, and intermodal. It also has outperformed the market, but is -15% the past year
Is she getting in while they’re still down? Or is she just playing the macro natural gas play? We shall see.
It still baffles us how the government doesn’t scrutinize this the same way the public does. Nevertheless, our team will continue to track these trades daily and share any notable ones we find with the community here for free.