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How to Go to Congress and Become a Millionaire ^ | May 26, 2011 | John Ransom

Posted on 05/26/2011 2:33:40 AM PDT by Kaslin

Ever wonder how people go to Congress and become millionaires?

A new academic report clears it up for us.

A report from four scholars, Alan J Ziobrowski; James W Boyd, Ping Cheng; and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski, titled Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock Investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives,  shows that between 1985 and 2001 members of Congress enjoyed a considerable advantage over members of the public in their investment returns.

The article was published by Berkeley Electronic Press and is a follow up to a similar study done on investments by US Senators.

“A previous study suggests that U.S. Senators trade common stock with a substantial informational advantage compared to ordinary investors and even corporate insiders,” says the introduction to the report. “We apply precisely the same methods to test for abnormal returns from the common stock investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. We measure abnormal returns for more than 16,000 common stock transactions made by approximately 300 House delegates from 1985 to 2001. Consistent with the study of Senatorial trading activity, we find stocks purchased by Representatives also earn significant positive abnormal returns (albeit considerably smaller returns). A portfolio that mimics the purchases of House Members beats the market by 55 basis points per month (approximately 6% annually).”

Actually 12 times .55 percent comes out to 6.6 percent annually. That .6 percent return accounts for an additional $130,000 over a 17 year period.   

So how lucrative can the 6.6 percent advantage be for Senators and Representatives?

A portfolio of $100,000 getting average stock market returns of 11 percent over a 17 year period would have grown to $589,000. If you were a member of the United States House of Representatives, though, enjoying the advantage that inside government information can bring you, your portfolio would have reached $1,573,000, according to an investment calculation I did using the finding from the study.

Assuming only average market returns for the next 20 years, a Representative would grow their portfolio to close to $13 million.

Under the same circumstances US Senator would have grown the portfolio to $18 million.  

The conclusion of the study favors some sort of reporting mechanism similar to those imposed upon corporate insiders. 

“We find strong evidence that Members of the House have some type of nonpublic information which they use for personal gain. That having been said, abnormal returns earned by Members of the House are substantially smaller than those earned by Senators during approximately the same time period. These smaller returns are due presumably to less influence and power held by the individual Members.”

While the sky wouldn’t fall if reporting requirements were imposed on members of Congress, the report misses the most obvious point.

Why do we have a federal government that can so substantially ensure winners and losers in investments and our economy? Isn't a system like that prone to corruption? Don't we witness the effects of that corruption in legislation like Obamacare, or the cadillac benefits offered public employees?

The report points out the even corporate insiders don’t enjoy the return advantages that members of Congress enjoy.

It’s one of the most damning indications yet that the scope of government has gotten wildly out of control.

It’s also another example of laws that Congress passes for the rest of us but won’t consider following.

That’s a practice that must end if we want to restore confidence in government.

We can only do that by making sure that government can no longer pick winners and losers in the stock market.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: congress; corruption; profits; stocks
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1 posted on 05/26/2011 2:33:43 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Corrupt and criminal.

2 posted on 05/26/2011 2:43:28 AM PDT by screaminsunshine (Socialism...Easier said than done.)
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To: Kaslin
How to Go to Congress and Become a Millionaire

It's not their investments.

They solicit bribes to introduce legislation, which then passes because they scratch each other's backs.

Simple, really.

3 posted on 05/26/2011 2:46:43 AM PDT by Jim Noble (The Constitution is overthrown. The Revolution is betrayed.)
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To: All
When they organize tax-exempt "non-profits" and "do gooder- foundations" back in their districts, that's how you know they're hiding "earmarks," kickbacks, bribes and other graft-------in n/p budget items such as: "maintenance, building expansion, janitorial, public relations, legal fees, administration," and the like.

Multi-million dollar govt grants to the district are easily converted......deposited in reserve accounts that a bank is then directed to redeposit in another account.

HERE'S HOW MADOFF DID IT When they went back to ID Madoff's assets, they found a super-secret labyrinth of interrelated international funds, institutions and financial entities of almost unparalleled complexity and breadth......with assets and businesses in multiple places overseas that hid thievery, money laundering and tax evasion.

Madoff was running simultaneous scams:

(1) a tax evasion investment scheme for wealthy businessmen ("losing" money is a tax write-off;

(2) money laundering scams;

(3) a protection racket for affinity groups,

(4) aiding and abetting wealthy tax-exempt non-profit foundations to evade US banking laws and the IRS.

(5) hiding money for wealthy businessmen some of which was used for campaign donations (FEC fraud), and non-profit fraud (IRS fraud).


All of this is easily facilitated with co-conspirators directly or indirectly, singly or in concert, using government computers, government computer technicians, by use of financial instruments, investment vehicles, ........utilizing the US mails, electronics, wire transfers, computers.

There are zillions of ways to profit from those do-good multi-million govt programs.

4 posted on 05/26/2011 3:32:59 AM PDT by Liz
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To: All
THE OBAMA BAILOUTS---GOVT FRAUD ON A MASSIVE SCALE now you know why Obama gets that smirk on his face---just looked at his holdings


REFERENCE Behind The Real Size of Obama's Wall Street Bailout (more like $14 trillion)
Mother Jones | Dec. 21, 2009 / FR Posted January 04, 2010 by E. Pluribus Unum

A guide to the abbreviations, acronyms, and obscure programs that make up the $14 trillion federal bailout of Wall Street.

The price tag for the Wall Street bailout is often put at $700 billion—the size of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But TARP is just the best known program in an array of more than 30 overseen by Treasury Department and Federal Reserve that have paid out or put aside money to bail out financial firms and inject money into the markets. To get a sense of the size of the real $14 trillion bailout, see our chart here. Below, a guide to the pieces of the puzzle:

Treasury Department bailout programs (controlled by then-COS Rahm Emanuel)

Money Market Mutual Fund: In September 2008, the Treasury announced that it would insure the holdings of publicly offered money market mutual funds. According to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), these guarantees could have potentially cost the federal government more than $3 trillion [PDF].

Public-Private Investment Fund: This joint Treasury-Federal Reserve program bought toxic assets from banks and brokerages—as much as $5 billion of assets per firm. According to SIGTARP, the government's potential exposure from the PPIF is between $500 million and $1 trillion [PDF].

TARP: As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury has made loans to or investments more than 750 banks and financial institutions. $650 billion has been paid out (not including HAMP; see below). As of December 21, 2009, $117.5 billion of that has been repaid. Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) stock purchase: The Treasury has bought $200 million in preferred stock from Fannie Mae and another $200 million from Freddie Mac [PDF] to show that they "will remain viable entities critical to the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets." GSE mortgage-backed securities purchase: Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Treasury may buy mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to SIGTARP, these purchases could cost as much as $314 billion [PDF].

--SNIP--- long read

Federal Reserve bailout programs

Commercial Paper Funding Facility: With the support from the Treasury, the Fed established the CPFF in October 2008 to increase the availability of short-term debt (commercial paper) funding. Up to $1.8 trillion [PDF] was earmarked for the program.

Mortgage-backed securities purchase: In 2009, the Fed earmarked up to $1.25 trillion to buy investments based on home loans.

Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility: TALF provides financing to investors who are buying asset-backed securities. In February 2009, the Fed and Treasury announced an expansion of the program to generate up to $1 trillion in new lending.

Foreign Central Bank Currency Liquidity Swaps: The Fed has provided $755 billion [PDF] for currency liquidity swaps with foreign central banks.

--SNIP--- long read

5 posted on 05/26/2011 3:41:55 AM PDT by Liz
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To: All
Forbes Magazine says the total Obama bailout bill may exceed $20 trillion. .

POINTS TO PONDER---POINT ONE Back in 2010 Obama announced, "Several financial institutions are set to pay back $68B to taxpayers." While Obama's announcement was welcome news, it was assumed that any money or profit would be returned to the general funds from whence it had come in order to pay down the debt. The truth, however, is that the money returned by the banks is finding new life as part of what amounts to a Treasury Department-controlled slush fund.

POINT TWO We kept reading and hearing Congress rushed to approve the "$787 billion stimulus package" but very little of it was actually used. Supposedly $17B was sent to NJ when the incumbent Dem Gov was up for reelection----but it disappeared without a trace. The Dem lost, anyway, In a segment on nightly news, uber-Lobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs, Esq (Patton Boggs) said there was $2 TRILLION federal stimulus "waiting" to be distributed, and his clients from all over the US wanted a piece of it. Boggs is the son of former Cong Hale Boggs and sister of ABC-TV commentator Cokie Roberts.

POINT THREE Obama tapped VP Joe Biden to "allocate" the stimulus $$trillions. Biden's family was involved with Texas financier H. Allen Stanford, now charged with an $8 billion offshore fraud. The Bidens $50 million fund was jointly branded between the Bidens' Paradigm Global Advisors LLC and a Stanford Financial Group entity, and was known as the Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund, the WSJ said. Stanford-related companies marketed the fund to global investors....... Paradigm Global Advisors is owned through a holding company by the VP's son, Hunter, and Joe Biden's brother, James, according to the WSJ.

POINT FOUR How can this be legal? A jaw-dropping policy the White House released late on a Saturday afternoon 2009, hoping we would not notice. "Following OMB’s review, the Obama Administration has decided to make a number of changes to the rules that we think make them even tougher on special interests and more focused on merits-based decision making. First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program."

POINT FIVE Obama, Soros and FDIC's Sheila Bair, among others, are engaged in a "War on Wall Street" to get complete control of our financial system.


"Government bankers want to control the debt, And whoever controls the debt, controls everything. This is the essence of the banking industry, to make us all slaves to debt." (Umberto Calvi)

6 posted on 05/26/2011 3:46:42 AM PDT by Liz
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To: Kaslin

And what are we doing about it?

7 posted on 05/26/2011 4:10:03 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (I stand with Israel!)
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To: Jim Noble

And the reason that it even possible is because Congress romps about in areas in which the Constitution does not grant them any powers. Corruption at the core.

8 posted on 05/26/2011 4:12:49 AM PDT by Pecos (Constitutionalist. Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast


1. Discover why the Founders critically designed a small government.


2. Just keep re-electing them.

9 posted on 05/26/2011 4:13:23 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Jim Noble


10 posted on 05/26/2011 4:23:37 AM PDT by corlorde (New Hampshire)
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To: Kaslin

Members of Congress are not beholden by the Insider Trading laws and regulations. It’s been this way for a very long time. This is just another reason we are way to far gone. Our Federal government has become a cancerous tumor upon the liberties of a free nation. It has gotten to the point where it has metastasized and has taken CONTROL over all aspects of our lives. I am afraid our future is looking bleak.
This pi$$es me off to no end.

11 posted on 05/26/2011 4:28:14 AM PDT by bbernard
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To: Jim Noble
Not to mention that many start in local government, where they use the information they have about upcoming development to purchase lands that will directly benefit from that development. Then there's the perks they receive from those who are grateful for the decisions they make. They hone their craft locally until they obtain the skill needed to grift grand scale; then it's off to D.C.
12 posted on 05/26/2011 4:28:28 AM PDT by liberalh8ter
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To: Kaslin

The average citizen goes to jail for this, thinking Martha Stewart for one.

13 posted on 05/26/2011 4:39:54 AM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
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To: Liz

If congressm/w and senators are able to do this, I guess the “staff” have the same opportunity available to them.

14 posted on 05/26/2011 4:40:00 AM PDT by tillacum (Osama now rests with 72 virgins and obama has 72 versions of the raid.)
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To: Liz

Exactly. bttt

15 posted on 05/26/2011 4:41:47 AM PDT by Matchett-PI ("I've studied prophecy 30 years" usually means "I have everything Hal Lindsay ever 'wrote'." ~ LNF)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: 1010RD
At the Constitutional Convention, Charles Pinckney, Governeur Morris and Ben Franklin pushed to deny Senators any salary whatsoever. They wished to prevent what had evolved in England, where men sought positions in government to enrich themselves and cronies. A Senate of older, self-made, wealthy men would be less prone to corruption and more resistant to wild populist ideas from the House.

We are now stuck with three term Congressmen, aka Senators. These self imagined wise men, are actually petty dictators who subtly feather their nests at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.

17 posted on 05/26/2011 5:34:00 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Our Constitution is timeless because human nature is static. So is tyranny.)
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To: All
REFERENCE TARP was not designed to be a pool of money available for bailout of just anything that didn't move, like a couple of bankrupt unionized companies in the automobile industry. It was very specific in its purpose to provide liquidity to frozen banking and financial system and stave off the run on the banks (attack on the financial system, by proxy) and allow the 'netting' of the [frozen] assets on the books of financial institutions, in the aftermath of fall of Lehman Bros and run on trillions of dollars in the money market funds in the consequent "breaking the buck" by private Reserve Primary Fund managed by Bruce Bent.

The $700B TARP Bailout is now being called, "A MASTERFUL DECEIT." Then-Treasury Secy Paulson, et al, may not have pulled a fast one when he testified in favor of the TARP before Congress----but Congress' phony outrage is a puzzlement. If HR 1424 was a 'MASTERFUL DECEIT' then CONGRESS didn't do its job.

TITLE I—TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM (required 'Congressional Oversight' sections listed)
Sec. 101. Purchases of troubled assets.
Sec. 102. Insurance of troubled assets.
Sec. 103. Considerations.
Sec. 104. Financial Stability Oversight Board.
Sec. 105. Reports.
Sec. 107. Contracting procedures.
Sec. 108. Conflicts of interest.
Sec. 111. Executive compensation and corporate governance.
Sec. 116. Oversight and audits.
Sec. 118. Funding.
Sec. 119. Judicial review and related matters.
Sec. 121. Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Sec. 125. Congressional Oversight Panel.
Sec. 127. Cooperation with the FBI.
Sec. 129. Disclosures on exercise of loan authority.

In HR 1424, there are enough rules, regs and CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT REQUIRED that not one Thin Dime should have been 'misspent.' So if anything crooked did go on Congress should look in a mirror. They dropped the ball -- again.

18 posted on 05/26/2011 6:01:36 AM PDT by Liz
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To: All

ping for later

19 posted on 05/26/2011 6:15:22 AM PDT by BipolarBob (I have a head cold and allergies. It's definitely not BieberFever.)
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To: Kaslin

Hillary ..... Cattle futures. I guess she’s just smarter than the rest of us.

20 posted on 05/26/2011 6:51:30 AM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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