Federal insider trading laws have no exemption for members of Congress and other federal officials, but there is little evidence that many lawmakers have been investigated.
Recently, it was learned the Office of Congressional Ethics was looking at the trading activities of Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. In the two months surrounding the 2008 financial collapse and subsequent $700 billion economic bailout passed by Congress, Bachus made more than three dozen trades. The OCE is an independent ethics office of the House, run by a board outside Congress.
Bachus, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee but then the panel's senior Republican under a Democratic chairman, participated in closed briefings on the crisis by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. He's denied using inside information, and subsequent records show he incurred a net loss of $19,490.
Bachus has denied any wrongdoing.
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