Lawmakers Made Massive Stock Trades Amid Failure Of Multiple Banks
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Several lawmakers made considerable bank stock trades as multiple financial institutions failed last month, according to federal disclosures.

The implosions of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, where the vast majority of account balances exceeded the $250,000 threshold backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, prompted the government-backed company to secure all accounts at the firms last month in order to prevent additional bank runs. Assets for the two firms were respectively acquired by First Citizens Bank and New York Community Bancorp for significant discounts.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 in New York Community Bancorp stock on March 17, days after she met with officials regarding the failure of Signature Bank, according to a periodic transaction report. The stock closed at $6.54 on March 17 before rising to $9.19 on March 21, two days after the acquisition was announced, and remains at $9.04 as of Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Malliotakis told The Wall Street Journal that she executed the trade at the recommendation of her financial advisor and was not aware that New York Community Bancorp was considering a purchase of Signature Bank. Malliotakis indicated in the report that her spouse had purchased the shares, even though the lawmaker is unmarried; the spokesperson said the designation was made in error and affirmed that Malliotakis would correct the form.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-OR) wife meanwhile purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 in Silicon Valley Bank stock and sold as much as $15,000 in Bank of America stock on March 9; she likewise sold as much as $15,000 in First Republic Bank stock on March 20, according to his periodic transaction report.

Silicon Valley Bank stock fell from $106.04 on March 9 to $0.57 as of Tuesday, resulting in heavy losses for Blumenauer. Bank of America stock meanwhile fell from $30.54 on March 9 to $28.53 as of Tuesday, meaning that the lawmaker avoided losses, while shares for First Republic Bank rose from $12.18 on March 20 to $14.22 as of Tuesday. A spokesperson for Blumenauer asserted that he was not aware of his wife’s trades.

Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) executed a partial sale of between $1,001 and $15,000 in Bank of America stock on March 16, as well as a sale of as much as $15,000 in First Republic Bank stock on the same day, according to his periodic transaction report. Curtis avoided losses as share prices for First Republic Bank declined from $34.27 on March 16 to $14.25 as of Tuesday, while share prices for Bank of America remained largely unchanged.

Malliotakis and Blumenauer are each members of the House Ways and Means Committee, while Curtis sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Several prominent lawmakers, such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have been accused in recent years of leveraging their intimate knowledge about forthcoming regulations or economic tumult to purchase stocks at opportune times and mitigate losses by selling shares. As many as 97 lawmakers or their immediate family members purchased or sold assets related to their legislative committee work between 2019 and 2021, according to an analysis published last year by The New York Times.

Various legislative proposals have since called for bans on individual stock trading by lawmakers and their relatives: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) earlier this year introduced the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act, also known as the PELOSI Act, while Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) introduced a similar bill last month.

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