Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), cut his losses in software company Nvidia before the United States placed new restrictions on computer chip sales to China and Russia.
As noted by an analysis from MoneyWise, Pelosi sold 25,000 shares of Nvidia on July 26 at an average price of $165.05 — causing a loss of $341,365, according to a set of disclosures. One month later, Nvidia revealed that the federal government imposed export restrictions on the company’s A100 and forthcoming H100 circuits. The new regulations will “address the risk that the covered products may be used in, or diverted to, a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’ in China and Russia,” Nvidia said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Shares in Nvidia fell 7.7% on the news and a total of 16% since Pelosi sold shares on July 26. Pelosi — who was arrested after alleged drunk driving earlier this year — formerly exercised 200 call options on their expiration date of June 17 at a strike price of $100, according to more federal filings.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Speaker Pelosi, said in a statement to Fox News that the lawmaker had no knowledge of her husband’s transactions.
“As always, he does not discuss these matters with the speaker until trades have been made and required disclosures must be prepared and filed,” Hammill told the outlet. “Mr. Pelosi decided to sell the shares at a loss rather than allow the misinformation in the press regarding this trade to continue.”
Pelosi, however, has frequently placed large bets at the height of raging policy debates in Congress. Last year, he purchased over $6 million in options contracts related to technology stocks while lawmakers worked on antitrust legislation.
Speaker Pelosi has rejected the notion that members of Congress should be banned from trading individual stocks. “Because this is a free market … we are a free market economy,” Pelosi told a reporter last year, “they should be able to participate in that.”
President Joe Biden signed the $52.7 billion CHIPS and Science Act into law on August 9 — a move he characterized as an effort to combat supply-driven inflationary pressures. Multiple key Asian manufacturing economies enforced harsh lockdown measures two years ago in response to the spread of COVID, creating bottlenecks in the global semiconductor supply chain that persist to the present day.
The new law provides $39 billion in manufacturing incentives for semiconductors — a major component behind rising price levels for automobiles and other consumer goods — as well as $13.2 billion for research and development and a 25% investment tax credit for semiconductor production. “America invented the semiconductor,” Biden said during a signing ceremony, “and this law brings it back home. It’s in our economic interest and it’s in our national security interest to do so.”
A report from The New York Times’ DealBook revealed that asset purchases from members of Congress and their immediate families amounted to $267 million in 2021, while sales amounted to $364 million. Top officials working at the Federal Reserve have also faced criticism for purchasing individual stocks amid their work to chart the nation’s monetary policy.