House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and husband Paul Pelosi bought millions of dollars worth of call options for stocks just days after she defended members of Congress being able to buy stocks.
The news comes after Pelosi had the following exchange with a reporter earlier this month:
REPORTER: Madam Speaker, Insider just completed a five‑month investigation finding that 49 Members of Congress and 182 senior Congressional staffers have violated the STOCK Act, the insider trading law. I’m wondering if you have any reaction to that. And secondly, should Members of Congress and their spouses be banned from trading individual stocks while serving in Congress?
NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER: No, I don’t – no, to the second one. Any – we have a responsibility to report in the stock – on the stock. But I don’t – I’m not familiar with that five month review, but if the people aren’t reporting, they should be.
REPORTER: Why shouldn’t they be banned?
PELOSI: Because this is a free market and people – we are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.
Just a couple of days after making the remarks, starting on December 17th and going through the 21st, Pelosi and her husband bought millions of dollars worth of call options for stocks including Google, Salesforce, Roblox and Disney.
The New York Post reported:
The Pelosi family’s trades this month include Google and Salesforce call options worth between $500,000 and $1 million each, as well as Roblox call options valued at between $100,000 and $250,000. The duo also bought up between $250,000 and $500,000 in calls for chipmaker Micron Technology and between $100,000 and $250,000 of Disney call options.
Paul Pelosi runs Financial Leasing Services, a real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm. In recent years he’s made big-money bets on companies his wife is supposed to regulate, including Amazon, Apple and Google. December’s calls — which are set to expire in late 2022 and early 2023 — show that the Pelosis believe tech stocks are going to continue their current bull run in the new year, according to Thomas Hayes of Great Hill Capital.
Pelosi has faced a fair amount of backlash for defending members of Congress being allowed to buy stock, including from the political left.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again trying her ‘luck’ in the stock market, this time with millions in call options in Google, Roblox and Disney,” Journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote on Twitter. “I predict Pelosi’s success. Hard to bet against one of the richest politicians in the world, especially given her stock success.”
“No, Speaker Pelosi, members of Congress should not be allowed to trade stocks while in office,” Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW) said. “Trading stocks while writing regulations that could influence stock value and receiving non-public information is not what you were all elected to do.”
“There is no reason members of Congress should hold and trade individual stock when we write major policy and have access to sensitive information,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wrote on Twitter. “There are many ways members can invest w/o creating actual or appeared conflict of interest, like thrift savings plans or index funds.”
This is a developing news story; refresh the page for updates.