Monday, June 15, 2009

Insider Trading in Congress? Very Suspicious Trading By Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin

This appears very big. It could involve insider trading by one or a number of members of Congress and their associates.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Illinois Senator Dick Durbin's financial disclosure statement shows that:

... he sold mutual-fund shares worth $42,696 on Sept. 19, the day after thenTreasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged congressional leaders in a closed meeting to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. The same day, he bought $43,562 worth of Berkshire Hathaway's Class B stock, the disclosure shows...
Guess what happened 4 days later? On September 23, Berkshire Hathaway announced that it was investing $5 billion in Goldman Sachs.

The announcement was made late on the 23rd after the stock market closed. The next day, Berkshire stock jumped in price by 3.5%. The climb in price should not come as a surprise since Buffett is viewed as one of the greatest investors of all time. If he were to announce, in the middle of a panic, that he was buying into Goldman Sachs, his stock would most assuredly climb since it was Warren Buffett putting a stamp of approval on the stock market and financial system. Who better to then take a ride with than Buffett by buying his stock? If you knew this in advance, it was sure profit.

In addition to Durbin's odd purchase, on the day he bought his stock, the 19th, there was unusually heavy trading in Berkshire stock. It was the highest volume day for the month and Berkshire stock was up 15% on that day. The market overall was up that day, but it is a lot more difficult to pin down who was buying the market overall, than it would be for investigators to take a look and see who was buying Berkshire on that day, in addition to Durbin. Further, Goldman stock climbed by more than 40% from its low on the 18th to its closing price on the 19th. It would be interesting to know who was buying that stock, given that just 4 days later Buffett was going to plow billions into the company.

There are many questions that need to be answered here UNDER OATH. Was the Berkshire purchase of Goldman stock discussed at the meeting between Paulson (the former Goldman CEO), Bernanke and Congressional leaders? Why on the day after the meeting did Durbin sell mutual fund positions to buy into Berkshire? A move which looks very odd, unless you knew some news was about to break on Berkshire.

Did any other congressional leaders or friends of congressional leaders buy stock in either Berkshire or Goldman on that day? Who did buy stock in Berkshire and Goldman to push the stocks up, in the middle of a panic? Will the Securities and Exchange Commission investigate?


  1. I was under the impression Congress was immune from insider trading laws

  2. Will any of this go anywhere, though?

  3. The last thing the public gets is the real story.

    In regard to your tweet on the two bankruptcies, one with CMBS held by the Fed:

    The Federal Reserve web sites rates its Maiden Lane III Commercial Real Estate CDO holdings as AAA.