Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2013


On its face, the STOCK Act appears to be a “win-win” for both Members of Congress and the public. From a public perspective, insider trading by Congress will no longer be allowed, thus leveling the playing field. Disclosure requirements should result in greater transparency in government. In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, Congress and the President can claim a legislative success.

Express application of the SEC laws to Congress and the establishment of a fiduciary relationship is the core of the Act. Coupled with the increased public disclosure obligations, one would hope that now Members of Congress will think twice before trading on inside information. It is still up to the SEC and the Senate and House Ethics Committees, however, to actively enforce these provisions and establish additional disclosure guidelines. Given their past reluctance to prosecute, as well as the gaping holes in the new law, it seems more likely that negative campaigning and media exposés will continue to be the drivers of the renewed focus on insider dealings.