With a new congressional insider trading scandal unfolding in Washington, another name has been added to the hit parade: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
In the new blockbuster tell-all Throw Them All Out, investigative reporter and Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer reveals that on November 18, 2009, Sen. Feinstein and her husband invested $1 million into Amyris Biotechnologies, a “green” company focused on plant-based renewable fuels and chemicals. The Feinsteins’ million-dollar investment was their only stock transaction for the entire year.
Feinstein, however, had good reason to feel that all her investment eggs were secure in the biotech basket, because just weeks after her seven-figure investment in Amyris, the company scored a $24 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to build a pilot plant where altered yeast would turn sugar into hydrocarbons.
The company went public the following year with an IPO that raked in $85 million. Currently, it’s unclear exactly how much money Senator Feinstein and her husband made off their investment, “but it’s safe to assume that they did well,” concludes Schweizer.
Do we know for certain that Feinstein’s willingness to bet $1 million bet on Amyris was the result of insider knowledge that the DOE’s $24 million infusion of federal funds was forthcoming? No, not without further investigation. That, argues Schweizer in Throw Them All Out, is why insider trading laws should apply to members of Congress and trigger the kinds of SEC investigations to which ordinary investors must submit.