CNBC Senior Editor John Carney asks: “Why is the government treating insider traders like mobsters?”
As Mr. Carney explains, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission now use wiretapping to conduct insider trading probes, a move Mr. Carney believes is “out of proportion” to the crime. Furthermore, Mr. Carney points out that “Congress has signaled out a few categories of criminal activity that can be pursued by wiretaps–and insider trading isn’t one of them.”
Mr. Carney’s observations came in response to a Bloomberg News report by Patricia Hurtado that the FBI engaged in a five-year “historic, sprawling, nationwide insider-trading initiative” that “is the biggest insider trading investigation since the days of Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken, and the largest ever in the world of hedge funds.”
The bigger point, of course, is the hypocrisy and double-standard inherent in the system.
On the one hand, members of Congress have been free to engage in insider trading for the past five years (and beyond) and the SEC has never brought an insider trading case against a sitting member of Congress, despite the rampant abuses and conflicts of interest brought to light by 60 Minutes and Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer.
But, on the other hand, the federal government spent five years and untold resources deploying the most invasive of crime-fighting tools–generally reserved for racketeering and terrorism cases–to investigate businesspeople thought to be engaged in insider trading.