Politician Selling

Congressman Scores Capital Gains Amidst Military and Stock Tensions

A still of Rep. Rob Wittman speaking at the Chamber of Commerce during a press conference in September 2012

One headline has dominated the stock market news: how will the Russia-Ukraine crisis impact the World’s economy? No doubt the heat is escalating to a surprising rate, but on the other hand, the Ban on Congress Trading is still speculation. But even in the midst of the rumors, some Politicians have not ceded their trading activities, and ultimately their profits. One Congressman included Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA).

Selling and Collecting the Gains

As disclosed on February 14, 2022, Congressman Wittman had purchased and sold stocks in 11 transactions. While all of these trades were valued in the range of $1,001 to $15,000, some scored Wittman capital gains greater than $200. Two of these companies were Honeywell International Inc. (HON: US) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT: US), both of which work in the aerospace industry.

On January 14, 2022, Wittman sold 3-40 $LMT shares, at a price of $373 per share. The total worth of this transaction was nearly $15,000.

A chart from 2iQ's Capitol Trades compares the price change in $LMT with Rep. Wittman's stock sale

While it is undisclosed when Wittman first purchased this stock, the price of $LMT has been steadily increasing since the end of 2021. On December 1, 2021, the stock value was $328.42 and is currently worth $386.97. This marks a rise of almost 17.75% in less than two months.

Tensions And Benefits

Nearly a month before $LMT’s price rise, satellite footage revealed numbers of Russian troops sitting close to Ukraine’s border alarming the rest of the world.

As the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine remain unresolved, they have nevertheless had a ripple effect on the stock market. Europe’s stock market closed lower than expected on February 14, 2022, and there is the lingering fear of oil and gas prices rising since Russia is the top supplier of Natural Gas for most of Europe. Additionally, a detailed article mentioned that the event of a Russian Invasion can directly affect the already present problem of inflation. The United States is already experiencing inflated rates of 7.5%, and this would be further accelerated.

The US has provided aid to Ukraine of up to $2.5 billion, and a further $200 million was provided in Dec’21. As of the moment, the USA is responsible for 90% of the aid Ukraine has received from all over the world. In addition to Lockheed, other aerospace and defense companies whose stock prices have risen from December 1, 2021, to the present-day include:

  • Airbus SE (EAD: LI) - Stock value rose by nearly 15.6% and now stands at $117.52
  • Raytheon Technologies Corp. (RTX: US) - Value rose by almost 18.37% and is currently worth $93.57 per share.

Historically, many military events have had both bullish and bearish impacts on the stock market. Keith Lerner, Co-CIO of Truist, an American bank-holding company was reported to have said, “History suggests these types of events, which can be devastating from a humanitarian standpoint, tend to have a fleeting market impact unless they lead to a recession. Our work suggests recession risk in the U.S. remains low.”

How Far Along Is the Ban?

Rep. Wittman, of course, is only one of many politicians who have benefitted from Arms and Aerospace manufacturers in the wake of Military events. A significant number of Lawmakers trading in such companies are also seated on significant Committees. Congressman Wittman himself is seated on the Committees of Armed Services and Natural Resources since 2011.

Since the implementation of the STOCK Act, Congress members’ stock trading has spiked many controversies. The most noted cases are that of Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), but recently the efforts to eliminate Congress Trading have become complicated with the presence of additional bills to be passed.

Recent Articles