Politician Selling

Stock Markets Dive but Some Congressmen Were Armed Beforehand

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has had a ripple effect on stock markets all over the world, beginning with pulling the Russian stock market down by 33% on February 24, 2022. Even in the wake of war, trending topics like Congress trading in stocks have barely ceased. Even more remarkable are the trades done by Congressmen seated on Intelligence and Homeland Affairs committees during these times.

From January 01, 2022, onwards, 3 senators on the Intelligence committee and 5 Representatives on the Homeland Security Committee traded stock across multiple issuers.

Intelligent Trading by Intelligence Senators

The major trades were sales by three senators: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) made full sales from seven issuers, four of which saw a considerable fall in stock prices.

On January 6, 2022, she sold shares from Carrier Global Corp. (CARR: US) in value ranging from $1,001 to $15,000. On the given day, the share’s price was $53.5, which has since fallen by 16.1%. On the same day, she sold stocks from other issuers: Otis Worldwide Corp. (OTIS: US), 3M Co. (MMM: US), VF Corp. (VFC: US), Henry Schien Inc. (HSIC: US), & Wex Inc. (WEX: US).

Chart of Sen. Susan Collins trades from Nov 29 2021 to Mar 1 2022 against the S&P500 index

With the exception of $HSIC and $WEX, all other stocks saw a considerable decrease in their values since the sale. $VFC fell by almost 19.3% since Collins’s sale of the stock on January 6, 2022.

Following Collins’s sales, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sold stocks from Nemaura Medical Inc. (NMRD: US), worth up to $50,000 on January 10, 2022. The stock price of $NMRD has dived by 17.1% and is currently at $3.78.

As of yet, no Representatives on the Intelligence Committee have dabbled in stock trading since the start of 2022.

Homeland Security

5 Representatives from the Committee on Homeland Security traded stocks starting from January 01, 2022:

Of these, Rep. Joshua Gottheimer (D-NJ) sold stocks from Paypal Holdings Inc. (PYPL: US) and Syneos Health Inc. (SYNH: US) on January 13 & 4, 2022 respectively. Both stocks were worth $1,001 - $15,000. Since their sale, both have seen considerable price decreases. $PYPL has fallen by around 38.2% in the wake of poor earnings announcements among other negative news. $SYNH too has dived deep by almost 16.1%. Rep. James Langevin (D-RI) joined Rep. Gottheimer in letting go of $PYPL stock, albeit much earlier on January 5, 2022.

On January 3, 2022, Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) brushed off Home Depot Inc. (HD: US) shares, worth up to $30,000. The stock was valued at $408.64 when she sold and is currently priced at $315.83, marking an almost 22.7% fall in price. In addition to this, Harshbarger also sold shares from LKQ Corp. (LKQ: US) on January 13, 2022. Then priced at $57.5, which later fell by 18.3% to its present price, $46.95.

Rep. Diana Harshbarger's trades from Nov 29, 2021 till Mar 1, 2022 are matched against the S&P500 in the background, with her most frequent issuers and sectors to the right

In the end, it was Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) who took the crown for the most trades since the beginning of 2022. Few sales among this list were timely sellings, most notably that of $PYPL and $FB stocks.

Graph from 2iQ's CapitolTrades shows Rep. Michael McCaul's common issuers and sectors are shown with trades against the timeline of the S&P500 from Nov 29, 2021 till Mar 1, 2022

Prepared Beforehand or Not

While the American stock market has been rebounding for the last couple of days, the Russian economy has been taking hits just as Military forces continue to advance into Ukraine.
The Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), has been urging tech companies to pose sanctions on Russian content. His words were, “Tech companies should create ways for Ukrainian public safety organizations to send emergency information to users, and provide the Ukrainian government and humanitarian groups with additional account monitoring and security tools.”

These sanctions are basically pushing the Russian stock market further down, causing a steady decline in the value of the ruble as well.

Back in Dec’21, American Intelligence procured data revealing Russian troops being deployed near the Ukrainian border, and that Russia could attack the country in early 2022. A reflective report on February 25, 2022, criticized this, stating that ‘both Washington and Kyiv could have done more with the information the two governments had beforehand’.

Considering some of the wise trading decisions exhibited above, one would say that the Congressmen were well prepared regardless.

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