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Pelosi Faces Heat as Stock Gains Near $250M Amid Calls for Trade Ban

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s soaring net worth is causing an uproar as her stock market gains approach $250 million. Pressure is mounting for Pelosi and other lawmakers in Congress to consider banning individual stock trades. Quiver Quantitative, a company that tracks lawmakers’ stock trades, estimated Pelosi’s significant $8.87 million in stock market earnings in the first half of May as the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly topped 40,000 points for the first time.

Pelosi’s portfolio reportedly gained an astounding 65% return in 2023, far surpassing the average return on the S&P 500 index of about 23%. Critics argue that Pelosi and other lawmakers may be benefitting from inside knowledge of legislation that could impact stock prices. For instance, the passage of the CHIPS Act in 2022, which allocated billions in subsidies for semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S., coincided with Pelosi and her husband Paul’s sale of 25,000 shares of chipmaker Nvidia at a loss of $700,000. They later purchased Nvidia call options in their largest trading purchase of the past three years.

 

Although Pelosi receives the most attention for her stock trades, she was only the ninth-most-successful lawmaker in stock trading in 2023. Rep. Brian Higgins of New York Democrat, saw his portfolio rise by a staggering 239% in 2023, while Rep. David Trone of Maryland Democrat reported buys and sells of nearly $97 million in U.S. Treasury bills in 2023.

The Nancy Pelosi Stock Tracker was created as a response to the controversy surrounding lawmakers’ stock trades. This account shows which stocks certain lawmakers are trading so that the public can also trade in these stocks. Some lawmakers have faced criticism for their stock market performance; for example, Rep. Warren Davidson, Ohio Republican, reportedly lost 77% due to his stake in an electric vehicle startup, Workhorse.

Efforts to ban congressional stock trading have been introduced by Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Mark Kelly of Arizona. The Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act would require all lawmakers, their spouses, and dependent children to place their stocks into a blind trust or divest the holding. However, there has been no action on the measure since last September.

While Pelosi previously resisted legislation to ban lawmakers from making individual stock trades, advocates for the ban argue that stock trading by members of Congress erodes public confidence and raises serious appearance of impropriety. The Nancy Pelosi Stock Tracker was created, in part, to put pressure on Congress to consider banning individual stock trades by lawmakers.

Written by Staff Reports

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