If you’re looking for something to stoke the fire of your frustration with your political leaders (of both parties), the Heartland Institute’s “Heartland Author Series” is hosting Peter Schweizer on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Here is their promo for the event:
Learn how politicians and their friends get rich off insider stock tips, land deals, and cronyism that would send the rest of us to prison.
Throw Them All OutWhere Maggiano’s, 516 North Clark Street, Chicago When Wednesday, February 1, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
In “Throw Them All Out,” which was recently featured on 60 Minutes, you’ll discover:
- How members of Congress aggressively traded stocks during the Obama health care reform debate and profited from inside information
- How Nancy Pelosi prevented a vote for two years on legislation that affected a company in which she had received lucrative IPO shares and held millions in stock
- How ten members of Obama’s 2008 National Finance Committee, along with another dozen campaign-fund bundlers, received Solyndra-like sweetheart loans
- How Senator John Kerry used his position on the Senate Finance Committee to avoid stock losses
- How John Boehner bought shares in five health insurance companies just as he killed the “public option” on health care
- How Rahm Emanuel, when he was a congressman, showed nearly perfect timing by selling his stock in a company that his committee had oversight of and avoiding huge losses
- How more than a dozen politicians used information gleaned from private briefings with the Treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve chairman during the 2008 financial crisis and avoided huge losses
- How Congressman Spencer Bachus aggressively traded stock options and shorted the market during the 2008 financial crisis, making large sums of money — all thanks to private briefings from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve
- How Congress members made big profits on biotech stocks with their inside knowledge of critical legislation
- How a powerful congressman tripled his money by investing in a small Canadian biotech firm, thanks to federal legislation he supported
- How Warren Buffett helped set up the financial bailout in 2009 while aggressively buying millions of shares in bank stocks that would benefit from his plan
- Why hedge funds with politically active investors do much better than funds with no such political connections
IT’S CRONY CAPITALISM . . . AND IT’S ALL LEGAL!
Peter Schweizer is the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a best-selling author. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C. firm Oval Office Writers, which provides speechwriting and communications services for corporate executives and political figures.
From 2008-9 he was a consultant to the Office of Presidential Speechwriting in the White House. He has also served as a member of the Ultraterrorism Study Group at the U.S. government’s Sandia National Laboratory and is a former consultant to NBC News.
His books have been translated into eleven languages and include several New York Times or Washington Post bestsellers.
His most recent book is Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). It was the subject of a feature on CBS’ 60 Minutes and Newsweek .
Here’s more about the book from Amazon.com:
Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Author Peter Schweizer
Q: When did you realize that so many insider trading and sweetheart land deals were going on?
A: When I first discovered that members of Congress are exempt from insider trading laws, I didn’t believe it. Then, when I started to look at their stock trades and compare them with what they were doing in office, I was stunned.
Q: What do you mean by the “Permanent Political Class”?
A: I think politics in Washington has become a business opportunity. Republicans and Democrats are not so different as you think. They work together to enrich themselves. They have designed the system to work so that they can make lots of money doing things that would get the rest of us sent to jail.
Q: What do you mean by “honest graft”?
A: When people think of politicians making money in Washington, they think of bribery and other illegal activities. That’s small potatoes. The real money is made by doing stuff that’s legal, including insider trading on the stock market and land deals.
Q: Politicians are exempt from insider trading laws? You’re kidding, right?
A: No. They write the rules, and guess what: the rules that apply to us don’t apply to them. By the way, they are also exempt from whistleblower laws. If you see your boss committing a financial crime, you can report them and you will be protected. You can’t be fired. But if your boss is a congressman? You’re toast. You are not protected.
Q: What’s wrong with politicians who trade stock? Don’t we want them involved in the economy?
A: Yes, but they are doing exactly what corporate insiders get sent to jail for doing. It’s a double standard and it’s unfair. If Martha Stewart had been in the U.S. Senate, she would have been protected.