Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) is denying claims raised in a new book and a ’60 Minutes’ report that he engaged in insider trades using information he obtained in his position as the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis.
Bachus bet against the market the day after a meeting with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson on the dire nature of the economy — one of several trades that are raising eyebrows.
“The idea that I or anyone else needed this meeting to know our financial markets were in trouble is just laughable,” Bachus wrote to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher of Peter Schweizer’s “Throw Them All Out.” “You would have had to be living under a rock not to know by September 18, 2008 that the economy was in bad shape,” he added.
Bachus rejected the book’s claims as “absolutely false and incorrect.”
“There is nothing a member of Congress can do that is more important than uphold the public trust. That is why it is so disappointing and disturbing to have my character impugned so recklessly and falsely as this book does.”
The claims against Bachus and other lawmakers has prompted renewed interest in a ban on congressional insider trading — which has allowed members of Congress to beat the stock market even as their constituents have seen the values of their 401(k)’s decline.
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