Republican Vice Presidential Pick Paul Ryan sold shares in a number of financial companies including Citigroup, General Electric, Wachovia, and JP Morgan Chase on the same day as then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke held a closed meeting with congressional leaders during the financial crisis.
At issue are the sale of troubled banks like Wachovia and Citi, as well as General Electric’s struggling capital unit, dated on September 18, 2008 — the same day as the meeting with Bernanke and Paulson according to the Associated Press.
However, according to The New York Times, the meeting was held in the evening, which raises significant doubt if any member in attendance would have been able to act on the conversation.
The sales total as much as $60,000 — although they could be considerably less. The House disclosure forms do not require specific values from members.
OpenSecrets.org estimates Ryan has a net worth between $927,100 to $3,207,000.
Ryan’s disclosure also shows the purchase of shares in Goldman Sachs, which was considered a relatively safer bank at the time.
Wachovia was later purchased by Wells Fargo after it neared failure at the end of 2008.
Attendance at closed door meetings are not tracked by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, which keeps records of voting by members.
We’ve reached out to Paul Ryan’s Congressional office to see if he was also at the meeting.
Other representatives have come under scrutiny for trading on non-public information during the crisis.
Earlier this year, Spencer Bachus of Alabama, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was cleared of insider trading by the Office of Congressional Ethics after it had opened an investigation of his dealings in financial securities.
Below, Ryan’s schedule 4 financial disclosure forms showing financial movements (arrows added to point out transactions in question). S’s on the document represent sales by Ryan, while P’s indicate purchases.
The following slides detail other transactions made by Ryan, although they do not show any dealings on September 18.
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