The Kerrys’ Insider Trading

Big Government: EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: The Kerrys’ Curious Stock Trades

Sen. John Kerry’s position on the powerful Senate Finance Committee’s Health Subcommittee gives him direct access to critical information regarding health care policy. In July 2009, pharmaceutical industry representatives met with key members of Congress to flesh out the Obamacare bill. Then, in November 2009, with the bill’s passage was looking more likely, the Kerrys’ portfolios reflect a drug stock buying spree.

First, $750,000 worth of stock in drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals was added to their portfolios at around $50 a share. Once Obamacare passed, the value of the stock rose to $62 per share. Subsequently, in 2010, a portion of Teva holdings was dumped from the Kerry portfolio, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in capital gains (exact profits are unclear because politicians are only required to report ranges, not exact dollar amounts).

Next, at least $200,000 of stock in medical device manufacturer ResMed was purchased in the $20 to $25 per share range. After Obamacare passed, ResMed jumped to $34, an increase of as much as 71%. “ResMed was a winner in the health care reform legislation—as Reuters declared—thanks in part to John Kerry’s efforts,” says Schweizer. The reason: earlier versions of the Obamacare bill would have slapped companies like ResMed with an “industry fee” tax. Kerry opposed the higher taxes on medical device companies and helped delay the taxes until 2013.

Next, between $250,000 and $500,000 worth Thermo Fisher Scientific were added to the Kerry family portfolios at around $35 per share. After Obamacare’s passage, the stock skyrocketed to more than $50 a share.

And there’s more. Here’s the thing, though — I won’t be naive enough to think that this sort of behavior is limited to the Democrats, and neither should you be.

That’s kind of why I like Rick Perry’s advertisement on the subject, released this week after the above-referenced 60 Minutes report on congressional insider trading came out.  The ad is simple, well-stated, and apropos.  Here it is, in case you missed it:

Love him or hate him, Governor Perry is right.  Martha Stewart was sent to prison for much, much less.  It’s high time that Congress be subject to the same rules that those of us outside of the Beltway are forced to abide by.

And while this behavior certainly crosses the proverbial aisle and is likely exhibited by Democrats and Republicans alike, you can rest assured that had a prominent Republican senator and former presidential candidate been nailed for these trades, it’d be circulating the mainstream press for longer than you can say, “I know someone who knows someone who was likely sexually harassed by Herman Cain.”

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