I considered making this article another installment in our long-running “Jim Inhofe is still in idiot” series, but…
A) We’ve already done that once this week
B) From an unethical financial perspective, Jim’s recent gaffe was 100% legal, opportune and smart
In case you missed it, Jim Inhofe came under more fire this week when it was revealed he bought $50,000 to $100,000 in a defense company stock just days after calling for increased defense spending in the federal budget.
Via The Daily Beast:
Just days after signaling his support for unprecedented levels of U.S. defense spending, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reported purchasing tens of thousands of dollars of stock in one of the nation’s top defense contractors.
After The Daily Beast asked about the purchase, Inhofe’s office said the senator had contacted his financial adviser to cancel the transaction and instructed him to avoid defense and aerospace purchases going forward.
Want to know another reason why the media is failing? Instead of cashing in on what would likely be a winning stock investment, they called the Senator to question him about it! WTF! The reporters should have at least waited a couple of months so they could have realized some short term gains. For example, back in the day I always made sure to check Chesapeake Energy’s stock before writing something negative about them.
Although people are rightfully perturbed with Jim Inhofe’s Gordon Gekko impersonation, it’s not like what he did was illegal:
Federal lawmakers are prohibited from trading stock based on non-public information. But since news of Trump’s massive Pentagon budget request was already public when Inhofe purchased the stock, it likely would not have run afoul of congressional insider trading laws even if Inhofe himself were behind the transaction.
But the Raytheon stock purchase still raised a flag for government ethicists, who said it underscored the moral hazard of lawmakers owning assets in areas of industry affected by legislation they are in positions to author and shepherd into law.
Ethics be damned, I think what Inhofe did was impressive. There aren’t too many government employees out there with the ability to drop $50,000 – $100,000 on a stock. Based on that alone, he should be very proud.