Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inside Information

Senators' investments beat the Standard & Poor's 500 by an average 12 percent a year from 1993 to 1998, according to the study by Alan J. Ziobrowski of Georgia State University and colleagues at three other schools. The study found that during the boom years of 1993-98, a majority of US Senators were trading stocks - and beating the market by 12 percentage points a year on average. By comparison, corporate insiders beat the market by 5 percent, and typical households underperformed by 1.4 percent.

There is a consistent rise in stock prices in the month prior to the announcement date, but with hundreds of takeovers every year, prosecutions on this score happen every couple of years only, and usually because the pigs got into options, where their activity really stuck out.

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, there was unusually heavy activity in airline put options the week prior, and yet, no arrests made.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Were the Senators actively trading? Or do they have to hire folks to do that for them?

I don't know what's more distressing: Senators profiting from insider information, or the fact that they might be running off the floor of the senate to log onto etrade and look at some technical charts.

Pat L said...

"I don't know what's more distressing: Senators profiting from insider information, or the fact that they might be running off the floor of the senate to log onto etrade and look at some technical charts."

Funny, perhaps worse, back in the late 90's I knew a woman who said that her surgeon husband traded net stocks between operations.

Tried to leave a longer comment earlier. Maybe they're moderated or a clicked the wrong option.

J said...

Eric, you commented on the credit market woes before but now that there is a serious unwinding, you are silent. Even El Erian says that most banking institutions are insufficiently capitalized.

Anonymous said...

I hear credit traders are swapping CDS contracts like baseball cards lately to bypass leh?