President Barack Obama signed the STOCK Act and turned the bill into law earlier today during a White House ceremony. This comes as Obama previously stood in front of Congress during the State of the Union and requested that lawmakers pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act in order to ensure that we all play by the same rules, or as Obama would say:
“The powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else.”
The STOCK Act is intended to prevent those within the government who have insider knowledge, like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon while he served on the New York Federal Reserve’s Board of Directors, from using said information to their own benefit prior to that knowledge becoming public information. President Obama was quoted by the White House as having said:
“The STOCK Act makes it clear that if members of Congress use nonpublic information to gain an unfair advantage in the market, then they are breaking the law. It creates new disclosure requirements and new measures of accountability and transparency for thousands of federal employees. That is a good and necessary thing. We were sent here to serve the American people and look out for their interests — not to look out for our own interests.”
Bill H.R. 682 might be law, but according to Barack Obama, the job of restoring the people’s trust in the government and reducing the influence that money has in the political arena is not over yet. To quote the President:
“There’s obviously more that we can do to close the deficit of trust and limit the corrosive influence of money in politics. We should limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries that they have the power to impact. We should make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa. These are ideas that should garner bipartisan support. They certainly have wide support outside of Washington. And it’s my hope that we can build off today’s bipartisan effort to get them done.”
What do you think of Obama’s attempt at restoring government confidence while reducing corruption by signing the STOCK Act?
Barack Obama Signs STOCK Act Bill H.R. 682 Video: