Reports of Senators Selling Stocks After Closed-Door COVID-19 Briefing Emerge
The novel Coronavirus has shaken the world, developed and emerging nations alike, claiming more than 10,000 lives and infecting more than 250,000 people in at least 182 countries. The world hasn’t seen a pandemic of this scale for decades, and unsurprisingly, the impact on the economic aspects has turned out to be enormous.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent in late January, markets have been crashing down severely, with all financial assets, be it stock, crude, gold, Bitcoin, or commodities, losing substantial value. A liquidity frenzy has taken over the people, which has left stock markets bleeding across the globe. The Bombay Stock Exchange, the 10th largest in the world, has been going down for a long time, with the share market in India losing a whopping 40 lakh crore rupees within a couple of weeks.
Similarly, things at the NYSE have been disastrous, with hundreds of millions of dollars being wiped away from the market within days. However, a rather surprising news that has arrived amid all of this chaos that a couple of senators have dumped stock worth in millions shortly after the closed-door Coronavirus briefing by the government.
As per a report published by ProPublica, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr sold his stock holdings worth between $628,000 to $1,720,000 on February 13. The 33 transactions were executed by Sen. Burr right after he assured the public that the government was prepared to fight the pandemic and its impact. According to a story covered by Reuters, the North Carolina Senator’s committee received continuous info on Coronavirus, which could have compelled him to sell his stocks. The NPR recovered recording of the Senator disclosing to an elite social group about the impact COVID-19 would have on the economy a few weeks ago, and therefore, as soon as he sold his stocks, it triggered a sharp decline of as much as 30% in the market.
Likewise, a similar report was published by the Daily Beast, Senator Kelly Loeffler, along with her husband, NYSE Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher, sold their stocks worth anywhere between $1.27 million to $3.1 million. Ironically, just before selling her holdings, she tweeted that she appreciated the briefing from the President’s top health officials on the pandemic. However, she rubbished the reports of her misusing here position to make investment decisions and said in a tweet,
“This is a ridiculous and baseless attack. I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement. “As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020—three weeks after they were made.”