Politician Stock Market

Goals

To identify the politicians required to disclose public holdings and the time frame in which the information becomes public. To also identify any other members of society required to report public holdings and the time frame in which the information becomes public and to identify other parties working on a politician ETF.

Early Findings

  • Senior government officials in the executive branch of government and congress are required to disclose their personal financial holdings pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA). This is to discourage and expose potential conflicts of interest.
  • The information of high ranking government officials is generally publicly available. Other government officials with a lower ranking generally have their information kept confidential.
  • The members of government required to disclose public reports are:
    • The President;
    • The Vice President;
    • All members of the House;
    • All members of the Senate;
    • All members of the uniformed service holding the rank of O-7 or above;
    • Any employee of the executive branch holding the rank GS-15 or above;
    • The Postmaster General;
    • The Deputy Postmaster General;
    • Each Governor of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service;
    • The Director of the Office of Government Ethics;
    • Any civilian employee who holds a commission of appointment from the President;
    • Certain officers or employees of the Congress;
    • Certain judicial officers and employees; and
    • Any other officer or employee determined by the Office of Government Ethics to be of equal classification.
  • The required documents need to be filed by 15 May each year. This means any holdings bought after that date would not have to be disclosed until the following year, creating a lag period.

Exchange-Traded Funds

  • An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a bundle of investments that trades on an exchange, like a stock.
  • A political ETF is one which makes investments that align with companies that are supportive of the individuals political beliefs.
  • In the US, "a small but growing range of ETFs offer investors exposure to lobbyists, Republican and Democratic party strategies, and the corporate backers of successful candidates."

Summary

  • In our initial hour of research, we have identified the people in government that are required to disclose their financial information at a federal level. It is possible that other government officials may also fall into this category at a state level. This would require further research.
  • We have also identified the time period in which they must file this information, the potential lag and begun to look into political ETFs.

Proposed next steps:

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