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

Income

  • Sources of income outside of earned income exceeding $200 must be disclosed.
  • A spouses' income over $1,000 must be disclosed, but the source does not have to be reported.
  • Elected officials and senior staff are limited to earning $26,100 each year from outside income.

Filing Times

  • In addition to the annual reporting, those required to make financial disclosures must file throughout the year for any transaction over $1,000. These reports must be filed within 30 days of the receipt of notice of any covered transaction and no later than 45 days after the actual transaction.
  • The requirement to make more frequent financial disclosures applies to transactions for stock and bonds in companies but does not usually apply to mutual funds, ETFs, or real property transactions.
  • The President and Vice President file with the Office of Government Ethics, while other officials file with the designated agency ethics officer within the agency in which the officer serves.
  • The financial disclosure reports are generally made public within 30 days of the 15 May deadline, although no specific rule relating to this time frame was located.
  • These reports are now required to be made available on the internet by the respective agencies. This includes the periodic financial disclosures detailed above. However, concerns relating to identity theft, malicious data mining, public safety concerns, and concerns regarding financial privacy have led to a re-evaluation of the internet publication of lower-level federal employees' financial information.
  • The conclusion reached was "the online posting requirement does little to help detect conflicts of interest and insider trading, but that it can harm federal missions and individual employees." Given this, the STOCK Act was amended by Congress to require the internet posting of high-level government officials but leaving the requirement that they are made available for inspection or copying by the press or public within 30 days of 15 May at the official's designated filing office.
  • It is unclear when the interim financial reporting (if required) must be disclosed. A reasonable expectation would be it is available in the manner detailed above within 30 days of filing for lower-level officials and posted on the internet within this same time frame for higher-level officials.
  • There is provision for lower-level officials to make confidential disclosures in some circumstances.

Summary

  • Despite the request asking for information relating to the politicians that are required to file their financial holdings, we are aware this information was provided in the original research so have attempted to focus on the second part of the question in this research.
  • While we try to complete as many parts of the research as we can, unfortunately, time constraints mean this is not possible. There are a number of other resources available in the public domain, that may contain answers to some of the questions that remain unanswered. We unfortunately have not had time to address them in this hour of research.
  • To ensure a comprehensive answer is received, we recommend the research options below.

Proposed next steps:

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