House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul have a net worth of at least $66.1 million and as much as $315.7 million, much of it tied up in real estate, according to her 2020 annual financial disclosure, filed on Aug. 13 by the Clerk of the House.
Paul Pelosi profited from a bullish options bet on Google-parent Alphabet a week before Congress voted on antitrust legislation that could severely limit how big tech conducts its business. In a July 2 financial disclosure signed by Nancy Pelosi, Paul reported exercising call options to acquire 4,000 shares of Alphabet at a strike price of $1,200. The trade netted him a $4.8 million gain, then increased to $5.3 million, Bloomberg reported on July 7.
“Nancy Pelosi insider trading” began trending on Twitter.
It’s illegal for members of Congress to trade on non-public information gleaned through their official duties, but some elected officials attracted unwanted attention for dumping stock shortly before the market crashed in 2020, early in the coronavirus pandemic.
Four U.S. senators were accused in March 2020 of using insider information about the pandemic to profit in the stock market. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee over the allegations. Investigations into Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Dianna Feinstein (D-Calif.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) were closed.
It isn’t illegal for members of Congress to own stock in companies they regulate, but not for lack of trying. In March, several House members tried for legislation to ban members of Congress from trading corporate stocks as part of the Democrats’ major ethics and voting reform bill, the For the People Act. Their efforts were blocked by the Pelosi-controlled Rules Committee, Sludge reported.
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Paul Pelosi made a fortune in real estate and venture capital in the San Francisco area. He owns real estate and venture capital firm Financial Leasing Services. Among his top stock 2020 holdings were shares worth up to $25 million each in Apple, Amazon, and Visa, and stakes worth up to $5 million in companies including Comcast, Walt Disney, Square, Salesforce, Paypal, and Crowdstrike.
Giant tech companies such as Apple and Google could be affected by five antitrust bills that advanced through the House Judiciary Committee in June and are expected to receive a full House vote. The bills could weaken monopolies, allowing regulators to block mergers between rivals, unwind past mergers and block some anti-competitive practices. Some big tech companies could be forced to sell parts of their business that present a conflict of interest.
More than half the members of Congress are millionaires, according to 2020 personal financial disclosures. The median net worth of members of Congress who filed disclosures last year is just over $1 million, Open Secrets reported.