A recent mega tech deal by Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being called out by Compton Jay, a popular socialist voice on social media.
Compton Jay hosts “The Populist Voice” on YouTube — an independent left media network of podcast shows focused on left politics, according to its YouTube description.
Earlier this summer, Paul Pelosi exercised a bullish bet on Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in a transaction that netted him $5.3 million. But according to Compton Jay, the timing is questionable. The deal came just as the House Judiciary Committee voted on having more oversight on big tech.
The government had introduced an antitrust bill in an attempt to put a stop to the “unregulated power” of big tech firms Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. It was the final part of a six-part package called “Ending Platform Monopolies Act” aimed at “restricting how big tech companies offer their products to ensure they don’t use their size to dominate the market,” Fortune reported.
As the Senate was making its move, Paul Pelosi purchased 4,000 shares of Alphabet on June 18.
The deal was disclosed in a financial disclosure signed by Nancy Pelosi on July 2. The transaction netted Paul a gain of $4.8 million at the time. It also caused suspicions of potential insider trading as the exercise came a week before the House vote on anti-trust legislation to break up big tech companies, including Alphabet, Bloomberg reported.
“The Matriarch of Corruption in Washington DC is at her old INSIDER TRADING tricks again! Working to pass subsidies for electric cars then buying $1 mil in Tesla stock Most of Pelosi’s wealth is gain from INSIDER TRADING,” Compton Jay tweeted.
Compton Jay is also a co-host of the political podcast “Fred Hampton Leftists.” Growing up in Compton during the height of the cocaine epidemic in the 1980s, he was introduced to politics at a young age by his father, a Korean War veteran, according to his bio on the Fred Hampton Leftists website. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, Jay’s political ideology shifted in 2015 from Liberal Democrat to socialist.
“The speaker has no involvement or prior knowledge of these transactions,” Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson said in a statement to Fortune, adding that Pelosi doesn’t own any stock.
Others agreed that there was nothing all that suspicious about the timing. Paul Pelosi’s options expired on June 18. “If he had done nothing, his broker would have automatically exercised them for him. The options allowed him to purchase Alphabet stock for less than half its market price, and it would have been financial insanity to let them expire unexercised. Both before and after the exercise, Paul Pelosi had essentially identical market exposure,” wrote Aaron Brown, a former managing director and head of financial market research at AQR Capital Management, in an opinion piece for Bloomberg.
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Even if it smacks of insider trading, the Peolsi deal is not unusual. Republican senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler both had inside information of the then-upcoming covid-19 crisis when they sold shares in January 2020.
Burr sold $1.7 million worth of stock holdings. Loeffler, wife of New York Stock Exchange chairman Jeffrey Sprecher and then the richest member of Congress, sold up to $3.1 million worth of stock after getting closed-door briefings on the covid-19 crisis, Fortune reported.
Still, there has been a call to crack down on such deals by politicians, and Twitter slammed the Pelosis. “Nancy Pelosi Insider Trading” trended on Twitter in July and some people have called for resignation.