Money talks? The link between congressional stock trading and corporate lobbying

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A popular Twitter account that offers insight into transactions made by members of Congress has released a new report that could increase calls to ban the practice.

What happened: A new release report from Unusual Whales titled “The Influence of Lobbying on Congress and Trades in Congress” shares a look at the top lobbying firms in 2021 and the members of Congress who actively traded firms that lobbied on Capitol Hill.

“I just analyzed how lobbying influences congressional trade. Congress is more likely to trade if companies pressure them,” UnusualWhales tweeted.

The report states that lobbying in US politics topped $2 billion in 2021. The report also showed that lobbying firms were more likely to be invested by members of Congress than non-lobbying firms.

Some of the biggest issues that have been heavily lobbied in 2021 include taxes, budget, health care, trade, transportation, labor issues, copyright, environment , financial institutions, telecommunications, homeland security and energy.

Related Link: Exclusive: Unusual Whales Creates Nancy Pelosi ETF So You Can Track Her Trades

Congress discusses lobbying: In 2021, members of Congress made more than 4,000 transactions in more than 900 publicly traded companies.

More than 400 of the companies that were bought and sold by members of Congress in 2021 actively lobbied Congress during the year.

A total of 92 members of Congress held stocks of companies that lobbied Congress in their portfolios in 2021, split into 46 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 1 independent.

Some of the largest lobbying amounts in 2021 came from Metaplatforms Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, Raytheon Technologies RTX, Lockheed Martin LMT, Boeing Inc. BA, Comcast Corporation CMCSA, Microsoft Corporation MSFT, Alphabet Inc. GOOGGOOGL and Apple Inc. AAPL.

A key example of how lobbying could impact Congress was FuelCell Energy Inc FCEL. The company spent $120,000 lobbying Congress for tax credits. representing austin scott bought shares in October 2020 at $2 and sold them in 2021 for $17.60.

Scott tops the ranking of top performers by members of Congress on corporate stock deals that lobbied Congress in 2021. Here are the top 10 deals of 2021:

  • austin scott: Fuel Cell, +780%
  • Alan Lowenthal: ProjectKings Inc DKNG+253%
  • Don Beyer: Block Inc. SQ: +242%
  • Alan Lowenthal: Virgin Galactic Inc. SPCE: +234%
  • Thomas Suozzi: Block Inc, +205%
  • John Curtis: Apply materials AMAT+200%
  • Catherine Clark: Alphabet, +163%
  • John Curtis: Lam Research Society LRCX+162%
  • John Curtis: Deere & Company OF+158%
  • Nancy Pelosi: Apple (your choice), +157%

Lowenthal appeared on the list twice and Curtis three times, ranking as the biggest possible corporate trade benefactors who lobbied Congress.

Pelosi also placed 11th, with her Tesla Inc. TSLA options gain 154%.

The UnusualWhales report could bolster the argument that members of Congress should not be allowed to buy and sell stocks while in office because they are privy to information that may not be public. UnusualWhales recently shed light on members of Congress buying up defense stocks ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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