Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold $US3.5 ($6) million in stock on February 26, a month after his wife, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, received a closed-door briefing about the covid-19 threat. According to SEC filings, Sprecher sold $US15.3 ($26) million more in stock on March 11, at the beginning of the crash that has seen trillions of dollars wiped from the financial markets. Both stock sales were of Intercontinental Exchange (known as ICE), the company that owns the NYSE, and of which Sprecher just happens to be CEO.
The revelations about Sprecher come from a new report by CBS News, which examined filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Loeffler’s own stock sales recently made headlines after it was revealed that she sold millions in stock the same day she received a closed-door January 26 briefing on the potential impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Loeffler denies having any knowledge of the sales done in her name.
What makes Sprecher’s stock sales a scandal? For one, they should have been reported as part of Loeffler’s financial disclosures, but were not. Senators have been required to give periodic financial disclosures since 2012 and those filings include any sales and purchases made by the politician’s spouse.
From CBS News:
Loeffler and Sprecher have since reported to the Senate that they began selling shares in other companies on January 24, eventually conducting 27 transactions to sell as much as $US3 ($5) million in stock.
Sprecher’s $US3 ($5).5 ($6) million in ICE stock sales on February 26, however, are not included in Loeffler’s Senate disclosure and have not previously been reported.
Experts told CBS MoneyWatch Loefflier’s Senate disclosure form, filed March 12, should have included any trades made by her spouse as well as by her. That would include Sprecher’s ICE stock sales, even if he was the sole owner of the shares.
The other thing that makes it a scandal is that Sprecher is the CHAIRMAN OF THE FUCKING NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE and SOLD SHARES IN HIS OWN COMPANY BEFORE THE MARKETS TANKED. That alone seems rotten to the core, even before you add the element that his wife had secret information about a global pandemic and both of them unloaded while she kept publicly saying everything was fine and dandy.
In fact, this was the video Loeffler posted to Twitter on March 10, the day before her husband unloaded $US15.3 ($26) million worth of stock in his own company.
Concerned about #coronavirus? Remember this:
The consumer is strong, the economy is strong, & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 10, 2020
Sprecher and Loeffler are reportedly worth at least $US500 ($863) million. Capitalism may be on its last legs during the covid-19 pandemic, but you can bet that millionaires and billionaires will do everything they can to keep it afloat. Even if a few million people have to die.