The Washington Post takes a look at House members' stock holdings and finds that a number of top-ranking lawmakers and members on a key committee held stock in 2008 in some of the biggest bailed-out firms. The paper found that at least "18 members of the House Financial Services Committee -- which oversees the banking and housing industries at the core of the economic meltdown -- held stock last year in firms that received federal bailout assistance." That's about a quarter of the members on the committee.
A conflict of interest or not, you be the judge. But one thing is clear: When the market tanked, some lawmakers took a bath, just like everyone else. The most salient example:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her husband lost hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in American International Group, which has received $170 billion in government loans and cash injections, making it by far the largest recipient of federal bailout dollars.
Other links this morning:
U.S. Saw Problems on the Way at Merrill (NYT)
U.S. Pushes a Troubled Citigroup to Heal Itself (NYT)
Overseer of Big Pay Is Seasoned Arbitrator (NYT)
U.S. Takes On the Insular G.M. Culture (NYT)
White House, Congress Seek to Rein in Exec Pay (AP)
Option ARMs Threaten U.S. Housing Rebound as 2011 Resets Peak (Bloomberg)