Use this tool to plot a senator or a congressman's stock holding compared against the S&P500 (in grey).
The data above combines resources from the Center for Responsive Politics with disclosure data sourced directly from Senate and House of Representatives websites, as well as stock performance data from Yahoo! and Index Performance data from the Federal Reserved Bank of St. Louis
This is an example of a story lead which is generated by combining the data analysis of the personal financial disclosures with the solid political and financial knowledge a beat reporter has.
Washington, DC - February 3 - Departing Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson and his wife liquidated over $2.5 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock shortly before leaving office. Meanwhile, Tom Coburn bought and sold options on Priceline, Google and BP's Prudhoe Bay Realty Trust. These transactions were reported in financial disclosure reports posted on the Senate Clerk?s web site. Throughout 2012, Senator Nelson and his wife made a gain of around 15% on the Berkshire stock.
Nelson and his wife reinvested the proceeds from the Berkshire Hathaway sales in a diversified portfolio of stocks including Philip Morris, Novartis AG, Verizon and 3M. The Berkshire liquidation is notable because the company's chairman, Warren Buffett, was one of Nelson's most influential constituents before his term ended on January 3.
Nelson's sale was previously reported in The Omaha World Herald, which also reported that Nelson assumed the role of CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In this role, he will oversee a group of state insurance boards that regulate Berkshire Hathaway. The World Herald report also noted that the late December timing of these sales enabled the Nelson family to harvest large capital gains on the Berkshire stock prior to the increase in capital gains tax rates on high net worth individuals. All of these transactions are within statutes governing stock trading by elected officials.
Mr Coburn's trades do not appear to have been previously reported. The amount of each trade was small - less than $15,000 - but the number of transactions was unusual. Coburn bought or sold Priceline options on 11 occasions in December while also making three transactions in Google. Further, because options are high leveraged bets on the movement of stock prices, small cash investments can yield very large gains. In addition to the Priceline and Google trades, Coburn made leveraged bets on two energy stocks - Apache and BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust.
According to a January 2012 Politico report, Coburn was one of only two senators to oppose the STOCK Act - which, among other measures, required internet dissemination of Congressional financial disclosures. In a floor speech opposing the legislation, Coburn "suggested that the Senate was in fact further corroding the people's trust in Congress by wasting a week on legislation that hardly changes existing law."