Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia traded hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank stock while serving on the Senate Banking Committee and passing pro-bank legislation, according to Salon.
Between 2017 and 2020, while on the committee, Perdue co-sponsored 14 bills that benefited the financial industry, including through deregulation and extended liability protection. In that time he also accepted more than $1 million in political contributions from financial interests, federal filings show.
Salon reported that a portion of Perdue’s millions in investments “rests in a Wells Fargo brokerage account and a Georgia holding company called DBP Enterprises, where Perdue has held an ownership stake since 2011.”
That DBP stake comprises 130 assets valued anywhere between $12 million and $29 million, according to 2018 Senate financial disclosures. His Wells Fargo account lists 60 assets valued at up to $1.2 million.
Disclosures only provide ranges of value, so we cannot know precisely how much money Perdue has moved in stock trades, or the extent of his profits. But the forms do show that between 2017 and 2020, while he sat on the Banking Committee, Perdue traded at a minimum hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly millions.
According to the disclosures, Perdue held up to $910,000 in bank stocks alone from 2017 to 2019, through DBP and Wells Fargo. The shares earned him up to $204,000 in capital gains and dividends payouts.
Meanwhile, Perdue was on the Banking Committee giving banks the softball treatment.
As he was slinging stock, he cosponsored 14 bills that benefited the financial industry, the majority earning the blessing of the ABA. Five of them were lobbied on by financial institutions where Perdue held hundreds of thousands in stock, including Regions Financial, US Bancorp and JP Morgan.
For instance, in 2017, Perdue cosponsored a bill called the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act, which was geared to loosen Dodd-Frank regulations on mid-sized banks. The bill never made it out of committee, but Regional Financial and US Bancorp, where Perdue had stashed $300,000, both lobbied heavily on it.
Later that same year, Perdue went after Dood-Frank again, according to the report. The New York Times wrote that the bill, called the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, “frees banks from a variety of regulations that were imposed after the financial crisis of 2008,” including “innovative measures” targeting large financial institutions.
Salon noted that the “bill never made it out of committee, but was lobbied on by banks where Perdue held up to $465,000 of stock at the time, including Wells Fargo.”
The report continued, noting further examples of the Georgia Republican’s dance with the financial industry.
Perdue is currently locked in a tight runoff election, alongside fellow Georgian Sen. Kelly Loeffler — another multimillionaire who has faced insider-trading scrutiny amid the pandemic. The outcome of the election will determine which party holds power in the Senate.
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