Why Is Insider Trading Even Illegal?

Business & Money

Ever since the financial crisis, U.S. regulators have been hard at work putting away Wall Street financiers who play fast and loose with the law. The only problem is, those Wall Street crooks that the feds have been cracking down on aren’t those who actually caused the financial crisis, but a different breed of white collar criminal: inside traders.

As Charles Gasparino explains in his new book on insider trading, it’s largely coincidental that the fed’s recent crackdown on the practice — which includes yesterday’s indictment of the hedge fund SAC Capital — is taking place in the wake of the worst economic recession in several generations. But the coincidence does provide opportunity to ponder why — given the fact that insider trading isn’t anywhere near as pernicious a crime as some other white collar shenanigans — the government spends so much time and energy trying to stop it.

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