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September 27, 2005



Information didn't mean what it means now back when insider trading rules were devised. Nor were the means of acquiring and disseminating it the same either.

New rules needed. Maybe we can blend this discussion with the privacy vs public order one.


Frist may not be guilty of anything more then Martha Steward was

But, boy he sure does act like it.


He was dumping it to prevent a guilty conscience. Like I say, doing well by doing good.

Geek, Esq.

Something doesn't add up.

From CNN:

"Asked in a television interview in January 2003 whether he should sell his HCA stock, responded, "Well, I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust. So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock"

Frist, referring to his trust and those of his family, also said in the interview, "I have no control. It is illegal right now for me to know what the composition of those trusts are. So I have no idea."

From his statement:

"“When deciding how to handle my family’s personal investments, I always sought expert advice and Senate Ethics Committee review and approval. Despite not being required to do so, I sought and obtained two Ethics Committee opinions acknowledging that my ownership of HCA stock complied with Senate rules and did not present a conflict of interest with my Senate duties."

He seemed awfully keen on knowing the status of stock he purportedly had no idea whether he owned.

Robert Crawford

Funny, isn't it, how a three-month-old stock sale broke into the news right after we heard about Schumer's staff illegally obtaining credit reports. Almost like this story was being held in reserve until it was needed to distract the press from something particularly damaging.

Nah. That couldn't be it.


Ah, c'mon now, that was just a little private data-mining between friends. Like sniffing each others' pie evacuators wasn't the sociable thing to do.

Geek, Esq.

I posted this over at Crank's, but I'll post it here too.

Frist's alleged plan to sell the stock in April is of no consequence to the SEC. The standard is whether the person was aware of material nonpublic information when he made the sale.

There is an exception for prior-arranged sales, but Frist's 'plan' doesn't qualify. It is an affirmative defense to trading with material nonpublic information that the defendant had entered into a binding contract that specifically set forth terms including the amount and price of the sale. Frist had entered into no such contract, and thus may not avail himself of this defense.


You forget. He didn't make the sale, the trustees did. Just when he requested that they do so may be important, but that was not your point, now, was it?

Geek, Esq.

If he retained the authority to make such a decision, he is liable.


He was required by law to be aware of what was in his 'blind' trust, and empowered to make trading decisions to avoid 'conflicts of interests'. He was not empowered to trade. When and why he made the trading decision may be pertinent, and it probably predated the date when even insiders came into possession of material non-public information.

Liable for what? Be specific. I agree he's politically liable for making stupid statements dependent on the ignorance of his listeners. Blind, forsooth.

Geek, Esq.

Simply put, if he traded securities while aware of material nonpublic information regarding that security, he's dead meat.


He didn't trade securities. And he asked the trustees to trade his securities before the earnings existed let alone be reported.


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