With Sen. Bill Frist's (R-TN) personal investments under investigation by the SEC, the New Yorker reviews "the first-ever systematic study of politicians as investors." The study analyzed "six thousand stock transactions made by senators between 1993 and 1998" and found that, "over that time, senators beat the market, on average, by twelve per cent annually. Since a mutual-fund manager who beats the market by two or three per cent a year is considered a genius, the politicians’ ability to foresee the future seems practically divine.
Also interesting, the blind trust with 20/20 vision:
Meanwhile, while it's unclear Frist has a legal problem, a Washington Post piece indicates he has a real political problem since the trust he claimed was blind really wasn't.
It's interesting what happens when you pull a string. Frist's stock sale may or may not have been illegal, but it points a spotlight on activities of Senators as a whole and the issue of blind trusts (and the influence of one's stock holdings on their legislative agenda). It's at the very least an ethical issue on par with Cheney's continued profiting from Halliburton and the unethical influence it's had on Halliburton's