Oct 14, 2018

Preet Bharara's insider-trading mission

Preet Bharara. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

America has no insider-trading statute. Former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara would like to change that.

The details: The Bharara Task Force on Insider Trading was unveiled in a New York Times op-ed this week. This group of "distinguished former regulators and prosecutors, judges, academics and defense lawyers" will try to come up with a legal formula for exactly what should be considered illegal insider trading.

  • It won't be easy. Insider trading is an all but victimless crime, and while the stock market is indeed rigged against the little guy, that has very little to do with illegal activity and a lot to do with baked-in asymmetries when it comes to size and speed and sophistication. In other words, Bharara's first job will be to work out exactly what problem he's trying to solve.
  • If Bharara does come up with proposed legislation, it's hard to see why it should fare better than any of the bipartisan bills that have failed in the past. America's traders don't like fetters — and they have very good lobbyists.

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."