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Congressman sells entire stock portfolio: Sign of integrity or coming WW3?

Congressman sells entire stock portfolio: Sign of integrity or coming WW3?

U.S. elected officials have, time and time again, proven their savviness when it comes to making the right trade at the right time. 

This has been most evident with investments such as Nancy Pelosi’s Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) bet which saw an options purchase take place shortly before the semiconductor giant’s skyrocketing.

Still, there have been many other instances with other politicians such as the uptick in defense stock trading around the time of the October 7 attacks.

The most recent Congressional trade – the one made by Representative Chip Roy – is highly curious in several ways.

For one, it is his first trade recorded since he was elected to Congress, per the information shared by Insider Tracker, a platform specializing in sharing politicians’ trades on X.

What did Representative Roy sell?

The sale made by Representative Roy, reportedly made on April 10, involved the shares of three major energy firms: Exxon (NYSE: XOM), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), and Atlas Energy Solutions (NYSE: ATCO-H).

All three are well-known fossil fuel companies with the first two being oil and gas corporations and the third being primarily a logistics company with a focus on supporting the industry.

While the exact value of the sales is difficult to gauge due to politicians reporting the value ranges rather than precise prices, Representative Chip Roy sold up to $50,000 worth of Exxon and Chevron shares and up to $500,000 worth of Atlas Energy Solutions stock.

Are the sales a sign of integrity or of a coming WW3?

At first glance, Representative Roy’s first-ever trade while in Congress might appear like a sign of integrity, especially given the increased scrutiny politicians’ investments are under as of 2024 and the doubts about whether their returns are driven by general savviness or by access to insider information.

The timing of the trades, however, casts a shadow upon them as the sales came in a time of heightened geopolitical tensions and shortly before Iran launched a large retaliatory attack on Israel.

Politicians have been noted for frequently making their stock market decisions to coincide with significant geopolitical events with a recent example coming in the form of Nancy Pelosi’s Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW) bet which came near the time Congress was warned of a major national security threat.

The trades are also interesting given that the waters near Iran are critical for the global fossil fuel supply chains and the potential for the local conflict to expand nearly infinitely given both Israel’s close ties with the U.S. and other Western nations and the close relationship between the Islamic Republic, various regional organizations, as well as Russia and China.

Ultimately, however, it is neither certain that the sale resulted from the most recent escalation in the Middle East, nor that – even if did – it stems from non-public information given that the air attack was a response to an April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, which killed multiple Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers.

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