- Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently disclosed that her husband exercised Alphabet stock call options in September.
- The options were exercised just over a week before House leadership unveiled a bill that would ban members and their spouses from trading individual stocks.
- Pelosi’s husband also sold call options in NVIDIA and Micron Technology for a loss over a month after Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law.
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, exercised seven-figures worth of Alphabet stock call options days before House leadership unveiled a bill that would ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading individual stocks.
The value of the stock purchase was between $1 million and $5 million, according to a certified congressional disclosure made by Nancy Pelosi on October 14. Members of Congress are only required to report the values of such trades in broad ranges.
Paul Pelosi exercised the Alphabet call options, which he purchased in December 2021, on September 16 — the day they were set to expire. (Alphabet is the parent company of Google.)
That date fell just a week before House leadership introduced a Nancy Pelosi-backed bill that would ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading individual stocks.
The disclosure also notes that Paul Pelosi sold call options in NVIDIA and Micron Technology for a loss about a month after President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law.
On September 16, Paul Pelosi sold 50 call options (5,000 shares) of NVIDIA at a strike price of $26.86 per share, for a loss of $361,476.
That same day, he also sold 100 call options (10,000 shares) of Micron Technology at a price of $1.84 per share and a total loss of $392,575.
The disclosure of a financial loss is notable as Nancy Pelosi — or any member of Congress — rarely volunteers that level of detail about stock trades by themselves or their spouses. The last time Nancy Pelosi disclosed that her husband traded for a loss was in July, when Paul Pelosi sold $25,000 shares of NVIDIA stock for a loss of $341,365.
Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 with a goal of strengthening “American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security, and invest in research and development, science and technology, and the workforce of the future to keep the United States the leader in the industries of tomorrow, including nanotechnology, clean energy, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.”
According to the White House, Micron Technology already announced a $40 billion investment in memory chip manufacturing that was spurred by the passage of the act.
NVIDIA, a producer of graphics processing units and developer of integrated circuits, was one of many companies to sign an open letter in June asking leaders of Congress to pass the bill.
Speaker Pelosi herself does not trade stocks, but her husband is a frequent investor.
Pelosi’s congressional office acknowledged last week receiving several questions from Insider about Paul Pelosi’s stock-trading habits, but representatives for Pelosi did not respond with answers.
Asked in July whether Paul Pelosi stock trades based on information she’s given him, Nancy Pelosi replied: “Absolutely not.”
Insider collected each of the trades that the speaker reported in 2021 and 2022. Many of Paul Pelosi’s trades are worth millions — a previous analysis from Insider found in late 2021 that the speaker is ranked as the 14th wealthiest member of Congress with an estimated net worth of at least $46,123,051.
A conflicted Congress
Paul Pelosi’s trades come at a time when Congress is debating whether its members and their spouses should even be allowed to buy, hold, or sell individual stocks in the first place.
In December 2021, the speaker said she opposed such a ban.
“We are a free-market economy,” she said, “They should be allowed to participate in that.”
Nancy Pelosi ultimately backtracked on her position following criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in office.
“I’ve said to the House Administration Committee, review all the bills that are coming in and see which ones — where the support is in our caucus,” Pelosi said. “If members want to do that, I’m okay with that.”
After nearly a year of waiting, House leaders finally introduced their own congressional stock trading ban in September.
Some Democrats and good-government advocates, however, criticized it as too broad to garner Republican support — it proposes a stock ban for the Supreme Court and key executive branch officials — and fatally flawed by what they describe as a loophole allowing “fake” blind trusts.
Congress has effectively paused progress on the bill until after November’s midterm elections.
Since 2021, Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” project has identified 72 members of Congress who’ve violated disclosure provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 — a law Congress passed for itself to defend against conflicts of interest and enhance public transparency.
Insider — along with news organizations such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Sludge — have also found numerous financial conflicts among elected and appointed officials across the government.