Stephen Moore On Martha

 Posted by on 9 March 2004 at 9:13 am  Uncategorized
Mar 092004

Stephen Moore has a nice article on the conviction of Martha up on NRO. On insider trading, he writes:

Now, advocates of insider-trading laws are probably irate at this proposition of mine to legalize insider trading, because insider trading “hurts the mom-and-pop investor.” They also say that we need to enforce this law to maintain the integrity and the public confidence of the financial markets. Baloney. The market fell — it didn’t rise — on the news of Martha Stewart’s conviction. If investors believe that the SEC can throw you in jail for making trades that can be construed by a federal prosecutor as based on “insider information,” this has a chilling effect on the financial markets and all stocks are hurt. That means all investors are also hurt.

On the morality of capitalism, he writes:

Love her or hate her, Martha Stewart has been one of the most successful capitalists of this generation. She created hundreds of millions of dollars of new wealth and virtually a new industry that was, in effect, herself. She created thousands of jobs and was a successful entrepreneur who happened to make a lot of money while she was at it. The source of my uneasiness is that many in our society applaud her downfall precisely because of her enormous success. But success is a virtue in America, and when we start treating it as vice, we denigrate our capitalistic system. And then we have a much bigger problem in our society than whether people are trading on hot stock tips in the middle of the night.


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