“Illegal insider trading is rampant and may even be on the rise,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in his recent interview with the New York Times. Throughout this past week the news has been scattered with reports claiming that a large insider trading investigation is reaching a close and that Wall Street should expect arrests to be made.
In recent years insider trading scandals have taken a backseat to other financial dilemmas such as the 2008 crisis, European debt and so on. Not since Rudy Giuliani took on Wall Street in the 1980’s has there been a real crack-down on those who partake in insider trading, at least not to my recollection. However, it now seems that the trend is back, but why?
Bharara stated that, “disturbingly, many people who are going toinsider trading such lengths to obtain inside information for trading advantage are already among the most advantaged, privileged and wealthy insiders in modern finance.” So if these insiders are already worth millions why do they feel the need to obtain more money through illegal means? Is insider trading just pure greed reaching the surface or is it that these Wall Street moguls can simply not help themselves? Is insider trading the only way to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition?
Wall Street is easily one of the most cut-throat and competitive places to work, so if inside information presents itself and can help you get ahead, is it just too tempting not to take advantage? Obviously, insider trading is illegal and should not be done, but are the pressures of Wall Street finally causing some who work there to crack? What I do know is Federal prosecutors are on the hunt and are ready to make arrests. So, in the end, the real question that should be asked — is it worth it? I have a feeling that when the arrests are made, the answer will be No!