Through all the day’s uproar about Donald Trump’s latest twitter tirade, something seems to have fallen through the cracks.
Boeing responded by saying that they were looking forward to working with the Air Force on projects. During the day, Boeing stock swung wildly at one time losing over $1B in value. That loss and recovery of value is where the real story might be.
It is stated in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 9(a)(2):
“To effect, alone or with 1 or more other persons, a series of transactions in any security registered on a national securities exchange, any security not so registered, or in connection with any security-based swap or security-based swap agreement with respect to such security creating actual or apparent active trading in such security, or raising or depressing the price of such security, for the purpose of inducing the purchase or sale of such security by others.”
This law has been interpreted to cover manipulation of stocks by going to online message boards and bashing them. The gist of it is that it is illegal to go out and say bad things about a stock to get the price to move so that you or cohorts can buy or sell it for profit.
If someone in the administration traded that stock or a security tied to it, and they can be proven to have foreknowledge of the tweet, a law was broken.
The investigation would be fairly straightforward. Any sales of Boeing stock, major subcontractors, or options of those stocks should be checked. If there are any people with financial gain and likely foreknowledge, then a serious investigation is in order.
Important to note, this is not an assertion that anything illegal actually happened. This is merely intended to raise a question about something that should be investigated, and to illustrate the potential danger of the President Elect’s twitter feed.