In Depth

Capitol Trades 2023 Recap - A Year of Shifting Tides for Congress

Namra Pervaiz
19 Jan 2024 · 4 minutes read

The year 2023 unfolded with a series of impactful events that significantly influenced both finance and politics, shaping the landscape in unforeseen ways. As we delve into these major occurrences, each holding unique significance, we aim to unravel the complexities that unfolded within the corridors of power and the financial markets.

2023 Banking Crisis & Geopolitical Shake-Up

Fears of a banking crisis gripped the nation as Congress members engaged in significant stock transactions. Notably, Representative Jared Moskowitz's children strategically sold shares in Seacoast Banking Corporation (SBCF:US), shedding light on the intricate dance between lawmakers and the financial markets. Bank of America (BAC:US) faced financial consequences for deceptive practices, emphasizing the regulatory challenges within the banking sector.

Meanwhile, the Israel-Gaza conflict sent shockwaves through international markets, impacting commodities, travel, and even U.S. government budget deliberations. As global events unfolded, the interdependence of politics and financial markets became increasingly evident. It was also noted that several trades in defense stocks popped up around this time. The most profitable bets were:

Congressional Trading

In the realm of political maneuvers, Senator Tommy Tuberville's year-long blockade of military promotions took center stage. Initially driven by a protest against Pentagon policies, Tuberville eventually lifted most of the holds, sparking relief and a reevaluation of the intersection between political agendas and military operations. At the time, he often made his stance on Congressional Trading known with his multiple stock trades in prominent issuers.

Simultaneously, the tech world witnessed historic moments as Nvidia Corporation (NVDA:US) became the first trillion-dollar chipmaker, reflecting the booming demand for artificial intelligence. Not to be outdone, Apple Inc (AAPL:US) closed above a $3 trillion market cap, underlining its unparalleled position in the corporate landscape. 

Amidst these events, we explore an ambitious five-point plan proposed by Representative Ro Khanna, aiming to reform Congress and the federal government. The plan encompasses term limits, a ban on stock trading for lawmakers, and judicial reforms, reflecting a broader effort to restore public faith in the democratic process. As we navigate through these major events, our goal is to shed light on the complex interplay of politics, finance, and reform during a year that has profoundly shaped the socio-economic landscape.

Top Issuers in 2023

In the dynamic political investment landscape of 2023, Alphabet Inc (GOOGL:US), emerged as the most traded issuer with an impressive 110 transactions and a substantial 54.39% surge in stock value in 2023. Following closely is Microsoft Corp (MSFT:US), boasting 103 trades and a noteworthy 69.82% increase in its stock price. The market dynamics further highlight Nvidia, which, despite a lower count of 65 trades, showcases an astounding 240.63% surge, indicating significant market favor. Apple Inc., with 56 trades, marks a solid 39.45% increase in stock value. Rounding out the top issuers, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN:US), traded 55 times, also demonstrates substantial growth with a 63.86% rise.

These trends provide valuable insights into the economic and political landscape, reflecting trading politicians' decisions and broader market sentiments, and shaping the narrative of political investments.

Congress Members with the Best Trading IQs 

On April 10, Rep. Daniel Goldman purchased up to $15,000 worth of Affirm Holdings Inc (AFRM:US). Since then, the fintech stock has seen a rise of 260.65% since the Representative’s purchase. Another noteworthy trade by Goldman in the year was his purchase of Opendoor Technologies Inc (OPEN:US). Also traded on April 10, Opendoor stock surged by nearly 79.17% to the present date. 

In four transactions dated January 25, Rep. Diana Harshbarger bought shares of Meta Platforms Inc (META:US) via undisclosed owners, her spouse, and a joint ownership. While the Facebook owner is due to reveal a hopeful Q4 2023 performance, the stock is up by 165.82% since Harshbarger’s purchases. 

Former Microsoft executive, Josh Gottheimer bought NVDA stock from February 21 onwards. In total, the Representative bought the stock seven times throughout 2023 in addition to five sales. Since Feb 21, the stock has seen a price rise of 176.48%.

Senator Tuberville also made a profitable bet in 2023 with his April 3 purchase of XP Inc (XP:US). Since then, XP stock has risen by 124.10% in value.

The intricate interplay between congressional actions and financial markets defined the transformative year of 2023, spotlighting the need for reforms to address potential conflicts of interest. The dynamic landscape underscored both the challenges and opportunities inherent in the intersection of politics, finance, and public trust.