Ever since the Richmonder blog posted a story last weekend pointing to suspicious-looking stock trades made by Paul Ryan on September 18, 2008 – the day Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson met with Congressional leaders to warn of an economic collapse and the need for a giant bailout – the press has been at sixes and sevens. Was it insider trading? Wasn't it? First the story circulated rapidly. Then, when the Romney/Ryan campaign quickly issued denials, some journalists, most notably Benjy Sarlin of Talking Points Memo , leapt to “debunk” the story. Matt Yglesias of Slate , who first credited the story, apologized and backed off.
Earlier this week, I posted an article challenging the denials made by the Romney/Ryan campaign.
John Carney, a senior editor at CNBC.com has responded to my piece on Paul Ryan’s insider stock trades in September 2008. Unlike the Romney campaign, he does not try to claim that Congressman Ryan did not have time to do the trades before markets closed at 4pm. (There is, of course, the possibility that Ryan traded afterhours; that was no part of my story.) Nor does he take refuge in the pathetic argument that some anonymous trustee did it. His objection is that Congressman Ryan’s trading that day followed a larger pattern evident in other transactions that year.