Loeffler’s Husband, NYSE Chairman, Also Dumped Millions of Stock After Coronavirus Senate Briefing

March 22, 2020

Loeffler’s husband and chair of the NYSE dumped millions in shares of their own company after Senate briefing

ATLANTA — New reporting reveals that unelected “political mega-donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler was not the only member of her family to sell off millions of dollars worth of stocks following a Senate briefing on coronavirus. Her husband —  chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Jeffrey Sprecher — also appeared to take “advantage” of his “privileged position,” selling off millions worth of shares of their company after Loeffler had her private Senate briefing. 

But even after she and her husband dumped millions in stock, “Loeffler publicly downplayed the risks to public health,” instead claiming that “the economy is strong” even while they were selling off stock during a market collapse. 

Unlike another Republican colleague facing similar questions about stock sales following the coronavirus briefing, Senator Loeffler has not called for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation of her own transactions. The New York Times called for such an investigation in an editorial, writing “Senate should initiate an ethics investigation of all accusations, and, if warranted, refer relevant findings for criminal prosecution.”

Read more about Loeffler and Sprecher’s “appalling” stock-sell-offs:

CBS: NYSE boss sold his own stock ahead of coronavirus market meltdown

  • The CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, sold millions of dollars worth of the parent company’s shares in late February just days before the first reported death from the novel coronavirus in the U.S.
  • Jeffrey Sprecher, who is the husband of Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, on February 26 sold $3.5 million in shares of ICE, as the exchange is called, at an average price of $93.42 each, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since then, ICE shares have plunged nearly 25% amid a broader downdraft in stocks.
  • Sprecher and Loeffler also sold $15.3 million worth of ICE shares on March 11, at an average price of around $87, SEC filings show.
  • “It’s appalling,” Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel for good government group CREW, said about Sprecher’s and Loeffler’s stock sales. “These are people in a privileged position, and it looks like they took advantage of it.”
  • “Anyone who serves in Congress or is the head of a major exchange should have no business speculating in the market,” she added. “They should have been in diversified funds” that are not concentrated in a single stock or industry.
  • Loeffler and Sprecher have since reported to the Senate that they began selling shares in other companies on January 24, eventually conducting 27 transactions to sell as much as $3 million in stock. 
  • Sprecher’s $3.5 million in ICE stock sales on February 26, however, are not included in Loeffler’s Senate disclosure and have not previously been reported.
  • Experts told CBS MoneyWatch Loefflier’s Senate disclosure form, filed March 12, should have included any trades made by her spouse as well as by her. That would include Sprecher’s ICE stock sales, even if he was the sole owner of the shares.
  • “They should have been disclosed,” said Thomas Gorman, a partner at law firm Dorsey & Whitney and an expert in securities law who spent seven years at the SEC.
  • Sprecher and Loeffler on March 11 sold another $15.3 million worth of ICE shares, upping the selloff of the exchange’s shares to nearly $19 million so far this year.
  • An ICE spokerperson declined to comment as to whether Sprecher and Loeffler’s sales of the shares of ICE were made by a financial adviser or directly by either Sprecher or Loeffler.

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