The investor husband of house Speaker Nancy Pelosi sold 25,000 shares of semiconductor manufacturer Nvidia just days before the stock crashed following the imposition of a government restriction on doing business with Chinese companies.
Paul Pelosi sold the shares of the semiconductor manufacturer on July 27, at a selling price of $165.05 per share.
By 1 September, the share price crashed to $133.13 following the Commerce department's order that American chipmakers should not sell artificial intelligence chips to Chinese companies.
As per the department's new guidance, US chipmakers must immediately procure a license to supply artificial intelligence chips to Chinese companies. The US says stringent measures are needed to ensure that AI chips are not used by the Chinese for 'military end use.
Following the order, Nvidia shares fell 6.6 percent, while AMD shares dropped 3.7 percent. The US chipmaker said it would lose around $400 million if Chinese customers won't buy its alternative product offerings or if the US government does not grant licenses.
Paul Pelosi Avoided 20% Loss
By selling the shares just in the nick of time, Pelosi avoided a staggering 20 percent loss. The trade, which smacks of insider information, comes amid intense scrutiny of Speaker Pelosi and her husband over a string of such deals.
The office of the House Speaker routinely denies any involvement of Nancy Pelosi in her husband's stock trades.
Access to Insider Legislative Information?
Paul Pelosi's purchase of Nvidia shares had also taken place under dubious circumstances, just ahead of the House passing the CHIPS Act that channeled billions of dollars into the semiconductor industry.
Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the left-wing think tank Public Citizen, told the Daily Caller that chip stocks purchase certainly raise the specter that Paul Pelosi could have access to some insider legislative information.
In a landmark move, the US Senate voted on July 20 to move forward with the CHIPS Act that will provide a $54 billion boost to the country's semiconductor industry.
Chief among the provisions in the bill are $54 billion in subsidies for America semiconductor companies and a four-year 25 percent tax credit, which is worth about $24 billion.
Denial of Involvement
Nancy Pelosi's office denied any involvement of the Speaker in the stock trades.
"Mr. Pelosi bought options to buy stock in this company more than a year ago and exercised them on June 17, 2022 ... As always, he does not discuss these matters with the speaker until trades have been made and required disclosures must be prepared and filed," said her spokesperson Drew Hammill, Fox News Digital reported.
Glenn Greenwald's Damning Report
In 2021, similar charges were made against Nancy Pelosi. An investigative report by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald said that the House Speaker had become far richer by investing in the Big Tech, a sector that she regulates. Pelosi, already one of the richest members in Congress, has managed to increase her personal wealth from $41 million in 2004 to around $115 million, the report said.
Making Money in Big Tech Stocks
According to Greenwald's investigative report, the sector in which the Pelosis most frequently buy and sell stocks is, by far, the Silicon Valley tech industry. Close to 75% of the Pelosis' stock trading over the last two years has been in Big Tech -- which amounts to more than $33 million worth of trading. Pelosi and her husband have mostly traded Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google stocks, as per publicly available information.
Dubious Microsoft Call Option in 2021
In March, Paul Pelosi exercised $1.95 million worth of Microsoft call options less than two weeks before the tech stalwart secured a $22 billion contract to supply US Army combat troops with augmented reality headsets.
Bought Tesla Stock Before Biden Offered Incentives
In January, he purchased up to $1 million of Tesla calls before the Biden administration delivered its plans to provide incentives to promote the shift away from traditional automobiles and toward electric vehicles.
Greenwald's report claims that Pelosi often holds meetings with CEOs of tech giants the US Congress is supposed to regulate, including Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. The report says Apple accounted for 17 percent of the Pelosis' trading volume.
Pelosi and her husband have also made millions trading Google stock. Google, campaign finance data shows, is one of the House speaker's top donors.