One Of The Best Traders In Congress Sells Shares Of Distressed Regional Bank On Day Of Stock Crash

Zinger Key Points
  • A member of Congress sold shares of a regional bank that wobbled during this month's banking crisis.
  • The move could put more pressure on banning members of Congress from buying and selling stocks while in office.

Several banks have collapsed in 2023, including Silvergate Capital SI, Signature Bank SBNY and Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial SIVB. The Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve stepped in to provide a backstop for depositors of Silicon Valley Bank.

A member of Congress sold shares of a distressed regional bank shortly before it fell further. Here are the details.

The Banking Crisis Trade: The banking turmoil put pressure on regional banks, including First Republic Bank FRC.

Shares of First Republic fell on news the company was suspending its dividend and was receiving $30 billion in uninsured deposits from several large banks. The drop in share price occurred after the market close on March 16, the same day a member of Congress sold their shares.

U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) reported in a filing Tuesday that he sold $1,000 to $15,000 in shares of First Republic on March 16.

The filing was shared by Congresstrading on Twitter, which noted the sale of First Republic made Curtis the first Congress member to “report trading the banking crisis.”

Shares of First Republic fell after hours on March 16, the same day Curtis sold the shares. The drop came after the company announced it was suspending its dividend and was receiving $30 billion in uninsured deposits from several large banks.

Shares of First Republic traded between $19.80 and $40 on March 16 before closing at $34.27. On March 17, the day after Curtis sold stock, First Republic shares opened at $27.74 and traded between $22.30 and $30.01 before closing at $23.03. 

Shares of First Republic opened for trading in March at $122.01 before declining throughout the month amid volatility in the banking sector. 

First Republic shares are down 89% year-to-date in 2023 and down 92% in the last year, trading between $11.52 and $173.99 over the last 52 weeks and trading at $14.14 at the time of writing.

While it is unknown how much Curtis paid for the First Republic shares, it is possible he sold the shares at a loss. As investors can see, Curtis may have limited further losses by selling the shares prior to the sharp decline after-hours on March 16.

Curtis also sold $1,000 to $15,000 in shares of Bank of America BAC, a multinational bank that also saw pressure on its share price.

In the same filing, Curtis noted the purchase of $1,000 to $15,000 in shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B).

The stock transactions were made from a joint Northwestern Mutual account.

Related Link: 10 Best Stock Traders In Congress In 2022 

Curtis' Stock Trading History: The sale by Curtis centered around the banking crisis of 2023 may continue to put pressure on banning members of Congress from the buying and selling of stocks and options.

Curtis was one of the best performing members of Congress from a stock trading standpoint in 2021, according to an annual report from UnusualWhales, ranking fourth best of all members of Congress.

Curtis was also highlighted in a lobbying report from UnusualWhales that showed members of Congress who serve on committees may have used their knowledge to make stock transactions.

In 2021, Curtis had three of the top 10 stock transactions reported by UnusualWhales with sales of Applied Materials AMAT, Lam Research Corporation LRCX and Deere & Company DE.

UnusualWhales recently partnered with Subversive Capital to launch ETFs that allow investors to trade alongside members of Congress. 

The Last Detail: Members of Congress have 45 days to report stock transactions, which means more members of Congress could still report buying or selling of bank stocks related to the collapse of several banks.

Read Next: First Republic's Struggle For Survival In Lending Sector Chaos: 4 Analysts Weigh In, Possible 'Distressed M&A Sale ... Could Leave Minimal Residual Value'

Photo via Shutterstock. 

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