Congressmen Made Up to $100K on Military Stocks Since Hamas-Israel Conflict

War has a price, but it also has a profit for U.S. politicians Markwayne Mullin, Kevin Hern, Bill Keating, and Josh Gottheimer.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict intensifies, defense stocks trade higher. Since the October 7 attack, shares of Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon Technologies (RTX) have all increased in value, collectively adding roughly $23 billion in market capitalization.

The surge in defense stocks comes amid increased geopolitical tension and heightened military activity in the region, with the U.S. sending additional Iron Dome missile defense systems and other munitions to Israel.

In the weeks preceding the devastating attack, U.S. politicians purchased shares of those defense companies.

Senator Mullin and Representative Hern, both Oklahoma Republicans, reported multiple purchases of RTX. Records show Mullin acquired an amount between $16,000 and $65,000 in RTX across transactions dated in September, with disclosures filed in October.

Representative Hern’s dealings were reported in a range from $1,000 to $15,000 in RTX shares, made on September 7 and reported by October 13. Hern also engaged in an additional purchase of RTX on June 15, disclosed a month later, and invested a similar amount in Lockheed Martin on June 23, all of which he still retains.

Since Senator Mullin’s and Representative Hern’s initial purchases, shares of RTX are up 10 percent, with a more pronounced 18.85 percent increase following the events of October 7.

On the Democratic side, Keating, a Massachusetts Representative, reported investing between $15,000 and $50,000 in Boeing Co on September 15, with the shares up approximately 3 percent post-attack. New Jersey Representative Gottheimer’s investment in Northrop Grumman, reported to be between $1,000 and $15,000 made on September 26, has seen an almost 12 percent increase since October 7, and an 11 percent increase from his purchase date.

These trades, when aggregated, equate to a total capital influx of approximately $105,000 into the defense sector by U.S. politicians in the run-up to the conflict. Given the uptrend in defense stocks post-October 7, the value of their assets has grown, ensuring that politicians’ portfolios have appreciated in value, though the precise profit margins are unknown until they exit their positions.

For comparison, the broad market S&P 500, which tracks the stock performance of the 500 largest companies in the U.S., is down 0.25 percent since October 7.

It is important to disclose the nature of political stock filings, which come in ranges, not exact amounts. Thus, while U.S. politicians have certainly invested a noteworthy sum into defense stocks before the conflict, the exact profits from the transactions can only be estimated once the stocks are sold.

Newsweek did not immediately receive a response from the offices of the named politicians.

Wall Street analysts from Morgan Stanley and TD Bank have taken note of the potential financial benefits from the escalating conflict during recent earnings calls, with a focus on the aerospace and weapons sector.

As the Pentagon mounts support for Israel, analysts opine that there could be further upside in the defense sector.

The story of politicians trading stocks—including defense stocks—amidst global conflicts is not new, but it has been brought closer to the surface in recent years with watchdog websites like Unusual Whales and Capitol Trades.

In response to growing scrutiny and public demand for transparency, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Josh Hawley introduced the “Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act” in July. The bipartisan bill seeks to enforce strict bans on stock trading and ownership by Congress members, senior executive branch officials, and their immediate families.

The proposed legislation comes as a direct measure to mitigate potential conflicts of interest and ensure that the decisions made by those in power are free from personal financial influence.

By mandating the divestiture of stocks and the dismantling of blind trusts for those in high office, the bill intends to draw a clearer line between public service and private gain. The move is grounded in a belief shared by both senators that public trust is paramount and that government officials must be held to the highest standard of accountability.

The ethical lines may not have been crossed, but the optics of profiting during times of conflict remain a sensitive issue for the public and policymakers alike.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

The post Congressmen Made Up to $100K on Military Stocks Since Hamas-Israel Conflict appeared first on Newsweek.

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