Questions arise over political intel providers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional watchdogs say requiring more disclosure from a new class of “political intelligence” entrepreneurs who gather information on Congress and other government activities and sell it to investors would help securities regulators in their investigations of insider trading.

The Government Accountability Office in a report Thursday quoted Securities and Exchange Commission officials as saying more transparency by political intelligence providers could help investigators identify relationships and connections between various parties involved in the probes.

The GAO itself is skeptical about the ability to determine how much political intelligence impacts trading.

The Wall Street Journal, in a report Thursday, said shares in several insurance companies rose sharply Monday after one political intelligence provider emailed customers about a potential change in Medicare policy 35 minutes before the Obama administration announced it.

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