“War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable”

“War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable”

March 10, 2022

Putin continues his violent war on Ukraine. The United States and its democratic allies have banded together to place sanctions on Russia. Yesterday, Biden went further by banning Russian oil imports.

Congress is privy to non-public information. I’ve pointed out congressional trading in 2021. I’ve noted how trading in 2022 continues and summarized current legislation being debated to ban stock trading by Congress. I’ve also commented on how family members should be banned too. This post will look at Members of Congress that have invested in stocks that are now benefiting from Russia's war on Ukraine.

https://twitter.com/unusual_whales/status/1501266170371993600

Yesterday, I pointed out how unusual it was for some of our elected officials to have bought energy and other stocks that have benefited greatly as a downstream effect of Russia’s war.

Due to the 2012 STOCK Act, Congress must disclose their financial trades to the public. They have up to 45 days to do so. I took a look at the published disclosures released so far, and here’s what I’ve found.

Congress likely knew that Russia was seriously planning an invasion as far back as November. On November 13, 2021, Ukraine warned the global community that Russia had amassed 100,000 troops at their border (Reuters).

Since November, there have been 1,239 disclosed trades by 80 individual Members of Congress and their spouses.

14 of those Members have disclosed buying 40 different stocks that have made significant gains as a result of Russia’s war.

Here are some of the stocks that have made gains since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The majority of these stocks are in Industrial Services, Energy Minerals, Utilities, and Non-Energy Minerals sectors that involve oil, gas and non-energy metals, or the infrastructure to support those industries.

Between February 22 (Russia’s invasion) and March 7, these stocks gained an average of +14.8%.

Here’s a heatmap showing the stocks purchased by Congress and their percent gains since Russia’s invasion.

When we factor in the date these stocks were purchased (since November 1, 2021), the average gain increases to +19.2%.

Here’s the same heatmap but percent gains are calculated using the first date of purchase.

You can check out each of these trades in this table.

Some observations:

  • House Democrat Alan Lowenthal, who sits on the House Committee for Natural Resources and chairs its Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, has been buying and selling Sunrun Inc. stocks ($RUN), an American provider of residential solar panels and home batteries, for a looong time now. His most recent $RUN purchase was on January 14, 2022.
  • House Republican Andrew Garbarino is the one that bought Tellurian Inc. stocks ($TELL), which saw a 57% increase since Russia invaded Ukraine. He actually bought $TELL twice, the first buy on October 4, 2021, and again on January 14, 2022. Rep. Garbarino sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security and its Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation subcommittee as Ranking Member and its Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery subcommittee
  • Senate Democrat Thomas Carper’s most profitable stock purchase during this time has to be the Mosaic Company ($MOS) which has gained 40% since. The Mosaic Company is America’s largest phosphate and potash miner. With sanctions placed on Russia and Belarus, the global supply of these essential fertilizer ingredients has been impacted. Senator Carper chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  • House Republican Bob Gibbs bought ExxonMobil ($XOM) on November 9, 2021. It’s gained 34% since then. Rep. Gibbs sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and its Environment Subcommittee and Subcommittee on National Security.
  • On January 20, 2022, House Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz disclosed that she and her dependent child purchased up to $45,000 in Patterson-UTI Energy stocks ($PTEN). Rep. Schultz also sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and its following subcommittees: Energy, Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and National Security Subcommittee.
  • House Democrat Donald McEachin purchased up to $15,000 in Dominion stocks ($D) on November 23, 2021. Dominion Energy Inc. is an American power and energy company. Rep. McEachin sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Energy, as well as the House Committee on Natural Resources and its Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
  • By now, we are all aware of Senator Tommy Tuberville’s problematic history with financial disclosures. I also reported on his many investments in infrastructure stocks and options in 2021. Aside from late 2021 investments in copper ($SCCO) and steel ($CLF), we can see Senator Tuberville buying gold ($GOLD) and his first disclosed stock purchase in Chevron ($CVX) in January 2022. The senator sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
  • House Democrat Lois Frankel bought energy stocks $FANG and $HES on January 10, 2022. Both of which have gained 11-14% since. She sits on the House Committee on Appropriations, which writes the laws that direct federal funding. She also sits on its Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and its State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee
  • House Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene was busy stock trading the day Russia invaded Ukraine. On February 22, 2022, she bought Lockheed Martin ($LMT), Chevron ($CVX) and NextEra Energy ($NEE). The next day, Rep. Greene called out the media narrative being pushed on war, saying “War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable and convenient…” Rep. Greene was removed from all House Committee Assignments back in February 2021.
  • House Republican Mark Green is a frequent trader of oil and gas stocks. For instance, since May 2020, Rep. Green has made over 400 stock purchases and 100 sales in oil, gas and energy stocks. This amounts to over $50 million bought and sold (when adding up the maximum disclosed amounts). Since November 2021, we can see that Rep. Green has bought oil and gas stocks like $NGL, $USAC, $ENLC, $ET, $KNOP and $ETRN.

Let’s compare some of the most profitable trades, thus far, to $SPY.


The chart shows which Member of Congress traded which stock. The number in parentheses shows if it’s the second instance of that Member trading that stock (ie. Marjorie Taylor Greene bought $LMT twice during this period).

As Congress expresses its disapproval of war and support for Ukraine, it might be good to also divest from war stocks during this time.

I’ll continue to point out unusual trades by Congress and perceived conflicts of interest at www.UnusualWhales.com.


Timeline of Events:

  • November 13, 2021 - Ukraine notes that Russia has amassed 100,000 troops at the border
  • February 17, 2022 - US warns of Russian invasion
  • February 22, 2022 - Russia invades Ukraine
  • February 22, 2022 - International community announce sanctions on Russia
  • March 8, 2022 - US bans oil and gas imports from Russia