The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a stern warning against insider trading during coronavirus-induced market volatility on Monday, days after the chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange and his wife, a U.S. senator, were found to have sold off millions in stock holdings since January. “The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has impacted the securities markets in unprecedented ways,” the SEC’s enforcement directors wrote in a blog post first reported by CNBC. “In these dynamic circumstances, corporate insiders are regularly learning new material nonpublic information that may hold an even greater value than under normal circumstances.” The warning did not mention NYSE CEO Jeff Sprecher or his wife, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), by name, but it came after The Daily Beast revealed that Loeffler—through an investment adviser, she insists—sold off between $1.2 million and $3.1 million in stock in the weeks after a closed-door Senate briefing on the coronavirus.
CBS News reported over the weekend that Sprecher too sold millions of dollars in stock in February. Both maintain that they have fully abided by applicable laws and Senate regulations.