Why Did Insider Selling Just Hit Record Levels?

Why is this happening?

Insider selling has officially hit record levels, and the corporate dumping of stock isn't just in S&P 500 companies. Last week's insider selling hit an all-time weekly record of $4.5 billion, according to insider tracking company InsiderScore.com. Prior to that, no previous week had seen more than $2 billion in net selling. In S&P 500 companies alone last week, insiders sold an unbelievable $2.8 billion worth of stock. That selling was more than four times the amount seen in the prior week for S&P 500 companies.

Theories for the sell-off: (1) Corporate insiders anticipate higher taxes on their income, capital gains and dividends when Congress takes up the expiring Bush tax cuts; (2) Insiders think the stock market is temporarily overvalued after a hot autumn; (3) Insiders think the economy actually stinks, so they're cashing out now to pay for gold-plated insulation.

An interesting anecdote: Daily Beast owner Barry Diller just bought $7.4 million of Coca Cola shares.

Read the full story at The Street.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in Business

Just In