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The Associated Press March 22, 2012, 4:55PM ET

Highlights of bill to ban insider trading

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, known as the STOCK Act:

--Explicitly declares that members of Congress and their employees, the president, vice president, thousands of executive branch workers and the judiciary are not exempt from federal insider trading laws.

--Requires those covered under the bill to file frequent reports of new transactions exceeding $1,000, in addition to the annual statements now filed. Public reports are to be posted online either 30 days after the individual is notified of a transaction in his or her account, or 45 days after the transaction.

--Establishes online posting of all financial disclosure reports of covered persons. Currently, the House has online reporting; the Senate does not. Financial disclosure forms of executive branch officers and employees would be publicly available on agency websites.

--Directs the Government Accountability Office to report within one year on the role of people who try to obtain information from Congress and then sell what they learn, mainly to investors and financial firms.

--Exempts from the reporting requirement widely-held investment funds that are publicly traded, have widely diversified assets and are not controlled by those covered under the bill.

--Denies federal retirement benefits to the president, vice president or an elected official of a state or local government if convicted of certain felonies.

--Prohibits senior executives of mortgage giants Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac from receiving bonuses while the companies are under government control.

--Expands the definition of public corruption crimes and increase maximum penalties.

--Prohibits covered individuals from participating in initial public stock offerings other than those available to the public.

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