Kentucky basketball coaching legend Joe B. Hall has died, the school announced Saturday.

He was 93.

Hall replaced Adolph Rupp as coach in Lexington in 1972 and guided the Wildcats until 1985, compiling a 297-100 record with 10 NCAA tournament appearances, three Final Fours and a national title in 1978. He remained a fixture in Lexington until his death.

Hall, who served as his assistant for seven years under Rupp before taking over as head coach, also coached at Regis College in Denver and Central Missouri State. Hall had a 373-156 career coaching record.

Kentucky coach John Calipari praised Hall on Saturday for carrying on “the winning tradition and legacy of excellence of Kentucky basketball.”

 

I was in Washington D.C. this past week and you could almost feel the strife in the brisk January air, with the endless squabbling over President Biden’s stalled Build Back Better plan being Exhibit A.

And yet I did find instances of bipartisanship, featuring some strange bedfellows the likes of which I hadn’t seen since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ted Cruz briefly aligned on Twitter last year during the meme stock brouhaha — before AOC kicked Ted to the curb, 67 minutes later.

Here too the common ground is about stock trading. But in this case, it’s much closer to home for lawmakers, specifically, that oh-so tawdry practice of stock trading by members of Congress.

Intriguingly, there are high-profile members on both sides of the aisle, and on both sides of the issue, i.e., both Dems and Repubs who are pro stock trading by members and both who are con. It’s a debate that has come to the fore this week; two competing bills were introduced on Wednesday, and that plus a flurry of articles could foster some real change here. (Yahoo Finance produced three articles this week on the subject;

I urge you to temper your expectations however. Let’s remember the people who would write the stricter rules would be theoretically financially disadvantaging themselves. How often has that happened in human history?

It’s not just members of Congress who’ve come under the microscope btw. Federal judges, as well as Federal Reserve officials are being scrutinized and in some instances have taken recent falls. There’s much to chew on there as well, but I’m going to focus on members of Congress because there’s plenty enough to explore in those hallowed, and slightly sordid, halls.

Another reason to focus on Congress is that the laws there are relatively lax. Donna Nagy, a law professor at Indiana University-Bloomington who focuses on insider trading, notes that rules governing members of Congress don’t “impose any type of conflict of interest restraint on members of Congress akin to the anti-conflict legislation that is enforced for the executive branch and judicial branch.

“Judges can’t have a financial interest in matters before their courts. It’s a very similar statute — in purpose and effect — to the executive branch statute,” Nagy says. “Members of Congress aren’t governed by any of these statutes. There’s no independent statute that addresses a broad prohibition on conflicts of interest for members of the legislative branch.”

Believe it or not, before 2012, regulations for Congress were even looser, until the passage of the STOCK Act, or Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge. (When did it become a thing, btw, that all bills had to be acronyms?) This law effectively bans members of Congress and their families from trading on inside information. Yes, you are reading correctly. Prior to 2012, Congresspeople could (and did) trade on inside information! The law also requires members to report all trades in 45 days instead of one year.

 

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