Martha Stewart

Insider trading is a stock market transaction that is made with knowledge of nonpublic information about corporate activity. There are, however, situations of stock market trading that is legal but is questionable from an ethical view.
There is a fine line between legal and illegal activity in regards to insider trading. In the case of Martha Stewart, she was given information from a friend whose company she had made an investment. She was tipped off that the FDA was not going to approve the drug they were producing. Martha reacted by selling her stock in the company the day before the news became public. A similar activity could have taken place and been perfectly legal. If a person overheard a conversation between two people that were discussing this same situation but were not involved in the conversation, then legally that person could make a transaction based on that information and be completely legal. This action would, however, raise ethical questions.
There are insider transactions that take place on a regular basis so was Martha Stewart held to a higher standard?   "If her name were Martha Smith, this never would have come to trial, asserted one talking head on MSNBC in the wake of the verdict, implying that Martha has been unfairly targeted because of her celebrity. Maintaining ethical and legal norms is one of the jobs of the government, and the prosecution of prominent people makes a much greater impact on everyone else than the anonymous prosecution of an average citizen.” ("Money, greed and," 2004) Martha and other celebrities can be expected to be held to higher standard based on the popularity and power they have to influence the attitudes of the general public.
There have been questions regarding the US Congressional Ethics rules on insider trading. There currently is not a law prohibiting the US Supreme Court and the US Senate from using nonpublic information for financial transactions. “Government officials, by virtue of their position to...