Dem Senator Who Said Economy Headed in 'Right Direction' Bets Up to $110K Against US Economy

Tom Carper, who gave former wife black eye, makes major investment in fund that shorts stocks

November 4, 2022

A Democratic senator who publicly claims the economy is "moving in the right direction" under President Joe Biden placed a bet against the U.S. economy last month, according to Senate financial disclosures.

Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.), who once punched his former wife in the face hard enough to give her a black eye, disclosed this week a purchase of up to $110,000 in shares of Ranger Equity Bear ETF, a fund that shorts stocks on the expectation that the market will decline. Investors often use short funds as a hedge against economic downturns.

The trades suggest Carper is far more bearish on the economy than he lets on in public. In July, Carper credited Biden with moving the economy "in the right direction." On Oct. 7, he claimed the president’s "leadership" was to thank for a "huge" increase in jobs. Carper and his second wife purchased shares of the short fund on Oct. 10, according to his financial disclosures.

A Carper spokeswoman says all the family's transactions are handled independently by a financial adviser.

"Senator Carper and his wife, Martha, have always been careful to ensure that their financial investments are handled separately by a financial advisor who makes decisions and transactions independently," the spokeswoman said.

Democrats have scrambled to spin the economy in positive terms ahead of the midterm elections, in which they are expected to suffer heavy losses amid growing concerns over the economy and inflation. In a speech last week, Biden denied the economy is headed toward a recession and claimed "our economic recovery is continuing to power forward."

"As I have said before, it is never a good bet to bet against the American people," said Biden.

Carper, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, made the trades amid growing bipartisan support to ban members of Congress from trading public stocks to prevent them from profiting off inside information. The legislation gained steam after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) threw her weight behind it. Pelosi endorsed the plan after she and her husband came under fire for buying millions of dollars in stock options in companies with business before Congress. Pelosi has made $140 million since 2008 off of stock trades she now hopes to ban, the Free Beacon reported.

Carper, who has credited Biden for his start in politics, has been accused of conflicts of interest before. He held up to $685,000 worth of shares of energy companies while serving on the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Carper made the latest trades with his second wife, Martha Stacy Carper. He admitted in a 1998 interview resurfaced in 2017 by the Free Beacon to slapping his first wife, Diane Isaacs, during "a heated argument" in 1981. Carper reportedly admitted in a court deposition that he hit Isaacs so hard she got a black eye. He lied on the campaign trail throughout his political career, denying that he ever got violent.