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Democrat Sold First Republic Stock, Bought JP Morgan Before Collapse

By Andrew Stanton

May 02, 2023: Information Clearing House -- "Newsweek" --  Representative Lois Frankel recently sold shares of First Republic Bank as well as purchased stock in JP Morgan, which on Monday took over First Republic following its collapse.

First Republic Bank (FRC) was seized by California regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which will now assume responsibility for its debts and assets, on Monday. Shares in First Republic, a San Francisco-based bank founded in 1985, fell more than 75 percent last week after the bank announced that depositors withdrew $100 billion in March.

The collapse comes amid weeks of turmoil in the U.S. banking industry. In March, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank both failed, setting off concerns about potential looming widespread financial troubles. Following the SVB collapse, First Republic's stock quickly began to drop, prompting an attempted rescue from several larger banks, which deposited $30 billion into the institution but ultimately failed to stop its collapse.

Amid these banking troubles, several lawmakers are facing questions about recent stock trades involving First Republic Bank.

Frankel, a Florida Democrat who represents areas near West Palm Beach, is among those lawmakers who sold shares of First Republic Bank in the weeks leading up to its failure.

According to an April 28, 2023, financial disclosure report, Frankel first sold shares of the bank on March 16 following SVB's collapse. Just days later on March 22, Frankel also purchased shares in JP Morgan Chase & Co, according to the report.

It remained unknown exactly how much stock was traded at each time, though the filing specified values between $1,001 and $15,000 for each trade. Both trades were sub-holdings of a Morgan Stanley IRA, according to the disclosure. Newsweek reached out to Representative Frankel's office for comment via email.



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