Wall Street and Capitol Hill insiders are quaking in their Gucci loafers about a forthcoming government exposé slated to drop April 4th of this year.

That is when the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) will issue a report on so-called “political intelligence firms”— shadowy companies that hire former members of Congress, staffers, and other federal officials to scour the halls of Congress and Capitol Hill in search of valuable, market-moving information that is then sold to big hedge funds and financial houses that use the intel to make investments.

“I know that the industry is afraid that the report is going to lead to some sort of legislation or regulation for the political intelligence industry,” said Michael Mayhew, chairman of Integrity Research Associates. “They are afraid of the outcome.”

The reason big investment houses and political intelligence companies are scared is simple: studies show that firms who use this type of secret intel substantially increase their returns, and any move to publically report the names of key players or curb use of the tips could reduce returns and create embarrassing public relations headaches.

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