DeJoy’s financial disclosure forms show that he sold Amazon stock on June 24, nine days after assuming the role of postmaster general. On the same day, DeJoy also bought back call options on his Amazon stock.
A call option is a financial contract in which an investor buys the right, but not the obligation, to purchase a stock or other asset at a predefined price before a defined expiration date. If the seller of a call option already owns the underlying stock or asset, the call option is considered “covered.”
When Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, questioned DeJoy about the two transactions, DeJoy said he “did not buy options,” and claimed that he bought “covered calls back at a loss.”
“That’s what I did to get completely out of the stock, I had to unwind covered calls,” said a visibly frustrated DeJoy, before adding, “I think you should get an understanding of what a covered call is before you accuse me of improprieties.”
Nine days after becoming postmaster general, DeJoy was on his way to a meeting that related to a USPS contract with Amazon, he told lawmakers. DeJoy said he was informed by USPS ethics officials that he either needed to sell his Amazon holdings or recuse himself from reviewing some of the contracts.
DeJoy then called his broker and told him to sell his assets in Amazon, he testified.