General Hospital Explainer: Drew And Carly's Insider Trading Debacle

According to the U.S. government, insider trading occurs when a person has knowledge about a corporation's business endeavors that are unknown to the general public and uses that information to purchase or sell securities such as stocks or bonds. This can affect investors' confidence and upset the whole stock market, which makes it a crime. Carly Spencer (Laura Wright) and Drew Cain (Cameron Mathison) inadvertently engaged in insider trading on "General Hospital," and now both are facing possible jail time. But how did such a thing happen?

In 2017, Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) and her husband Jason Morgan (then Billy Miller) — who was actually Drew Cain, believing himself to be Jason — bought Derek Wells Media and rechristened it Aurora Media. When the real Jason (Steve Burton) came back to town, Drew was able to reclaim his true identity. He and Sam hired his nephew, Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell), to head up the company's digital branch. Eventually, Sam left Aurora, and Drew sold half of the company to Jasper "Jax" Jacks (Ingo Rademacher). When Drew was presumed dead for a time, Sam returned to manage his half of the company. He eventually turned up alive, and Jax had returned to Australia, so Drew became more actively involved in running Aurora. By this time, Michael was also CEO of the family company ELQ, which proved the perfect breeding ground for some interfamily corporate strategy.

The Aurora/ELQ merger didn't happen

In 2020, Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) did a hostile takeover of the Quartermaine family business ELQ and was voted in as the new CEO. Ned Quartermaine (Wally Kurth) sided with him, citing Valentin's business acumen. In an effort to remove Valentin as CEO, Drew Cain and Michael Corinthos planned to merge ELQ with Aurora Media, which would allow the Quartermaines to regain control of the company. However, Ned felt left out in the cold because Drew would end up owning a controlling interest in ELQ. Drew and Michael threw their cousin Ned a bone by offering him the vice presidency of the merged companies, but he still felt slighted.

Michael's mother, Carly Spencer, had grown close to Drew by this point, and to help him and her son, she planned to buy Aurora stock to increase its value — despite their repeated warnings not to. She soon sold her half of the Metro Court Hotel and went through with her plan. The stock prices went up, and Aurora reaped the benefits, making it look appealing to other potential investors. However, when it came down to a vote of the ELQ shareholders, Ned's resentment ultimately caused him to side with Valentin, and the merger fizzled — leaving Carly unable to buy back her hotel. Realizing Carly had foreknowledge of the potential merger, which hadn't been made public, Ned threatened to inform the SEC that Drew and Carly engaged in insider trading.

Nina turned Drew and Carly in to the SEC

The threat against Drew Cain and Carly Spencer proved empty, as Ned tried to convince his wife, Olivia Quartermaine (Lisa LoCicero), that he was putting family ahead of business and decided not to betray them. However, Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros) had a long-standing feud with Carly, and when she learned about Drew and Carly's actions, she impulsively had her lawyer, Martin Grey (Michael E. Knight), anonymously tip off the SEC about their insider trading.

Nina is dating Carly's ex-husband, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), and didn't realize that the authorities could potentially offer Carly a deal: turn over evidence about Sonny's mafia activities in exchange for her freedom. Meanwhile, everyone assumed Ned was to blame for snitching to the SEC. While his mother, Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot), commended him, the rest of the family was heartbroken. Though Ned finally convinced Olivia and his daughter, Brook Lynn Quartermaine (Amanda Setton), of his innocence.

Recently, Ned overheard Martin telling Nina that the feds could force him to reveal who the SEC's anonymous source was, and he realized who was behind the tip. A gleeful Ned told Nina she would lose Sonny, then ran off to tell Drew, who was in the hotel pool area. He ran in, tripped, and smashed his head on the floor. Now, poor Ned remains unconscious as the doctors continue to monitor him for swelling of the brain, and his family is beside themselves, praying that he pulls through. Nina's secret is safe — for now.