I haven't commented much on the Edward Snowden/NSA theater, because basically I believe it to be just that: theater. But when I have commented I have pointed out that the idea of someone simply walking in and downloading a bunch of classified documents from the NSA is a plot that only Hollywood could come up with; it's not real life. If Snowden was able to get anything of real relevance from the NSA - and let's face it, what we've seen thus far hasn't been all that "revealing" - then someone wanted him to have it and play the role of leaker and whistleblower. In short, there are others behind the Snowden affair, and a variety of hypotheses have already been advanced in various circles, from the CIA and inter-agency rivalry, to the Vatican, to other foreign intelligence services, and so on.
When I have bothered to speak about the matter, I have offered the idea that the real story isn't the fact that the US government spies on everyone, including itself. That's old news since "Echelon" first became a big item to talk about during the Clinton Administration. The real story, I believe, lies in two areas. Such a vast spying and computational capability would represent the ultimate insider trading mechanism, an idea that former Assistant Secretary of HUD, Catherine Austin Fitts, my co-author Scott deHart and I bandied about during conversation a few weekends ago. Such a capability would also represent the ultimate blackmailing capability, since virtually every public official and government bureaucrat could be brought to heal. If there is an explanation for the non-responsiveness of any of the public sector any more, this may be it.
Well, in confirmation of the first thesis - an insider trading mechanism in service of black budget concerns - I recently received an email from Ms. Fitts suggesting that at least something looks and smells fishier than a mackerel on a moonlit beach. Consider the fact that Booze Allen and AIG with their connections to the black world have been moving up faster than the S&P:
And there's Lockheed's performance over the past three months vs. Booze Allen, AIG, and the S&P 500:
Of course, this is merely circumstantial. It proves nothing. But it at least does raise the questions of whether or not Mr. Snowden or his handlers have stocks. But here's what it looks like when you throw in Raytheon (another big defense contractor), and note Booze Allen outperforms them all:
Notably, the Snowden affair has had little long term effect on the performance of these key defense contractors. Not surprising, but it does raise the issue of electronically manipulated markets in a major way. (And apparently I'm not the only one thinking manipulation: NSA: Genius Spying Eye, or Bumbling Idiot?)
Admittedly, it isn't much, but when added to the much wider context of the postwar secret deals between the US intelligence agencies and postwar Fascists, and the decision to recover Japanese operation Golden Lily plunder and keep it entirely secret as a covert political action and black budget slush fund, the entry of intelligence agencies into banking and market manipulation was, given their vast electronic eavesdropping capabilities, inevitable.
See you on the flip side.