There's an old adage: once is unusual, twice is a coincidence (or perhaps, a "synchronicity") but three or more is a pattern. Well, this story was shared by Catherine Austin Fitts, and Mr. T.M., and as one might imagine, it has my high octane speculation motor running in overdrive. Why? Well, there has been (finally) an acknowledgement in the lamestream media that there is a lot of missing money in the US Federal budget, trillions of dollars' worth of missing money. Now, this is not news for those who've been following Ms. Fitts' regular blogs, interviews and articles over the years. Recently Dr. Mark Scidmore also has chimed in. And of course, let's not forget former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who revealed that about two trillion dollars could not be accounted for, on September 10th, 2001. Of course, that story was quickly forgotten in the aftermath of 9/11. Nor is it news for those who've been following my speculations about hidden systems of finance, obfuscated amounts of gold and so on, over the years in connection to the bearer bonds scandals.
What is different about this story is that this missing money is not dollars, but rubles - 785.5 billion of them - missing from the Russian space agency, Roscosmos:
Now, as the article notes, 785.5 billion rubles is a "mere" 11.9 billion dollars, a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the trillions mentioned by Mr. Rumsfeld, or tracked by Ms. Fitts or Dr. Scidmore. Nonetheless, the article contains some intriguing statements, and more interestingly, does not contain other statements:
The Russian space agency Roscosmos, whose reputation has already been hit by the failure of a Soyuz rocket last month, was on Sunday targeted by the country's audit court over financial irregularities including "stolen" billions.
"We have serious problems with Roscosmos," the Accounts Chamber chairman Alexe� Kudrin said in televised comments.
"Procurement procedures are bad, prices are too high, many projects are unfinished or halted, and funds stand unused for months, and several billion have been lost - stolen - and investigations are ongoing, " the former finance minister added.
A 2017 report by the court signalled(sic) a total of 151 irregularities within the space agency accounts, totalling(sic) 785.5 billion rubles ($11.9 billion), Russian news agency reported.
What's interesting in what it does say is that the explanations given for the lost money have been placed on the usual culprits in the former Communist nation: bad procurement procedures, inflated prices, unused funds, and just plain good old fashioned theft. Well, if "bad procurement procedures" are to blame, then Russia is a bastion of fiscal responsibility and efficiency, compared to Rumsfeld's Pentagon or the federal budgetary "process" in America.
But I find much more interesting the things that are not being said. The impression given in the article is that this loss was just for 2017, yet that is not explicit. We're left with a mere impression. We don't really know how many years the investigation covered, nor are we given any indication of who supposedly stole some of the money, and what percentage of this 785.5 billion rubles was thought to be stolen, not simply missing or gobbled up in "bad procurement procedures".
It's the absence of explanation of that stolen money that intrigues me, and as one might guess, has my high octane speculation running in overdrive. A mere 785.5 billion rubles, or a mere 11.9 billion dollars in missing and/or stolen money might not seem like much in the context of American missing money stories, but as I've pointed out in other contexts, while Russia spends far less than the USA on military and space matters, it gets more bang for the ruble, for one of the consequences of a hidden system of finance, lots of missing money, and reserve currency status, is that prices inflate, corruption dominates the system, and comparative technologies becomes higher priced in the one context that might cost a fraction of that in the other.
So with that somewhat simplistic idea in mind, I turn to my high octane speculation of the day:
Recently in one of this website's members' vidchats, the question was asked if I thought there was a similar hidden financial system, and "breakaway civilization" or "secret space program" in other countries, particularly Russia. My answer was yes, and then the observation was made that one never hears about massive amounts of missing money from Russia, which is why I find this story so interesting. Recently I observed that the amounts of missing money in the US federal budget were now so astronomically huge, that the old explanation of $20,000 toilet seats and $10,000 wrenches and coffee makers were no longer an adequate cover for inflating ledger prices of supplies to cover the diversion of money into classified and deep projects. Thus the possibility emerges that Russia - with its smaller economy - might still be in the era of cooking the books to divert funds into deeper classified projects. And the fact that this is occurring within Roscosmos is suggestive enough that one possibility for that diversion of funds is into classified secret space projects.
See you on the flip side...