online "terror" futures market may have gone down in
flames, but questions surrounding 9/11 insider trading and market
rigging before the Iraq invasion still linger.
In a much-aligned
plan the Pentagon described as "engaging and ...
profitable," anonymous traders were invited to bet on the
likelihood of Middle Eastern death and destruction; public outcry
forced the "Policy Analysis Market" (PAM) plan to be yanked
days before its scheduled launch.
about the ultimate "terror" futures market, 9/11 insider
trading, have yet to be adequately addressed. It's known that just weeks
before the attacks, speculative trading surged on companies to be
hardest hit, such as those located in the World Trade
Center. There was a rally in five-year US Treasury notes, the best
investment in times of US crisis, and sales of airline-based put
options (bets a stock's price will fall) increased sharply too;
such put options were sold through a firm previously managed by top
CIA director, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard.
Estimates of 9/11
profit-taking are in the billions of dollars, and according to Dylan
Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News, "This could very well be
insider trading at the worst, most horrific, most evil use you've
ever seen in your entire life. This would be one of the most
extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence."
Bowing to public
pressure, the FBI and other federal watchdogs promised swift and
thorough investigations into potential 9/11 insider trading.
Significant that today, almost two years after the attacks, no
progress seems to have been made.
indicative that the US government didn't take market volatility
preceding 9/11 more seriously, especially since the rationale behind
its recent PAM terror-trading scheme was that the "extremely
efficient" predictive quality of futures markets could enhance
But some analysts
charge the Bush administration has actually been too active in the
markets, effectively manipulating
levels to build up public support before its invasion of Iraq.
Here's how analysts say it worked: a secretive US governmental
committee orchestrated massive selling in the euro, crude and gold
right before the invasion, effectively lowering prices and bumping up
the dollar. The covert committee simultaneously purchased targeted
Dow Jones equities to prop up the relatively unsophisticated index,
thereby creating a rally big enough to calm investors. How else,
analysts say, to explain the market rally when it seemed an invasion
would be postponed, followed by a rally one week later at news war
The fact that a
team of US governmental and Wall Street leaders periodically moves
the markets in US interests is undisputed; the group was created by Executive
Order 12631 in the Reagan years and continues today under
the nickname Plunge Protection Team.
What is less
clear, however, is if the Bush administration's desired invasion of
Iraq was deemed a US interest vital enough to rig the markets.
dubious futures-market scheme may have been axed, but far too many
questions surrounding the link between US stock markets, war and
Heather Wokusch is a free-lance writer. She can be
contacted via her web site: www.heatherwokusch.com