Under the guise of business as usual, consider the huge improprieties
in the securities markets that went unnoticed before and immediately after 9/11/2001,
contributing to the attacks’ awful success and America’s subsequent
I’m talking about the insider trading behind the “put and call
options” scandals that allowed certain individuals to pull in huge profits.
Stated as simply as possible, put options were used on stocks that would be
hurt by the attack, and call options were used on stocks that would benefit.
In the put case you’re betting on a fall in the price of stocks; in the
call case, you’re betting on a rise in the price of a stock.
Put options were made on the struck airlines, insurance companies and banks
pre-and-through-9/11, as if someone had foreknowledge something bad was going
to happen to bring down the price of the stocks. A 9-11 Research report
on Insider Trading headlines the tale: “Pre-9/11
Put Options on Companies Hurt by Attack Indicates Foreknowledge.”
There were huge surges in the purchase of put options on stocks of the two
airlines, specifically United and American, used and abused in the attack. In
fact, American and United Airlines, each with two planes that disappeared that
day, as early as September 6, were experiencing dramatic spikes in put options
on days when their stock prices were stable. Bloomberg News reported put options
on the airlines soared to an unbelievable high, 285 times their average.
What’s of interest is that in the time preceding 9/11 nobody noticed
or bothered to connect dots in this buying/selling trend. It was “business
as usual” while some group conducted a huge insider trading strike that
ultimately ravaged the airlines financially, damaged America, killed 2,749 people,
and proved very profitable to the perps, in the short and long run.
Who was at the controls watching? Or were those at the controls part
of the problem?
When the market opened after the attacks, United Airlines stock fell a whopping
42 percent from $30.82 to $17.50 a share. American Airline’s stock fell
from $20.70 to $18 per share. And millions were made by the scurrilous for personal
profit or to finance the ops.
More than three days before the events that flattened the World Trade Center
and damaged a sparsely occupied, recently fortified sector of the Pentagon,
there was more than 25 times the previous average daily trading in a Morgan
Stanley put option that made money when the giant financial institution shares
fell below $45. Of course, Morgan Stanley had occupied 22 floors of the North
Tower. Its stock dropped 13 percent when the market reopened. Nearby Merrill
Lynch’s stock dropped ll.5 percent
The Bank of America on the 81st floor of the North Tower, the third largest
US bank, showed a five times increase in put option trading on the Thursday
and Friday before the attack, more than 5,900 contracts that would pay when
the stock fell below $60 a share.
What’s more, there were huge surges in purchase of put options on stocks
of reinsurance companies slated to cough up billions to cover losses from the
attack, i.e., Munich Re in Germany and the AXA Group in France. Do you really
think it was those bozos with box cutters that worked this out, Osama in his
cave? Or could it possibly be some sophisticated homegrown types, connected
to our Company?
Some of the Winners
Perhaps it’s no surprise, but Raytheon, maker of Patriot and Tomahawk
missiles, watched its stock take off after the attacks. Purchases of call options
contracts on Raytheon stock increased sixfold on September 10, 2001.
The Raytheon option contracts made money, if shares were more than $25 each.
The price zoomed up nearly 37 percent to $34.04 during the first week after
post 9/11 trading.
Parenthetically, Raytheon had also been hit with millions of dollars in fines
for padding costs of equipment it sold to the US military. Raytheon also has
a hush-hush subsidiary, E-Systems, whose clients include the CIA and NSA, the
latter about to make a hostile takeover of the other.
And speaking of winners, include the five-year US Treasury Notes. They were
bought in unusually high volume before the attack. The buyers realized sizable
increases in the Notes’ value after the attack. But this is business as
usual again. Some things go up and some go down—with a little help from
happenstance and its perpetrators. Not surprisingly, this generated suspicion
then an inquiry. What it all meant was something else.
The SEC Investigates
After the attacks, the SEC sent a list of the following securities firms around
the world in search of information on them: American Airlines, United
Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, US Airways
airlines, Martin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., AIG, American Express Corp,
American International Group, AMR Corporation, AXA SA, Bank of America Corp,
Bank of New York Corp, Bank One Corp, Cigna Group, CNA Financial, Carnival Corp,
Chubb Group, John Hancock Financial Services, Hercules Inc., L-3 Communications
Holdings, Inc., LTV Corporation, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., MetLife, Progressive
Corp., General Motors, Raytheon, W.R. Grace, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.,
Lone Star Technologies, American Express, the Citigroup Inc., Royal & Sun
Alliance, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., Vornado Reality Trust, Morgan Stanley,
Dean Witter & Co., XL Capital Ltd., and Bear Stearns.
This list came out of an SEC
Secret Probe of companies used by a group of speculators who were Israeli
citizens and who sold “short” these stocks, which could be expected
to fall in value as an outcome of the impending attacks. The speculators operated
out of Toronto, Canada, and Frankfurt, Germany, stock exchanges and their profits
were stated to be “in the millions of dollars.”
An interesting quote from this article tells us, “It is widely known
that the CIA uses the Promis software to routinely monitor stock trades as a
possible warning sign of a terrorist attack or suspicious economic behavior.
A week after the Sept.11 attacks, the London Times reported that the CIA had
asked regulators for the Financial Services Authority in London to investigate
the suspicious sales of millions of shares of stock just prior to the terrorist
acts. It was hoped the business paper trail might lead to the terrorists.”
So, after the fact, this huge number of trades finally rang a bell at the CIA.
Hmmm. And then . . .
Another interesting fact came from an October 19, 2001, San Francisco Chronicle
article that the SEC, after a long silence, took the unprecedented action of
deputizing hundreds of private officials in this investigation. Lest you think
this posse of high-level private sector players would get the bad guys, think
As former LAPD Detective, author of Crossing the Rubicon, Michael
Ruppert points out, “What happens when you deputize someone in a national
security or criminal investigation is that you make it illegal for them to disclose
publicly what they know. Smart move. In effect, they become government agents
and are controlled by government regulations rather than their own conscience.
“In fact, they can be thrown in jail without a hearing if they talk publicly.
I have seen this implied threat time and again with federal investigations,
intelligence agents, and even members of the United States Congress who are
bound so tightly by secrecy oaths and agreements that they are not even able
to disclose criminal activities inside the government for fear of incarceration.”
In short, the posse was bound and gagged. Then, as Ruppert noted, the story
was quietly buried in a 9/30/2001 New York Times article, claiming
“benign explanations are turning up” in the SEC investigation.
The activity in put options was blamed on “market pessimism,” but
it didn’t explain why the airlines stock prices didn’t mirror the
same market pessimism. Also, the fact that above the millions made in these
transactions, some $2.5 million of the put options were unclaimed after 9/11.
Somebody got cold feet. Obviously the purchasers knew they were part of a criminal
conspiracy and didn’t want to get caught red-handed picking up the profits
at that point.
Ruppert Points to
CIA Top Brass
At the Here In Reality site, there is an article titled “Suppressed
Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA’s Highest
Ranks.” Equally important is its sub-headed “CIA Executive Director
‘Buzzy’ Krongard managed firm that handled ‘PUT’ options
on United Airline Stock.” The piece is written again by Michael Ruppert.
In his own inimitable police report prose, he wrote, “Until 1997 A.B.
‘Buzzy’ Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown.
A.B. Brown was acquired by Banker’s Trust in 1997. Krongard then became,
as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker’s Trust-AB Brown, one of
20 major U.S. banks named by Senator Carl Levin this year as being connected
to money laundering.
“Krongard’s last position at Banker’s Trust (BT) was to
oversee ‘private client relations.’ In this capacity he had direct
hands-on relations with some of the wealthiest people in the world in a kind
of specialized banking operation that has been identified by the U.S. Senate
and other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of drug
“Krongard joined the CIA in 1998 as counsel to CIA Director George
Tenet. He was promoted to CIA Executive Director by President Bush in March
of this year . BT was acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1999. The combined
firm is the single largest bank in Europe. And, as we shall see, Deutsche
Bank played several key roles in events connected to the September 11 attacks.”
In fact, Deutsche Bank was heavily involved in the 9/11 “put options”
transactions. The Deutsche bank building still stands today at the WTC site,
heavily veiled behind a black metal screen, perhaps in shame, about to be torn
down, and not by controlled demolition. That may remind too many people of Towers
1, 2, 6, and 7.
The CIA, the Brokers and Banks
This unholy “business as usual” nexus of Wall Street brokers, banks
and the CIA, includes additional key players from government, as Ruppert points
John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles were designers of the CIA. Allen met with
Nazi leaders as station chief in Berne, Switzerland, and tended to their investments.
He was also CIA chief, fired by President John F.Kennedy for the “Bay
of Pigs” fiasco. John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State under Eisenhower.
Both Dulles brothers were lawyers in Wall Street’s most powerful law firm,
Sullivan, Cromwell. Politics, the CIA and Wall Street, some trifecta.
Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, Bill Casey, an OSS vet, was chief weasel
during the Iran-Contra years. Under Nixon, he was chairman of the Securities
and Exchange Commission. Profession: Wall Street lawyer, stockbroker.
The former Stock Exchange VP, David Doherty, was also a retired General counsel
of the CIA.
George HW Bush, president from 1989 to 1993, CIA Director for 13 months from
’76-7, is now a highly paid consultant to the Carlyle Group, in which
he shared joint investments with the bin Laden family. Carlyle is also one of
the nation’s top defense contractors.
Buzzy Krongard, former executive director of the CIA, was formerly chairman
of the investment bank A.B. Brown, a former vice chairman of Banker’s
John Deutch, retired CIA director, was a Citigroup board member (said bank
documented repeatedly for laundering drug money, buying in 2001 Mexican drug-money
Nora Slatkin, retired CIA executive director was a Citibank board member.
The redoubtable Maurice “Hank” Greenburg, former CEO of AIG insurance,
still manages from a distance one of the world’s largest capital investment
pools, and was actually offered up as possible CIA director, and was exposed
by Michael Ruppert as having longstanding connections to CIA drug trafficking
and covert operations. Also, AIG stock managed to bounce back extremely well
since the 9/11 attacks. And so on.
The rest is history, the century’s biggest story, with business as usual
doing its thing, including insider trading, money laundering, even terrorist
funding as a way of life and death. And 9/11 triggering the fall of America
from democracy into a theocratic police state manipulated by money managers
and multi-national corporate honchos.
Having gotten away with mass murder, it was just a hop, skip and a jump for
our present Bush Boyz to Afghanistan, Iraq, and next stop, Iran, and then what?
Your guess is as good as mine, but probably not as good as Ruppert’s,
who’s telling folks these days to buy gold as a hedge against the dying
dollar and head for a secure place in the hinterlands.
I don’t know if that answers the question of survival for people living
from paycheck to paycheck, on fixed incomes, in credit card debt, or struggling
to hold on to their savings and/or portfolios. For the rest, the rich, the filthy
rich and even richer, the “have-mores” as W fondly calls them, the
point is moot. Bush and the Republicans will take care of them.
And if not George, could it be Jeb as once there was George Herbert Walker,
who put his arm around Clinton, and so on. For those folks, there will be tax
cuts abounding, an ever increasing upward mobility, perhaps into the Rapture
with their cuckoo Conservative Christian allies.
For the rest of us, well, you get the picture. Monkey business as usual. It’s
a killer. Perhaps something really unusual needs to happen to the usual and
its monkeys to change it all. Somebody yell out, "I'm
as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore," like the visionary
newsman Howard Beale in Paddy Chayefsky’s great 1976 screenplay Network.
Link to the whole monologue. It’ll fire you up.
And who knows, you, yes you, out there in cyberspace, the next Tom Paine or
Tom Jefferson, FDR, JFK, MLK, Mr. Anonymous, could be the spark of something
new, to lead the justice brigade to knock on the doors of power and tell business
as usual where to go.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer residing in New York.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read from Looking Glass News
Business as usual, part two: The government short-sells America