Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Monday, February 01, 2010

no wonder the economy turned into a train wreck

You just can't make things like this up. Not only are there secret banking cabals working within the Fed, they can hire the best Intelligence money can buy.

To top it all off, they brag about it in corporatist political rags like Politico:

CIA moonlights in corporate world

In the midst of two wars and the fight against Al Qaeda, the CIA is offering operatives a chance to peddle their expertise to private companies on the side — a policy that gives financial firms and hedge funds access to the nation’s top-level intelligence talent, POLITICO has learned.

In one case, these active-duty officers moonlighted at a hedge-fund consulting firm that wanted to tap their expertise in “deception detection,” the highly specialized art of telling when executives may be lying based on clues in a conversation.

The never-before-revealed policy comes to light as the CIA and other intelligence agencies are once again under fire for failing to “connect the dots,” this time in the Christmas Day bombing plot on Northwest Flight 253.

But sources familiar with the CIA’s moonlighting policy defend it as a vital tool to prevent brain-drain at Langley, which has seen an exodus of highly trained, badly needed intelligence officers to the private sector, where they can easily double or even triple their government salaries. The policy gives agents a chance to earn more while still staying on the government payroll.

A government official familiar with the policy insists it doesn’t impede the CIA’s work on critical national security investigations...

...the close ties between active-duty and retired CIA officers at one consulting company show the degree to which CIA-style intelligence gathering techniques have been employed by hedge funds and financial institutions in the global economy.

The firm is called Business Intelligence Advisors, and it is based in Boston. BIA was founded and is staffed by a number of retired CIA officers, and it specializes in the arcane field of “deception detection.” BIA’s clients have included Goldman Sachs and the enormous hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, according to spokesmen for both firms.

BIA has employed active-duty CIA officers in the past, although BIA president Cheryl Cook said that has “not been the case with BIA for some time.”

But the ties between BIA and the intelligence world run deep. The name itself was chosen as a play off CIA. And the presence of so many former CIA personnel on the payroll at BIA causes confusion as to whether the intelligence firm is actually an extension of the agency itself. As a result, BIA places a disclaimer in some of its corporate materials to clarify that it is not, in fact, controlled by Langley.

BIA’s clients can put the company on a retainer for as much as $400,000 to $800,000 a year. And in return, they receive access to a variety of services, from deception detection to other programs that feature the CIA intelligence techniques.

In one presentation in 2006, BIA personnel promised to teach managers at a leading hedge fund some of the CIA’s own foolproof techniques...

Foolproof. Excuse me? You mean like the foolproof techniques they used to show Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to the invasion? And uncover them aftwerwards, right?

Now we know why the derivatives market went to hell... part of the plan, indeed.

The tactics that BIA officials such as these teach hedge fund clients are based in a program it calls “Tactical Behavior Assessment.”.

...TBA focuses on the verbal and nonverbal cues that people convey when they aren’t telling the truth. Psychologists familiar with the method say it works because human beings just aren’t hard-wired to lie well. Holding two opposing ideas in your brain at the same time — as you have to do in order to tell a lie — causes a phenomenon they term “cognitive dissonance,” which creates actual physical discomfort. And when people are uncomfortable, they squirm. They fidget ever so slightly, they pick lint off their clothes, they shift their bodily positions.

Agents look for the physical indicators of lying. They watch for a person shifting anchor points. If the person is leaning forward on one elbow, does he switch to the other one? Interrogators watch for grooming gestures such as adjusting clothes, hair or eyeglasses. They look to see if the person picks at his fingernails or scratches himself. They watch for the person to clean his surroundings — does he straighten the paper clips on the table or line up the pens? If he does, he could be lying.

To obtain verbal clues, agents listen for several kinds of statements. They’ll listen for qualifying answers, phrases that begin with words like “honestly,” “frankly” or “basically.” The agents will be listening for detour phrases like “as I said before ...” They’ll want to hear if the person invokes religion — “I swear to God” — or attacks the questioner: “How dare you ask me something like that?”

Other red flags: Complaints —“How long is this going to take?” Selective memory —“To the best of my knowledge.” Overly courteous responses —“Yes, sir.”

BIA doesn’t just offer training, though. For a fee, its officers do the analysis themselves...

No frelling wonder the bank$ters' bubble burst.

Check this out:

...In one particular instance in August 2005, Hong Liang Lu, the chairman and CEO of a company called UTStarcom, walked through the numbers with a telephone audience of Wall Street investment bankers. With his slicked-back hair, rimless glasses and wide smile, Lu projected an image of intelligence and competence.

And as he began the call, Lu couldn’t know that it also was being patched into a room thousands of miles away where interrogators trained in CIA-style techniques would analyze each inflection in Lu’s voice. The analysts were human lie detectors, working for BIA. They were trying to find out whether Lu was telling the whole truth about UTStarcom’s financial health.

When they came to their conclusion, they’d report it to BIA’s client, an enormous hedge fund. The secret intelligence they produced would help the hedge fund decide whether to buy or sell UTStarcom stock. If the intelligence analysts did their jobs, the hedge fund would be far ahead of the rest of the market.

The information they gleaned from this phone call could be worth millions of dollars...

Let's get this straight. They wiretapped a Hong Kong businessman and reported on how he conducted his business. That wiretap could be worth millions.

Silly me. All this time I thought Big Brother was all about controlling the people when in reality it was all about getting an edge for insider trading. Congress, Justice, and the Executive all bought and paid for, with the Company owning the Company.

But read the whole sordid story, and give a tip o'teh tinfoil to Cryptogon for the link.

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