Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spooks and stocks: I'm asking readers for ideas

Forgive me if I'm a little coy in this post. I'm working on a local story that is very, very mysterious. Certain names must go unmentioned, because I don't want anyone googling those names to stumble across this blog.

Not yet.

The main focus of this story concerns a young fellow who fell to his death from the roof of a famous building. There were no indications of depression, no reason to suspect suicide. The circumstances were very enigmatic

This young man was weirdly obsessed with the Freemasons. Although other writers have focused on that angle, I consider it a red herring.

I'm more interested in the company he worked for -- a publishing firm which came to prominence hyping penny stocks in their newsletters. Nowadays, the business seems more focused on health-related operations in foreign countries. (Some have used the term "snake oil" to describe their approach to medicine, but I don't want to use that kind of language until I've done more research.)

The company is run by hard-core Ayn Randroid libertarians. You know the type: Quasi-superhuman John Galtian pursuers of rational self-interest and the virtues of selfishness and all of that there stuff. They operate out of a growing number of splendid old buildings in my favorite part of town.

Some believe that this firm mixes scam operations and legit enterprises. Does this accusation have merit? I don't know.

More than that. Some websites have accused this firm of being involved with the CIA.

It has even been said that this company somehow helped to bring about the mysterious death of a famous veteran of the Agency. Unfortunately, I'm unclear as to the details, because the sites which level this accusation are...

Well, let's just say that they're frustrating.

If you've spent any time trying to plod through conspiracy-oriented websites, you'll know that the writing style usually isn't a model of clarity.

Nevertheless, this firm reminds me of a very similar operation which came to my attention back in 2011: The National Inflation Association, run by Jonathan Lebed (the notorious pump-and-dumper) and his buddy Gerard Adams. I made a small video about the NIA and its claims. That video has been embedded at the end of this post.

(Yes: Again. If you've seen it before, nobody is forcing you to watch it now.)

The astounding thing about the NIA was the heavy promotion it received from Fox News. At about the 6:30 mark, my video features a clip in which a female Fox Newser (dressed like a high-class escort) interviews Gerry Adams (who looks like a kid). Why would anyone with serious money take financial advice from those two? Ya got me!

One Fox host dared to criticize the NIA and was soon thereafter kicked off the air.

The NIA's main shtick involved scaring viewers with hilariously wrong-headed predictions about runaway inflation (which never showed up, and which won't hit us any time soon). But their real business concerned a free newsletter, which many people considered a pump-and-dump vehicle. The newsletter touted certain stocks, thereby driving up the price. When the price reached its peak, the original shareholders could dump their holdings and make a killing.

The NIA also promoted the literary productions of one A. Rand -- a.k.a. The Most Rational Human Being Ever.

What continues to astound me about the NIA is the Fox News connection. Why did the Murdochian hordes give so much publicity to a couple of youthful penny stock enthusiasts whom certain critics have uncharitably called scammers?

Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of the richest people in the world. He operates on a much more elevated level.

And so we return our attention to that other company -- the one that makes its home here in Baltimore. This operation has certain similarities to the NIA, although the head of this firm would undoubtedly sneer at any comparison to Lebed.

I have not yet confirmed the persistent reports that this company has CIA connections, but the rumors are certainly intriguing.

The question is: Why?

Why would a penny stock company be of interest to high-level spooks? How would the spooks make use of such a business? And what's with all this Ayn Rand shit?

I'm asking my readers for their ideas. Feel free to spitball. Conjecture may suggest new avenues of investigation. (If you have already guessed the name of the firm, please don't use it in your comments. And please don't talk about the Mystery Jumper by name either.)


Comments:
Randroids are useful idiots and enthusiastic about conning the useless eaters.

Penny stock and stock manipulation are a good way for them to con people. The money can be laundered for covert ops or just spent on whores and crack. It's also quite easy to get away with, if you've got the right connections.

Tall buildings are good for throwing people off. It's easy to make it look like a suicide or an accident, and if you have to bash their skulls in first the injuries will be obscured by the effects of the impact with the ground.

 
I hadn't heard about the death, but I know those buildings. That company is always hiring writers and bragging about their buildings, which are indeed a tempting reason to seek employment there. I signed up for a couple newsletters, just to see if I could bear to shill their crap. I couldn't. The bragging about the high returns from investing in private prisons is simply evil. And the scare tactics, and the health secrets sold by interminable videos irritated me to no end.

I remember your pump and dump story. If ever a country milked its citizenry, our does.

I got nothing....except this company seems to be overly well-heeled. I overheard a guy from NYC saying he came to Baltimore to interview for a writing job around the time they were heavily recruiting. I'm betting they advertise there and DC...they offer serious salaries for a local company. Maybe they are bankrolled.

 
Other than money laundering I have no idea
 
zee, I'm very grateful for your commentary. The "A" team does seem to be doing very well in otherwise depressed times.

I came across a recent bit of spiel in which the company insists that someone with as little as $500 to invest could see a million dollar return...!
 
The nexus of the intelligence community and Wall Street, banks and traders in precious metals is well known and documented.

Part of the reason is the laundering of international drug trafficking profits, which are estimated to bring 100s of billions of dollars a year into the NYSE. Many major banks have been caught facilitating such laundry, which is then blamed on junior ranking lone actor VPs.

For but one example, Reagan's DCI Bill Casey was previously the head of the SEC. Another example is A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, who 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 money.
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."

So there's money laundering that can be facilitated, plus the profits available from fraud. Con men know their ally is the greed of their marks. Nothing says greed to the point of imprudence like penny stock investing. Very easy pickings.

XI
 
Shame on you, Joseph! Our valiant covert warriors would never be involved in shady financial dealings, nor would they ever resort to involvement in sleazy financial cons in order to, for example, fund operations while avoiding Congressional oversight. It would never happen.

Can I interest you in some Nugan Hand or BCCI stock?
 
I don't know if the CIA would do something like this. But the Russians would.

There are obvious connections between the goldbugs and hard currency types that advertise on the right wing media sphere - everything from local talk radio to Fox News to Alex Jones - and the Russians.

Jones always takes the side of Russia.

I think the Russian/ KGB Disinfo network never went away, honestly it was the only thing the Commies could pull off. Now they just shill the gold standard, macroeconomic libertarianism, anti-vaccination nonsense, and 9/11 Trutherism.

They push these ideas because they know they will destroy the country.
 
Paul, I don't know if you are right, but you have definitely opened up a new area of investigation.

XI, the kind of things you mention make sense. But pump-and-dump is a scam on a much lower level. I mean, seriously, what do you think your average pump-n-dumper is worth? I'm guessing maybe a couple of million. By Murdochian standards, that's pocket litter.
 
You're so jaded, Cannon. Or unexpectedly comfortably-off. As the old saying goes, a million here, a million there...
 
Looks like demographic harvesting of Randian sociopaths, for recruitment into intelligence and/or criminal organizations. That's where the tradecraft and money is coming from.
 
Find some of the Alex Jones shows where Porter Stansbury is on. Basically Stansbury and others position now is that we don't need to worry about global warming because we have endless reserves of oil. This is a tacit proRussia position.

Likewise the obsession with precious metal. Certainly the Russian quasi-criminal oligarch elites have tons of the stuff sacked away.

Most of the conspiracy theories spouted by Jones and the Randroid right would seem to benefit the Russians as much as any foreign country.

Dunno, but I've always felt the worldview of the truther/tea partier/goldbugs benefited the Russian cause more than anything.

And I know for a fact Russian money is behind a lot of the products advertised on Jones shows.
 
That's Stansberry. And...um...ODD that you should mention him...
 
By the way, have you seen the SEC's complaint against Stansberry? The Russian connection seems to be real...

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/comp18090.htm
 
Possible right wing junk alleging Russian manipulation of European environmental interests -

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2663075/Putin-plotting-halt-UK-fracking-warns-Nato-chief-Secretary-General-claims-agents-working-campaigners-make-sure-Europe-continues-reliance-Russian-energy-exports.html

My point here is if this is true, then what would stop Putin from bankrolling libertarian/tea party/truther/general fringe views in the US as well ...
 
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