I was on the road for a while on Friday and heard occasional news reports that the stock market was down again, taking substantial losses.
But when I returned to my office and looked at the news, the market had turned dramatically and was nearly in positive territory. Within minutes, this dramatic turnaround had become an orgy of buying with the market shooting upwards like a rocket.
This recovery of the entire 700 points it had lost earlier in the day on massive selling, meant a total of 1400 points of movement in one day. But it wasn't over. The market continued upward, reaching 300 points above its starting average, for 1700 total points of movement.
Then as I watched in disbelief, in less than 15 minutes the market lost all 300 points it had just gained and another 128 on top of that. Sufficient sales had occurred in one-quarter of an hour to wipe out all the previous gains and the market ended up once again in the red. In all the market moved more than 2100 points in one session.
A colleague told me of reading reports that the 6,000 point drop the market has seen in recent weeks from its high point means a loss of some 8 trillion dollars in value. If that is true, and the combined value of all the stocks bought and sold Friday was on a par with the value of the stocks bought and sold since this slide began, then the New York Stock Exchange alone saw transactions amount to something in the neighborhood of 2 trillion dollars in one session!
Who could do that? Certainly not mom and pop investors. Most of the individuals in the market who thought they were on risky ground would have sold in the earlier sessions. Even institutionalized investments couldn't do that much that quickly.
We are talking the equivalent of about one-sixth of the United States' annual Gross Domestic Product, bought and sold in one day!
Did you see the news that the World Bank computers have been hacked, and very deeply, several times this year, going back to the spring? Did you see that the World Bank executives hid this from the public, supposedly to prevent a panic?
Does that look far more like a cover up than a security measure?
And don't forget, when our markets go down, Asian and European markets go down too. But interestingly, there also have been days when our markets were recovering, and the Asian and European markets saw massive losses regardless. What would trigger such uncertainty when the United States appeared to be stabilizing?
What we are talking about here appears to be a major coordinated assault on capitalism. It started out weeks ago, and every time it looks as though we have hit bottom and are about to start climbing out, whammo, another salvo is launched.
But from whom? The Internet is alive with buzz that socialist financier George Soros, still smarting from not being able to buy the election for Al Gore in 2000, or John Kerry in 2004 is behind it; has in fact threatened previously to join with others of like mind and intent to do exactly that.
But even Soros for all his billions couldn't do it alone. He couldn't even do it if he convinced Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and all of the late Sam Walton's family members to join him - not that any of them would.
No, this appears to be a coordinated assault on a level that requires entire nations, many of them, in concert with each other, to be participants. So who could it be?
Well, Europe is pretty much out of the loop since its countries' economies are based on capitalism too, and are suffering every bit as much as the United States. Even Russia took huge hits, and at first blush wouldn't appear to be in on it.
We can't completely discount Russia though, especially with all the posturing Vladimir Putin has been doing recently. First he poses with his shirt off, then he kills a tiger for sport, then he invades Georgia, then he gets another tiger - live this time - for a birthday present, obviously to make up for the outrage I'm sure he heard after hunting down the first tiger.
What is it with Putin? For my money, he is trying to display strength at a time when the world is in turmoil thus presenting a strong alternative to the west's candy-assed leaders. His invasion of Georgia got exactly the response he thought it would, lots of talk and blustering, but no action.
And since he started this little charade more than a year ago, I'd bet that he was aware of what was coming on the world financial markets even if he, or Russia, wasn't directly involved.
Others may have differing opinions on Putin's game, but I believe their opinions reflect their own personalities. The weak will see his posturing as a threat and will cower accordingly; the uncertain may well see him as a possible replacement for western leaders, so long as they don't get hurt in the process; and the strong will see it as a challenge to their leadership.
All that being said, I doubt that Russia has the capabilities to pull off Friday's chaos. And since he hasn't exactly been the Islamo-fascists' best friend, what with the unpleasantness in Chechnya for example, I doubt he would be all that likely to side with Al Qaeda.
But what about China? Did you notice that in all this uproar, we haven't heard much about China? The big news from that country was all about them successfully applying the technology they were allowed to acquire from us in the Clinton Administration to launch a manned spacecraft, send its astronauts out for a walk, and talk about building a space station!
On the world financial scene, they have been strangely quiet. Too quiet. And don't forget, the Chinese hold something in the neighborhood of $1 trillion in US securities.
Combine that with their laser shot at one of our defense satellites a while back, their submarine sneaking up on the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier out on the Pacific, using stolen American sonar technology, and all these poison products they have been sending to America and you have reasonable doubt - about China's intentions.
Why does China need to build its own space station when there already is an international space station well under construction? Doesn't it want to be part of the world of modern nations? Or would its space station employ weapons that could be used against earthbound targets, that China's leaders don't want us to know about?
Would China line up with extremist Muslims, using their oil gorged bank accounts to send the west into turmoil, and raise questions about the validity of capitalism as a world philosophy?
Remember, both the communists and the Islamo-fascists are intent on world domination, with their version of government the only form of government. Obviously there would come a time when the Islamo-fascists and the communists would fight each other, but think of the manpower each side would have available to them from conquered and enslaved countries.
Remember too, that neither communists nor Islamo-fascists care one whit about human life, albeit for different reasons, and will sacrifice untold millions as long as the few at the top get what they want. So, would China, which has been supporting Al Qaeda ever since we invaded Afghanistan, link up with Islamo-fascists if Chinese leaders thought they could emerge as a lone superpower in the end?
My vote is yes, unquestioningly.
It is easy, considering everything above, to see what happened Friday as an assault on our financial cornerstones, in an effort to weaken, demoralize and ultimately destroy our democratic form of government. What transpired on Wall Street Friday did more damage to the core of our government and freedoms than the attacks on 9-11, even though there was no immediate loss of life or property.
If it was a deliberate act of sabotage, the west must act strongly, quickly and decisively.
The Pentagon has super computers at its disposal, and one of the great things about the computer age is that even though billions of transactions took place Friday, they can all be traced to their origins. Relatively quickly too.
President George Bush is now facing the greatest challenge of his administration, and while meeting with other world leaders is a nice symbol, he might get far more done by ordering the Pentagon to turn its computers loose on tracking Friday's transactions on Wall Street, looking for patterns.
If he finds that Soros or any other individuals or institutions were involved, he should immediately freeze all their assets, not just here, but in conjunction with leaders worldwide too, and seek an international arrest warrant.
If he finds that China or any other countries that still have sympathies for Al Qaeda's Islamo-terrorists were involved, directly or indirectly, he should consider it an act of war and respond accordingly.
Saturday, October 11, 2008