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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 4, 2010

CIA AGENTS HELPED HEDGE FUNDS PLAY THE MARKET

Politico - 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.

There is much about the policy that is unclear, including how many officers have availed themselves of it, how long it has been in place and what types of outside employment have been allowed. The CIA declined to provide additional details. . .

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'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.


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