Some of the marketing efforts for Secret Weapon (www.secretweapon.org) have caused some potential readers (usually on the left of the political spectrum) to assume that the book was written solely to deflect blame from Wall Street and or the Bush team. Likewise, other potential readers (typically on the right of politics) have assumed that the purpose was to exonerate the failures of Washington and the Obama administration. If you were to "judge a book by its cover," depending on your political preference, it is possible to come to such a misunderstanding. Those who have actually read the book, heard me speak, or read this Blog should know better.
Let me be direct and to the point. There is plenty of blame to go around. Even the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowd has a legitimate point about Wall Street excesses. Parts of the financial industry have lobbied hard to keep lucrative money-churning opportunities available regardless of the consequences and (as Secret Weapon points out) national security risks. Credit Default Swaps and naked short selling can be massively abused with profit motives, no doubt. Our book points out that these same instruments also can be used as financial weapons of mass destruction (as even Warren Buffett agrees) and have been left accessible to our enemies. Not only that, we can demonstrate that enemies had the motive, means, and opportunity to use them. The book provides compelling evidence that they have used them and this act of economic warfare almost destroyed us. The worse news is that they aren't finished and a Phase Three attack is coming.
Shall we blame Wall Street? Yes. Their greed and short-sightedness has left our markets very vulnerable and destroyed the financial opportunities of the average working American. My problem with the OWS crowd is that many among them "throw the baby out with the bath water," by rejecting free enterprise all together. This plays into the hands of the very groups bent on destroying us including Marxists, statists, and those wishing to force the world to live under Sharia. Sadly, there is some reasonable evidence that indicates that these groups have been funding the OWS movement to control its direction. That's a serious problem. For left-leaning patriotic individuals without a Marxist or Sharia passion, take a look at the book. You will find some compelling evidence to support at least some of your concerns with Wall Street hijinks.
Shall we blame Washington? If so, Bush? Obama? I have been accused of being hired by the Obama administration to deflect attention from his failures. Actually, the original hiring discussions started at the end of the Bush term. The reality is that this has been a bi-partisan failure of epic proportions. First, we have over-regulated key areas of the economy necessary for growth. Conservatives, take notice: we are not for massive new regulations. We need to unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit and grow because we are in a global economic war and we are losing. Policy remedies I propose in the book include tax relief, repatriating U.S. corporate money, developing domestic natural and economically feasible alternative energy resources using free market approaches. But, it is kind of ridiculous that Credit Default Swaps were specifically exempted from ANY regulation while at the same time you have to fill out a mountain of paperwork and show a driver's license to buy a cold remedy (Sudafed) or even canned air. Really?
Worse still is the fact that Washington has failed to address the very real risks of financial terrorism. We received a relatively tiny amount of funding (far less than six figures) to do a year's worth of study that was crammed into six months. What we found conclusively (and has never been disputed) is that our financial markets can be manipulated and even crashed by foreign interests and we don't have a current means to monitor or stop it. This analysis has been vetted by top people in the fields of intelligence, defense, economics, law enforcement, Wall Street, and political science. You can see the comments (from people such as Clinton's CIA Director, Reagan's Attorney General, a former Federal Reserve top economist, a 3-star General who headed DIA, a sitting Congressman, College Presidents, and many others) in the "Reviews" tab at www.secretweapon.org or in the first pages of the book. These are credible people from all sides of the political spectrum. We have debated the topic more than 100 times. The risks are beyond dispute, even supported by work from Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. Yet, the official Washington response has been to ignore it. In fact, at one point I was threatened that my research would be CLASSIFIED meaning that I could be put in jail for talking about it. I have received numerous threats and had my email hacked.
There is another group that has attacked what we are saying. This group (many of whom are ardent Ron Paul supporters) claims that Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and Hank Paulson are the real financial terrorists. Whether they are right or not doesn't deny that rogue elements in China, Iran, the Middle East, Venezuela, Russia, have indicated a willingness to attack us financially and have the motive, means, and opportunity to do so. It is absolutely imperative that we understand this and would be foolish to ignore it.
The first words of the introduction of the book: America stands on the brink. It stands on the brink because of government overspending and our colossal national debt. It stands on the brink because of manipulation, failed regulations, and predatory trading on financial markets…." Chapter Six is devoted to explaining how we made ourselves vulnerable, allowing Wall Street to plunder and Washington to buy votes.
If you believe that greedy Wall Street has been destroying our economy than you should learn how financial terrorists are poised to take advantage. This makes your argument stronger, providing a national security issue. If you believe that Washington is the root of failure then you should also understand how inaction is making us ripe for future attack. Our research suggests that another attack may be on the way even before the next election.
We challenge honest critics to read the book and pore through this Blog. We are not apologists for anyone. Rather, we are warning about a very real problem that most people would rather ignore. Maybe that's why we have been attacked by people from the far left and far right? In the book are documented examples of efforts to stifle the research and findings. The good news is that the book contains solutions, both for public policy and personal situation.
The question every person should be asking is why this legitimate research has been suppressed and threatened?