Pentagon Worried about Hackers Causing Stock Market Crash

The Pentagon?! But no one’s worried when stocks get manipulated higher.

It’s funny, the all-out government effort to prevent a major decline of the stock market, or of individual stocks, via manipulation or hacking. Now even the Pentagon is looking into it.

What’s funny is that everyone cheers when manipulation, hacking, and other shenanigans cause the market or individual stocks to soar. It’s just declines they’re worried about at these precarious levels.

Manipulating stocks higher is a time-honored game that routinely receives kudos from all around. The Fed printed nearly $4 trillion and cut rates to zero for eight years – no matter what the damage to the real economy – for the sole purpose of manipulating up asset prices including stock prices. “Wealth effect,” Ben Bernanke called it. Corporate executives and analysts exaggerate future earnings only to deflate them at the last minute, because stock prices are “forward looking” and fake future earnings is all that matters, even if reality now sucks. And on and on. Whatever it takes to push stock prices up, by hook or crook, is cool. These are our heroes.

But when some lonely dude might hack into high-speed stock trading systems or spook the trading algos, quant-fund managers, and high-speed traders and throw algorithmic trading off track to where prices might actually fall in a major way, all heck breaks loose, and the Pentagon feels empowered to step in.

Trading by automated systems, such as used by quant funds and high-speed traders, is beginning to dominate stock trading. The risk of hacking into those systems or manipulating those systems in other ways is a real issue – but it should cut both ways. And the systems themselves are designed to manipulate prices, so….

Nevertheless, the Pentagon’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), is working with “dozens” of high-speed traders, quant-fund managers, “people from exchanges and other financial companies,” executives, and “others” from Wall Street to figure out how hackers “could unleash chaos in the US financial system.”

This is what the Wall Street Journal reported, citing “participants in the discussions” and a confirmation by Darpa. While not previously reported, the project is unclassified. But Darpa declined to release a list of its participants.



“We started thinking a couple years ago what it would be like if a malicious actor wanted to cause havoc on our financial markets,” Wade Shen, a Darpa program manager since 2014, told The Journal. In his prior job, he’d researched artificial intelligence at MIT.

This early-stage pilot project, aimed at identifying market vulnerabilities, has been going on for 18 months. Here are a few of the “dozens” of people who’ve worked with Darpa on the so-called Financial Markets Vulnerabilities Project:

  • Jamil Nazarali, senior adviser to the CEO of Citadel Securities, “a trading giant responsible for around 20% of daily volume in US stock markets.”
  • Misha Malyshev, CEO of trading firm Teza Technologies.
  • Manoj Narang, CEO of quant hedge fund Mana Partners.

In these meetings, participants “brainstorm about how hackers might try to bring down US markets, then rank the ideas by feasibility.” The scenarios include:

Hackers could cripple a widely used payroll system; they could inject false information into stock-data feeds, sending trading algorithms out of whack; or they could flood the stock market with fake sell orders and trigger a market crash.

Or hackers could publish “‘fake news’ to shake investor confidence.”

Narang told The Journal that he’d thought the stock market was resilient and would quickly bounce back from a hack, but since his discussions with Darpa, he grew more concerned:

One scenario he fears: a hack of a US exchange in which the attacker sends a wave of fake sell orders to every firm offering to buy shares. That could potentially erase hundreds of billions of dollars of market value as prices drop and firms try to cover losses by selling on other exchanges, Mr. Narang said.

However this will turn out and whatever will come of it, if anything, what’s fascinating is that the Pentagon is worried about malicious actors causing a decline in stock prices. It’s not at all worried about malicious actors causing a surge in stock prices. A surge in stock prices, no matter who or what causes it, is good. By extrapolation, the Pentagon is not really worried about malicious actors per se. It’s only worried about those on the wrong side of the “wealth effect.” And what makes this funny, if it weren’t so serious, is that it’s the Pentagon, of all places, that’s doing this.

Oh the irony! Read…  Wells Fargo’s Artificial Intelligence Defies Analysts, Slaps “Sell” on Google and Facebook




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  54 comments for “Pentagon Worried about Hackers Causing Stock Market Crash

  1. bev kennedy
    Oct 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Ha ha. And keep in mind “they” are concerned about “outliers” not the routine manipulation club for insiders

    • kevin
      Oct 17, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      The Military-industrial complex, Wall Street and the Big G are like the 3 stooges. They take turns to slap and/or hug each other, but in essence all are part and parcel of the same twisted trifecta.

      – Big G is a system to tax the little guy into compliance.
      – Wall Street is a system to steal from the little guy, who either willingly participates in the false hopes of making his bundle or otherwise is unwittingly enrolled into it via his pension funds, 401k or some other Big G schemes.
      – The Military is a system to draft low-wage employees on the pretext of nationalism or enforce compliance from all the little guys, when all else fails. As Mao once said, Power ultimately comes from the barrel of a gun.

      These 3 stooges may not even realize they need each other more than they realize but each thinks they are the final arbiters and defenders of modern western civilization.

      – Military egos makes them think they can direct human history by wearing a big gun, making headline wars here or there and generally barking out orders down the chain of command
      – Wall Streeters likes to think they own everything via debt, credit and every derivative in-between, and hence are the true Masters of the Universe.
      – Big G meanwhile thinks they are the last bastion of democracy on the planet and the other 2 blokes are out-of-control, but Big G herself is heavily indebted, massively overspending and also intoxicated by her own legislative and fiat powers.

      So, sometimes the Big G slaps Wall Street with onerous regulations, sometimes Wall Streeters pokes back at the Big G or pays for the lunch of some congressmen. Other times, Big G seems to be the boss of the military-industrial complex and yet oftentimes, the military goes off their own tangents with massive trillions in black budgets and operations that the Big G is not even aware of. Then, sometimes the military-industrial complex hugs Wall Street like a good brother when there are wars and rumors of war and the stock prices of the defense contractors goes sky high. Other times, the military grunts views Wall Streeters with disdain for “selling” out their country for a quick buck while they sacrifice blood for the nation; but then within the same breadth, they acknowledge that Wall Street finances their weapons developments to help win wars too.

      None of the 3 stooges really understands each other, but they tolerate the incestuous unholy trinity and Love-Hate relationships, if not just for the sake of dominating over the little people.

      All 3 do not serve the concerns of the little man. They never have and they never will, despite appearances of defending the edifice and the banal rhetoric of their representatives.

  2. John
    Oct 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Its a rigged game, against ordinary people and all for the top 10% or so. Brings to mind the PPT and pricks like Fuld who would do anything and everything to anyone who dared to short the market. Its supposed to be a one way street for them and the other 90% can roll over and die.

  3. Greg
    Oct 15, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    The absurdity of the financial system is starting to manifest and already many narratives are hastily being put in place to explain “what happened”….such as this one.

    At this point the Ponzi nature of the entire financial system, from the basis and nature of fiat, to the valuations of stocks and bonds to the insolvency of pensions and social security would suggest that it’s time to take our well deserved lumps for decades of fraudulent monetary policies and stop looking for “bad-guys” to blame. We as a nation need to put together a sound financial system controlled by our elected officials rather than a privately held third party banking system operated “at interest”…which can never be repaid.

    • Hiho
      Oct 16, 2017 at 12:01 am

      You are being dishonest here, when comparing the financial casino of wall street with social security. SS should work as a pay-as-you-go system. Sometimes it is able to run surpluses and sometimes it is not, because it is an inherently countercyclical system.

      Do not fall for the libertarian bullshit, trying to advance their agenda given half the chance.

      • Michael Fiorillo
        Oct 16, 2017 at 5:08 am

        Thank you. In fact Social Security is essentially the only solvent part of the US government.

        • Mr. Knoss
          Oct 16, 2017 at 11:01 am

          Social Security is a print as you go program. As long as the Federal Reserve buys Treasury debt at no bid auctions with money it creates from nothing, Social Security is a go.

      • Raging Ranter
        Oct 16, 2017 at 7:48 am

        Sorry but any pension plan – even social security – that is run on a “pay as you go” basis, has earned the tag of Ponzi scheme. A pension plan that functions like a flow-through entity and “sometimes runs a deficit” isn’t a pension plan at all, it’s just another government social program. If that’s what it is, fine, but allowing SS to function as a social program dependent on current premium inflows carries with it some serious risks.

        • Kent
          Oct 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

          Social Security is a social program and always has been. FDR created it with some modest features to make it appear like a retirement program. He taxed people directly for it, and cleverly, gave it its own line on your paycheck: FICA. That makes it appear that you are contributing to your retirement, not just paying a tax. The money wasn’t just put into the general fund, but “invested” in special government bonds. Which act like they aren’t just regular government revenues. But they are.

          He did this because he knew that the far right would always try to get it removed and the only way people would fight for it is if they thought it was their money. Not money going to other people. And crucially, every one gets some of it. Even the rich.

          From the view of the far right, the goal is to get rid of everybody getting SS. If they can make it so a significant portion of the population, say the upper 40% plus young people would not get SS, then those people would vote it away from the people who do get it, because you could just call it “welfare” at that point.

        • Paulo
          Oct 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

          Not true,

          My pension plan is funded to 105% and is very well secured as compared to others. It is a defined benefit plan, has a yearly COLA, and by law was implemented without any govt interference possible. It was mandatory to belong to the plan as a condition of employment.

          SS could have been the same, but no one wants to pay taxes and the military expenditures come before all else in the US. The results speak for themselves.

    • Davebee
      Oct 16, 2017 at 12:24 am

      But Greg, what’s a 70 year old pensioner to do?
      Just yesterday my local FP (That’s a financial planner Greg) told me, while looking up from his shiny little laptop that….wait for it….”There’s never been a better time to be in equities”
      Shouldn’t I take this twenty something’s advice? I mean he he tells me he is a Certificated FP after all and surely he would tell me all about the R word wouldn’t he?
      R word Greg? Yes, RISK. The R word was tellingly absent in our meeting I must advise.

      • CV5
        Oct 16, 2017 at 11:21 am

        I got the same shtick from some VP financial planner. The entire escapade, broken up into several interviews, was endless carnival barkering, subterfuge, seduction, legerdemain using various charts and graphs like a cheap magician….really it was utterly transparent and utterly horrible.

        The guy wanted his 1%….that’s it. That all. He could care less about the rest or me.

        They all do the same. Guilty as hell if you ask me.

      • Gershon
        Oct 16, 2017 at 4:02 pm

        Two kinds of people use financial planners: those who are getting fleeced, and those who are going to get fleeced.

      • Plumas One
        Oct 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

        85-90 % of stock brokers or financial planners are primarily
        salespeople whose prime revenue comes from commissions.
        You’re better off trusting referrals to experienced and well-
        trained pros who operate exclusively on fees, by the hour
        or, in my case, as a percent of assets under management.

    • Gershon
      Oct 17, 2017 at 8:20 am

      We as a nation need to put together a sound financial system controlled by our elected officials rather than a privately held third party banking system operated “at interest”…which can never be repaid.

      “We as a nation” voted for the oligarch-owned Republicrat duopoly and its Wall Street water carriers who are giving the Federal Reserve a free hand to defraud the 99% with impunity via its debasement of the currency and lavishing free trillions in printing-press “stimulus” on its financier accomplices so they can create vast speculative bubbles and asset inflation.

      The sad fact is, “We as a nation” have been meekly bending over for the Wall Street-Federal Reserve Looting Syndicate since 1913, and will continue doing so even as the Fed concentrates all wealth and power in the venal hands of its oligarch controllers.

  4. Maximus Minimus
    Oct 15, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    It sounds as if the financial industry was the only real asset the US has left. Oh, never mind.

  5. Jas
    Oct 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Excellent article and very insightful. It could also be possible, that just like a “voter fraud commision” that finds no fraud, but is used to toss untold amounts of eligible voters off the rolls, the “stock market protection commity” could be used to detect weaknesses that can later be used to malipulate it in new, unrealized ways!!

  6. IdahoPotato
    Oct 15, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Didn’t the SEC’s Edgar hack already yield information that was used for illegal profiteering?

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/21/news/sec-edgar-hack/index.html

    Is the Pentagon not worried about that ‘cos it didn’t lead to a crash?

  7. Plumas One
    Oct 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Hmmmm…the natives behind the curtain are getting restless.
    If a highly regarded economist reveals that the true inflation
    rate since 2008 has been running 8-9 % annually and thus that
    stocks, bonds and real estate are radically overvalued, all holy
    hell will break loose…starting with the SNB dumping the FANGS.
    This could be very entertaining.

  8. Realist
    Oct 16, 2017 at 12:15 am

    What about causing a breakdown in electronic payment systems, ie causing the plastic to stop working in a large (metro) area ? Take a look at Puerto Rico to see how vulnerable society is without the access to much maligned physical cash ….

  9. Lee
    Oct 16, 2017 at 1:16 am

    What about something called reality and fundamental analysis?

    Nah, they don’t exist in the market anymore replaced by hype and hopeium.

    I’d love to be able to short Tesla and a number of other stocks fuled by nothing but hope air and bs.

    • R2D2
      Oct 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      No hope there. Tesla fired hundreds of employees, but they run the news over the weekend so that would notice it. I mean Tesla, for whatever reason, has the complete support of the media.

      It’s obviously a sign that there is something real wrong like running out of money, but the news is run on the weekend so as to minimize the impact.

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        Those job cuts were about 1%-2% of Tesla’s workforce. So it doesn’t look like a money-savings measure. Those are generally in the 10-20% range.

        With that kind of insane stock price, Tesla won’t run out of money because it can always sell more shares and raise many more billions by doing so. And even when the shares sink, it can continue to do so, albeit in ever smaller increments, until shares are down to the single digits, at which point raising new money to burn through will get very difficult.

  10. Patrick
    Oct 16, 2017 at 2:54 am

    I’m sure spoofing and naked shorting Amazon or Netflix to run the stops and buy the dips would be quite profitable for banks but if they manipulated FANG stocks down like they did precious metals, the SEC would be on their doorstep the next morning with a handful of arrest warrants. Funny how overt & chronic securities fraud on a mass scale somehow magically ceases to be a federal crime when it serves the Fed and government’s agenda.

  11. Tom Welsh
    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:04 am

    What really frightens them is truth. Just the plain, simple, honest truth.

    “Aaaaaaagh no! TRUTH!!! Keep it away from me!!!! I’M MELTING!!!!!”

  12. Gershon
    Oct 16, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Maybe the Pentagon should be more worried about the Fed’s debauchery of the currency, facilitation of massive wealth inequality that is tearing apart the social fabric, and the loss of faith in the institutions of governance that have been captured and corrupted by the oligarchy.
    When millions of military retirees realize their promised pensions and benefits are wholly inadequate thanks to the loss of purchasing power and asset inflation due to the Keynesian fraudsters at the Fed, those seething vets could potentially become critical mass of disaffection that could be more destabilizing than anything foreign hackers could cook up.

    • thelocalpragmatist
      Oct 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

      “When millions of military retirees realize their promised pensions and benefits are wholly inadequate thanks to the loss of purchasing power and asset inflation due to the Keynesian fraudsters at the Fed, those seething vets could potentially become critical mass of disaffection that could be more destabilizing than anything foreign hackers could cook up.”

      Gershon,
      I’d be more concerned with those receiving “entitlements” in the form of transfer payments, than the disciplined and civil former military personnel.

      When was the last time you saw a large group of retired military personnel rioting in the streets?

      • Raymond C Rogers
        Oct 16, 2017 at 8:56 pm

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army

        DARPA is doing its job. Are we going to blame DARPA for various regulatory oversight malfeasance? I’m sure if Wolf reached out to DARPA, introduced himself with a quick intro, and put forth a short proposal, he’d get a bite or two. This assumes that the time, energy, and motivation exists for such analysis.

    • economicminor
      Oct 16, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Naw! Herd Mentality and training will always be able to direct the troops in any direction (away from the truth). The military trains personnel not to think but to always follow orders. It will be N Korea or the Chinese or the lazy takers or those greedy workers… Never the leaders.

    • Oct 17, 2017 at 11:10 am

      There is really no difference between the Fed and the DOD, and one can suppose that if the need arises the Fed will have access to the Pentagons sizable amount of computing power to regulate markets.

  13. Mike R.
    Oct 16, 2017 at 7:48 am

    The “health” of the US economic system (e.g., stock prices) has became a national security issue with the crash of 2008. I belive lots of things were done under Obama to “manage” the system under the justificaiton of national security. That means alot of that stuff done has to be kept top secret. So not a surprise to me that somewhere in the DOD a group is looking at downward hack of the stock market.

    Of course, it could only be sold down if values were extreme on the high end; otherwise, buyers would move in for the bargains and counter the sell down.

  14. NY Geezer
    Oct 16, 2017 at 7:50 am

    The pentagon’s worry about hackers crashing the market is an ominous sign. To me it indicates that the government strongly believes that a crash is imminent and needs to establish as the scapegoat some anonymous hackers. And they need to make us believe the story.

    The years of governmental interference in an orderly stock market inflated stock prices beyond belief. But the government does not want to be blamed for the inevitable crash. Thus hackers must be accused of crashing it. So what follows next? It will not be sufficient to merely declare war on hackers. That will not keep the markets inflated. So by creating a hacker villain the government might feel justified to just make it illegal for the public but not the too big to fail financial types to sell their ridiculously priced stocks. In other words, not just bar the public from short selling but all stock selling.

    Realistically I doubt that this solution would ever be adopted. Its much too bizarre even for government.

    • JungleJim
      Oct 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Never, ever forget that all governments reserve the right to screw their own citizens mercilessly when the need arises, which usually means a political need. Governments are experts at rationalizing such actions with highfalutin, patriotic sounding language but the effect is the same. The sin that drives politicians wild is when the citizens try to defend themselves against their own government’s misdeeds. For that, there is no forgiveness and no punishment is too harsh.

    • economicminor
      Oct 16, 2017 at 11:21 am

      OR the government and its Plunge Protection Team is already manipulating the markets to make sure they only go up. The Hackers story is just cover to allow them to continue to manipulate. They are protecting the markets not manipulating them…

  15. Drango
    Oct 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

    The worst part is, the stock market is only the visible surface of the bubble. All the derivatives and such are still hidden in the deepest recesses of bank balance sheets. When the stock bubble pops, all of the banks’ trash will once again rise to the surface, and once again the central bankers will be caught completely unprepared. I’m sure Bernanke will offer some courageous advice about saving the banks yet again, for the good of the country, and Yellen, as usual, won’t know what the hell is going on, because economics is only good at analyzing systems that don’t actually exist. Economists. What would we do without them?

  16. Lune
    Oct 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Flooding the system with a bunch of fake buy orders not only happens now, it’s perfectly legal, according to the SEC, and is the way most HFT firms make their money. So how is a “hacker” putting out a bunch of fake sell orders to lower the price and front-run some legitimate sell orders illegal?

    • Robert
      Oct 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Lune, you make a great point. The hypocrisy of financial regulation threatens the entire system. Someone, for example who shorts a stock is doing nothing wrong- through his broker, he is required first to find someone willing to lend him those shares. He is simply a skeptic who puts his money where his mouth is. But naked short selling is an entirely different kettle of fish- this joker simply says “Sell!” and his account is credited with the funds. It sounds illegal, and it is- for you or me, but not for “market makers.” And there is nothing to protect honest shareholders from such market manipulators, who may, in some cases simply vanish if the trade turns against them. How is it, given that you or I are required to provide name, address, and everything but your great-grandmother’s SSN, that some are allowed to open accounts where massive bets are never traceable (as in those selling short airline stocks and S&P index just before 9/11).

  17. mvojy
    Oct 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Inflate it
    Pop it
    Scoop it up cheap
    Inflate it
    Pop it
    Scoop it up cheap
    Over and over and over again. That’s our “regulated” stock market and real estate market.

  18. Raging Ranter
    Oct 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Just to cheer everyone up, have a read:

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/were-about-to-fall-behind-the-great-depression

    The article starts out on the right track, bringing attention to the fact that the so-called “recovery” has been anything but once you factor in population growth. GDP per capita is a far better measure of economic health than total GDP. No wonder politicians and central bankers never mention it.

    However, the “solution” offered at the end is enough to induce a fit of vomiting. That’s right, the answer to our problem is more inflation. It takes an extreme level of cognitive dissonance to at once suggest that “the old assumptions no longer apply”, and then to present the oldest solution in the book as the answer to our problems.

    We inflated our way into almost 20 years of stagflation starting in 1965. We inflated our way into the 1987 stock market crash, then inflated our way out of that and into the early 90s recession. We then inflated our way through the Asian Contagion-Russian Ruble crisis of 1997-98, creating a massive tech bubble, and then inflated right through the crash that followed, and kept inflating until a massive housing bubble popped in 2008. Then we spent the next decade… you guessed it, inflating our way out of the GFC, creating the biggest asset bubble in history; the first truly global asset bubble.

    Clearly we need a bold new approach – more inflation.

    • thelocalpragmatist
      Oct 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

      “Clearly we need a bold new approach – more inflation.”

      RR,
      Well, what then would you suggest…prudence?

      There are only a few tools in the bag….

      • Raging Ranter
        Oct 16, 2017 at 9:09 pm

        I would suggest not relying on easy money anymore. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut back from the abyss. Much like the early 1980s, it will require a severe, wrenching recession for the necessary deleveraging to take place, and for appropriate risk premiums to be restored. It was done once before (early 80s, 20%+ interest rates). It can be done again. It won’t require rates anything like that high, but the resulting pain will likely be much worse.

  19. Enrique Bermudez
    Oct 16, 2017 at 8:57 am

    IIRC, some hacker in I think 2013 manipulated these robots via a fake Twitter post purporting to be NYT reporting on a b o m b at the Whit e Hous e. (See what I did there, right?)

    Caused a brief, mini-flash drop in most major indices.

    I’m actually surprised that this has not happened more often. Perhaps the bots were made less sensitive to Twitter “news” after this?

  20. Winston
    Oct 16, 2017 at 8:58 am

    A stock market attack could just be one route. I imagine that state-sponsored hackers could gain access to all of the Equifax data that was stolen if, in fact, it wasn’t such hackers who stole it in the first place. I also imagine that they could steal the millions of credit card numbers on dark web web sites that sell them but, from what I’ve read, don’t succeed in selling most of them and, therefore, unsold card numbers are never used and thereby identified as compromised. I further imagine that all of that data could be used in an automated fraud attack which as millions find their data being used for fraudulent automated purchases or whatever, regardless of whether those fraudulent attempts succeed or not, would completely freeze up the entire US credit system as millions take protective measures. Feasible? I’ve never seen this mentioned anywhere.

  21. Bill
    Oct 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

    If in fact a foreign country attempted to use financial market disruption as part of a military strategy against the U.S., I suppose we would want the military to know about it. What the military could, should, or would do in response is another matter.

    I am reminded of the recently-circulated photograph of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un observing an apparent missile launch. Behind him on a table was a computer screen showing charts of several financial markets. But assuming the photo was real, I’m more inclined to think the photo was a Kim Jong-un joke. Would NK really let us observe his computer screens on a launch day?

    • thelocalpragmatist
      Oct 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Bill,
      Little Kim does this intentionally. He is aware that the photos will be closely scrutinized. A message being sent. He did the same thing during a past outrage, where the charts in the background were of a new ICBM design.

  22. MC
    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:07 am

    The art of keeping a peacetime military budget monstrously bloated is to look for threats, regardless if they exist or not, magnify them by any means possible and start clamoring for several billions every fiscal year to counter said threat.

    I remember back in the 80’s the Pentagon became adept at inventing all sorts of futuristic weapons originating from the USSR, obviously with a big help from parties with no skin in the game such as Lockheed, Raytheon and Hughes.
    Each new threat required large amounts of money just to start coming up with ideas and, intriguingly enough, once the Iron Curtain came tumbling down each threat was found to be wholly imaginary or to consist at most in a half finished prototype abandoned years before: I remember the wholly imaginary “MIG 37” stealth bomber or the ekranoplans which were bound to completely transform naval warfare and which were found to be only suited to be highly temperamental experimental vehicles.
    The media, starting from defense publications whose editors were supposed to know better, lapped it all up without questioning. And taxpayers were left footing the bill.

    Since then I’ve learned to be very wary of the threats the Pentagon drums up.
    Yes, cyber-crime is a big issue, but crimes are something that should be handled by law enforcement authorities and legislators, hopefully with an eye on past successes and failures for inspiration, not defense contractors and their bureaucrat friends at the Pentagon.

    • Raymond C Rogers
      Oct 16, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Because the United States has never been outclassed in technology and has always lead in research, you know like the first deliverable thermonuclear warhead or submarine launched nuclear warheads.

      A year ago, I seldom heard anyone who opposed defense spending adequately critique North Korea’s growing program. How long ago did you laugh at N. Korea’s nuclear program?

      Not every office or individual of the government is conspiring to funnel money to the rich. I imagine there are some of those, but as a whole, DARPA employees strike me as nerds who love to identify and mitigate problems. They don’t claim to know it all, but deal with what is presented to them.

  23. Petunia
    Oct 16, 2017 at 11:49 am

    The govt still doesn’t know who did the Equifax hack. It takes a long time to transfer 143M data records, especially over the internet and especially over an international data link. As someone who routinely moved a lot of data on the job, it looks like, smells like, an inside job. But I agree with others who claim the govt needs a good excuse and someone to blame, when the time comes.

  24. Oct 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    The cyber hacking of the NYSE will be an inside job. The outcome of 2008 was to grant more power to the investment banks, who will use their power to overthrow the corrupt political class in Washington. Bankers want to do banking business not misallocate capital for the oligarchs who sell us phony defense contracts and then park their loot offshore.
    The turning point is when the Fed which is already a government bureaucracy loses control of the Charter banks. They already must use financial repression to force rates higher. The largest of these banks will place large short positions on the market and then hedge those positions. (You have to understand that a short position is a sidebet, and for years the act of selling short has become shorthand for crazy, so plenty of players are ready to grant those shorts the positions they need, while the greedy bastards count the days till the bear is squeezed, coordinated selling of long assets will start.
    When the market goes down Goldman loses nothing, but the government implodes. In the aftermath they run their own political candidates, (since they are the only ones with money) government by Goldman Sachs. Think about this very hard and you realize it is not an unpleasant solution.
    Phonies like Trump and the Democrats who swear they oppose him will all be sent packing. One thing Goldman understands, unlike Trump is that the Deep State is necessary, and beneficial, each day Trump tries to knock the pillars out is one day closer to Goldmaggedon.

  25. Oct 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    The government has spent the last 8 years manipulating the stock market with artificially low interest rates in an attempt to create a wealth effect.. And now it’s the Pentagon’s turn to try and protect Wall Street but where was the government when millions lost their homes because of Wall Street corruption?

  26. raxadian
    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    This quote is so very relevant.

    “I’m not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I’d explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago.”

    — Adrian Veidt, Watchmen

    In other words, they are too late. Stocks are decided by bots, the Stock Market gets “hacked” for short term gains all the time mostly by social engineering, fake news, data leaks, you name it.

  27. Chris
    Oct 17, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Could this be the ‘straw man’ the establishment is setting up to blame when this joy ride finally comes to a spectacular, albeit, predictable crash?

  28. Stan
    Oct 17, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Am I the only one who thought someone at the Pentagon just binge-watched “Mr. Robot” season 1, went, “Oh my god” and grabbed the phone to call DARPA?

  29. Gershon
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Meanwhile, the Fed’s rigged, broken, manipulated Ponzi market briefly hit 23,000, with 70-80% of the volume due to high-frequency trading (HFT) algos buying and selling to each other in fractions of a second.

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