Tag Archives: Conspiracy

Conspiracies Confirmed

Let it not be said that authorities never accept conspiracy theories. At the Post Gary Weiss endorsed two:

Here’s a field guide to prevalent Wall Street conspiracy theories, with each one graded … on a sliding scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being “fugetaboutit” and 5 being “damn right.”

— Goldman Sachs as giant vampire squid

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi seemed to touch a raw nerve in the yammering classes with his July 2009 article on the breadth of Goldman Sachs’ influence in Washington, on Wall Street, and everywhere.

Goldman Sachs, as described by Taibbi, was a “giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” … the general thrust of his piece was correct. Goldman does have a way of coming out on top in every bad situation. Taibbi didn’t mention it, but Goldman was instrumental in ousting New York Stock Exchange chief executive Richard Grasso when he proved to be an embarrassment. … Goldman did have a key role in the mortgage-derivatives fiasco, and its tentacles have spread through government for eons. It’s a classic case of overconcentration of power. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Adam Storch, 29, the ex-Goldman executive who just became chief operating officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement division. …

Category: Alternate history, Scope: 5, Durability: 3, Crowd Appeal: 5, Plausibility: 4

— Tim Geithner is in the pocket of the big bankers

I debated whether to even include this in the list of conspiracy theories, because the evidence for it is so overwhelming. There’s no question that Tim Geithner likes to talk to people who run major financial institutions, and this was long before e-mails were released showing that as Treasury secretary his telephone buddies included all the major CEOs of the big banks. That was the case as well when Geithner was president of the New York Fed. No secret about it. The bankers freely admitted that they chat it up with Geithner.

One can argue that there’s nothing wrong with this, that it’s not at all surprising for a financial neophyte to lean on people at, for instance, the aforementioned Goldman Sachs — particularly when it employs one of Geithner’s predecessors, his confidant E. Gerald Corrigan. The price of getting all this terrific expertise is that it makes you seem beholden to the people from whom you’re getting all this terrific expertise, and so it is with Geithner. While it isn’t kind to say that Geithner is in the pocket of Wall Street, there’s a bit too much lint flying around to ignore.

Category: Hidden factors, Scope: 2, Durability: 5, Crowd Appeal: 3, Plausibility: 5

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What’s Pakistan’s Secret?

Today’s top headline is a big Pakistan attack on Taliban rebels; Thursday Obama signed a bill tripling US aid to Pakistan, to $7.5B over five years, on the condition of more such attacks.  Sounds promising for Obama’s Afgahn war, where he has doubled our troops, for a record number of troops at war, right?

But Tuesday’s Frontline, on “Obama’s War”, was pessimistic about the Afghan war, and said the  Taliban we fight there have long gotten most support from Pakistan!  Pakistan has also long supported al-Qaeda, and seems to be where the 911 attack money came from.  Pakistan has also been the main cause of nuclear proliferation over the last few decades, arming Iran and North Korea, who tried to arm Syria, and trying to arm Libya.

Most of the worst problems for the US over the last few decades seem to have come from Pakistan, yet the US treats them nice, not like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or North Korea – what is their secret?  Yes Pakistan has nukes, but so did Russia and China and we never treated them this nice.   And they don’t have the sort of home political support that let’s Israel get away with so much. What gives?

Here are some supporting quotes.  On Taliban support: Continue reading "What’s Pakistan’s Secret?" »

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911 Puzzling

Someone bent my ear again on 911 conspiracy theories, and I've had jigsaw-puzzle-solving fun digging through the details.  Also, I feel we should consider evidence for even pretty crazy-sounding claims when the evidence offered meets high enough standards.  To his credit physicist Steven Jones has published papers meeting such standards:

I conclude the twin towers probably held big chucks of hitech pyrotechnic materials quite uncommon in office buildings.  And a few hundred pounds of this stuff spread around the pillars of a single floor might well bring down a tower. 

BUT, I am unpersuaded by claims that plane crashes could not have induced the towers falling as they did, the sounds heard, the warnings voiced, etc. (E.g., hear him and him.)  Aside from the above findings, the match between simple theory and observation seems about as close as we should expect, given this complex and unusual situation; it would be crazy not to expect a few anomalies between simple predictions and what we saw.

Continue reading "911 Puzzling" »

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