Don't blame Wall Street for the financial meltdown in 2008--blame terrorists. That's the thrust of a report by a Pentagon contractor who warns that "outside forces" are midway through their plan to to destroy the global economy in three easy steps: 1. Drive up the price of oil to enrich pro-Sharia regimes. (Check.) 2. Destroy American financial services firms with "a series of bear raids." (Check.) 3. "Collapse the dollar by dumping Treasury bonds." (Any day now??)
Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal thinks the idea is laughable. But The Washington Times' Bill Getz, who unearthed the 2009 report, takes it more seriously. The author of the report, Kevin D. Freeman, worries that the Pentagon isn't paying enough attention to financial warfare--meaning our enemies can get away with it. When it comes to studying threats of economic terrorism, "Nobody wants to go there," an official tells Getz. Freeman explains. "This is the equivalent of box cutters on an airplane."
But not many accept Freeman's analysis. The government's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission says the 2008 crash happened because a lot of big loans were given out to people who couldn't afford them, and a lot of firms bet on those loans. And Yale's Paul Bracken, who has studied economic warfare, sees "no convincing evidence that 'outside forces' colluded to bring about the 2008 crisis. ... Foreign banks and hedge funds play the shorts all the time too. But suggestions of an organized targeted attack for strategic reasons don't seem to me to be plausible."
Nevertheless, taxpayers paid for the report, Weisenthal writes, so they might as well know about it, if only for "a lolz."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.