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Bloomberg is reporting that the NSA may have paid off companies for illegal access by sharing intelligence data.

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.

I think the operative question is what kind of information is being exchanged.  If the NSA is providing financial companies with insider stock information, that would go a long way to explaining many of the income inequality problems in the country.  

Academic studies have shown that it is almost impossible to beat the market making stock picks.  With insider information you can beat the market, but at the cost of creating an inefficient and unstable marketplace (for examples of this see generally the crash of 1929).  You also give money and influence to idiots who's only qualifications are they espouse views the NSA wants to hear and are willing to cut deals with the NSA.

This is how you create a global system where financial leaders find it more important to adhere to ideology than to do whatever is pragmatically going to work best.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-) From Dictatorship to Democracy, Guide to Non Violent Protests.

    by sdelear on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:42:05 PM PDT

  •  So a mutual fund, or another company (4+ / 0-)

    that is in the business of buying stock, provides some sort of info or access to the NSA, and the NSA in turn provides them with advance information on which public companies are going to have an earnings surprise? And not only does this happen, but it is so widespread and significant that it

    would go a long way to explaining many of the income inequality problems in the country.  
    Is this snark or do you really believe this theory of yours?
    •  Given what we already know the NSA is doing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, flavor411, Sunspots

      Namely spying on everyone --

      And how stupidly insecure the whole thing is, the hundreds of thousands of people who have access --

      I would assume individual NSA or subcontractor employees are selling information to financial operators.  It would only make sense.

      This is one reason "big data" spying operations like the NSA's shouldn't exist at all.  They're far, far too easy to abuse, and with hundreds of thousands of employees, there are a lot of people who can abuse them.

  •  Not what that article says (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, radarlady

    The "classified information" referenced is related to cyber security, incoming attacks,

    A contextual quote beyond the first paragraph which you posted:

    In other cases, companies are given quick warnings about threats that could affect their bottom line, including serious Internet attacks and who is behind them.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:57:41 PM PDT

  •  No! That could never happen in America! (0+ / 0-)

    Wave those flags!

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:26:23 AM PDT

  •  completely wrong: (0+ / 0-)
    Academic studies have shown that it is almost impossible to beat the market making stock picks.
    I have a bookshelf of academic books and papers that show the opposite, and as a securities trader I have done well, even in 2008 and early 2009.  But it takes work and discipline.

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