CIA seeking investment banker spooks

Seems that when people are lucky, they're lucky all the way. The New York Post reports that the CIA is looking to hire investment bankers, analysts and other financial gurus "to help President Obama pick up the pieces -- and also catch a few millionaire terrorists."

According to the Post, the spy agency started advertising the jobs on Bloomberg Radio at a salary of no less than $160,000. While this may be a pay cut for many of them, even a "huge" one for some, it's quite a generous salary for a public sector employee.

If you've been recently fired from a Wall Street job (I doubt those still employed would be interested in this paltry salary) and wanted to serve your country, you can also email your information to the CIA. But do it quickly as "private interviews are set for June 22 at a secret Manhattan location."

With the government taking over companies and having to deal with an economic crisis unlike anything the country has experienced since World War II, it would make sense to hire experts to deal with it. But why is the CIA doing the hiring rather than another government agency directly involved in the recovery efforts?

Other than helping the administration with the crisis, these financial whizzes could also help the spy agency when it tries to find what Afghan drug traffickers do with their money, or which "economies are the most vulnerable to manipulation."

The real question though is about the nature and character of these potential CIA recruits. Aren't these the same people most Americans blame for creating this crisis in the first place? Can these greedy people who have demonstrated nothing but the love of their own hide and who have always put themselves first actually be able to serve the country? Especially in a capacity that might require selfless sacrifices?

I dare say Bear Stearns' Gary Reback is no Jack Bauer; I doubt any of them are. And the term '$pooks' is actually spooky. (5.28.2009, Melly Alazraki)


CIA now actively hiring failed investment bankers

It’s been several months now since Dennis Blair announced that “the primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications”. Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence even hired James Rickards, a self-described “threat finance” expert, to advise him on “[c]ountries [that] might [...] be tempted to engage in financial warfare” against the United States. It now appears that the rapid rise of microeconomic concerns to the top of the US intelligence community’s threat list has also affected the CIA. The Agency has announced a new recruitment program targeting fired investment bankers to work in its Directorate of Intelligence. Speaking on National Public Radio’s Marketplace, CIA official Jimmy Gurule said the new recruitment drive is part of creating “a national strategy […] to deal with these types of financial issues”. Unfortunately, Marketplace’s piece is extremely superficial. A more in-depth analysis of what “these types of financial issues” may mean, is available here. (6.02.2009, Joseph Fitsanakis)

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