First Published in the July, 1999 issue
The Ultimate New Business Cold Call:
NYSE Exchange Chief Pitches Colombian Rebel Forces
Catherine Austin Fitts, Contributing Editor
When I was on Wall Street, we used to
the investment bankers who made new business visits---"cold
calls"---in Alaska were pretty adventuresome. We called
trips "Tundra patrol." Clearly, I was naive about
exotic investment banking adventure. The Chairman of the
York Stock Exchange, Richard Grasso, has underscored for
how much times have changed.
In late June, numerous news services reported that Chairman
Grasso and members of his executive staff flew to Colombia
to meet with a spokesperson for Raul Reyes of the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), the country's largest leftist
rebel group. The purpose of the trip was "to bring a "message
of cooperation from U.S. financial services" and to
foreign investment and the future role of U.S. businesses
It does not take much reading in between the lines to conclude
that Grasso's mission somehow relates to the continued circulation
of cocaine capital into and through the US financial system.
Perhaps it would not be so wonderful if the Colombian rebels
started circulating their profits back into local development
without the assistance of the American depository and investment
system. Worse yet, it would not be so wonderful for organized
crime profit margins or the War on Drugs if the FARC's increasing
military and political effectiveness were to, as FARC proposes,
remove illegal profits by controlling the decriminalization
of cocaine. It was only a few days after Grasso's trip that
BBC News reported a GAO report to Congress as saying: "Colombia's
cocaine and heroin production is set to rise by as much as
50% as the U.S. backed drug war flounders, due largely to
the growing strength of Marxist rebels"
We can deduce from this incident that the liquidity of the
NY Stock Exchange is sufficiently dependent on high margin
cocaine profits that the Chairman is willing for Associated
Press to acknowledge that he is making "cold calls" in rebel
controlled peace zones in Colombian villages. That means that
the myth upon which American global hegemony and liquid capital
markets depend ---- the myth of the rule of law ---- is fraying.
Drug capital provides low cost capital, but not as much as
the liquidity generated by the belief that in America, the
government's word and our contracts are reliable and enforced
by the rule of law. Grasso's trip underscores the fact that
if we do not flip our model soon, we are headed into a tipping
point when the unhealthy drives out enough of the healthy
to implode the entire financial system.
Chairman Grasso's trip says to me that organized crime dollars
have replaced petrodollars as the American financial system's
number one circulatory disease and our addiction to drug
is increasing our risk of a financial heart attack.
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