Friday, February 5, 2010

CIA Agents Moonlight for Goldman Sachs

CIA officers are allowed to moonlight, and ply their espionage skills elsewhere in their free time, reports Janine Wedel.

The source for her charge is a new book by Eamon Javers, Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage. She writes:
Some active duty CIA officers, Javers reports, have been on the payroll of a company called BIA (deliberately named to resemble the CIA). For BIA, they reportedly practice "deception detection" to aid Wall Street companies and hedge funds in their business transactions.

Like the TV series, "Lie To Me", in which a psychologist analyzes facial, body, and vocal expressions to ferret out who's lying and who's not in criminal investigations, these officers use their CIA training to read the cues that CEO's and market analysts unwittingly send off. They help clients, including Goldman Sachs, figure out if other executives are on the up-and-up when they tout the health of their company. It conjures up an absurd image of an elite, precision-trained spy, sitting and watching and scrutinizing.... business news on CNBC.
But are the roles of CIA agents, when they are BIA agents, limited to sitting and watching televison for tells a corporate exec may give off? Wedel correctly asks:
As players blend and blur their roles across organizations, the boundaries and purposes of those organizations also blend and blur. What are we to make of the BIA? Is it an offshoot of the CIA? As they trundle back and forth between Wall Street and Washington, does the information the CIA officers glean in one venue seep into the other?

1 comment:

  1. It's funny to imagine that this is news and that, until now, the CIA was NOT involved in corporate espionage or that, even better, this hasn't been its whole, sole function from day one.

    Politics is business by other means. So what does that make the CIA?