Thursday, May 20, 2010

Martin Armstrong: An Analysis, from Prison, on the Economic Crisis

Martin Armstrong is currently in prison. Indicted in 1999 on charges of defrauding Japanese investors. He was in jail for seven years for contempt of court before pleading guilty in 2007 to the fraud charge for which he received an additional five year prison term.

His imprisonment is one of the longest under a contempt of court order without a trial. Coincidentally, prior to his guilty plea, his final appeal for release (relating to indefinite imprisonment for contempt of court) was denied by (recently promoted) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Armstrong claims he is a political prisoner. I am familiar with the charges against him on only a superficial level: After Armstrong was indicted in 1999, he was ordered by Judge Richard Owen to turn over a number of gold bars, computers, and antiquities that had been bought with the fund's money; the list included bronze helmets and a bust of Julius Caesar. Armstrong produced some of the items, but claimed the others were not in his possession; this led to the contempt of court charges. Armstrong only went to trial when the NY Court of Appeals removed Judge Owen from his case.

I hold no opinion on the guilt or innocence of Armstrong. I do know that his economic analysis is worth paying attention to. Below is what he wrote from prison following the May 6 stock market Flash Crash.


  1. Wenzel,

    Would you mind giving us some thoughts, perhaps in another post, about this piece and what you agree with/find to be significant along with what you disagree with/find to be confused thinking?

    I have read about 30 of Armstrong's various PDFs (about 150pgs in total at this point) and I have noticed he is an interesting, diverse, well read and eclectic thinker lacking a particular "dogma" theoretically speaking, that he nevertheless believes in market primacy combined with "smart" regulation but that he also seems to contradict himself, bask in his own martyrdom a bit (I give him a break on this after what he's been through) and occasionally make a big deal out of developments or ideas that to me seem minor in detail.

    I'd like to discuss this current piece but am interested in your viewpoint first.

  2. My analysis is up: