Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is EPJ's Bob English a Spy for the Russians?

Bob English, who is an occasional contributor to EPJ  and ZeroHedge, and was at one time a US producer for the Russian television network RT, has been identified in a Daily Beast story as the possible reporter who sought out information from Wall Street for the Russian government:
 The FBI arrested Evgeny Buryakov, an alleged Russian intelligence officer who posed as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank and went by the codename Zhenya. He was left holding the bag as his purported conspirators, Igor Sporyshev, who worked as a trade representative of the Russian Federation in New York, and Victor Podobnyy, who was an attaché to the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, are no longer in the United States and, in any event, have diplomatic immunity from prosecution.

Bharara said that the two diplomats had purposely sought out Buryakov because of his profession. “Indeed, the presence of a Russian banker in New York would in itself hardly draw attention today, which is why these alleged spies may have thought Buryakov would blend in. What they could not do without drawing the attention of the FBI was engage in espionage,” Bharara said.

The trio didn’t know that FBI agents had their hooks into them from the beginning, after bugging their phones and offices in the Bronx and Manhattan. The eavesdropping evidence presented by the FBI includes a lexicon of code words the spies used and chronicles a litany of hush-hush meets and note-passing...

Far from acting as sleeper agents, the trio seemed to have been in contact with higher ups back in Russia. At one point, they were contacted by their chain of command for a last-minute assignment by a “Russian state-owned news organization” to prepare questions for one of their journalists to submit to New York Stock Exchange personnel during an interview.

The alleged spies were given only 15 minutes to come up with questions that could cull valuable information about the intricacies of financial trades. In a sloppy break with their standard operational security, Sporyshev called Buryakov and asked him for advice. Buryakov managed to float two self-serving questions, including whether the NYSE is going to be “limiting the use of trading robots.”

The criminal complaint doesn’t name the news organization. But the state-owned channel RT hosts a number of business news programs, several of which reported on the New York Stock Exchange around the time of the conversation recorded in the complaint, in May 2013. One month after the phone call between Buryakov and Sporyshev, for example, Prime Interest host Bob English interviewed trader Ben Willis from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and the two talked about high frequency trading and robot traders. In the interview, English asks, “Do you think there is still a role for humans to capture back what was lost a few years ago with electronic trading?” While the interview shouldn’t be tied to Buryakov, the line of questioning isn’t so far off from the ones suggested to Sporyshev in May.

For the record, Bob has only discussed theoretical economic subjects here at EPJ and pretty much did the same thing at RT. The idea he was working for the Russian government to glean secret information from Russian traders strikes me as absurd.

I have been in touch with Bob and he promises me that he will have a written response to the Daily Beast story tomorrow.



  1. I thought this went on at all MSM organizations ... foreign and domestic.

  2. A journalist asking questions is now considered espionage???

  3. http://mindbodypolitic.com/2015/01/29/bob-english-i-am-not-a-russian-spy/

  4. The eavesdropping evidence presented by the FBI includes a lexicon of code words the spies used and chronicles a litany of hush-hush meets and note-passing... Spy Whatsapp