Show details for February 15th, 2009

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This week’s guests:

Larry C. Johnson on the internal culture of the CIA, and on extraordinary rendition during the Bush Administration.

Max Fraad Wolff on the current financial crisis, and on the difference is between a government bailout and a stimulus bill.

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Larry C. Johnson is an owner and founder of BERG Associates, LLC, which specializes in money laundering investigations, product counterfeiting investigations, financial analysis and counter terrorism. Since 1994 Mr. Johnson has scripted exercises and provided seminars for U.S. military special operations forces. This work has included designing scenarios that replicate threats and missions US counterterrorism are called on to execute. He is knowledgeable about strategies and tactics for handling unconventional threats, including chemical, biological, and nuclear.

As a Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, Mr. Johnson managed crisis response operations for terrorist incidents in Lebanon, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, the Persian Gulf and Europe. He helped organize and direct the US government’s debriefing of U.S. citizens held in Kuwait and Iraq, which provided vital intelligence on Iraqi operations following that country’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Mr. Johnson’s expertise includes aviation and maritime security. He participated in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 and directed crisis management operations that resolved several hijackings. From 1985 through September 1989 Mr. Johnson worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. During his distinguished career, he received training in paramilitary operations, worked in the Directorate of Operations, served in the CIA’s Operation’s Center, and established himself as a prolific analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence.

Mr. Johnson routinely analyzes terrorist incidents for TV, radio, and print, including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, CNN, National Public Radio, ABC’s Nightline, NBC, and the BBC. Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications, including Security Management magazine, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times.

“Barack Obama’s Clown Car”
February 20, 2009
By Larry C. Johnson

BERG Associates

No Quarter

Narcotics and Terrorism


Today we learned that another of the really, really smart guys–a Ph.D. in physics and a Noble laureate no less–who was named to head the Department of Energy did not realize that he was in charge of oil policy for the U.S. Government. Meet Steven Chu.

Just one question–Steven Chu, how f—ing clueless are you?

Now, if you are smart like a nuclear physicist what is it about being put in charge of the Department of Energy that would lead you to believe that oil has nothing to do with energy? You are in charge of energy and “oil” is not in your domain? WHAT THE F—!!!!

What next? A nominee for Health and Human Services who does not realize they have a responsibility for health care? If you are in charge of the Department of Defense do you think it far out to assume that you might have some responsibility for the military?

Just when you thought no one could surpass Bush for assembling a crowd of mediocrities Barack Obama shows up to give him a run for his money. And the country gets screwed in the process.

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Max Fraad Wolff is an economist and free lance researcher/writer. His work regularly appears in the Huffington Post, Asia Times, The Prudent Bear and many other international outlets. His work can also been seen regularly on his site Global MacroScope. Based in NYC, Max does contract research on international financial risks and opportunities while teaching in the New School University’s Graduate Program in International Affairs.

“Late and Short”
February 11, 2009
By Max Fraad Wolff

“symptoms and Solutions”
January 16, 2009
By Max Fraad Wolff

Max Fraad Wolff at The Huffington Post

Global MacroScope


We responded to the bursting of 1990s bubble by inflating another bigger and broader bubble of housing and housing debt. The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to 45 year lows. Lending standards were innovated right out of existence and the great housing bonanza began. We borrowed $3.7trillion against or homes between 2003 and the end of 2007. House price appreciation and debt would do what sending everyone to work for more hours, buying cheap imports, burning the savings, tax cuts and equity speculation failed to do. House price appreciation and debt would allow us to spend more than we earned. It would allow the state to borrow and spend well beyond tax receipts. It would allow families to not save, to borrow and spend. People could spend and live like their wages had not been largely stagnant since 1973. It all sort of worked until it did not. That is the story of the great bust that follows the hollow boom. That is what we are trying to stimulate our way out of with $815 billion.


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