Narco-Dollars For Dummies (Part 5)
Money Works In The Illicit Drug Trade
Part 5 in a 13 Part Series
By Catherine Austin Fitts
First published in the Narco News Bulletin
Getting Out of Narco Dollars HQ
In 1996, my company and I were targeted by a private informant and a group of investigators working for the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If you have ever seen the movie "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith and Gene Hackman, then you understand how the drill works.
Will Smith plays a successful Washington lawyer who is targeted in a phony frame and smear by a US intelligence agency. The spooky types have high-speed access to every last piece of data on the information highway - from Will's bank account to his telephone conversations - and the wherewithal to engineer a smear campaign through the papers and the Council on Foreign Relations types.
The organizer of an investment conference once introduced me by saying, "Who here has seen the movie Enemy of the State? The woman I am about to introduce to you played Will Smith in real life."
One day I was a wealthy entrepreneur with a beautiful home, a successful business and money in the bank. I had been a partner and member of the board of directors of a Wall Street firm and then Assistant Secretary of Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner during the Bush Administration. I had been invited to serve as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board and instead started my own company in Washington, The Hamilton Securities Group. Thanks to our leadership in digital technology, financial software and analytics, Hamilton was doing well and poised for significant financial growth.
One of my software tool innovations, Community Wizard, helped communities access data about how all the money works in their place. Accessible through the World Wide Web, Community Wizard was illuminating an unusual pattern of defaults on HUD mortgages and other government and homeowner losses in areas in which the CIA had admitted to facilitating cocaine trafficking by Iran Contra supporters.
According to the CIA, we were paying our government to help the narco dollars make money in a way that - if you read Community Wizard's comic book-like money maps - was losing taxpayers and homeowners billions of dollars.
The next day I was hunted, living through 18 audits and investigations and a smear campaign directed not just at me but also at members of my family, colleagues and friends who helped me. I believe that the smear campaign originated at the highest levels. For more than two years I lived through serious physical harassment and surveillance. This included burglary, stalking, having houseguests followed and dead animals left on the doormat. The hardest part was the necessity of keeping quiet about the physical danger lest it cost me more support or harm my credibility. Most people simply do not believe that such things are possible in America.
In 1999, I sold everything to pay what to date is approximately $6 million of legal and administrative costs. My estimate of equity destroyed, damages and opportunity costs is $250 million. I moved to a system of living in several places on an unpredictable schedule in the hope that this would push up the cost of surveillance and harassment and so dissuade my tormentors from following.
The places were chosen to move me as far away as possible from the corridors of power in Washington and on Wall Street filled with people benefiting from narco dollars and their reinvestment. That strategy-combined with excellent legal and administrative work by a first rate team of very courageous people--- has been successful in besting the targeting. It made it possible for me to understand how our economic addiction to narco dollars worked and how to it was draining our neighborhoods. I teamed up with the members of my family and friends and their neighbors who were getting drained.
Four days after Insight Magazine published its cover story on me this summer, the head investigator targeting us resigned unexpectedly. Three weeks later the last of 18 audits and investigations was suddenly closed down. A follow-up article by Insight's Paul Rodriguez described the closed investigation as something that "many inside both HUD and the Department of Justice regarded as a political vendetta against Fitts."
The miracle had happened. We have overcome a serious targeting. Like in the movie where Will Smith comes out fine, my story has a happy ending. It's a wonderful feeling. As Winston Churchill's once said, "Nothing is more exhilarating than being shot at without result."
I believe that one of the reasons for my happy ending was that our actions to deal with the investigation reflected the understanding of narco dollars that I acquired from living and traveling throughout America and talking with people from all walks of life about how narco dollars were impacting our lives and neighborhoods in many different places.
Understanding narco dollars is something I need to know to help entrepreneurs around the country build the profitable deals and businesses that will get the Solari Index and Dow Jones in our neighborhoods rising together.
Where I live, folks do not want to know about what is wrong on the Titanic. They do not want to know that a flood of narco dollars is rolling over us. They know these things. What they want to know is how to build arks.
...come back tomorrow for Part 6 of Narco-Dollars for Dummies...
- AUTHOR NOTE: Catherine Austin Fitts, author of Scoop's "The Real Deal" column, is a former managing director and member of the board of directors of Dillon Read & Co, Inc, a former Assistant Secretary of Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner in the first Bush Administration, and the former President of The Hamilton Securities Group, Inc. She is the President of Solari, Inc, an investment advisory firm. Solari provides risk management services to investors through Sanders Research Associates in London.