- Anticipating a M&A, and planning terrorist acts months in advance
- Using the equity and commodity futures market to bet against the victims of a terror attack, to make profits of $20BN+.
- But one theme which I did not appreciate was the stereotyping of Arabs as architects of terror. Even other nationalities have reasons to hate the USA! Anyways, the novel needed a scrapegoat and in this case, Arabs were it.
But consider stocks like HSBC, Citi, GE, BHP, Exxon etc which trade on multiple stock exchanges in multiple countries. Energy stocks typically have dual/multiple listings and are vulnerable to such attacks. And for contracts executed on major financial centres like Singapore, HK, London etc(specially of offshore issuers), the regulatory authorities would be reluctant to go on a fishing expedition. And by the time they realize it, the positions may have been closed out and the funds transferred.
In this world of strife and uncertainty, the KYC(Know your customer norms) and sectoral position limits(step up from individual limits) become paramount. Else with an attack costing less than $1,00,000, profits may be made in the hundreds of millions. Atleast, If I were a terrorist, I would exploit the weak money laundering regime to ensure that my funding is self sufficient!!
This pithy statistic sums it up all...
Cost of staging 9/11 World Trade Centre attack=some $million(max)
Potential gain for people long oil futures======$Billions
Such outsized gains may spur 'venture capitalists'/'investors' to fund these attacks-or atleast pay for advance information on them. For that reason, the USA Govt had proposed a 'terror exchange' where public bet on the chance of certain events-so that Govt can probe further..but that mission failed.