By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Stock prices have been volatile enough without worrying whether someone is making markets wobble or decline on purpose. But, that’s just what a veteran stock portfolio developer says is happening.
“Most recently, with the JPMorgan debacle, people say, ‘wow, if they could blow themselves up with this, could somebody else use this as a weapon against us?’ And the answer is absolutely yes.”
Freeman says, in the wake of the 2008 market collapse, he was asked by the Pentagon to look for economic warfare in its causes. Freeman, CEO of Freeman Global Holdings and author of Secret Weapon, says there were plenty of fingerprints: Russians, Chinese, Islamists, finding ways to use our own lack of trading regulations against us.
“We’re playing with fire, whether it’s naked short-selling, credit default swaps, dark pools, high frequency trading — these can be mistakes that we do ourselves and self-inflicted wounds, but they are also weapons that can be used against us.”
Freeman says, for example, the Chinese have a tremendous hold on us, with all the debt they buy. Even the threat of stopping would send US markets into a tizzy.