Was Alex Brown a CIA Front When It Was “Innocuously” Shorting 9/11?

This is going to sound very tinfoily. But here goes.

Prominent Baltimore banker Ed Hale has come forward to reveal he was a CIA NOC while Chair of the Bank of Baltimore from sometime around 1991 until 2001.

In a life that reads like a spy thriller, Hale says he was recruited into the CIA by former Alex Brown chairman Buzzy Krongard, who was with the agency.

“He came to my officer one day and said ‘Let’s go for a walk,’” Hale said.

Blue collar beginnings in Eastern Baltimore County to the world of espionage, Hale details this secret life in the CIA in a new biography called “Hale Storm.”

“I was called a NOC,” Hale said, “N.O.C.”

That stands for “non-official cover.”


During his time with the CIA, from 1991 to 2001, Hale never told anyone.

That’s all very nice. But it suggests that Buzzy Krongard was at the CIA, recruiting other banksters, years before he was known to be (he is known to have started in 1998).

There are other versions of this, with slightly different dates and a different relationship with the CIA for Buzzy, which may be key. Still, they all show Buzzy recruiting a top banker to join the CIA in the early 1990s.

Which would mean that when Alex Brown was shorting United and American stocks in the days before 9/11, it didn’t just have a former employee at the CIA. It had served as a cover for that former employer while he was working for the CIA.

A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 (2001) as part of a strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading on September 10 was traced to a specific U.S.-based options trading newsletter faxed to its subscribers, which recommended these trades.

The 9/11 Report goes on to report the SEC found these trades to be “innocuous.”

It doesn’t sound all that innocuous.


12 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Apropos of election time, my mother had one immutable “law of voting” that she taught her children when they reached voting age: “They’re all crooks.” Looks like she was right.

    • P J Evans says:

      Mine said to never vote for anyone describing their occupation as ‘educator’. That’s also a good rule of thumb.

      I’ve been wondering about my uncle who worked for an offshore oil company that shall remain nameless. I don’t think it was entirely coincidence that he left several countries about two days ahead of a revolt/coup, although he was probably the delivery guy for paper stuff, or more likely had someone with him who was handling the secret agentry. (Especially thinking this, given that his boss later ran the CIA.)

      • wallace says:

        quote: “I don’t think it was entirely coincidence that he left several countries about two days ahead of a revolt/coup, although he was probably the delivery guy for paper stuff, or more likely had someone with him who was handling the secret agentry.”unquote

        You’re getting into tinfoil hat land there PJ.


        (see..it works both ways.)

  2. jaquesDeMolay says:

    very intriguing little article! But: Now now Marcy- you can take off that tin foil hat…. There is nothing to see here. Move along folks. After all this was covered in the infallible and comprehensive 9/11 Commision report. Buried deep at footnote 130, chapter 5- we have the following:

    “Highly publicized allegations of insider trading in advance of 9/11 generally rest on reports of unusual pre-9/11 trading activity in companies whose stock plummeted after the attacks. Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options—investments that pay off only when a stock drops in price—surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10—highly suspicious trading on its face.Yet, further investigation has revealed that the trading had no connection with 9/11.A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly,much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific U.S.-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades.These examples typify the evidence examined by the investigation.The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments.These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous.”

    The key point above is that none of these folks had any ‘conceivable ties’ to AlQaeda… That these companies had (purely coincidental) links to Buzzy Krongard and the CIA is another matter altogether and not fot for the Authoritative report… mere synchronistic happenstance~ I am sure.

    And at any rate- as the 9/11 Commision report reminds us- looking into any of the many odd financial aspects of 9/11 is a waste of time. On page 172 we read,

    “To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance.”

    Certainly of ‘little practical significance’ when the trail didn’t lead to Iraq one should imagine…

    seriously though Marcy as I read your excellent detective work I often wonder why you don’t cast your critical eye towards 9/11 more often- it seems that much of what you do write about stems back to that day in one way or another. If you ‘scratch and sniff’ the 9/11 narrative: the whole thing really stinks! Remember Prince Bandar ‘Bush’ anyone?

  3. JayGoldenBeach says:

    I don’t think there can be anything “innocuous” about an agency that has been responsible – directly or by proxy – for spilling rivers of blood around the world.
    Not sure re: the veracity, but I did see one mention of Buzzy as “Israel’s man at CIA” – http://www.bollyn.com/13697/

  4. galljdaj says:

    It makes sense that it was “1991” as the PNAC was just getting its feathers for “A NEW PEARL HARBOR EVENT”.

  5. pdaly says:

    From the article linked to in the original post: “WJZ reached out to the CIA to confirm Hale’s employment, but were not able to because of privacy concerns.”
    Privacy concerns?

  6. wallace says:

    hmmmm. This seems weird, if not a crime. I was under the impression it’s against the law to expose a CIA agent, even if it’s yourself, forever. Maybe someone can chime in, but it seems to me I read that not long ago …
    “On occasion they neglected to ask someone to sign a secrecy contract, which was normally a prerequisite of employment. Once signed, it committed a CIA agent to complete secrecy, beginning with the first day on the job and continuing until death.”


    However, I’m wondering why he would expose his past at this point. I seem to also remember someone who worked for the EPA, claimed he was a CIA agent as a cover for lost time at his position in EPA. If I recollect right, turned out he was a liar.

    Btw, if you want to really explore the known boundaries of our present state, look no further than here… that is..if you have a few free years of reading time. :)


  7. orionATL says:

    i have long thought bush-cheney and cia knew that an a-q attack was coming and allowed it to happen in order to use the american response to their advantage in attacking iraq for its oil fields and reservoirs.

    as for alex brown, who would put it past the cia to use an investment bank to fill its coffers in support of others of its businesses?

    arms running, drug running, prostitution and stock market trading, a well-balanced portfolio.

  8. Minime says:

    The report tellingly omits the numbers that would let the public see whether this was part of a beta-neutral position or a headfake to conceal Xtreme insider trading. And how many clients did this earthshaking newsletter have, to goose long put volume by a couple of standard deviations? Notice how nobody names them, and nobody came out and said, yeah, that was my newsletter. It’s chaff.

    Even a half-assed investigation would have examined not the cited “trade” in isolation but the investor’s portfolio beta, delta, and gamma, along with the terms and counterparties of OTC derivatives outstanding. The institutional linkages are key. An individual who hears the scuttlebutt will stick out like a sore thumb if he tries the Doctor Evil stuff. So I just went long Treasury bonds and that was great.

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