August 6, 2001 (C): Inside trading based on advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks may have begun on this date, if not earlier. Investigators later discover a large number of put option purchases (a speculation that the stock will go down) at the Chicago Board Options Exchange bought on this date that expire on September 30. These would have led to large profits. One analyst says, "From what I'm hearing, it's more than coincidence.'' [Reuters, 9/20/01]
Early September 2001 (I): The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later announces that they are investigating the trading of shares of 38 companies in the days just before 9/11. The San Francisco Chronicle states that the New York Stock Exchange sees "unusually heavy trading in airline and related stocks several days before the attacks." All of the 38 companies logically stood to lose from the attacks. They include parent companies of major airlines American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United and USAirways as well as cruise lines Carnival and Royal Caribbean, aircraft maker Boeing and defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The SEC is also looking into suspicious short selling of numerous insurance company stocks. [AP, 10/2/01, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/3/01]
Early September 2001 (J): There is a sharp increase in short selling of the stocks of American and United airlines on the New York Stock Exchange prior to 9/11. A short sell is a bet that a particular stock will drop. There is an increase of 40 percent of short selling over the previous month for these two airlines, compared to an 11 percent increase for other big airlines and one percent for the exchange overall. A significant profit was to be made: United stock dropped 43 percent and American dropped 39 percent the first day the market reopened after the attack. Short selling of Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, is also later noted by German investigators. Inquiries into short selling millions of Munich Re shares were made in France days before the attacks. [Reuters, 9/20/01, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/22/01] Munich Re stock plummeted after the attacks, as they claimed the attacks would cost them $2 billion. [Dow Jones Business News, 9/20/01] There is also a shorts spike on Dutch airline KLM stock three to seven days before 9/11, reaching historically unprecedented levels. [USA Today, 9/26/01] Was another attack on a KLM airplane planned?
September 2001 (K): German central bank president Ernst Welteke says a study
by his bank indicates, "There are ever clearer signs that there were activities
on international financial markets that must have been carried out with the
necessary expert knowledge," not only in shares of heavily affected industries
such as airlines and insurance companies, but also in gold and oil. [Telegraph,
9/23/01] His researchers have found "almost irrefutable proof of insider
trading." [Miami Herald, 9/24/01]
"If you look at movements in markets before and after the attack, it makes
your brow furrow. But it is extremely difficult to really verify it." Nevertheless,
he believes that "in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint
the source." [Fox News, 9/22/01]
Welteke reports "a fundamentally inexplicable rise'' rise in oil prices
before the attacks [Miami Herald, 9/24/01]
and then a further rise of 13% the day after the attacks. Gold rises nonstop
for days after the attacks. [Telegraph,
Early September 2001 (L): Numerous other overseas investigations into insider trading before 9/11 are later established. There are investigations in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, Cyprus and other countries. There are particularly strong suspicions British markets were manipulated. Italy is investigating suspicious share movements on the day of the attack, as well as the previous day. Japan as well is looking into trading of futures contracts. [Fox News, 9/22/01, CNN, 9/24/01, BBC, 9/18/01] The British conclude in a remarkable two weeks that their markets were not manipulated (see October 16, 2001). But over one year later, where are the results for all the other countries?
Early September 2001 (M): After 9/11 both the SEC and the Secret Service announce probes into an unusually high volume trade of five-year US Treasury note purchases around this time. These transactions included a single $5 billion trade. The Wall Street Journal explains: "Five-year Treasury notes are among the best investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the US government, and usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks." The value of these notes has risen sharply since the events of September 11. The article also points out that with these notes, "tracks would be hard to spot." [Wall Street Journal, 10/2/01] How could bin Laden, whose fortune is estimated at roughly $250 million [Miami Herald, 9/24/01], have made a $5 billion trade?
September 11, 2001 (E): Data recovery experts later looking at 32 hard drives salvaged from the 9/11 attacks discover a surge in credit card transactions from the WTC in the hours before and during the attacks. Unusually large sums of money were rushed through computers even as the disaster unfolded. Investigators say, "There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million. They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed." [Reuters, 12/19/01]