Thinking about the Business of Intelligence: What the World Economic Crisis Should Teach Us   [open pdf - 68KB]

"'Why did economists not do a better job anticipating the crisis?' was the question everyone seemed to be asking as the global economy began to unravel last fall. The consensus seems to be that most economists not only failed to see the crisis coming but also were downright hostile to the few who argued that The Great Moderation-the era of economic stability brought about by modern banking system controls-wasn't so great after all. [...] As economists wrote about not having done a better job anticipating the meltdown, it became apparent that there were parallel take-aways for analysis in the field of intelligence. There is, in fact, much for intelligence professionals to learn from the follies of economists, and from this folly in particular. Warren Buffet's 2002 Berkshire Hathaway annual report hinted at such an association when he used the term 'financial weapons of mass destruction' to describe the derivative asset class. When one of the world's most respected businessmen borrows from the intelligence lexicon, turnabout is fair play. Though we probably don't need much reminding, it may be helpful to recall how the economic crisis evolved and the extent to which it radiated out. Anyone who has looked at his brokerage accounts or her retirement portfolio lately already 'gets it' at the macro level. But what exactly happened on the cellular level to get us to where we ended up? And what can we, as intelligence professionals, learn from those events?"

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Central Intelligence Agency: https://www.cia.gov/
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Studies in Intelligence (September 2009), v.53 no.3
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