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Wars are currently being waged throughout the world - many of which are covert and not officially sanctioned by global governments. These wars are often nonviolent, but terrible nonetheless.
Most people have already seen the damage caused by government-based hacking groups. Hackers waging cyberwar have interfered with international politics, global policies, and commerce on global levels.
One of the newest weapons out there is totally nonviolent, but incredibly devastating. These weapons are called financial sleeper cells, and deploying them could potentially upend entire government economies.
Why Financial Sleeper Cells?
It's no secret that military weaponry has reached an apex point in the past 100 years or so. Biological weapons that have been allegedly created by Russia could potentially wipe out 2/3 of the global population. Nuclear weapons, including MIRVs, can leave long-lasting damage that can ruin generations of lives after a war.
Many tools of war, including Agent Orange, weaponry created with depleted uranium, and certain modified diseases, are so damaging, so utterly ruthless in their ability to destroy, that they are basically doomsday devices considered to be too inhumane for war purposes. This is, in fact, one of the primary reasons why the Geneva Convention was invented.
No normal government wants to use these weapons because the damage they would impart would permanently scar the world. In some cases, the weapons used may actually cause deaths in their own country. With an increased concern about the state of the world's environments, governments are beginning to find other ways to wage war.
War also is incredibly expensive. Tanks, bombs, and viruses do cost money - as do soldiers.
Truthfully, the switch from violent wars to nonviolent wars is one that has long been promoted by leading tacticians. By being able to invade without expending human lives or damaging environments, the country in question would gain all the resources willingly and peacefully.
As a result, nonviolent weapons that influence politics, economies, and commercial endeavors are excellent choices. They are low cost, and high payoff.
What Are Financial Sleeper Cells?
To understand what financial sleeper cells are, you must first remember what sleeper cells are. If you were growing up during the fledgling years of the War on Terror, then you may have remembered the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the events that led to them.
The attack that the terrorist group, Al Qaeda, had launched seemed to be totally without warning for most Americans. Al Qaeda, however, had been planning it for years and had created hundreds of groups that were devoted to launching terrorist attacks throughout the world.
These groups were trained by Al Qaeda terrorism experts, then told to live life as normal among those who would later become their victims. These cells, as they were called were "sleepers." When they were called to action, they would carry out orders against others, providing devastating blows that seemingly came out of nowhere.
Sleeper cells are incredibly hard to detect, primarily because actually figuring out who belongs to them requires deep infiltration, espionage, and intel. Tactically, it's a smart move and makes it possible to continue to recruit - even in enemy territories.
Financial sleeper cells are very similar in that sense. They are businesses, most often trust funds, that operate like normal on a day to day level. However, should the government backing those funds choose to do so, the trust funds can immediately "belly up," and cause major financial ripples.
How Financial Sleeper Cells Are Created
Major mutual funds, hedge funds, and trust funds are typically made of finance experts who work to select the best stocks to buy, then create a fund made of purchased stocks. These funds allow people to enjoy a large portfolio that is designed to be more stable, more profitable, and easier to deal with than a DIY portfolio.
Mutual funds and other similar pools of funding are managed for others. Hedge funds, in fact, are pools of investments that are meant to be high-risk, and are "hedged" against borrowed money.
Depending on how big the fund is, it's very possible for a simple fund to buy millions of shares of stock. Multiple funds can, in certain situations, buy up what would be the majority of a company's stock.
This in turn can give multiple funds the ability to call the shots in large companies, buy up shares, or cause a flood of shares to hit stock markets and make prices plummet.
By having covertly government-managed investment funds act as financial sleeper cells, governments could easily "deploy" cells to hijack major corporations' business decisions, cause massive stock market fluctuations, and even synthetically cause businesses to lose credibility among investors.
The Scariest Part Of Financial Sleeper Cells
The longer a fund has been around, the more people will trust it and choose to invest in it. Among hedge funds and other similar investment platforms, a huge portion of the profitability and power that they wield will depend on credibility.
People who see great returns will want to join that fund - and in turn, will end up promoting the financial sleeper cell's interests. Financial sleeper cells continue to build up power with every year they're existent, even if they aren't doing anything other than "business as usual."
Much like the sleeper cells of Al Qaeda, they are totally indistinguishable from their non-war counterparts until they strike. What's more terrifying about financial sleeper cells, though, is that they are basically undetectable.
After all, investors are in their rights to vote on major corporation decisions. If financial sleeper cells all work together to force a corporation to choose option A or B, then there's nothing illegal that they are doing - technically.
Moreover, proving that it was a conscious, multigroup effort to upend an economy is a nearly impossible task. By the time that the financial sleeper cell would be outed, so many people will have lost money investing in it that the ramifications of dismantling it could be too much for many governments to easily bear.
How Bad Are Financial Sleeper Cells?
Most finance experts can tell you that stock market rigging is very much an issue right now - and that no, it's not conspiracy theory. If you're investing, you're playing a rigged game on multiple sides - at least one of which happens to be openly government backed.
As of right now, no one knows how many sleeper cells are in existence. Many are beginning to wonder if a portion of the Great Recession was actually sparked by financial sleeper cells. Brexit seems to have been a spark for multiple governments rigging stock market prices.
Simply put, financial sleeper cells act as the ultimate caveat emptor of stock investors in the market. Let the buyer beware - and be careful of trusting what your government says about the market. You never know who could be waging war on you in secret.