IRA lost its war chest in Wall Street disaster
Oct 21st 2008
Over the past few weeks, as the stock market has had bigger mood
swings than Judy Garland popping pills on Christmas day while riding
a roller coaster during an earthquake, the news has almost entirely
focused either on the travails of average Americans or on the morally
repugnant machinations of Wall Street geniuses. This narrow
perspective, however, ignores the larger impact of the real estate
bubble and the subprime meltdown. As trillions of dollars have
seemingly evaporated from the world, it's worth considering who
actually owned the money that has disappeared.
One group that lost big was the Irish Republican Army. After the IRA
signed a ceasefire in 1997, it followed the advice of its financial
advisors, investing its war chest into the U.S. property market. It
subsequently moved its funds into high-dividend deposit accounts in
the U.S. According to some reports, the recent Wall Street meltdown
may have cost the former terrorist group as much as $274 million.
Like many American investors, the IRA is currently "in a state of
panic" over the loss of its investments. On the other hand, unlike
most Americans, the IRA also has a history of armed revolt and a
demonstrated willingness to handle its grudges at gunpoint. Right
now, I'm really glad that I don't work for AIG!
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around
cheapskate. Right now, he's wondering if Peru's "Shining Path" or
Germany's "Baader Meinhof" was heavily invested in the market.