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The Arts
08.20.08

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Phaedra

Guerrilla Finance 101

Catherine 'Awesome' Fitts urges an intimate connection to money

By John Sakowicz


The Art of War is the classic book on military strategy written by Sun Tzu, a sixth-century general thought to have lived in the Chinese state of Wu. In a section on variations in tactics, Master Sun makes the point, "There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged and positions which must not be contested."

This is a lesson mostly lost on Catherine Austin Fitts. Fitts has taken on Wall Street—and the shadow banking system. And she has taken on the feds—and the shadow government. She has taken on subjects as dangerous as government-sponsored money laundering, arms trafficking, narcotics trafficking, warfare and other crimes against humanity committed by what Fitts calls the organized crime organizations of world government, in particular, the U.S. government. She appears in Mill Valley Aug. 29–30.

Fitts is no dewy-eyed idealist or fringe extremist. In her career, she has been the managing director and member of the board of directors at Dillon Reed, one of Wall Street's oldest and most venerable firms; assistant secretary of HUD; member of the emerging markets committee at the SEC; member of the board at Sallie Mae; member of the advisory council at Fannie Mae; founder and president of the Hamilton Securities Group; and founder and president of Solari Investment Advisory Services.

But for all that success, Fitts has usually "followed the roads which must not be followed, attacked the armies which must not be attacked, besieged the towns which must not be besieged, and contested the positions which must not be contested." And she has asked the right questions.

Fitts has also been bold enough to suggest that keeping the world in a constant state of conflict serves the rich. (Sound familiar? See: Our current pissing contest with Iran over its nuclear program; our current pissing contest with Russia over Georgia and Caspian oil; and the constant state of conflict between Israel and the people of the West Bank and Palestine.)

"The fault lies not just with our leaders," Fitts has said. "We in America vote with our dollars everyday in the marketplace—just like we vote every two or four years at the polls—for folks who generated the most wealth for us through these methods."

I, for one, want to get off of this merry-go-round.

Catherine Austin Fitts lectures and leads a workshop Friday–Saturday, Aug. 29–30, at the Mill Valley Community Center. Lecture, Aug. 29 at 7pm; workshop, Aug. 30, 10am–2pm. 180 Camino Alto Ave., Mill Valley. $25–$250. 888.686.3354.


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