The FBI “saved” us from the Russians who are supposedly coming for our ETFs. Evgeny Buryakov is a Russian banker who was arrested for being a spy. Allegedly, he was going to destabilize the United States through ETF trading. Believe it or not, this isn’t a slapstick comedy. See: http://www.etftrends.com/2015/01/russian-spies-like-etfs/
From what we know, there’s no way to tell whether or not the intention was to gather information for offensive purposes. It could have been for defensive purposes, to find out in what ways Russian ETFs could be targeted. See: http://web.archive.org/web/20161204051433/http://www.businessinsider.com/rsx-plunges-july-17-2014-7 It makes little sense to me that a Russian intelligence asset would be tasked with a mission nobody knew how to execute. It’s especially chimerical considering the fact that if Russia wanted to deal the ultimate black swan in retaliation for the economic sanctions imposed by the United States, she could do so easily by offsetting her long position in dollars (which Trump would like since he doesn’t like foreigners buying dollars). The problem in that case would not be Russia, but our flawed monetary system built on a fiat currency that functions insofar foreigners buy dollars in perpetuity (which Trump wants to curtail in the name of price fixing since arbitrage is a means by which market forces hold statist economies accountable).
It’s a matter of national security for us to determine what trade(s) can destabilize the market, yet nobody in Washington has done anything to help us in that effort. This makes politicians in Washington tacit supporters of espionage against the American people at the very least, pursuant to the government’s own calculus. Is it too many longs or shorts of calls or puts? If there are such trades, then those trades need to be proscribed so they wouldn’t be offered in the first place.
From my knowledge of the markets and trading, having held the Series 3 license, I know of no trade, or sequence of trades, that could be performed to manipulate or destabilize the market. That politicians are able to get away with scapegoating individual traders and speculators for causing market disturbances and recessions is something I find to be chimerical. For further information, see: http://libertyeconomics.com/senator-dean-hellers-swing-and-a-miss/
Think about the absurdity of the argument that tells us the government is just trying to fix the economy with its policies, while speculators cause crashes. Those greedy speculators deliberately trying to cause the economy, which they are participants of, to crash. Trading doesn’t determine economic conditions. Economic conditions determine trading.
The only organization with the power to manipulate the market is government. Politicians and bureaucrats are the only ones with the power and capability to manipulate the market and they do so as a matter of policy. If I am mistaken in my analysis, politicians don’t really have the power to manipulate the market while traders do, then don’t you, gentle reader, believe politicians would be resigning to seek greater power by trading ETFs?
Suppose I were tasked with destabilizing the market, here’s how I would do it:
 I would appoint a Federal Reserve Chairman who is really good at talking a lot while saying absolutely nothing of substance, able to convince the people that the Fed isn’t really creating inflation as it is creating inflation. That would be done by distracting people with talk of things like “slack.” Only in a very narrow sense is it true that unemployment can contain inflation. (Unemployment actually speeds up inflation.) If inflators in Congress and government lose their jobs that could certainly help contain inflation. The entire purpose of creating inflation is to keep the inflators employed while others lose jobs.
 I would create a huge national security state, financed through inflationary monetary policy which is injurious to the economy as a whole, in order to control the Congress so that the Congress keeps spending us into deeper and deeper bankruptcy which is the same goal that Osama bin Congress had. See: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/11/01/binladen.tape/ There’s been a deafening silence on the mission overlap. I would refer to my efforts to bankrupt the country as stimulus. I would do my best to silence commentators who draw the nexus between economic liberty and civil liberty, and who propose that it’s impossible to bankrupt a people while preserving their liberty.
 I would want the Fed to do quantitative easing, which is a nice sounding euphemism for legalized counterfeiting, or debasing the currency. The practice is horrible for the economic wellbeing of the average American. I would demand the Fed bailout my cronies. I would cheer as the loan market goes bankrupt by extending credit at negative real rates. To this date, nobody has ever explained to me how it is the loan market can extend credit at negative real rates without becoming insolvent. I would laugh at Americans who believe they are becoming more prosperous because of higher nominal incomes in juxtaposition with higher prices.
 As the Fed is creating inflation, I would misdirect people into looking at the gerrymandered Consumer Price Index in order to measure inflation. As I deceived people into believing there is no inflation, that would cause firms to overestimate profits, consequently paying more in taxes to the government which would be very good to destabilize the economy.
 I would tax everything I could possibly tax through capital gains taxes, corporate income taxes, personal income taxes, an alternative minimum tax, and more. I would want a graduated income tax. I would fool the people into believing I am helping them through offers of tax rebates, tax credits, and vouchers (euphemism for subsidies) in juxtaposition with budget increases, pretending that’s lowering the tax burden.
 As firms are overestimating profits and going under because of my policies, I would blame economic downturns on business owners who do things like overestimate profits and direct my agents to arrest business owners for economic failure in an economy rigged through my own policies.
 I would lie the country into open ended wars without a finite enemy (e.g. warring against terror), telling the American people that I am saving them from some foreign enemy, while enriching myself and my cronies in the name of patriotism. Nothing wrecks a nation’s morality more so than remaining on a perpetual war footing.
 I would tell the people things like the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! I would accuse Russians of trying to destabilize the economy through things like trading equities. I would try to instill as much fear of everything but government in the American people as I possibly could (this doesn’t apply to critics and opponents). I would tell the people that I must take away their freedoms to protect them from an enemy that hates their freedom.
 I would cheapen freedom by reducing it down to some form of hedonism by defining freedom as the right to have gay sex and get abortions so that the people believed they had freedom as I demolished due process and property rights. Undermining a people’s morality and demolishing the concept of moral absolutes also renders a people incapable of challenging government wrongdoing.
 I would help create even more economic problems for my own countrymen by imposing sanctions and trade restrictions on different countries like Russia. I would try to take my country into a huge war against a really big superpower which would really help me solidify control over the population.
 I would want Congress to pass as many laws as possible, criminalizing as many non criminal activities as they can get away with before the people finally say no more. That would allow me to jail whoever I wanted to jail. I would want Congress to regulate almost every activity there is so that I can target anybody I want. I would tell the people the more important something is, the more the government should be involved, rather than letting them figure out it should be the other way around.
 I would label my opponents and critics, anybody who knows what’s going on, as enemies of the state, terrorists, and/or mentally ill. Truth becomes a delusion in an empire of lies. Everything becomes a criminal activity and disagreement with that becomes tantamount to thought crime. I would also define truth telling and whistleblowing as treason and espionage. I would instill as much fear of the government in the aforementioned people as I possibly could.
 I would make people defenseless by enacting gun control. And as people became victims of individual criminals more and more as I destabilized the country, proving that government is incapable of protecting them, I would do my best to convince them that they need the government to protect them even as I was the one imposing victim disarmament schemes. At the same time I demonized guns for the general public, I would direct the government to arm itself to the teeth.
 I would inculcate people with allegiance to the government through propaganda in a government run education system. I would do my best to influence the media into promoting the idea that the government knows best and that people breathe courtesy of me.
To destabilize a country, I would seek to control and confiscate the people’s wealth through inflation, taxation and regulation. I would ape the government in Washington. Yes. Washington is full of people who make careers out of destabilizing the United States. If Russians really wanted to harm us, they would fund the campaigns of politicians. I say free the Russian “spy” and jail politicians in Washington. Come out with your hands up, politicians!