US Former NSA Chief Alexander Suspected of Insider Trading with Chinese, Russian Stocks

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Econ 101, Society and Culture


US former NSA chief suspected of insider trading with Chinese, Russian stocks
  • Staff Reporter
  • 2014-10-25
  • 15:13 (GMT+8)

Keith Alexander being interviewed by Bloomberg Television in Washington DC in June this year. (Photo/CFP)

Keith Alexander being interviewed by Bloomberg Television in Washington DC in June this year. (Photo/CFP)

Keith Alexander, former director of the US National Security Agency, is suspected of insider trading during his term in office, according to US-based bimonthly magazine Foreign Policy.

Alexander’s financial documents, which were released recently, show he traded commodity stocks of Chinese and Russian companies, such as those of Aluminum Corporation of China, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times.

The magazine suspects the former director might have made use of his role within the agency to spy on institutions in China and Russia and profit from insider information in his investments.

The magazine said that the documents were released by request of the US government and the Office of Government Ethics was not alerted after the documents were released however. There was also no indication suggesting Alexander earned “reportable income” from the trading.

Transaction records show the former US official sold his shareholdings in Aluminum Corporation of China and a Canadian potassium fertilizer producer Potash Corporation on Jan. 7, 2008. Canada, China and Russia have dominated the world’s potassium fertilizer market.

Although he did not profit from the transaction and the company’s share prices rose significantly after the former US official sold his holdings, the United States accused Russia and China of waging a cyber war against it soon after. US intelligence officials accused Aluminum Corporation of China of having Chinese hackers working for the Chinese military steal information from its US competitors. The alleged hacker group has been monitored by the US national security agency for years.

It was not clear when Alexander bought the Chinese company’s shares since the released documents only provided information from 2008 onwards. The former US official began his term in 2005. Alexander bought the shares of Mosaic, a potassium fertilizer supplier, in October 2008.

The US official was forced to step down last year after ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the agency for carrying out large-scale surveillance operations across the globe.


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