Banks, Terrorism and other Existential Threats: The Real Invisible Hand

Let us start with the simple proposition: what bankers are allowing to happen (consciously or not) at Financial Institutions (FIs) and Central Banks is far more fearsome than what terrorists have planned in the past. A failure of their jointly operated payments and settlements systemi would do more systemic damage to the advanced economiesii than any terrorist attack has done to date. This failure could result from an exterior attack by a state or group, an insider threat, or from technical failures in an overly complex system.

Within this series of three papers and one podcast, we want to identify how modern technology and financial systems can be brought in line with current thinking about various forms (domains) of warfare, including cyber war. We both find it intriguing that while logistics is considered a crucial function of the study of conflict, financial systems are not. This is surprising given the critical nature of the payments and settlements networks. The entire discussion of this system needs to be located within larger discussions of cooperation, confrontation, conflict and all-out war.