by Rick Ackerman
[The following was written before a massive cyberattack on Friday knocked out some of the biggest players on the Internet, including Paypal, Spotify, Netflix and Twitter. RA]
At first, no one even realized the U.S. was under attack. A week before the election, a New York Times reporter poring over Donald Trump’s tax return found a mysterious $5 billion deposit. When the story hit it caused all hell to break loose, politically speaking. The huge deposit was intended as a diversion, and it worked brilliantly.
The second event, just as peculiar, involved a far larger sum and occurred three days later. But because it concerned the surreptitious transfer of money-market instruments held in an account at the New York Federal Reserve, the seeming glitch was hushed up for nearly two months.
Then, in the first days of the new year, something even more bizarre happened. It got everyone’s attention all right, but the wrong kind of attention. Eighty million Americans received tax refund checks worth between $200 to $600. By the next day, two-thirds of those checks had either been cashed or deposited.