I know Frank Kruger and also have met Backes when he worked at Cedel, the forerunner of Clearstream. Not least I also have met Lucy Komisar who has also interviewed Backes and then worked with him on the Russian Yukos deal, which Frank investigated and learned was a BND operation, which he wrote about in his newspaper articles. As I remember from our telephone conversations and emails at the time, Frank said that Ernest Backes verbally admitted to him that he was working for BND.

Pulling all this things together I grew the distinct impression that Cedel/Clearstream became a battleground for control of one of the two world securities clearing systems.

Now some background: back when Cedel was born, the founders had as their aim a wholly European bond clearing system that was a competitor to the American controller Euroclear that was run and owned by the then Morgan Guaranty bank. The European didn't trust Euroclear not to pass on information, i.e., "intelligence", on principal European banking transactions to other American institutions.

I know this because I was told this history during a day long business trip to Cedel when I was -- oddly enough - working for a London based Wall Street investment bank and had decided, quite against the grain of the time, to open an account with Cedel and use them (as well as Euroclear) because I didn't want one institution (i.e., Euroclear) to have complete control over my clearing operations.

So when Frank Kruger told me the story of Ernest Backes (I was already familiar with Revelation$ and had by then met Lucy Komisar and had been in contact again with Backes) I formed the opinion that Clearstream had become a battlefield over who controlled it.

Hope this helps.