The Business Plot

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Event.png The Business Plot (coup)  SourcewatchRdf-icon.png
Business Plot.jpg
Date 1933 - 1934
Exposed by Smedley Butler
Description A military takeover of the USA which was planned by a cabal of bankers. It was never enacted due to the character of the man they ill advisedly chose to head it, Major General Smedley Butler.

The Business Plot was a failed coup by the US deep state which intended to install a Wall St-backed fascist government in the USA. It was foiled primarily because of one man - Major General Smedley Butler, whom the plotters chose to head the coup.[1]

Official narrative

Wikipedia remarks: "The Business Plot was an alleged political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States"... The closest thing to an official narrative of the event may be the responses to FOIA requests about the event which are available on the MuckRock website.[2]


The Sourcewatch article was moved to the Talk: namespace within 3 hours[3] because of concerns that it was not well enough sourced.


The cabal of bankers chose the wrong guy - Smedley Butler blew the whistle on the planned coup by testifying to the the McCormack-Dickstein Committee.[4] He was invited by bond trader, Gerald MacGuire, and feigned interest while gathering details of the planned coup.[1] In order to help expose the plot, before easy access to take recorders, he invited MacGuire to explain the plan to a friend of his (in actual fact, a journalist, Paul Comly French) so he could have a second opinion before he finally decided whether to proceed with the plan. The journalist confirmed Butler's account in an article in on the 11 November 1934 in the New York Post.


The US deep state was fairly successful in flushing the details down the memory hole.[5] No prosecutions were forthcoming and the McCormack-Dickstein Committee's report was redacted, with the names of the key financiers redacted. This was ostensibly to protect their anonymity pending further investigations, but since no further investigations were made, their names were permanently redacted, raising suspicions that there may have been a secret agreement not to prosecute the leaders in return for Wall St's dropping its opposition to FDR's New Deal.[1]

FBI Disinterest

A FOIA request to the FBI revealed a pronounced disinterest in the plot.[6]

Corporate media

After initial interest in the plot, the commercially-controlled media later dismissed it. A New York Times editorial characterized it as a "gigantic hoax" and a "bald and unconvincing narrative."[7][8]

Sudden death

Gerald McGuire died, reportedly of pneumonia brought on by exhaustion, in March 1935.


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:MacGuire Denies Butler Chargesreport20 November 1934What was to become the US Deep state promoted official narrative of the Business Plot, that it never happened.


  1. a b c
  7. "Credulity Unlimited". The New York Times. November 22, 1934.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Schmidt, Hans (1998). Maverick Marine (reprint, illustrated ed.). University Press of Kentucky. p. 224. ISBN 0-8131-0957-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>