Fabulous Spy Games

How international trade networks with the West developed after 1945

Publications of the Institute for Hungarian Studies 2.

author: Zsuzsanna Borvendég

Spy games during the Cold War belong to the most intriguing episodes of our recent history: in the bipolar world opposing secret services were competing to obtain political and economic information and state-of-the-art technologies. We might think that the frontlines were demarcated by the Iron Curtain but in fact interests often did not coincide with the ideological boundaries. Under the surface, there was a hardly understandable cooperation among the parties involved where the logic of capital often prevailed over the political objectives. Hungary was also given a role in this secret cooperation as the country ensured the flow of capital between the East and the West by opening an economic and financial channel. 

This book describes the development of the cowboy capitalist network that – from the 1970s – took the initiative from the single-party state hierarchy, contributed to plundering and indebting our country and affected the course of the change in political regime from behind the scenes. The network started to take hold and strengthen due to the peculiar collusion of the different secret services when Nazi and Communist functionaries – with the assistance of the democratic West – established trade relations connecting the two world orders. By introducing concrete persons and events, the book would like to describe the way how this network started to gain ground, the reason why – perhaps even at the cost of a political murder – the derailment of the new economic mechanism was in their interest and the peculiar foreign trade techniques they used to establish their financial-economic power.