Don't Vote!!!! Max Keiser On Why Voting is D-U-M-B!

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Don't Vote!!!! Max Keiser On Why Voting is D-U-M-B!

Post by sWamp-Ass on Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:35 pm

"Some call Max Keiser a 'traitor' but America's most outrageous political pundit is about to become the most widely watched newscaster on the planet. Here, he explains why he won't be voting in Tuesday's US election.

A serf in the days of King John, Max Keiser argues, was in many ways better off than some US voters in 2012.

"Because in the age of Robin Hood," Keiser says, "at least the process of theft was transparent. The barons came to your house. They whacked you over the head then they took all your money." Even if the poor didn't exactly empathise with their oppressors, Keiser adds, they could at least comprehend their methods. "And the serfs," he continues, "did enjoy a modicum of stability. They got something in return for their enslavement. A small plot of land. Shelter. A relationship with the lord of the manor." In the modern age of "financial tyranny" orchestrated by what Keiser refers to as "the banksters" in charge of the major financial institutions in the US and Europe, he believes, "We have reverted to a more pernicious kind of neo-feudalism. The instruments of larceny have changed; that's all."

"Barack Obama," he maintains, "has been a huge disappointment. He reneged on every one of his campaign promises except one: he did buy his kids a dog. Of course he could be replaced in this election, but if that happens we will simply inherit a different version of the same thing, just as we have done in the US for the past 30 years. The guy in the White House," he believes, "is really taking his orders from finance."

Keiser is among the most outspoken of a group of American commentators (Texas-based broadcaster Alex Jones being another) who argue that national sovereignty and democracy in the US and elsewhere have been eroded by the power of global corporations. Keiser maintains that the most effective form of resistance is through individual financial activism. "If the Karmabanque hasn't worked," Keiser says, "it's because there isn't yet a critical mass of people who are prepared to fight back, and who instead prefer to be victims."

"But hang on – you're not an anti-capitalist."

"No. I am pro-capitalism and I am pro-free market. But what you have now is not capitalism. It is a state- controlled, command and control, centralised politburo. Both in Britain and the United States. The States is run by the Federal Reserve, an institution that answers only to itself and to a few large banks. It's modelled on the Bank of England. Ben Franklin said that one of the main reasons America revolted was to get away from the Bank of England, the mother of all central banks; the most pernicious and insidious of all."

"You said you were disappointed by Obama. What should he have done?"

"When Franklin D Roosevelt came into office, he started putting bankers in jail. The foremost reason that America got out of the Depression was not World War Two, or because of the Keynesian stimulus. It was because of the legislation introduced to regulate markets [many such clauses in FDR's Emergency Banking Act of 1933 were dismantled under Clinton] and the banksters that Roosevelt sent to jail."

"Don't you think Obama came in with the best of intentions? Surely he's not just another avaricious politician?"

"Barack Obama had to face up to people like Larry Summers [Clinton's former Treasury Secretary, and director of the US National Economic Council until two years ago, Summers had a key role in lifting safeguards in the derivatives market, a move generally considered to have precipitated the 2007/8 crash]. There were others he failed to remove from office, who were guilty of orchestrating this economic collapse."

"Are you accusing Obama of malicious complicity?"

"I think that Obama is, like many people, financially and economically illiterate. He is a lawyer. But in Wall Street there is no law."

Is the implication that the situation will change if Obama is defeated? "It's not difficult to envision what a Romney presidency would be like. He's already made it clear that he believes Wall Street to be over-regulated, which of course is the opposite of the truth."

Romney's background, Keiser adds, is in private equity, "which is the crystallisation of the worst elements of capitalism". (Private-equity firms tend to specialise in leveraged buyouts: a practice whose potential consequences have become familiar to many non-economists in Britain, not least to supporters of Manchester United since the club's purchase by the Glazer family in 2005.) "So then you would have a pure cacistocracy: rule by the worst, the most ignorant, and the most corrupt."

On Mitt Romney's first day in office, Keiser adds, "I would imagine that, rather as Emperor Caligula appointed his horse to the senate, he will issue proclamations and edicts that will shock people. But if he does release the genie of even more deregulation, bankrupting the country, he would do so in the full knowledge of the crime he was committing. I believe that Obama was less consciously aware of the stupidity he was engaged in."

ax Keiser grew up in Westchester County, a New York suburb so steeped in Ivy League privilege that Loudon Wainwright III wrote a song about it ("We were richer than most/ I don't mean to boast/ But I swam in the country club pool"). It's not hard to imagine his robust intelligence being applied in other fields, such as teaching or law. While his name may evoke images of some prosperous chancer in a James Bond film, he doesn't come across as your average money man. So how did he wind up prospering on Wall Street?

"I'd been to New York University," Keiser recalls, "where I studied theatre. That's where I first met Alec Baldwin. I did a lot of radio, and stand-up comedy. I spent my time watching punk and rap bands at CBGB and Max's Kansas City. My biggest fear in 1983 was that the party would end. I'd done various jobs." These included working as a street magician on Broadway.

"Then I got a part-time job at Paine Webber, a brokerage firm on Wall Street, just to support myself. I remember walking in and seeing the brokers all looking up at the ticker tape on the wall. They were in very expensive suits and smoking cigars. I could see that, by this means, the party could continue. So I became a stockbroker. And the party not only continued, but intensified."

"It must have been a bit of a culture shock."

"Not so much as you might imagine, because stockbroking had sort of a punk aesthetic. It was a DIY revolution. I had no background in it whatsoever. But in the early 1980s suddenly there was the start of this bull market: a tsunami of cash was arriving every day on Wall Street. It required no talent whatsoever to make gobsmacking amounts of money. A rhesus monkey could have done it."

"And socially?" "We took the party into the office. We're making calls to customers during the day. At the same time we're getting calls from hookers and drug dealers. I remember I woke up on a plane one day; k I was coming out of a blackout. I asked my buddy, who I'd started the outing with, who knows when, 'Where are we going?' He said, [the Caribbean island of] 'St Thomas.' I don't remember a whole lot after that. Anyhow, we ended up back in the office. Then I heard my friend, shouting: 'shellac… Oh my God, shellac…' I asked what happened. He said, 'Max... when we were down there in St Thomas… did I buy a house?' He had done, and he had absolutely no memory of it. After the crash in 1987 the party ended."

"What were people taking: drink and cocaine?"

"Yes. There was cocaine on everyone's desk, more or less. At that time you could take a shoeshine guy – and they did – and with the systems they had, which allowed swift calls, and using sales scripts, he could make hundreds of thousands of dollars in months."

Of the many themes that Keiser returns to in his shows, one of the most interesting and incendiary is the relationship between big business and Congress. He has openly accused senior politicians of using investigations into financial malpractice as a way of acquiring market information so as to benefit themselves.

"Democracy is not well served by the current political configuration in America," he maintains. "The entire political establishment is designed around enriching a minority of people who have access to both information and capital. Take the CIA. They have recently opened up their services to hedge funds. Hedge-fund managers can now hire CIA agents to do research on pharmaceutical companies, defence contractors, or oil contracts."

I can imagine some of his compatriots regarding such talk, especially his accusations of endemic insider trading in Congress, as treasonable. "Treason is a strong word. My family arrived in America in the 1700s and was active in the constitutional process that led to the Declaration of Independence. I would answer that charge by saying, as they do down south, 'That dog don't hunt.'

"Nobody has a greater affinity for the founding principles of America than I do. But what the people with power are doing now is not remotely connected to the ideals of the founding fathers."

Any talk about treason, Keiser argues, would be more suitably aimed in the direction of men such as his principal bęte noir, Hank Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs who served as the US Treasury Secretary from 2006 to 2009. "There is a revolving door for Goldman Sachs guys into and out of US government. And they are working against the sovereign interest of the United States. What's happening is that all these bankers in Europe are consolidating into one major bank that's going to be running Europe, from Brussels. All of that debt will be re-priced in some new European-wide currency. And that bad debt will be joined with all the American bad debt, in some new global reserve bank. And every single step of the way guys like Hank Paulson – who really is a traitor – will put a gun to the head of the American people and say, either you accept this new banking deal or we are going to crash this market."

Among Keiser's fans, Paulson more than anybody has come to personify the culture of greed and flagrant conflict of interest that the broadcaster satirises.

"You don't like Hank Paulson very much, do you?"

"The fact that that man is even breathing and walking… the last time I was on Al Jazeera live," Keiser adds, "was when I declared a fatwa against Hank Paulson."

"Fatwa defined in what way?"

"The word has certain resonances, after the Salman Rushdie affair. That's not what I was saying. Under Bush and Obama, the office of president has acquired enormous power: to pretty much arrest anybody in the world. With no due process. No habeas corpus. If you have the ability to arrest a man on a mere suspicion, and detain them without reference to judge or jury, then that man's name is Hank Paulson. Go after the really bad guys."

Fear, Keiser believes, is what stops such opinions being transmitted in his homeland. "Look at these clowns who present shows. Like [arch-conservatives] Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly. These people are not Americans. They are the subversives. They are the ones tearing American society apart by belittling everything that, at its heart, could be construed as the lifeblood of democracy.

"Those guys," Keiser adds, warming to his subject, "are shameless. They are despicable. My merely pointing out where crimes are being committed is not treason against the country. It is an act in support of reform to get the country back from the clutches of these foreign bankers."

"So who would you like to see elected?" "The only politician that I like is [former independent presidential candidate] Ralph Nader. Because he talks about corporations. And corpocracy. He isn't running. So I won't be voting."

Any hope of recovery, he argues, will come not through the ballot box but financial initiatives on the part of individuals; notably a mass campaign to ignore governmental advice to trust in bonds and paper money – investments in which, Keiser insists, confidence has rightly evaporated.

"People have to take action for themselves. That means buying not bonds or dollars or euros, but gold and silver. Gordon Brown sold Britain's gold at the historic low of $250 an ounce. Gold is now $1,700 an ounce. My argument – I can categorically state – is winning the global propaganda war. China is aggressively buying gold. Russia is buying gold like a maniac. Iran has been buying as much as it can. All of these countries, where my show is popular, are buying gold and silver, and God bless them for it."

Purchasing such commodities, he believes, will offer the owner true security and accelerate the demise of "the banksters", who speculate only in notional wealth, and paper money.

renetic and controversial as he may be, Keiser has a decent record on prediction. He was in Reykjavik, issuing bleak warnings, months before Iceland's catastrophic economic collapse. He was talking about Athens years ago, predicting civil unrest and what now appears to be an inevitable Greek default.

"I came to London," he says, "because being here gives you a front-row seat on the imminent collapse of an entire city. I think that the Eurozone is over-rated as a disaster area. They are not yet in as bad shape as Britain. The UK pound," he continues, "is about to collapse. And the collapse of the British economy will be one of the biggest in modern economic history. Of course you will take the American dollar and the euro down with you, for sure. But this place – London – is about to go belly up. It's … how can I put this?" Keiser pauses. "If you see me walking the streets of your town," he adds, "then you're probably fucked."

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