Sunday 6 January 2013

Max Keiser and George Galloway: a deafening silence in the media

On 20th November, Max Keiser addressed a large audience in the Grand Committee Room in the Houses of Parliament, as the guest of George Galloway MP.

Galloway pointed out that this was the second largest public room in Parliament (the first had already been booked) and all MPs had been invited in writing, twice - yet none of them had turned up.

In some ways this is understandable: Galloway is "colourful" and, to me, something of an enigma, and his fellow Parliamentarians must have considered the risk of tainting by association.

Or worse, reputational entrapment: for although Keiser had strong criticisms to make of Gordon Brown's gold sale (1999 - 2002), which he said is the moment when Britain's independence was surrendered, he also laid the blame for the present crisis on the monetary expansion that began under Reagan and Thatcher. Additionally, he had harsh words to say about George Osborne and David Cameron, whom he sees as fighting for corrupt City interests. In the circumstances, MPs on both sides must have seen little political advantage in attending.

Yet there wasn't that much else on in Parliament on the evening of 20th November. The House of Commons Order of Business after 7 p.m. was a handful of decisions to be made without debate, plus the presentation of a petition and the Adjournment Debate. Granted, many MPs would be heading home for the weekend - but another hour or so, of worthwhile economic instruction, might have done them some good.

And it's surprising that, try as I may, I can find no mainstream media report of Keiser's speech. Remember that he is possibly the most-watched TV journalist in the world, talking on a subject of the utmost importance in the very heart of London. This, perhaps deliberate neglect plays into the growing public cynicism about our political elite and the Fourth Estate.

Regular Keiser-watchers will have heard much of his material before, many times, though it may be news to some that the reason he's shifted his base of operations to London is that he wants a ringside seat to cover what he sees as the coming, full-blown disaster of historic proportions, and expects our poor country to be the epicentre.

He also says that Germany will use its gold hoard and massive Eurobond issuance to establish its advantage over the City; Frankfurt will become the centre of banking and trading in Europe, he feels. Britain, having allowed its financial sector to swell to over 10% of national GDP, has set itself up for a terrible fall.

According to Keiser, only raising interest rates sharply - as Paul Volcker did in the USA (20% by 1981) - can cleanse the speculation and malpractice from the system; and he doesn't see us doing that.

Also interesting in this film, is the naivety of questions, underlining Keiser's (and George Osborne's) observations about the financial illiteracy of the British public.

Like Nigel Farage (another ex-financial trader), Keiser is loud, brash and fast-talking (he starts more sentences than he finishes); and both are also, in my assessment, completely sincere in their concern and indignation.

The film lasts slightly more than an hour, but you can simply listen to it while doing something else, as I did. I think you'll find it worth your while.

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Paddington said...

Off the top of my head, I believe that finance is about 40% of US GDP

Sackerson said...

The same figure was in my mind for the UK. Maybe I misheard Keiser but he did make at least one other factual stumble in his haste to communicate.

James Higham said...

I think you may have got the reason in one - Galloway. Why on earth would Keiser go anywhere near him, let alone accept an invitation from the man?

Sackerson said...