Max Keiser is outspoken to say the least.
He hosts the Keiser Report, his show for Russian English-language channel RT, alongside his wife and producer Stacy Herbert, and is known for his angry outbursts against those he calls the “banksters”.
He was a Wall Street stockbroker in the 1980s, an experience he often draws on to guide viewers through the otherwise impenetrable jargon of global finance.
Now, though, he is based in the heart of London, which he says is the centre of the world when it comes to financial misconduct.
He is entertaining and funny – a difficult thing to pull off with what’s essentially a show about money.
In the past Keiser has encouraged viewers to take direct action to crash JP Morgan by buying silver.
More recently he coined the acronym GIABO, or Global Insurrection Against Bankster Occupation, to describe protests such as Occupy that express frustration with corruption in politics and finance.
He is a staunch advocate of moving money from fiat currencies, which are not backed by a physical commodity, into gold, silver, and, more recently, bitcoin.
Epoch Times: Your show is on RT, formerly known as Russia Today, but in the past you’ve done shows for the BBC, Press TV and Al Jazeera. Is there something about RT that particularly appealed to you?
Max Keiser: I like their rock ‘n’ roll attitude. The people who hate RT are the same people who hated Elvis Presley and Little Richard. It’s challenging the established narrative. There’s a global consensus, it’s called a Washington Consensus, and it’s challenging it, making people quite nervous.
Epoch Times: The show is often accused of being negative about America. Is that because there is nothing positive to report about the US?
Mr. Keiser: I report on the nexus of the global banking scandals and that would be the US and the UK. As a matter of fact I’m harder on the United Kingdom than the US. I’m much harder on George Osborne than Janet Yellen, for example.
The global kleptocracy is headquartered in the City of London. That’s why we moved to London, we’re war reporters. We’re covering the carnage that is the City of London as they destroy the global economy.
Epoch Times: Does RT have a pro-Russian editorial bias?
Mr. Keiser: The editorial bias of the Keiser Report is my own editorial bias towards gold! Since we started doing this show the Russian government has increased their gold purchases by hundreds and hundreds of tonnes, so I think the bias and influence goes from the Keiser Report to Russia not the other way round.
I know for a fact that I have an influence on their economic decisions. I also know that they have zero influence on my content.
Epoch Times: You often promote gold, silver, and bitcoin as ways for people to escape the fiat money system, but these assets can go down in value as well as up. Do you feel responsibility for the people who have invested based on your advice?
Mr. Keiser: The case for buying gold, silver, and bitcoin is still as strong as it ever was.
We started talking about gold at $400, silver at $6, and bitcoin at $3, so they’re up substantially from those levels. If you had been buying every year for the past five, six, seven years and averaging your position you’d still be up overall, and they’re still the place to be if you want economic sovereignty or a place to weather the storm of this continued crisis in the banking sector.
You’re going to have more big banks collapsing and more wealth confiscation. What we saw in Cyprus with the confiscation of bank deposits, that’s going to be rolled out all over Europe. They’ve already laid the groundwork, Brussels has passed laws making that possible.
If you want to preserve wealth there’s really only gold, silver, and bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The day-to-day price is meaningless because the alternative is losing 100 per cent of your fiat versus having some wealth preservation in precious metals and crypto.
Epoch Times: When do you think this collapse might come?
Mr. Keiser: The timing depends on how much more quantitative easing we’ll see from the global central banks.
In my view, the last major shoe to drop was the European Central Bank announcing that they’re going to print more than a trillion euros to keep the zombie banks alive. So after they get through with that and it doesn’t work, there will be no banks left of any major size to do quantitative easing.
This will become obvious by the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year. It’ll become obvious that they’ve run out of runway and that’s when we’ll see, as economists euphemistically say, a reversion to the mean. So the bubble pops and we’re back to prices that would be more reflective of the actual reality of the economy.
Epoch Times: What happens after the collapse?
Mr. Keiser: The dollar loses its place as world reserve currency. Right now we’re seeing a huge rally in the dollar as its death rattle. Once this is over China, Russia, Iran, and the other countries are going to be trading outside of the dollar. They’re setting up the SWIFT programme outside of the dollar, they’re doing rating agencies that are not based on the three big rating agencies that are very much in bed with the same group of banksters. So we’re going to have a world where the dollar is no longer the dominant world reserve currency, it’ll be a multi-polar currency world.
On the other hand the collapse of the dollar does not automatically mean China becomes the dominant currency. I don’t think we’re going to hand the baton from America’s domination to China’s domination, except whatever country is the first to introduce a gold-backed currency. If China introduced a gold-backed renminbi they would be the dominant country in the world and then that would be a question: do we want China to be the dominant country in the world?
If Russia introduced a gold-backed ruble they would dominate the world. If Iran was suddenly able to price their energy assets in something other than the US dollar they would have a completely different political situation in the world. So it gets back to gold.
Epoch Times: Do you think it’s possible to predict the market?
Mr. Keiser: On the one hand, you don’t want to be able to predict outcomes because the economy is lubricated by the money that flows into it from the losers. If everybody is making perfect predictions and prices were accordingly moving in that direction there would be stagnation in the economy. There would be no excess liquidity whatsoever. The excess liquidity in the system is based on the losers.
It’s pretty well known that to get the timing right is borderline impossible. You can get a trend correct but to get the absolute date right is hardly ever the case.
The only way you can guarantee the outcome of a prediction in the financial markets is if the market is completely broken. For example, I can predict to you right now that the price of gold will continue to have difficulty over the next six months because that market is completely broken, it’s rigged 100 per cent. But so many other markets are also rigged.
The fourth point I’ll make repudiates everything I just said, but it is an interesting point. With so-called big data, the ability to gather enormous quantities of data, to analyse it, and to tap into the collective zeitgeist, you can now begin to make predictions. But the access to that information is being monopolised by the NSA, the CIA, and Wall Street.
It’s no coincidence that hedge funds can now legally hire CIA analysts with access to big data to give them stock tips, essentially. They know that a certain percentage of the population might suddenly be interested in a certain toy that’s manufactured by a certain company. They can do the analysis and come up with a winning trade that has extraordinary upside with almost no downside whatsoever.
It would be great if it were publicly available, but it’s not. It’s being hoarded just like all this free money, by the same people that are printing all the free money.
Epoch Times: Could some of what you talk about be regarded as conspiracy theories?
Mr. Keiser: Every conspiracy starts as a theory. What happens is that all investigative journalism is being painted with a brush called “conspiracy theory”. In the old days before the media was completely dominated by shysters and kleptocrats they used to call this investigative journalism.
Epoch Times: You’ve long talked about bitcoin while most mainstream financial commentators ignore it. What’s the future for the digital currency?
Mr. Keiser: The bitcoin adoption rate is the key number to look at, how many people are using bitcoin, which is driven by bank failure.
The ancillary start-up market of new businesses and venture funding is extremely high – you can make the comparison to the Internet during its early days. Big venture capital guys are all over it.
The price obviously got way ahead of itself and my feeling is that this was driven almost entirely by the Mt Gox episode. From my professional experience as a guy who has three patents in the virtual currency industry, I will tell you that there was an enormous amount of price rigging over there at Mt Gox.
So when they went offline the price of the coin has reverted back to what would be a normalised trend line had there not been this price rigging.
Most people reading this will say, “Well that sounds to me like bitcoin itself is not safe” but that’s not what I’m saying. The bitcoin protocol itself is still as indestructible as it ever was. It attracted a bad actor in the form of Mt Gox and it went on this rollercoaster ride.
But they’re gone and I think all the bad news is gone. What I mean by that is that bitcoin is now suffering from bad news fatigue! No bad news is hurting it, it’s like people are sick of the bad news and they’re not selling. The people who own it now are holding it and we’ve got new buyers, so I think for 2015, especially with banks back on the radar as in trouble, adoption rates will continue to go higher and the price will do well this year.
It will be an alternative asset. A lot of hedge funds who are jumping ship out of their securities that are not doing well, they’re going to start looking at bitcoin.