“We’re Living In An Open-Air Prism” – Max Keiser

Luke Rudkowski talks to Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert at the G8 protest about the breaking down of the social contract, the economy, the NSA and the G8 protesters.

“I want to be on the winning side” says Keiser. “And bitcoin, silver and gold will be on the winning side.”

Is Bitcoin Money?

03/14/20
Max Keiser
Huffington Post

Since Bitcoin is now a $400 million market, with its pricehitting new all-time highs, now might be good time to ask, is bitcoin money?

According to Aristotle, for something to be considered money, is has to fulfill four characteristics:

1) It must be durable. It can’t fade, corrode.

2) It must be portable. It has to be ‘dense’ so that you can take it with you when you travel to the market.

3) It must be divisible or, ‘fungible.’ This means that if you break it up into smaller pieces each smaller piece when you add them up will equal the value of the original piece.

4) It must have intrinsic value. This means it must have value whether or not it’s used as money per se.

Let’s look at these four characteristics and see if they apply to Bitcoin.

1) Durability.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized form of money; as durable as the Internet itself. Remember, the Internet or DARPA as it was originally called, was created as a fail-safe, global network with no ‘single point of failure.’ If one part goes down, data takes another route and nothing is lost. So on this point the answer is “Yes,” Bitcoin is durable.

2) Portability.

Bitcoin is probably the most portable money in the history of the world. I can download any amount onto a thumb drive and walk across any border without any problems. Or, I could commit to memory a line of code that I can then input into the network and save or spend Bitcoins. So on the point of portability, Bitcoin gets an Aristotelian “Yes.”

3) Fungibility.

Bitcoin is probably the most fungible currency ever created. You can break it down by 10,000 decimal places and trade it just as easily without it changing in value so on this point the answer is also “Yes.”

4) Intrinsic Value.

This is probably the characteristic that most people find difficult to comprehend. The intrinsic value of Bitcoin is very 21st century. If you think about it, what’s the one thing that has become extremely scarce over the past thirty years that has grown in desirability? Privacy.

Privacy is an age of universal email collection and spying, with millions of CCTV camera’s, and warrantless spying pervasive; privacy has become virtually non existent and therefore extremely scarce and desirable. Bitcoin can be a completely anonymous transaction that maintains the user’s privacy beyond the reach of any authority. So on this point too, the answer is “Yes,” Bitcoin fulfills Aristotle’s need for having intrinsic value. Privacy is a desirable human right and people would want it even if it wasn’t encoded as Bitcoins.

In conclusion, using Aristotle’s four characteristics of money, Bitcoin fulfills all four. So then according to an Aristotelian definition, the answer is ‘Yes.’ Bitcoin is money.

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WILL HOLLYWOOD GO THE WAY OF ENRON?

DERIVATIVES COME TO THE MOVIES

As if attacks from paparazzi and star-crazed fans weren’t enough, Hollywood stars may soon have a literal price put on their heads by investors in the Cantor Exchange, a real-money trading platform where people can bet on the gross profits of upcoming movies. Sales of The Dark Knight skyrocketed after Heath Ledger died unexpectedly, and so did sales after the deaths of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Will greed-driven investors now be laying in wait for the stars of movies they have bet on?

The Cantor Exchange (CE) is based on a virtual trading platform called the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX), a web-based, multiplayer simulation in which players buy and sell “shares” of actors, directors, upcoming films, and film-related options. The difference is that where the HSX uses virtual money, CE will turn the game into a real casino using real dollars.

On April 21, Cantor Exchange reported that it had just received regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which oversees futures exchanges. “This is a significant step forward in achieving our ultimate goal,” it said in a letter, “which is to launch a market in Domestic Box Office Receipt Contracts.”

Having “contracts” out on movies and movie stars, however, has an ominous ring; and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) apparently doesn’t like the sound of it. The Cantor letter said that its tentative launch date of April 22 was being delayed because the MPAA and others “raised concerns about the economic purpose of this market and its usefulness as a hedging vehicle.”

The legitimate hedgers, the moviemakers and equity holders with a real financial interest to protect, don’t want it. But Cantor is pushing forward, because gambling is big business and there are vast sums of money to be made.

Critics are worried that the new exchange will turn Hollywood into another derivatives casino, vulnerable to insider trading. Even if traders aren’t hiding behind bushes waiting to trip up the stars, the exchange could create bizarre incentives for moviemakers to manipulate and distort the market for their own products, perhaps intentionally sabotaging movies they know are losers.

The Derivative Craze

A“derivative” market is one that is “derived” from an underlying asset, but participants don’t have to own the asset to play. Like gamblers at a race track, they can bet without owning a horse. Derivatives have now become a $605 trillion industry, about ten times the gross domestic product of all the countries of the world combined. This money is not contributing capital to businesses, helping the economy to grow. Rather, it is being diverted into wagers. Money is made by taking it from someone else.

Worse, half the wagers are negative: the players want the thing to fail. Warren Buffet called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.” By massively short selling a stock or a currency, speculators can actually force the price down. Derivatives can be used to sabotage not only businesses but whole economies. Derivatives have been blamed for such economic disasters as the collapse of Japan’s stock market in 1987, the Asian crisis of 1998, and the recent collapse of Greece.

Gaming the Hollywood Game

Max Keiser, who founded CE’s virtual forerunner HSX in the 1990s, has firsthand knowledge of how the Hollywood exchange can be abused. When he was CEO of HSX, he says, he came under pressure from fellow board members to give in to studio heads who were offering cash and other inducements to manipulate the prices of projects, either up (to legitimize more marketing dollars) or down (to sabotage competing projects). “These guys, including my own board of directors,” he says, “could not tell the difference between marketing and market manipulation.”

Whether a movie’s stock price rises or falls is considered to be a predictor of the movie’s future success; but Keiser warns that today, the prediction value of market pricing is largely a hoax. Traders using sophisticated computer programs have learned how to manipulate prices, and market rigging has become institutionalized.

“The only difference between the new box office futures contracts being manipulated and blowing up,” he says, “and stocks in companies like Lehman Brothers being manipulated and blowing up, is that people losing their money can imagine getting screwed by Scarlett Johansson instead of Dick Fuld.”

Keiser predicts that his altered HSX computer technology, if approved by the CFTC for use in a real-money exchange, will produce an insider trader’s paradise, with Hollywood going the way of Enron and Lehman Brothers in two years or less.

“But this is what rigged market capitalism is all about,” he says. “It’s not economics really. It’s arson. They bet against a company or a country and then burn it down.”
Ellen Brown, May 3rd, 2010
http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/derivatives_movies.php


Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are www.webofdebt.comwww.ellenbrown.com, andwww.public-banking.com.

Max Keiser: Goldman Sachs Are Criminal Scum

In a take no prisoners interview with France 24, independent financial analyst, Max Keiser calls out Goldman Sachs for their role in creating the current global financial crisis. Mr. Keiser also speaks to the the need of true transparency instead of the lip service offered by the Obama Administration. He also points out the hypocrisy of the FEDERAL RESERVE refusing the growing call for a full audit of its books.

Additionally, Moncef Cheikh Rouhou, Professor of International Finance at the HEC Paris Business School argues for his vision of a global financial regime under Bretton Woods III and calls on the G20 for successful implementation.