Financial Paranoia? RT, Max Keiser and Zerohedge

Why don’t you pop on over the Zerohedge.com for a spot of financial paranoia? If you believe what you read then the dollar is worth nothing, gold is worth something and Bitcoin is the future. What’s more if you also watch the Keiser Report on  the “impartial” RT you will have noticed Zerohedge as being a major source of information. If you read or watch these sources you will quickly find that they promote gold, bitcoin, alternative investment funds and other approaches outside the financial norm. You will often also find that the same people who promote these alternatives are offering financial advice or in some cases are even connected to the ventures which offer surprise, surprise, similar services.  This is for me is a clear conflict of interest and should mean that anyone watching or reading such sources should do so with some considerable care.

On a more positive  note, if like me you studied economics or financial related topics (I did so as part of a joint degree) the chances are that you may have had some nagging doubts about what you were being told – especially about the massive over simplifications relating to markets and human behaviour. Not forgetting the complete lack of empirical evidence to back up a large number of the economic theories. You may also have thought that rising house prices and with it mortgage costs and rental prices which were not matched by salary increases(especially in the UK) would only lead to trouble. Despite these reservations you most likely thought like me that well, “I didn’t study it in enough detail to really understand any of it” and hence left it to the economists and governments only to find that when we experienced the fun of 2008 t that actually a lot of it was theoretical academic nonsense. If you do hold that view then please do check out the sources above. While all the facts presented are probably correct, do keep an eye out for propaganda, overly selective facts and conflicts of interest – a quick Google search is usually enough.

Despite reservations  Zerohedge and “Mad” Max Keiser are relevant sources of information which make you question the prevailing economic views of our time. They for example frequently point out how debt is ignored in predictions (economists do not usually take it into account except if it is sovereign debt) or how we have seen massive increases in public and private debt with little or no  meaningful return in terms of GDP (China and the West being good examples). They also regularly accuse bankers of fraud or misconduct – something which has been alleged against some former HBOS staff, not forgetting the blackmail charges in the same case. So in that sense he is right (which may also explain why Bank of American banned it’s staff from accessing Zerohedge). From then on it is up to you to formulate your own opinion… but do take it all with a pinch of salt.

 

About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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