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Michael Fitzsimmons
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I focus on investments in the oil & gas sector with an eye for dividend income and long-term capital appreciation. I typically allocate a portion of my own portfolio and devote some of my Seeking Alpha articles to small and medium sized companies offering compelling risk/reward propositions.... More
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  • Moyers, Maher, and Gold 1 comment
    Aug 30, 2009 11:15 AM
    Bill Moyers was featured on this week’s edition of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. It was a compelling 30 minute interview in which even the talkative Maher was captivated and mostly silent during Moyers’ spot-on analysis of current U.S. political realities. Here are a couple videos of the interview:
     
     
     
    Moyers explains how very narrow corporate interests have shifted financial support from the Bush republican administration to the current Obama democratic administration. Obama is so concerned with his reelection, the financial support of these powerful forces has muted his will to “change”. There is now effectively no difference between the two parties any longer. Obama has caved. The insurance, health care, coal, oil, and Wall Street interests are in charge of policy making regardless of which political party is in control. These narrow interests are focused on corporate profits and self enrichment (what a surprise) and are allowed under Supreme Court decisions to donate and influence candidates. The Court has repeatedly ruled that, like an individual’s right to free speech, corporate entities are also entitled to the same privilege. Therefore, the good of the many is overtaken by the power of the few. More money is flowing into the hands of a very few from the hands of the very many. So, let’s call this what it is: fascism. Regardless, anyone who hasn’t seen this show should view. The first half hour was an interview with Jay-Z, and the second half hour is with Bill Moyers. It was the best 30 minutes of TV I have seen in quite sometimes as it is rare for any media personality to speak to accurately and truthfully about what is happening to our country. Obama definitely needs to watch this video and heed Moyers’ advice.
     
     
    “Fascism opposes class conflict, blames capitalist liberal democracies for its creation and communists for exploiting the concept. In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support a "Third Way" in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism. This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labor (Mussolini called his nation's system "the corporate state").” (Underline added by the author).
     
    Who can argue that this has not happened in the U.S.? With the government takeover of the insurance, banking, auto and national mortgage market starting under the Bush administration and continuing and expanding under the Obama administration, is there any doubt what has happened and that both political parties are involved? Meanwhile, where else but a fascist country would multi-millionaires and billionaires receive executive bonus payouts stolen from middle class taxpayers (and endorsed by a corrupt Congress...) as a reward for bankrupting their companies and requiring yet more middle class taxpayer bailout monies bailout to revive the companies and keep the executives employed at greatly inflated salaries?! It’s disgusting! Meanwhile, as trillions of dollars were sucked out of the system by fraud and the financial market meltdown, we’ve only had a few indictments like Madoff and Stanford. Obama’s appointment of Shapiro to head the SEC was a clear and obvious signal that, like the Bush administration, Wall Street was going to be treated with kid-gloves and given a free ride.
     
    Some comments to my articles ask me to refrain from mentioning politics as it has no place on an economic and investment site like Seeking Alpha. Yet, in the current state of U.S. government policy initiatives – what is a bigger influence on economics going forward? Even the chief of Pimco, the giant bond fund asks how one can ignore an entity like the U.S. government that is not only now a huge market participant, but at the same time makes the rules? His entire bond investment philosophy now seems to merely keep one step ahead of U.S. government policy and profit off those areas in which the government, the Federal Reserve, and Secretary of the Treasury will support. Currently, the government strategy appears to be deficit spending and printing as many dollars as necessary to reflate the economy i.e. keep the money flowing to the very few special interests.
     
    The only solution I can see is for the 50 states to band together and exercise their Constitutional right to call for a Constitutional convention. We should keep the basic rights, freedoms, and liberties insured by the Original Constitution and Bill of Rights, wipe the rest of the slate clean, and start over. At the centerpiece of U.S. government reform should be term limits, no corporate donations to politicians, and a balanced budget amendment. The checks and balances of the government as envisioned by the original framers of the Constitution should be restored. These measures would be a good step in the right direction.
     
    So what is an American investor to do given such political reality? Well Pimco seems to have a pretty realistic picture of what is happening, so perhaps the Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTAX) might be a good place to start. If one looks at the historical impact of Fascism, it seems as if the U.S. currency is very risky. This means a position in gold (breferably bullion in your hot little hands or the ease of buying "paper" GLD) and precious metals (silver and platinum for example) is mandatory for U.S. investors. Others believe taking advantage of the obvious power behind governmental policy is the right approach and recommend investing in the drug, coal, oil, health care, and defense industries as the way to go. However, ironically, it is exactly these industries that will suffer most with the destruction of the middle class and a resulting currency plunge. And that is why it is so hard to understand why these powerful men, with millions and sometimes billions of U.S. dollar denominated assets are seemingly working so hard to destroy the American financial system. After all, they have the most to lose. What is their exit strategy?
     
    Disclosure: the author holds some gold but wishes he could afford to own more.
    Themes: Gold Currency
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  • YellowDogDem
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    Your constitutional convention should eliminate a legislative chamber based on real estate, not population. Eliminate the Senate in its present from.
    31 Aug 2009, 11:25 AM Reply Like
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