Eco-imperialism and the drive to destroy the free market
By Tom DeWeese
Max Keiser is a new kind of terrorist. He uses the Internet and boycotts to manipulate stock prices. In that way he forces corporations to comply with his brand of radical environmentalism and Sustainable Development. He puts his hands around corporate throats and squeezes until they comply with his demands. Max Keiser and his ilk hate business and they hate free enterprise and are using these tactics to redistribute wealth and cause chaos in the market place.
Keiser's operation is called "KarmaBanque." That new age-focused name alone should give readers an idea of the wacky worldview that spews from Keiser's brain. But his brand of activism is much more sinister. He calls himself a financial anarchist and he and his partner, Stacy Herbert, consider themselves the "Bonnie and Clyde of the Internet." In their own words, "KarmaBanque is at the center of a new activist movement which combines the civil disobedience of Gandhi with the financial savvy of George Soros to help change the economic and political landscape of the world!"
Says Keiser's web page, "Karmabanque describes its audience as ‘Activists, Anarchists, and Hedge Funds.' It's a stock exchange of sorts, but with a brilliant and maniacal twist: it trades on the strength of boycotts." To put it in the simplest possible terms, Keiser targets companies that are vulnerable to boycotts, such as Coca Cola, which relies heavily on daily consumer buying. Once the boycott has begun, Keiser tells his minions to buy options on the targeted company's stock -- options betting that the stock price will go down. As the boycott drags down the company's stock, Keiser and his followers make a quick buck on the options.
Meanwhile, the company, aware of what has happened to it, tries to strike a deal with Keiser to get the boycott stopped. The deal? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). That is a euphemism for Sustainable Development. In other words, corporations are blackmailed into using its profits to promote the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, for example. Such tactics have been used to stop banks from financing development in Third World countries, because for these poor people to acquire luxuries such as electricity and clean water is, in the minds of Max Keiser and his gang, "unsustainable" and must be stopped.
Watch the television commercials for General Electric and Exxon as they gleefully tell consumers of the virtues of cutting back on energy use and gas consumption. If you have ever thought that such messages seem to go against what these companies should be selling, you are right. They have been twisted into a grotesque characterization of themselves by the Internet Gandhis like Max Keiser. They are smart, mean Zealots to their cause. And their goal is worldwide wealth redistribution, achieved by sucking the lifeblood out of private companies.
And if anyone disagrees with Keiser's tactics, or advocates a difference of opinion, he attacks. Case in point. A new mutual fund called the Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF) (www.freeenterpriseactionfund.com) has been established by two champions of free enterprise, Steve Milloy and Tom Borelli. FEAF has been openly calling on corporations in which it has invested, to ignore the pressures of the radical greens and stick to the business of real growth strategies, not "feel good" social programs. Milloy and Borelli have been courageous in their fight to save the free enterprise system from the gonzo assault of the Max Keisers who are bent on destroying it.
Naturally, the Free Enterprise Action Fund is a threat to Keiser's plans to make corporations slaves to his radical social agenda. As a result Keiser has attacked FEAF with a vengeance. His web site is filled with attacks on Milloy and Borelli, calling them "brown shirts," and denounced FEAF as an "appeaser to global warming and climate change terrorists." On a recent broadcast of his radio program, KarmaBanque Radio, incredibly, Keiser went on a ten minute diatribe against the evils of Milloy and Borelli, simply because they disagree with his world view. Keiser ended by spewing out that Milloy and Borelli were stealing the future from their own children and he went on to say, "I think the kids, the children of these people (Milloy and Borelli) should knife them."
Considering Keiser's bravado about being the Bonnie and Clyde of the Internet, one would expect that his own copy of the broadcast would be displayed prominently on his web site, as are several other such diatribes. But after Borelli and Milloy began to fight back, exposing his hate speech, Keiser showed what a true coward he is as the file disappeared. Luckily. Milloy and Borelli made a copy. Readers can hear the actual broadcast at www.junkscience.com/KARMABanque_Podcast_092805.mp3. As a point of reference, Bonnie and Clyde were not heroes or role models. They too hated the free enterprise system and stole from it as they killed people.
Now, Keiser is scheduled to speak at an event in Frankfurt, Germany, called the Triple Bottom Line Investing Conference. This is not a conference that most would want to attend. It is a gathering of radicals who advocate Corporate Social Responsibility. Like Keiser, those who will attend are part of the movement which demands that businesses toe their strict anti-business line. Once a business complies, the demands become even more radical – the bar continually raised. That's what this conference is all about. It's the Who's Who of radical, anti-free market investing.
A main sponsor of the conference is the Calvert Fund. They are basically paying the conference bills. Calvert is a $10 billion investment company for the Corporate Social Responsibility Crowd. They too engage in shareholder activism to get companies to adopt their social agenda. Calvert, in spite of its radical agenda, tries to pass itself off as responsible and civilized. So all of corporate America should be asking Calvert why they are paying to bring a terrorist who spews hate speech and advocates violence to their conference. Does Keiser really represent Calvert's true colors?
These few words have only cracked the surface of the outrageous assault that is being perpetrated on what was once a free market. To allow those like Keiser to continue, unexposed, can only lead to financial chaos, destroyed markets, lost jobs, lost dreams, reduced standards of living and starving people. Of course, as is always the case of those who advocate Sustainable Development, they will tell us all of that misery is necessary for the public good.
Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center, an activist think tank. The Center maintains an Internet site at www.americanpolicy.org. © Tom DeWeese 2005
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