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Friday, May 16, 2014

Oligarchs Join Forces... Lying, Cheating and Stealing Together

May 16, 2014 | Author Bill Bonner

The Dow fell 101 points on Wednesday. Gold managed to climb back over $1,300 an ounce. But the important news was barely noticed. Of those who bothered to read it, few realized its significance. For the first time, oligarchs from North America and the steppes of Eurasia have teamed up to lie, cheat and steal together. The Wall Street Journal reports:
“Vice President Joe Biden‘s son and a close friend of Secretary of State John Kerry‘s stepson have joined the board of a Ukrainian gas producer controlled by a former top security and energy official for deposed President Viktor Yanukovych. [...]

Hunter Biden, a lawyer by training and the younger of the vice president’s two sons, joined the board of directors of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings Ltd. this month and took on responsibility for the company’s legal unit, according to a statement issued by the closely held gas producer.”

R. Hunter Biden miraculously becomes a gas specialist who's urgently needed in Ukraine.  From Burisma's press release: “R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”  The other new American board member of Burisma is Devon Archer, who works with Hunter Biden at Rosemont Seneca partners, which is half owned by Rosemont Capital, a private equity firm founded by Archer and Christopher Heinz…who is John Kerry's step-son!
(Photo via

Standing on Hind Legs

Most people have no idea what government is about. They think it is a benign institution, designed to make life better for everyone.

“The government is all of us,” said Hillary Clinton, talking her book.

This myth helps keep the voters and the taxpayers in line. Some governments, desperate to get more “buy in” from the public, even insist eligible voters go to the polls – or face penalties. In Argentina, for example, you can collect welfare benefits – but only if you can prove you voted. In other words, you have to stand on your hind legs before they throw you a bone.

Other countries, such as the US, merely excite the voters with dreams of avarice and threats of sanctions. One group votes because it hopes to score more of another group’s money. The other group votes to protect itself.

Among “get out the vote” campaigns, Denmark’s recent cartoon for the European parliamentary elections (by all accounts a snooze-fest) must set a new milestone in the history of democratic fraud and absurdity. The Financial Times reports:

“The 90-second video features “Voteman,“ a muscleman first seen in bed with five naked women who then proceeds to beat up young people to force them to vote. He then decapitates one man, interrupts a couple having sex to throw them out of a window, and uses a dolphin to help chuck people into voting booths.”

The Danish parliament withdrew the video on Tuesday.

Politicians want you to vote so they can claim to represent you. Then they do what they want. Like any other organization, government promotes the goals of those who control it. In that sense, it is no different from the Kiwanis International club or the electric power company. Every business, club or charitable institution is meant to do something – and always and everywhere it does what the people running it want done.

The bizarre Danish 'Voteman' video

(Cartoon by Borsotti)

As Naked as a Christmas Goose

This is not a bad thing. In a civilized society, as Adam Smith explained, it is self-interest that fills the marketplace with products and services. A baker counts on the hunger of his clients to fill his own stomach. A cobbler depends on others’ sore feet to enable him to shoe his own family.

But an oligarch? This bird sings a different song altogether. He provides no real service… produces no real products… and exchanges no tit for tat. Instead, he feathers his own nest with forlorn hopes plucked from an ignorant and impotent public.

The voters believe they are in charge. They believe the government – as imperfect as it is – nevertheless reflects the desires of the public, as filtered through elections, lobbyists and back-room deals. It is not a perfect system, the voter bravely tells himself, trying to recall Churchill’s word, but it is better than the alternatives. But by voting the poor democrat sets himself up for disappointment and despoliation.

Ouch! He loses a feather to the financial industry. Ouch! Another to the health-care oligarchs. Ow! There go a few to the farm lobby. Before you know it, he is as naked as a Christmas goose… cooked in his own stupid juices.

“The government that governs least, governs best,” said Jefferson. He understood it better. All governments work for their masters – the elite, the oligarchs. All are essentially parasitic, larcenous… and often, murderous. The more government you have, the worse off you are.

The choice
(Cartoon by Jonik)

The above article is from Diary of a Rogue Economist originally written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.
 source acting-man