I was on PressTV last night with Afshin Rattansi talking about the market trends for oil, dollar and the rising fortunes of Obama.
I come in at 0:56 of video.
Afshin Rattansi: Well joining me now is the broadcaster and journalist, Max Keiser, who is in Paris. Max, first of all, how do you think these remarks and the recent news about interest sections in Tehran is effecting international opinion and particularly financial opinion afterall the symptoms in financial markets may show us a bit more about what we should expect in terms of these talks in Geneva.
Max Keiser: Sure. Well, looking through the lens of the financial markets, you have to look at what's been happening to the price of oil. I also look at these prediction markets that are trading for intention. And, remember, on intrade, they have a contract, the strike Iran contract. Intrade does a lot of consulting for the Washington lobbyists and the Pentagon as well, so there is a lot of insider information that goes into these inside Intrade contracts. And inside information is legal on Intrade, as far as I know.
Afshin Rattansi: Our viewers can see that graph now.
Max Keiser: So this news of this sudden embrace of Iran. Maybe Bush is looking for a home for when he leaves office because the war crimes here in the US are going to prevent him from having a nice retirement in Kennebunkport. Maybe he's looking for a place in Tehran.
Afshin Rattansi: Max, just take us through the graph while it remains on the screen there and what we should be looking at towards the right hand end of the graph.
Max Keiser: Well, if you are looking at the same graph that I believe you are looking at. The probability is decreasing for an attack. Clearly, the people inside Washington had inside information about this and this information was circulating even during the time when there was a lot of bellicosity in the air. A lot of talk about a strike on Iran. Remember, they got oil up to $144, which was the target that bin Laden set many years ago. The Bush, Blair, bin Laden access of weasels as I like to call them, they talked about $144 a barrel six or seven years ago. They achieved that target, now they are going to take it into another stage of the oil price which are still looking for to climb considerably higher from here toward $200 which is what Goldman Sachs has talked about as their target for the price of oil. So to put this into perspective in terms of what this trip, what this meeting, what this recent climb down from the US sabre-rattling, I think you need to look at it in terms of the energy prices and the people involved in the oil administration in Washington, Iran's number two in the OPEC production, they are looking ways to set the stage to round two for the spike in oil price.
Afshin Rattansi: And I understand that these meetings in Geneva with William Burns and all this talk of an interests section in Tehran, some people are saying that it has something to do with the Presidential campaign.
Max Keiser: That's another interesting point, Afshin. A lot of people characterize the neo-cons as . . . and John Bolton has recently said . . . these overtures toward Iran is the end of an era, the end of the Bush era, the end of the Bush doctrine.
Afshin Rattansi: We have a graph up there now about the chances of an Obama presidency .
Max Keiser: This could be the beginining of the Obama doctrine. When Obama said he was going to talk to Iran, his popularity skyrocketed on the prediction markets. John McCain, when he said he was going to bomb Iran, his popularity nosedived on the prediction markets. So, clearly, there's been some influence in Washington in which I think you could call 'the Obama doctrine,' which is to have an adult conversation on the world stage and not do this kind of baby who has had their bottle taken away act that Bush has perfected over the past eight years. I think the world has babysat the Bush Administration long enough, they are ready to move on to a more adult conversation.
Afshin Rattansi: We've got one more chart of the oil prices coming up. Of course, oil traders must have been watching those announcements about an interests section and William Burns suddenly appearing in Geneva. How would you interpret the oil traders view of instability or stability in the Middle East?
Max Keiser: Well, oil, as you know, is a function of the deteriorating economics in the US, principally the fall of the US dollar. I think that Washington and Wall Street - Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke - are becoming quite concerned now because, as you know, they are nationalizing huge mortgage providers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will have a devastating effect on the dollar. And, of course, this will make the price of oil and all commodities skyrocket in price . . .
Afshin Rattansi: And, yet, oil prices seem to have decreased in the past few days since those announcements from the biggest mortgage companies in the states?
Max Keiser: Sure, the price of oil in the last few days has pulled back, as you would expect during any bull market. And I think what we are seeing now is an attempt to suddenly sing Kumbaya and have a big camp fire and talk about how friendly everyone is going to be and have nuclear energy. The posturing is completely changed because that $147 per barrel got quite frightening. Even to Bush, the oil man, has to understand that this would put the US economy under the bus. But I don't think this is going to change anything about the fundamental direction of the price of oil, which is heading a lot higher. This is just a mere what you might call a bull market pause before you see higher prices.
Afshin Rattansi: And what about that meeting in Geneva and how it affects markets, what is your take - I know you specifically specialize in financial markets - but what do you think about how the Geneva meeting will affect the market. And what do you think about Washington policy? Are all those people betting on the chances of there being an air strike on Iran by September right?
Max Keiser: Well, I think that Iran is not Iraq. It doesn't have the sanctions that Iraq had. You can't just go in there and murder a million people without any repercussions as the Bush Administration has done in Iraq. It's a completely different situation. I don't think they're going to bomb Iran. Bush is simply chicken. He's not going to bomb Iran, they can actually fight back. Do you think he's going to take on an adversary that can fight back? Never happen. Never happened at Yale, it will never happen on the world stage. This is not a combative person. But the Geneva meeting. Again, anytime you put world leaders together, there's a chance that they might co-ordinate their activities to some degree which would be a net benefit to the world's reserve currency, the dollar. So the dollar looks at this. But, after the meeting is over, everyone goes back to their home countries and they realize that they have a sick world's reserve currency, the US dollar, on their hands and they start to sell again and the dollar resumes its trend on the way down and this causes huge problems. Remember, Iran signed a strategic mutual defense pact with China and Russia. Russia is the second biggest, first or second biggest, natural gas supplier in the world. China owns $1.8 trillion of US dollars in their reserves. Those three countries right there are running the show. The US is becoming a second tier country in real time. This is really a remarkable phenomenon.
Afshin Rattansi: Max Keiser, live from Paris. Well, that's certainly a change over the months we've been broadcasting here on Press TV with different commentators saying that the chances are up. It looks like peace.
Follow Max Keiser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/maxkeiser