One of the basic obligations any person has is to figure out all the facts as best they can on any position that have elected to adopt.
I am well aware of the political partisanship in the media, left and right, and do my best to listen to all points of view, then add my personal research, in order to formulate the best possible strategy for any given opinion, comment, question or tenet.
This brings me to Keith Theodore Olbermann, the former sportscaster and current writer and political commentator on the show that bears his name, the Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Given his extreme position on many things, he’s opinions and conclusions rarely resonate with me as they seem entirely slanted. That’s fine: he’s not a journalist on whom the mantle of total neutrality must be laid, but a commentator. Countdown with Keith Olbermann, much like its self-appointed nemeses, political commentators Bill O’Reilly (The O’Reilly Factor) and Glenn Beck (The Glenn Beck Program) is an opinion show.
I recently heard of a feud brewing over a company called Goldline International (Santa Monica, California), who is apparently a advertiser on The Glenn Beck Program. The company is currently under investigation by a U.S. congressional committee.
On one side of the argument there are claims the Goldline International conducts business unethically, and on the other is the charge that liberals are attempting to de-fund The Glenn Beck Program by disproportionately responding to those grievances levied against his sponsors.
Anyways, I was watching Keith Olbermann and he ran a report on the congressional hearing convened by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) in which the representative was grilling Goldline International’s CEO Mark Albarian.
Alright, all seems fair: another businessman explaining business to a career politician who apparently has never run his own business but who is comfortable telling others how to run theirs. A bit uncomfortable, but I can go with it.
What perked my interest was the exchange between Rep. Weiner and Mr. Albarian.
Goldline International is a retail seller of silver and gold coins and precious metals for collectors and investors. Anyone who invests (or even trades) in the stock market knows that gold has a special relationship to the main markets.
Goldline includes a copy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102 signed on April 5, 1933, an order that empowered the U.S. government to seize the public’s gold, with some painfully meager exemptions.
This is Goldline’s main point: the U.S. Government seized everyone’s gold (again, small exemptions aside).
Goldline uses this executive order as a marketing piece of nostalgia to incentivize investors and collectors to buy their marked-up gold products. Investors know why.
However, what was infuriating about the exchange was when Congressman Anthony Weiner held up the 1933 executive order and chided Mr. Albarian for using it as a scare tactic. Mr. Weiner went on to ask if Mr. Albarian, the CEO of Goldline International, if he was aware that Executive Order 6102 which authorized for the seizure of the public’s gold was “repealed the following year” in 1934. Angry, Mr. Weiner wanted to know why Goldline didn’t inform its clients of the repeal of the gold seizure authority passed six months earlier.
Amazingly, Mr. Albarian did not have an answer.
Well, here are the answers that neither the CEO of Goldline International, nor Rep. Anthony Weiner was honest enough to give each other, me or the audience of Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
The facts are these:
In 1933, the President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an order seizing virtually all of the public’s private holdings of gold and to a lesser degree, silver. This is Executive Order 6102.
This act was not repealed as Mr. Weiner would have you believe in 1934. In that year the United States passed the Gold Reserve Act which transferred the gold seized by the Federal Reserve the year prior (1933) to the Department of the Treasury. This act also changed the rate of exchange for gold from $20.67 per ounce (this is what the government paid you when it seized your gold assets) to $35 per ounce. You see, the government demanded your gold, paid you $20.67 per ounce for it, hoarded it in the Federal Reserve, then decreed gold was now worth $35 per ounce. This little slip of the pen created $2.8 billion in paper profit that was transferred to the U.S. Exchange Stabilization Fund, an emergency fund for the Department of Treasury.
It was not until April 24, 1965 that the prohibitions of the 1933 executive order were relaxed, but not annulled.
It was not until 1975 that Americans could freely own and trade gold.
Mr. Weiner intentionally misrepresented the Gold Act of 1934 to make it sound like it totally annulled the 1933 act, and that Goldline International was using a briefly approved executive order to instill fear.
The fact is the 1933 executive order was in effect for 42 years until 1975.
Goldline’s position is the 1933 order was a blatant raid on the personal wealth of all U.S. citizens. He’s right, it was.
Rep. Anthony Weiner refused to let these little clarifications be known, as he seemed more obsessed with stripping a more popular rival commentator of his financing than doing more productive things with his time.
Naturally Keith Olbermann did not correct this story. This is why he is not trusted.
Listen to whoever you want, but you must do your own research. This representative distorted the facts (it’s hard to say he wasn’t outright lying), and the CEO of Goldline didn’t even know his facts.
Let the investigation play out. If there is wrong doing on the part of Goldline International, then there exists the machinery to punish them. If there’s not, move on.
And a quick question: how can you price gouge (as Goldline is accused of doing by charging a 65% markup, or thereabouts, on their coins) on a luxury item? Simply ask how much the coin weighs and how much actual gold is in the coin (get that in writing) and do some quick math. That will tell you exactly how much the coin is worth on the open market. If Goldline is charging more than that day’s fair market value then you know they are marking it up, whether it be one dollar or a hundred.
But of course they are marking it up. That’s how they make their profit.
Do your homework.
Take no one’s word for anything.
P.S. As an update, this bizarre individual was finally fired today from MSNBC. So if you need a reason to dance, there one’s for you.