People & Power
Rigged Markets
Free markets are meant to be fair, but are they really? People & Power investigates.
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2007 14:35 GMT

Max Keiser bets on a winner
Free markets are meant to be fair, but are they really?

The smallest investor in the stock market is meant to face the same odds as the richest, and that is what makes free markets free.

Free markets are also meant to provide all participants with the same information about stocks, bonds, and currencies - that way all the investors have an equal chance of making a profit.

The market also allows investors to pool their resources into mutual or hedge funds, so they can punch way above their weight.

Whereas mutual funds are weighted in favour of the small investor, and are highly regulated, hedge funds are far riskier products and are weighted in favour of wealthy people who are seen as sophisticated enough to take risks that ordinary investors cannot. They are hardly regulated at all - so that everybody comes out of the market a supposed winner.

In Max Keiser's latest viewpoint film, he argues that hedge and mutual funds are manipulated to benefit brokers, bankers and the richest investors, to the detriment of those with less power and less money.

He explains his view that free markets are not in fact free or fair, but in fact rigged – he thinks that even governments have a finger in the free market pie.

Watch this episode of People & Power here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This episode of People & Power aired from 20 May 2007

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