Is Private Wealth A Thing Of The Past?
Your right to privacy has been called "the civil rights issue of the information age," reports Minnesota Public Radio.
Today Americans enjoy unlimited benefits from new technologies in our wired world. But those wires send information in two directions, and the access to our personal data is very vulnerable.
Your holdings in stocks, bonds, cash, even gold (in most cases) are literally on display for the world to see today, unless you take some specific (and legal) steps to privatize your wealth.
Over a decade ago, Businessweek reported an "Invasion of the Stock Hackers""¦ "An alarmed SEC says that teams of thieves are lifting passwords from home PCs -- and emptying online brokerage accounts. Consumers have $1.7 trillion worth of assets with online brokerages," says TowerGroup, a financial research and consulting firm.
In August 2016, North Korean hackers put a bug into the computers of SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), an electronic clearinghouse for all global bank transfers, which issued false documents that tricked banks into giving their agents $81 Million, including $12 Million from Wells Fargo Bank.
In February 2017, cyber hackers infected the computers of 140 banks in 40 countries with a program that let the criminals order bank ATMs to spit out untold millions into the paper bags of waiting accomplices.
In June 2017, cyber-attacks by Russia upon the Ukraine's central bank, power systems and international airport illustrate just how vulnerable entire nations are today. Some experts believe such attacks are just a warm up for planned attacks against the U.S. banking system, power grid and/or transportation systems. Hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms have already been hacked in recent years.
In today's increasingly paperless world, these threats illustrate how your assets could also be wiped out with the stroke of the key on a computer keyboard. At least temporarily your wealth could become illiquid at the very moment you most need it, unless you have something "outside the system" so to speak.
A Shining Alternative
In recent years we have seen multiple bubbles burst in the financial markets. We started the new millennium with the dot com bubble followed by the mortgage backed securities/real estate bubble.
Washington politicians decided the only way to get us out of those bubbles was to create more money out of thin air and pump that fiat money (money not backed by anything) into the economy.
The downfall of this debt-based recovery plan has been the unstoppable loss of value in our currency. The U.S. Dollar lost 35% of its value over the last 10 years.
As we have seen in the past, gold has performed very well when the outlook for a currency has not. Throughout history people have turned to gold in uncertain times because it is the only real monetary system that will always have value.
The American public has started accumulating gold at a record pace. Americans know the money being printed is devaluing the money in their bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and everything else they hold denominated U.S. Dollars.
Owning gold during these uncertain and volatile times has proven to be a great protection, but is it possible that the gold could be taken away from the public by the same politicians who devalued our money to begin with?
Some believe the idea of the government taking away our right to own gold may seem a bit far-fetched, but it happened less than 100 years ago.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took away the right to own bullion gold in 1933. He did so by using the powers of the Trading with the Enemy Act and the Emergency Banking Act to force the sale of gold bullion for $20.67/oz. He then immediately set the price at $35/oz. causing a 40 percent loss in the currency's value compared to gold.
We have seen a lot of change in this country since the last gold confiscation. The government has grown exponentially over the past century and has continued to become more intrusive into our lives. If the government was able to confiscate gold when it was smaller and less intrusive, could it be out of the realm of possibility for it to happen again today?
Progressive politicians have seriously considered taking control of more than just our gold. For example, recent talks in Washington have proposed seizing private citizens' 401k/IRA retirement accounts in order to invest part of those funds in Treasury Bills (US Government debt).
Why? Because other countries and institutions around the world no longer want to buy our debt. For many years the Federal Government has been slowly moving toward controlling all aspects of our financial life.
More Government Control Ahead
Why are other major countries and institutions no longer wanting to finance U.S. debt? Could they be frightened about to the future strength of the U.S dollar?
Many Americans believe they would have ample warning of any new laws forcing them to give up their retirement accounts or to give up their gold. They would normally be correct, if the government planned on debating these intrusive laws on the floor of Congress, but would they do that?
Executives Orders enable a sitting president to make laws by the stroke of a pen with no discussion or debate by Congress. An executive order is a legally binding order given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies. Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies. However, in many instances they have been used to guide agencies in directions contrary to congressional intent.
This is how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted the first Gold Confiscation in 1933. There was no debate in Congress or major discussion publicly. He simply signed the order and the public had to turn in their gold.
From: President of the United States
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
To: The United States Congress
Dated: 5 April, 1933
Presidential Executive Order 6102
Forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5(b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes~', in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section to do hereby prohibit the hoarding gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of the order:
Section 1. For the purpose of this regulation, the term 'hoarding" means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term "person" means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.
Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:
(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.
(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.
(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.
(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for the other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and gold bullion imported for the re-export or held pending action on applications for export license.
Section 3. Until otherwise ordered any person becoming the owner of any gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates after April 28, 1933, shall within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a),(b) or (c) of Section 2; or unless such gold coin, gold bullion is held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such gold coin or bullion, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.
Section 4. Upon receipt of gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates delivered to it in accordance with Section 2 or 3, the Federal reserve bank or member bank will pay thereof an equivalent amount of any other form of coin or currency coined or issued under the laws of the Unites States.
Section 5. Member banks shall deliver alt gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal reserve banks of there respective districts and receive credit or payment thereof.
Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President by Section 501 of the Act of March 9, 1933, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates delivered to a member bank or Federal reserve bank in accordance with Sections 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal reserve banks.
Section 7. In cases where the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath; addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal reserve bank. Each applications must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.
Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry the purposes of this order and to issue licenses there under, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal reserve banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust gold coin or bullion to or for persons showing the need for same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.
Section 9. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or these regulation or of any rule, regulation or license issued there under may be fined not more than $10,000, or, if a natural person may be imprisoned for not more than ten years or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.
This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States of America
April 5, 1933
Is it plausible the current President would do such a thing again? Former President Barack Obama signed many Executive Orders that have taken away the rights of Americans.
Not that long ago the government actually spoke about their power to take away people's gold. In 2005 the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) wanted to see if the federal government still had the authority to confiscate our gold. Their findings were astounding! The Treasury not only stated that they have the authority to confiscate gold and silver bullion but they also have the ability to freeze accounts that hold gold funds.
Treasury Department Claims Power to Seize Gold, Silver -- and Everything Else, GATA Says
GATA Press Release via Business Wire
The U.S. Government has the authority to prohibit the private possession of gold and silver coin and bullion by U.S. citizens during wartime, and, during wartime and declared emergencies, to freeze their ownership of shares of mining companies, the Treasury Department has told the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.
But gold and silver advocates shouldn't feel too picked on. For the U.S. Government claims the authority in declared emergencies to seize or freeze just about everything else that might be considered a financial instrument.
The Treasury Department's assertions came in a letter dated August 12 and written by Sean M. Thornton, chief counsel for the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, who replied to questions GATA posed to the department in January. It took GATA six months and a little prodding to get answers from the Treasury, but the Treasury's reply, when it came, was remarkably comprehensive and candid.
The government's authority to interfere with the ownership of gold, silver, and mining shares arises, Thornton wrote, from the Trading With the Enemy Act, which became law in 1917 during World War I and applies during declared wars, and from 1977's International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which can be applied without declared wars.
While the Trading With the Enemy Act authorizes the government to interfere with the ownership of gold and silver particularly, it also applies to all forms of currency and all securities. So the Treasury official stressed that it could be applied not just to shares of gold and silver mining companies but to the shares of all companies in which there is a foreign ownership interest. Further, there is no requirement in the law that the targets of the government's interference must have some connection to the declared enemies of the United States, or, really, some connection to foreign ownership. Anything that can be construed as a financial instrument, no matter how innocently it has been used, is subject to seizure under the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Having just gone through a controversy about a Supreme Court decision about government's power of eminent domain, most Americans may be surprised to learn that the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act could expropriate them instantly and far more broadly without any of the due process extended to parties in eminent domain cases. All that is needed is a presidential proclamation of an emergency of some kind -- and of course Americans lately have been living in a state of perpetual emergency.
When the Trading With the Enemy Act was passed in 1917, gold and silver formed part of the official currency of the United States and were essential to ordinary commerce, so perhaps an argument could be made then against "hoarding," even if "hoarding" could not be well defined. That is no longer the case; the United States has officially disavowed gold and silver as money and they no longer have a meaningful role in commerce. (GATA is working on that.) So gold and silver investors may want to ask their members of Congress to seek repeal of the statutes that give the government the authority to interfere with the private ownership of gold and silver, emergencies or not.
Protect Your Freedom With Gold
As time goes on we continue to see that politicians have no regard for the "freedom of the people" and want to continue getting into people's personal affairs. The government has shown in the past they have no problem taking what belongs to someone.
The American citizens didn't put up much of a fight a century ago when President Roosevelt took their gold. Fast forward to today and people are still allowing Washington to take over car companies, insurance companies and banks. They are on the verge of taking control of our retirement accounts and show no signs of stopping there. Throughout history things will always repeat themselves. The question here is when will the government take the gold again?
Throughout history things will always repeat themselves. The question here is when will the government take the gold again? Maintaining private wealth in the future may require owning some private wealth from the past.
Contact us so we can show you how the law allows the ownership of certain types of U.S. gold coins even if the president signs a new executive order taking away your rights to own most forms of gold.
Disclaimer: All of the facts and information are believed to be true, however errors are possible. All investments have risk and past performance is no guarantee of future performance.