Brilliant, chew it so even the masses could understand.
|by Jeff Thomas | April 06, 2015|
Recently, France decided to crack down on those people who make cash payments and withdrawals and who hold small bank accounts. The reason given was, not surprisingly, to “fight terrorism,” the handy catchall justification for any new restriction governments wish to impose on their citizens. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin stated at the time, “[T]errorism feeds on fraud, money laundering, and petty trafficking.”
And so, in future, people in France will not be allowed to make cash payments exceeding €1,000 (down from €3,000). Additionally, cash deposits and withdrawals totaling more than €10,000 per month will be reported to Tracfin—an anti-fraud and money laundering agency.
Currency exchange will also be further restricted. Anyone changing over €1,000 to another currency (down from €8,000) will be required to show an identity card.
Do you need to make a deposit on a car? That might be suspect. Did you just deposit a dividend you received? It might be a payment from a terrorist organisation. Planning a holiday and need some cash? You might need to be investigated for terrorism.
And France is not alone. In the US, federal law requires banks to file a “suspicious activity report” (SAR) on their customers whenever a customer requests a suspicious transaction. (In 2013, 1.6 million SAR’s were submitted.)
As to what may be deemed “suspicious,” it may be any transaction of $5,000 or more, but it may also mean a series of transactions that, together, exceed $5,000.
The reader may be saying to himself, “But that’s just normal, everyday banking business—that means anybody, any time, could be reported.” If so, he would be correct. Essentially, any banking activity the reader conducts could be regarded as suspect.
In Italy, in 2011, Prime Minister Mario Monti began working to end the right of landlords, tradesmen, and small businesses to perform large transactions in cash, which critics say help them evade taxation. In December of that year, his government reduced the maximum allowed cash payment from €2,500 euros to €1,000.
Spain has outlawed cash transactions over €2,500. The justification? “To crack down on the black market and tax evaders.”
In Sweden, the country where the first banknote was created in 1661, the use of cash is being steadily eliminated. Increasingly, expenses are paid and purchases made by cellphone text message, and many banks have stopped handling cash altogether.
Denmark’s central bank, Nationalbanken, has another justification for ending its use of banknotes—producing paper money and coinage is not cost effective.
Israel also seeks to end the use of cash. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has announced a three-phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel.”
Individuals and businesses would initially continue to be allowed to make small cash transactions, but eventually, all transactions would be converted to electronic forms of payment. The justification being used in Israel is that “cash is bad,” because it encourages an underground economy and enables tax evasion.
Across the Atlantic, banks and governments are on a similar campaign. A 2012 law in Mexico bans large cash transactions, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
In August 2014, Uruguay passed the Financial Inclusion Law, which limits cash transactions to US$5,000. In future, all transactions over that amount will be required to be performed electronically. The crying need for such a law? The stated reason was to improve the country’s credit ratings.
The Elimination of Paper Currency
In recent years, in commenting on the inevitability of currency collapse in those countries that are indebted beyond the possibility of repayment, I’ve made the prediction that governments and banks would jointly resort to the elimination of paper currency and replace it with an electronic one.
Some readers have understandably regarded the prediction as “alarmist.” After all, the idea is so farfetched—paper currency may be conceptually flawed, but it’s been around for a long time.
But banks and governments seek total control of money, and this can only be achieved if they possess a monopoly on the flow of money.
If a worldwide system can be implemented in which currency transactions can only take place electronically through banking institutions, the banks will then have total power over the ability of a people to function economically.
But why would any government allow the banks such dictatorial monetary control? The answer is that governments would then realise a long-held, but heretofore impossible dream: to have access to a record of everymonetary transaction that takes place for every single individual.
Governments have been both more proactive and bolder than I had anticipated and are simply imposing the restrictions worldwide under the justifications previously stated. As yet, there hasn’t been any backlash, and it may be that people worldwide may simply swallow the pill, not understanding what it means to their economic liberty.
If the public are not treating the new system as serious business, governments most assuredly are. Bankers on both sides of the Atlantic have forcibly become unpaid government spies. If they don’t comply, they can be fined and/or lose their banking charter. Directors can be imprisoned.
The US Justice Department already wants to take this overreach even further. Banks are now being asked to call the authorities whenever something “suspicious” occurs, presumably so that immediate action may be taken.
What we are witnessing is the creation of totalitarian control of your finances. The implication that you may have some sort of terrorist involvement is a smokescreen.
As the above information attests, if for any reason you object to any of these measures, you have already been forewarned—you may be suspected of money laundering, tax evasion, or even terrorism. If you use cash for any reason—to pay your rent, to buy a used car, or (soon) to pay for your lunch—you may trigger an investigation. (The onus of proof that you are not guilty good will be on you.)
The take-away from this discussion? Totalitarian control of currency is an inevitability, and it will take place sooner rather than later. The only question is whether the reader can retain some control of his wealth.Fortunately, wealth may still be held in land and precious metals, but these are only safe if they’re held outside a country that seeks totalitarian rule over its people.
The ability to retain wealth still exists and, as always, internationalisation remains a key element to its continuation.
Editor’s Note: The ultimate way to diversify your savings internationally is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government and into something tangible. Something that cannot be easily confiscated, nationalized, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard—while retaining as much privacy as legally possible. Physical gold and silver stored abroad in a non-bank vault fits the bill.
Gold and silver have served as money for centuries and across many different civilizations. They have always been inherently international assets. There is nothing at all particularly American, Chinese, Russian, or European about gold or silver. Buying gold and silver is perhaps the easiest step you can take toward internationalizing your savings. The next step is to store your precious metals in a safe foreign jurisdiction.
It is now easy and convenient to own and store physical gold and silver offshore in places like Singapore and Switzerland in a non-bank private vault. Find out how you can internationally diversify your precious metals by downloading this guide.
March 18, 2015
The United States government just went from “Please, baby, don’t leave me,” to frustrated threats and whining.
After the UK announced it will join new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member late last week, Germany, France and Italy decided yesterday to follow Britain’s lead and join as well.
Welcome to the beginning of the end of the US dollar’s domination. It’s happening.
For the past few decades America was the undisputed global economic and political superpower.
The entire world happily used the US dollar, and hence, the US banking system. More importantly, the world happily placed its trust in the US government.
But there’s a limit to how irresponsible, reckless, and threatening you can be. Eventually such behavior catches up to you.
That time has now come.
The US government is now drowning in debt that can never be repaid. The US government’s own numbers, in fact, estimate its level of insolvency at roughly $60 trillion.
This means that when you add up all the assets of the United States—every acre of land, every tank, every drone, every drop of oil in the strategic reserve… and subtract all the debt and liabilities, the result is MINUS $60 trillion.
That is the net worth of the United States government.
On top of that, the US government has chosen to use its once-trusted currency and banking system as weapons to blackmail the rest of the world.
FATCA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) is probably the best recent example.
FATCA’s provisions require every single bank in the world to jump into bed with the Internal Revenue Service and agree to all sorts of expensive, debilitating information-sharing agreements.
And any bank which dares to defy the US government gets effectively blackballed from the US banking system and subject to a 30% withholding tax.
On top of that, the US government has taken to slamming foreign banks with the most astonishing fines—$9 billion, for example, in the case of French Bank BNP Paribas.
BNP’s wrongdoing was conducting business with countries, like Cuba and Iran, that the US government doesn’t like.
Bear in mind, BNP is a French bank and broke no French law whatsoever.
Moreover, the business was done through its Swiss subsidiary, and they broke no Swiss law either.
That didn’t matter to Uncle Sam, which fined the bank $9 billion under threat of being kicked out of the US banking system.
Blackmail. Extortion. Intimidation. This isn’t the behavior of a trusted friend. It’s the behavior of an arrogant sociopath.
And the rest of the world is sick of it.
Other countries—even allied nations—see that times are changing. There are new players on the rise, and the US isn’t the only option anymore.
Increasingly they’re turning to China, who, by some metrics, is already the largest economy in the world.
And the US government can’t do anything about it.
This is happening now with increasing speed. It’s mainstream news everywhere: the US is being shunned by its allies for the new kid on the block.
This has major implications for the United States. History shows that when reserve currencies change, the losing country almost invariably goes through significant turmoil.
But here’s the thing—the world is changing. But it’s not coming to an end.
Yes, things will change dramatically in the West in the coming years.
The standard of living that was attainable in the US because of its economic dominance will diminish.
For cues, look to Europe to see how unsustainable policies unravel when you don’t have the backing of the world’s reserve currency.
But people who recognize and embrace these changes early will prosper, for there will be tremendous opportunities throughout this process.
Modern technology means that all of our lives don’t have to be trapped within one single bankrupt country.
You can move your savings abroad to safety.
You can structure your business and assets so that you keep more of your hard-earned income for yourself and your family.
You can seek out investment opportunities out there that aren’t subjected to chasing bubbles induced by world central banks.
You can plan ahead and establish an alternative residency in a safe and thriving place, and perhaps even qualify for a second passport.
Bottom line– the world is changing. We can’t stop the end of the dollar’s dominance. All we can control is how we react to it… and when.
This is a real opportunity. Either an opportunity to gain, or an opportunity to lose. The choice is ours to make.