By Jeff Berwick
We have been warning for years that as bankrupt Western countries came closer to being completely insolvent that they would begin instituting capital controls, doing bank bail-ins, taxing cash and outright just stealing cash.
All of these things have come to pass now in one form or another. Here are four examples of the countless that we could choose from.
THE USA – LAND OF THE FREE
The first is a heartbreaking story of spent a man who spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart, a gas station, restaurant, and convenience store in rural Fairmont, North Carolina. Then, one year ago, without any warning, agents from the IRS seized his entire bank account, which was his entire life savings, totaling more than $107,000.
The reason? They said he had been depositing money in small amounts (as a convenience store just might do) under the amount that would trigger a reporting requirement for the last decade.
That’s all they needed. No charges, no arrest. They just deemed that he had been depositing small amounts of money into the bank for years and that was reason enough to impoverish him. What is a “big amount”, by the way? It is anything over $2,000. The Bank Secrecy Act (BS), which, like all cute regulatory names, requires banks to do the exact opposite of “secrecy” and to betray their customers’ financial secrets to the US government, mandates that anything over $2,000 is “suspicious” and must be reported.
And if you deposit anything under $2,000 regularly? That is suspicious too, as that man found out.
The US government has stolen billions from Americans in just this way.
FRANCE – LAND OF THE COMMIE
France instituted some staggering capital controls.
- The limit on cash payments have been reduced from 3,000 euros to 1,000 euros.
- Tourists can pay no more than 10,000 euros in cash. Heretofore it had been 5,000 euros.
- If a Frenchman wants to change money into another currency, they can only change 1,000 euros without presenting ID, whereas before it was 8,000.
- If a bank customer takes out more than 10,000 euros in a month from his account, the bank must report the transaction to the Money Laundering Authority TRACFIN.
- Banks must report all cargo transfers in the EU exceeding 10,000 euros. This regulation checks, pre-paid cards and even gold are affected.
- The control of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin will be drastically tightened.
Australia decided just to jump right into the deep end of the pool and tax all money in bank accounts! According to the 2015 Australian budget Australians must pay taxes on their savings. This will be quickly brought to Europe and North America if it does not meet resistance in Australia.
GREECE – ON A TAXING SPREE
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Greece, on the verge of a complete collapse for about the tenth time in the last seven years, thought they’d try a different approach from the rest.
They are trying to institute a tax when you take money out of an ATM. While they need the tax revenue, they mostly also don’t want people taking money out of the bank at all.
CONCLUSION – RUN!
If you can’t see the big picture here then you may be watching too much CNBC or CNN for your own good. Western countries, around the world, are seizing, freezing, restricting or taxing cash.
To keep a sizable amount of cash in a bank account in any of the above named countries is tantamount to leaving your porkchops in the doghouse… know that when you come back for it, it won’t be there.
If that poor man in North Carolina had paid any attention whatsoever he would have moved a sizable amount of his life savings outside of the US. If he had, the IRS would have no way to seize it and he’d still have his life savings.
Unfortunately, most don’t pay attention; but if you are reading this right now it means you are.
Here is the good news. It is incredibly easy, still (not for long we are sure), to open an offshore bank account in a tax-free jurisdiction, outside of the ability of seizure by your own government and in a country in no danger of going bankrupt and in banks much, much more well capitalized than banks in the US, Europe and Australia.
Why millions aren’t running to do it I don’t know. But by the time millions realize what is happening it will be too late. The doors will be shut.
Luckily, you are one-step ahead of them right now. TDV Offshore (http://tdvoffshore.com) offers free consulting on your needs and what is right for you and can help you through the entire process.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.