In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt criminalized possession of gold coin, bullion and gold certificates. He did this because he believed that hoarding gold was stalling the economic growth of the country. Many experts today are saying that President Obama has the power to do the same and may do this at any point of his presidency.
March 14, 2012
The Sovereign Investor
On a miserable spring day in 1933, smack dab in the middle of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed one of the most dangerous laws ever to grace the U.S. statute books.
With Executive Order 6102, he criminalized the possession of gold coin, bullion and gold certificates by any U.S. individual, partnership, association or corporation.
Roosevelt justified his radical move with the spurious claim that “hoarding” of gold was stalling economic growth. This law remained in effect until 1975, when President Gerald R. Ford re-legalized private ownership of gold coins, bars and certificates.
However, because of Roosevelt’s law, Americans were forced to surrender their gold in exchange for U.S. paper currency.
They later discovered that not only would they never get their gold back, but those paper dollars would be devalued far below the intrinsic value of the confiscated gold.
Roosevelt based his executive order on the 1933 Emergency Banking Relief Act, which gave the president power to curb gold hoarding in any “declared national emergency” – an eerie historic echo of the PATRIOT Act.
While national emergencies can be real, as the terrorist attacks for September 11, 2001, proved all too well, they can also be manipulated and even manufactured by power-hungry politicians.
The Government Wants Your Wealth
Mark Nestmann, an expert who has written extensively on presidential emergency powers, says that President Obama has the power to “pull an FDR” and order the confiscation of gold. The legal authority that Roosevelt used to confiscate gold and silver, issuing executive orders without consulting congress, remains one of the president’s powers.
Under the radical Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) the IRS has the power to force foreign bankers to act as their spies on U.S. clients or suffer a 30% tax on their U.S. sources if they refuse.
And apparently there is nothing to stop the IRS from using FATCA to impose restrictions on foreign gold purchases by Americans.
In October 2010, I reported that U.S. Immigration and Customs agents and Border Protection officers at the Houston/George Bush Intercontinental airport seized almost $160,000 in gold and silver in 14 separate incidents from individual travelers, none of whom had been involved in criminal activity.
My colleague, Andy Hecht, revealed that in 2011, “…central banks and governments around the world purchased a staggering 450 tons of the yellow metal.” He wrote, “Indeed, 18% of all of the gold mined in 2011 found its way into central bank vaults. Central banks now realize that owning gold as a reserve asset beats low-yielding U.S. dollars or debt-riddled euros any day.”
In other words, the big-spending governments not only covet the billions in your retirement plans and pensions, but your precious metal holdings as well. Recent Developments Require
A few days ago, The Real Asset Co, an online exchange platform for precious metals, revealed in a report that the governments of Germany and Switzerland have requested the return of the U.S. gold they own that is held in the U. S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The repatriation of gold is a hot topic since Venezuela recently received the last of their 160 tons of repatriated gold reserves from Europe.
With the price of gold at $1,669, the U.S. government has recently followed an unofficial policy of the confiscation of gold by U.S. government agents, not only from innocent travelers but by lawsuits against legitimate gold coin owners.
It has never been more important for you to diversify your assets offshore.
At the moment, metals held in an offshore private vault and not as part of a bank account are not reportable to the IRS. Whether that will change under pending FATCA rules is an open question.
One of the major benefits of membership in the Sovereign Society is our extensive offshore banking advisory service and our banking connections in diverse jurisdictions. We can help you “go offshore” financially, including recommending storage vaults and precious metal courier services.
Gold Confiscation Could Happen Again
Roosevelt’s gold confiscation order of 1933 is one of the most draconian economic acts in U.S. history, but could it happen again?
Well, let’s see – back then, there were failing financial institutions, a suffering dollar, huge government deficits and rising gold prices.
Today we have a sinking currency, a ballooning national deficit and a revenue-hungry IRS accosting taxpayers, suing foreign banks and harassing foreign governments for allegedly owed taxes.
I wouldn’t put it past President Obama to justify confiscating gold as a means of stabilizing the country’s monetary system.
My advice is simple: Plan and act accordingly.
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