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Q&A With Simon Black: Mubarak's Out, Gold In Panama And More

Tyler Durden's picture





 

"Soverign Man" Simon Black submits his latest Notes from the Field

Questions: Mubarak's out, Gold in Panama... and am I nuts?

I'm spending a long weekend in the beautiful city of Temuco, located in Araucania, Chile's southern lakes and volcanoes region.  The further south you go in this country, the more the climate and geography changes from desert and semi-arid to something that looks like New Zealand's south island.

Temuco looks a bit like Washington state or British Colombia-- mountains, forests, and lush greens. I'm researching some real estate deals here before hopping on a plane for Panama next week for our first-ever Sovereign Man offshore workshop.

I'll tell you more about Temuco on Monday-- first, this week's questions:

To start us off, Jim asks, "Simon, I'm attending the workshop in Panama and I have gold (200 oz's in total) I would like to store outside the US. I would really like to know if it is legal to carry gold into Panama, can you help?"

It's perfectly legal to bring gold into Panama... however Panama considers gold coins to be merchandise. As such, gold coins need to be declared at Panamanian customs if the market value (not face value) is above $2,000. You may end up having to pay 7% tax.

Because of this, I think there are much better places to store gold outside of the United States-- Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, and Dubai to name a few.

Next, Julian in Germany asks, "Simon, if I hire a local registered agent to open a corporate bank account on my behalf, will I have any certainty that such service provider will not keep any back door open to access my bank account?"

That's a great question. Often, forming a corporation overseas requires relying on lawyers and registered agents to incorporate the entity and open a bank account. Among the important things to understand are the requirements for directors.

Directors have legal authority over a company and it bank accounts. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements for directors-- how many are required, of what nationality, etc.

For example, Panama requires a board of at least three directors, each of whom must be a natural person (as opposed to a corporation).  This means that if you intend to own a company by yourself, you will need to pay annual fees to at least two strangers (your lawyers) to act as nominee directors.

Furthermore, Panama maintains a public registry of all corporations, and the names of each director are listed. This makes both control and anonymity difficult in Panama.

Conversely, in other jurisdictions, only one director may be required, and that director can be a legal entity which you control.

This makes it much easier to maintain complete control over the company, its bank accounts, and your privacy. I'll be discussing this more soon at the workshop next week, and in an upcoming edition of Sovereign Man: Confidential.

Next, in response to yesterday's letter, reader Eric T. chides me-- "Simon are you nuts? Belize is no longer a safe banking haven. They will do whatever the USA wants. They have no choice."

Cute. To be honest, I don't particularly care for Belize as a banking jurisdiction, but I'm willing to make an exception for Caye Bank.  Why? Because I know the owners quite well-- they are freedom-loving, libertarian-minded gringos who run a very conservative balance sheet.

Caye Bank is a reasonable place to establish a small account just to have a financial toehold outside of your home country, though it is by no means the -only- option... just one idea. Many options exist in better jurisdictions.

Last, Alexandra asks, "Simon, what do you make of this Egypt soap opera? Mubarak is such an ass... he's in, he's out, he's in, he's out...."

Ha. Well, as I have just received a flurry of emails and text messages from some friends in the area, I see that he seems to be unofficially 'out'. We'll see if it lasts.

I suggested early last month that this would be the year for Mubarak and other aging autocrats to finally croak or get kicked out.  I really admire Egyptians' dedication vacating this thug from office... but at the end of the day, they are only going to trade one crook for another.

These protests are underpinned by the erroneous belief that government is capable of providing solutions, and if they can just get the 'right' government in place, things will start ginning.

This is the same attitude around the world-- it's all about getting the 'right' people into office, whether by 'free and fair' election, by protest, or by force.

What people just about always find out a few years later is that the new guy is just as bad as the old guy... and that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

There's right and wrong in this world... and standing against Mubarak is clearly right. But we all have a finite about of time, energy, and financial means at our disposal, and directing those resources towards political change, while just, generates a very low return and comes at a steep opportunity cost.

I would argue that resources are better spent solving problems at the individual and community level, not trying to get one set of criminals to relinquish control to another set of criminals.

Have a great weekend, more soon.

 


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Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:16 | Link to Comment surfwon
surfwon's picture

we have Barak Egypt had Mubarak is there a difference?

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:21 | Link to Comment InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Oh gawd do I want to sell you something. Who says there is no business opportunity?

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:09 | Link to Comment nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

What people just about always find out a few years later is that the new guy is just as bad as the old guy

Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon.........

Idiots controlled by the banks.

Once the masses decide to take on the banks, which is quite easy to do, government is finished.

 

 

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:16 | Link to Comment HitTheFan
HitTheFan's picture

Apart from the fact that banksters have been around working their black magic since, oh, Roman times, you are correct.

Some ZeroHedgers live in a dream world. Even if the Western world wake up to the fraud, and revolt, do you think banks will just vanish into dust. They are a virus, they'll just float around and rise from the ashes to repeat their robbery.

Unless you believe in the Star Trek-esque future, get used to banks (Rothschilds) pulling all of the strings at our expense. People are greedy, so we're stuck with it.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:59 | Link to Comment bunkermeatheadp...
bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

So that's why Obama killed the Space Program. I knew the banksters were behind it!!

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:26 | Link to Comment gorillaonyourback
gorillaonyourback's picture

yes, because of the insideous, deceptive control our government has over us, they want us to think we are free but we are just financial slaves 

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:43 | Link to Comment Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

"we all have a finite about of time, energy, and financial means at our disposal, and directing those resources towards political change, while just, generates a very low return and comes at a steep opportunity cost"

Exactly trying to affect political change is like trying to stop a train by laying on the tracks, it's a loose loose proposition it's way better to move to a place where you feel good and are treated good.

It's really ironic but being a 'foreigner' in a country you get a totaly different treatment that being a 'local' in a positive way

As long as you can bridge the language and culture barier being a 'foreigner' has virtually no drawbacks, the country can't draft you into the army, they can't confiscate your assets (as long as you keep them in another country) they can't make you do things that most citizens are forced to do, especialy if you don't have a permanent address you can get away with things most people have to spend money and time to deal with

For example:

I ordered something over the Internet and didn't pay(didn't get the product either) but the shop told me I have to pay or they send a debt collector after me, I told them to shove it, they didnt have my real name, didn't have my social security number and if they became a nuissance I could move in 1 month, staying anonymous and mobile is the way to go

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:20 | Link to Comment jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

The best place to store gold is in an underground shelter

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:20 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

"...underpinned by the erroneous belief that government is capable of providing solutions..."

Really is just that simple.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:48 | Link to Comment jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Yes it is. No gov't is more devious than the German gov't however. I trust Egypt more than Germany.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:30 | Link to Comment Voluntary Exchange
Voluntary Exchange's picture

Obtaining security or adjudication/arbitration "services" from a monopoly provider who can "legally" steal from you is doomed to failure. Guess where the criminals will want to hang out in such a system?  A free market purchase in adjudication/arbitration and security services, using "free market" money (usually gold and silver):  this is the best "election" possible! It's called voluntarism.

 

Think about it! Perfect "veto" power against tyrants because you retain the "power of the purse" and the the service provider "stands for election" every minute of every day and must continually  perform appropriately to earn their pay or be out of business in short order.  Each individual who feels they need a particular service retains all their freedom to choose who ought to provide it  and thus under voluntarism you always "win" your "election" by the very act of your voluntary purchase!

 

Gone are the huge inefficiencies and destruction caused by systems of taxation (theft) and all other forced "transactions" that states try to use to compel their existence. Imagine a world without taxation, a world where all the incentives for a "state" to go to war are non-existent.  A world where there is no central monopoly  power to be exercised by a "state" so that parasites, psychopaths, sociopaths,  can suck blood (that's YOU banksters, "state" ( meaning criminal) capitalists, tyrants, politicians!) Where all the new freed up productive power of people begins to transform the planet. A world with far less violence and far more true productive conduct.

 

http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/MythWeb.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P772Eb63qIY&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02rvMwSlAu0&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKyutB3u2bM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IRbwpc2XV4&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngpsJKQR_ZE

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux4.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suNzxthcTJs

http://www.libertarianstandard.com/articles/david-j-heinrich/justice-for...

http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/MythWeb.htm

http://mises.org/journals/jls/1_2/1_2_1.pdf

http://polycentricorder.blogspot.com/2009/01/anarchic-ireland-rough-draf...

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:23 | Link to Comment becky quick and...
becky quick and her beautiful mouth's picture

what's up with all of these people wanting to store gold "in foreign countries?" are they planning on being run out of town multiple times?

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:33 | Link to Comment papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Don't pick Switzerland...they will freeze your ass...ets.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:23 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

To start us off, Jim asks, "Simon, I'm attending the workshop in Panama and I have gold (200 oz's in total) I would like to store outside the US. I would really like to know if it is legal to carry gold into Panama, can you help?"

 

Jim might want to reconsider his position if he knowz whatz good for him and his networf.

Cullen Roche put up a fine post on G Sach's latest "position" on gold.

http://pragcap.com/goldman-sachs-not-so-bullish-about-gold

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:29 | Link to Comment SDRII
SDRII's picture

pragcap "analysis" isn't worth a bucket of piss

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:35 | Link to Comment Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

If GOLDman Sachs is telling you "don't buy gold", you probably ought to get a truck with heavier springs to load up with the crappy stuff.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:11 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture


If GOLDman Sachs is telling you "don't buy gold", you probably ought to get a truck with heavier springs to load up with the crappy stuff.

 

+1

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:26 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Classic! Hey! Lets catch up with some friends I haven't seen since the late 40's. We can talk about the old days.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:32 | Link to Comment butthead
butthead's picture

The worst place to store gold is in a bank safety deposit box.  Anywhere else is better.

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 18:59 | Link to Comment tsx500
tsx500's picture

why ? ?

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Time to SHORT APPLE::????

 

http://markettechnicals-jonak.blogspot.com/

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Time to SHORT APPLE::????

 

http://markettechnicals-jonak.blogspot.com/

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Time to SHORT APPLE::????

 

http://markettechnicals-jonak.blogspot.com/

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Time to SHORT APPLE::????

 

http://markettechnicals-jonak.blogspot.com/

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 17:17 | Link to Comment barkster
barkster's picture

STFU

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Time to SHORT APPLE::????

 

http://markettechnicals-jonak.blogspot.com/

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Time to SHORT APPLE::????

 

http://markettechnicals-jonak.blogspot.com/

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:38 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I wonder if anyone's got any suggestions what I do with my Apple stock.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:03 | Link to Comment outamyeffinway
outamyeffinway's picture

+1

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:40 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

Also check out my NIFTY forecasts.......all the oLder POSTs...its playing out EXACTLY same 

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:02 | Link to Comment anarchitect
anarchitect's picture

For the repeated, off-topic posts, you should be bounced, you wanker.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:55 | Link to Comment Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

I am so sorry about  these repeated POSts...i dont know what happened,.....The comment wasnt getting posted ...i kept on hitting the "Save" button .....then finally i saw that there comment got posted a couple of times over.....SO SORRYYYYYYY

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 09:31 | Link to Comment Matt
Matt's picture

I bet this happens at the fed quite often. someone pushes F5 to create more money, but nothing happens, so they just mash that sucker another 10-20 times, and when the computer unfreezes, presto!

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:35 | Link to Comment Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

"Welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss."

Won't get fooled again-Peter Townsend

Before too long it may be Europe  "White City Fighting"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V85gk_lbvbU

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:49 | Link to Comment Confused
Confused's picture

I think this is what you were really looking for*:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgPY1adc0A

 

*This is in no way an endorsement for/against any party/belief. Merely a joke. 

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:37 | Link to Comment Gubbmint Cheese
Gubbmint Cheese's picture

So does anyone think its time to short apple?

lol

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:41 | Link to Comment CD
CD's picture

"There's right and wrong in this world... and standing against Mubarak is clearly right. But we all have a finite about of time, energy, and financial means at our disposal, and directing those resources towards political change, while just, generates a very low return and comes at a steep opportunity cost"

 

While I get that individual/community survival and welfare and paramount and come before regime change, it seems to me Mr. Black is a bit of a coward in general.  "Yeah, do good and stuff, if you can, and, like, if it's not too difficult or taxing. Besides, it's much easier to pick up stake and emigrate to a new, less hostile environment."

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:08 | Link to Comment anarchitect
anarchitect's picture

Bah. Mr. Black used to be special ops or something, before deciding it wasn't a proper line of work. What's wrong with directing one's energies where they are most likely to provide the better return? It seems to me that Mr. Black knows where to draw the line.

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 09:35 | Link to Comment Matt
Matt's picture

If you live in North America, as I do, your ancestors likely felt the same way, and just came here, instead of trying to force a regime change in their homeland and sticking it out.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:52 | Link to Comment defencev
defencev's picture

One of the rare letters of Mr. Black where he does not sell something. Mr. Bernanke should

pay attention to rising prices of various "goods and services" offered by adventurists like Mr. Black if he is looking for signs of inflation...

 

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:07 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Let the states fend for themselves.  Then people will find out exactly how much their "services" are worth.  All this financial bullshit is based on "mark to unicorn" accounting.  The entire world needs to wake up and realize their shit isn't worth what they think it is.  Better have a real skill folks, soon enough the black market will be much bigger than any exchange.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:08 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

damn, comment is meant for another thread.

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 06:48 | Link to Comment creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

bullshitza...that comment works on all articles here at the zero hedge grove.....e.g. brewing alcohol, distilling alcohol, compost production, earthworm farming, seed production, vegetable production, animal doctor....other skills to acquire would be physical lock-picking (lotsa locks to get thru when the grid goes down, some of them won't be so easy to 'bypass'...) and of course becoming proficient at cooking shoe leather,

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:18 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Temp. Jobs available. Seasonal. Must speak Spanish and Arabic. Bunker building/gold storage skills required.  All pay is under table. On site doctor. a little German is helpful as well. Must travel to Chile.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 15:22 | Link to Comment lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

Hope springs eternal, everywhere, that one day we will trade one crook for a good guy. I suspect Egypt is no different. Unfortunately, history has shown that hope is most often- delusional.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 17:17 | Link to Comment JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

******* "but at the end of the day, they are only going to trade one crook for another." *******

 

FACT!!!

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 18:21 | Link to Comment rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

As we all know too well, the skill set required to get elected or elbow ones way to the top  in politics usually does not include the ability to do anything actually productive.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 19:04 | Link to Comment Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

I would argue that resources are better spent solving problems at the individual and community level, not trying to get one set of criminals to relinquish control to another set of criminals.

 

sums it up. Goodnight, and goodluck.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 19:32 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Dammit...will you please stop bringing up Panama ;-)

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 06:55 | Link to Comment creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

 

 

JUMP BACK!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 what's that sound?
Here she comes, full blast'n top down
Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue
Model citizen, zero discipline

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 21:20 | Link to Comment Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Your right, Temuco does look like Washington and British Columbia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temuco

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 13:38 | Link to Comment BernankeHasHemo...
BernankeHasHemorrhoids's picture

Simon Black is right - nothing ever seems to change where politics is concerned. Nevertheless I would like to participate in an Egyptian-style revolution to bring down the current Obama/Bernanke/Geithner criminal fascist regime.

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