Guest Post: Is Germany Preparing For Future Capital Controls?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jeff Clark via Casey Research,

The best indicator of a chess player's form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.

–Boris Spassky, World Chess Champion, 1969-1972

You've likely heard that the German central bank announced it will begin withdrawing part of its massive gold holdings from the United States as well as all its holdings from France. By 2020, Bundesbank says it wants half its gold reserves stored in its own vault in Germany.

Why would it want to physically move the metal from New York? It's not as if US vaults are not secure, and since Germany already owns the gold, does it really matter where it sits?

You may recall that Hugo Chávez did the same thing in late 2011, repatriating much of his country's gold reserves from London. However, this isn't a third-world dictatorship; Germany is a major ally of the US. So what's going on?

Pawn to A3

On the surface, it may seem innocuous for Germany to move some pallets of gold closer to home. Some observers note that since Russia isn't likely to be invading Germany anytime soon – one of the original reasons Germany had for storing its gold outside the country – the move is only natural and no big deal. But Germany's gold stash represents roughly 10% of the world's gold reserves, and the cost of moving it is not trivial, so we see greater import in the move.

The Bundesbank said the purpose of the move was to "build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold-trading centers abroad within a short space of time." It's just satisfying the worries of the commoners, in the mainstream view, as well as giving themselves the ability to complete transactions faster. As evidence that it's nothing more than this, Bundesbank points out that half of Germany's gold will remain in New York and London (the US portion of reserves will only be reduced from 45% to 37%).

Sounds reasonable. But these economists remind me of the analysts who every year claim the price of gold will fall – they can't see the bigger implications and frequently miss the forest for the trees.


What your friendly government economist doesn't reveal and the mainstream journalist doesn't report (or doesn't understand) is that in the event of a US bankruptcy, euro implosion, or similar financial catastrophe, access to gold would almost certainly be limited. If Germany were to actually need its gold, regardless of the reason, any request for transfer or sale would be… difficult. There would be, at the very least, delays. At worst such requests could be denied, depending on the circumstances at the time. That's not just bad – it defeats the purpose of owning gold.

But this still doesn't capture the greater significance of this action. First, it reinforces the growing recognition that gold is money. Physical bullion isn't just a commodity, a day-trading vehicle, or even an investment. It's a store of value, a physical hedge against monetary dislocations. In the ultimate extreme, it's something you can use to pay for goods or services when all other means fail. It is precisely those who don't recognize this historical fact who stand to lose the most in an adverse monetary event. (Hello, government economist.)

Second, here's the quote that reveals the ultimate, backstop reason for the move: Bundesbank stated it is a "pre-emptive" measure "in case of a currency crisis."

Germany's central bank thinks a currency crisis is really possible. That's a very sobering fact.

We agree, of course: history is very clear on this. No fiat currency has lasted forever. Eventually they all fail. Whether the dollar goes to zero or merely becomes a second-class currency in the global arena, the root cause for failure is universal and inevitable: continual and perpetual dilution of the currency.

Some level of currency crisis is inescapable at this point because absolutely nothing has changed with worldwide debt levels, deficit spending, and currency printing, except that they all continue to increase. While many economists and politicians claim these actions are necessary and are leading us to recovery, it's clear we have yet to experience the fallout from spending more than we have and printing the difference. There will be serious and painful consequences, sooner or later of an inflationary nature, and the average person's standard of living will be greatly reduced.

And now there are rumblings that the Netherlands and Azerbaijan may move their gold back home. If this trend gathers steam, we could easily see a "gold run" in the same manner history has seen bank runs. Add in high inflation or a major currency event and a very ugly vicious cycle could ignite.


If other countries follow Germany's path or the mistrust between central bankers grows, the next logical step would be to clamp down on gold exports. It would be the beginning of the kind of stringent capital controls Doug Casey and a few others have warned about for years. Think about it: is it really so far-fetched to think politicians wouldn't somehow restrict the movement of gold if their currencies and/or economies were failing?

Remember, India keeps tinkering with ideas like this already.

What this means for you and me is that moving gold outside your country – especially if you're a US citizen – could be banned. Fuel would be added to the fire by blaming gold for the dollar's ongoing weakness. Don't think you need to store gold outside your country? The metal you attempt to buy, sell, or trade within your borders could be severely regulated, taxed, tracked, or even frozen in such a crisis environment. You'd have easier access to foreign-held bullion, depending on the country and the specific events.

None of this would take place in a vacuum. Transferring dollars internationally would certainly be tightly restricted as well. Moving almost any asset across borders could be declared illegal. Even your movement outside your country could come under increased scrutiny and restriction.

The hint that all this is about to take place would be when politicians publicly declare they would do no such a thing. You could quite literally have 24 hours to make a move. If your resources were not already in place, even the most nimble of us would have a very hard time making arrangements.

Once the door is closed, attempting to move restricted assets across international borders would come with serious penalties, almost certainly including jail time. In such a tense atmosphere, you could easily be labeled an enemy of the state just for trying to remove yourself from harm's way.

The message is clear: storing some gold outside your country of residence is critical at this point, and the window of time for doing so is getting smaller. Don't just hope for the best; do something about it while you still can. The minor effort made now could pay major dividends in the future. Besides, you won't be any worse off for having some precious metals stored elsewhere.

The best chess players in the world aren't that way because they can see the next move. They're champions because they can see the next 14 moves.

You only have to see the government's next two moves to "win" this game. I suggest learning what countermoves you can take now are, before your government declares checkmate.

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Tinky's picture

While much is (reasonably) made of the potential folly of holding PMs within the banking system, and this applies to all banks around the world, those who argue that there are benefits to using non-bank facilities in other countries may well be giving good advice.

Akak, for example, responds to your question by lamenting recent changes in the world, and suggests that Switzerland is no longer a safe country within which to hold assets. But what has changed in Switzerland are the banking laws, as the U.S. has extraordinary power over foreign banks and threatened to freeze non-compliant banks out of the system.

There is, to my knowledge, no example of a private company in Switzerland (or Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.) having been coerced by the American government to release information about, let alone the assets of a foreign national. I am sympathetic to the cynical view that they would simply need to pull the "terrorist" card in order to gain compliance, but let's set that aside for the moment (in part because they could not make such claims en masse).

Were a private Swiss company to receive such a request (or demand), it would deny it, and appeal to the Swiss government. For obvious reasons, if private companies were to roll over and cooperate with a foreign government, it would literally be suicide. Private companies which buy, sell, and/or house PMs in Switzerland could no exist if there were the slightest hint that those assets could be seized by foreign governments. And such businesses are, of course, a rather large part of the Swiss economy.

I would argue that while PMs are never 100% safe, irrespective of where they are stored, if the U.S. government were to go down the road of actually attempting to seize PMs from its citizens (highly unlikely, in my view), the very last place that they would attempt to do so would be in foreign countries. It would be impossible for them to do so without the compliance of the States themselves, and again, whether Switzerland, Singapore or Hong Kong, such compliance would lead to the death of extremely important industries in those respective countries.

If things were to get really bad in the U.S. (e.g. harsh capital controls, etc.), having the ability to access PMs in another jurisdiction might well prove to be extremely valuable. There is no way that the U.S. government could instantly access or freeze such accounts, so there would minimally be a period of time during which those controlling such accounts could either sell, ship, or physically collect their metals.

As powerful as the U.S. military remains, the ability of the Government to coerce foreign countries to do its bidding is waning rapidly, and I do not envision wealthy, independent countries whose economies are largely reliant on financial services, rolling over in order to allow private companies (including vaults) to be raided by any foreign government.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But my question was what is stopping the foreign country from taking the Gold you stored over there, not if the US could seize your Gold from the foreign country.

In the event of global currency wars or just plain failure it is easier to justify taking foreigners Gold than that countries citizens Gold be it the US, switzerland, Great Britain and so on.

knukles's picture

The answer, to answer your question, is that the risks you've pointed out Cannot Be Ameliorated and in fact, to have anything overseas layers on additional specific foreign country as well as domestic risk. 

Simple as an aneurism.

The foreigners take your stuff, Uncle Sam can order it back with risk of forfeiture if non complaint, send you to jail...
And that the response is I'll just not tell anybody, so just not tell anybody and keep it in your wife's lingerie drawer of backyard.... whatever....


Where do people come up with these permanent complex solutions to simple temporary problems?

Tinky's picture

" have anything overseas layers on additional specific foreign country as well as domestic risk"

That is, to put it mildly, grossly simplistic.

Do you somehow imagine that everything will fall apart simultaneously, and with no warning, and that all sovereign nations will immediately freeze and/or seize the assets of foreign nationals? That sounds rather fanciful to me.

It is, in my view, far more likely that (to stick to the theme of this sub-thread) the U.S. would impose strict capital controls well before any such controls were adopted in Switzerland, Singapore or Hong Kong. The likelihood of those disparate governments acting in unison with the U.S. is roughly nil, especially given the importance of the financial services industries to all of them

Furthermore, what you characterize as an additional layer of risk could easily turn out to be a reduction of (all eggs in one basket) risk, instead.

Tinky's picture

CD –

Your question is, of course, only useful within the context of an extreme breakdown in the world order. Not that it cannot happen, but I want to be clear about the necessary backdrop.

My view, again, is that the very countries that are often talked about as relative safe havens for capital (and PMs) are viewed that way for good reason. Even under a relatively dark scenario, the governments of those countries would do everything in their power to bolster their good reputations. If they begin to confiscate the assets of foreign nationals, they will immediately forfeit the very foundations of their stable and successful societies. It would be a form of national suicide, and I don't see it happening.

Countries like the U.S. and the UK are very different, of course.

JOYFUL's picture

...There is, to my knowledge, no example of a private company in Switzerland (or Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.) having been coerced by the American government to release information about, let alone the assets of a foreign national...Were a private Swiss company to receive such a request (or demand), it would deny it, and appeal to the Swiss government...

Good of you to drop in from your amazing time-travelling tour - judging from your articulate useage of modern English, you may be a well-educated denizen of the early to middle C20th, perhaps an inventor or Jules Verne-like writer, caught up in an experimental time machine project gone badly wrong...well, hope it all works out for you!


Jailed UBS Employee Gets $104 Million From IRS For Exposing Swiss Bank Account Holders -see ZH article on same from 9\11\2012

Tinky's picture

For future reference, sarcasm tends to be most effective when the user of it has actually read and understood what was written by the target.

I made it quite clear that the banking sector was a separate (and obviously much more dangerous) issue. If you can produce an example of a non-banking entity that rolled over to such a request with the compliance of the host governement, feel free to enlighten us.

It's also worth noting that what happened with the Swiss banking industry was that the IRS compelled the banks to provide information relating to possible or probable tax evasion. No one who had money in Swiss bank accounts that was legitimate was harmed (and no, I'm not siding with the gubbermint).

I'm well aware of the possibility that a desperate U.S. government could theoretically use a similar tactic in an effort to seize gold, but:

a) they do not have the same power over private, foreign, non-bank entities

b) any claim en masse of tax evasion would be viewed with great suspicion by foreign governments

c) allowing the U.S. to seize legitimate assets would be a disaster for the host countries

d) it would be far more efficient and effective to raise taxes on the sale of PMs than to attemp confiscation

JOYFUL's picture


for future reference....hahaha!...touche!

clearly I must stand aside to your mastery of travel into future times! When apparently, the banking sector will be fully nationalized, and thereore no longer consist of private, for profit entities!???!??

Or perhaps, in your all-seeing wisdom, you are making some distinction between private banks and companies working in the finacial sector as managers of private assets? As if they can somehow escape the iron hand? I know for a fact that GOLDMONEY has already been forced to truncate it's client offerings due to pressure from governments, and the Dutch in particular have made their operating there problematic. If that's no 'private company' you must make clear just what arcane distinction you are on about!

Ok, sahib, though sadly limited in my time horizon, compared to thyself, I will cite the case of  WEGELIN. shutting down after some 250 years as a Swiss PRIVATE BANK due to indictment by DOJ on charges of aiding US tax evaders -after a messy campaign to get them to cough up names.

 'The timing of Wegelins indictment dovetails with the US launch of an amnesty program designed to induce taxpayers into coming clean on hidden assets' sayeth the Reuters article detailing the campaign to seek out and identify all foreign held assets of FEMAVILLE you can manage to avoid seeing the connection between that and the obligatory reportage and potential sequestering of their gold holdings in any Swiss entity is a mystery...but, since you do not seem up for reading links, I will stop providing them...and simply let you travel through time and space to the event itself!

Allowing me to say in closing, that your a) b) and c) are, each in their own, examples of specious or missing logic which, when combined with the Caseyites' fast and loose approach to dealing in facts, causes me to believe that some people here think it's some kind of game, this issue of giving unfounded advice to others, about their savings...we're dealing with peoples' survival stakes here, and it behooves the commentor to exericise the care commensurate to the gravity of the subject here.

Tinky's picture

What part of the word "bank" do you not understand? I am not referring to banks of any kind. This was the very first sentence of my original post, a sentence which was, for some reason, apparently shielded from your view as you scrambled to respond:

"While much is (reasonably) made of the potential folly of holding PMs within the banking system, and this applies to all banks around the world, those who argue that there are benefits to using non-bank facilities in other countries may well be giving good advice."

If that fundamental point is still unclear, then I urge you to get lost.

If, on the other hand, you have finally digested the fact that I am not referring to banks, then let's continue with the discussion. Let's take Via Mat, to use one, prominent example. They are not a bank, and yet enormous amounts of PMs (and other valuables) are stored in their facilities. Do you somehow imagine that they will allow foreign governments to seize private assets from their vaults? Do you imagine that the governments that preside over the jurisdictions in which they operate would allow that to happen? If so, then you are dreaming, and your dreams are very dark.

JOYFUL's picture

What part of the name GOLDMONEY do you not comprehend amigo?

I have now twice referenced in this very thread(and once before even encountering your amazing adventure here on your new temporary home -Earth-)to a [private!!!]company with vaults(VIAMAT in point of fact!!!)in Switzerland\Sinagpore\HongKong - the very jurisdications which you have absurdly challenged me to find examples contradicting your equally absurd thesis- which has encountered problems from the 'authorities' over it's management of customer bullion accounts...AND HAS HAD TO SHUT DOWN PARTS OF ITS SERVICES in order to escape total closure a la Wegelin!....or(as in the case with Holland)had to deny any and all service to certain passport holders....

what part of the phrase MISSION CREEP do you no comprende tio? Do the words full spectrum dominance not appear in your "Short English Phrasebook for Space and Time Travellers"????

Were you not in line at SpaceStation Customs and Excise when they handed out the free copies of "Dummies Guide to the Psychology of Human Governmental Structures," did you miss the boat when the donut seller was offering a free handout with every cruller - the Drooler's Guide to Mammalian Behaviour>>>?????

Do you somehow imagine that they will allow foreign governments to seize private assets from their vaults? Do you imagine that the governments that preside over the jurisdictions in which they operate would allow that to happen?

Indeed, surely I must be dreaming - that anything so witless, so lacking in practical knowledge of the world we live in could be passed off as informed commentary, and by one so incredulously immune to the irony of ignorance posed as information in such overbearing fashion, is beyond what I could imagine in waking life!

But I do welcome your contributions here - your misplaced arrogance boldly goes far beyond what mere earthlings can muster!

Tinky's picture

I asked quite clearly for examples of private, non-bank companies that have given up customer accounts/assets to foreign governments, and you have provided exactly zero.

Goldmoney's issue is only tangentially relevant, and they are based in Jersey, rather than any of the countries that are being discussed. Shutting down part of its services (e.g. no longer catering to clients from certain countries, etc.) is a long way from turning over legally obtained, private assets. No matter what you may believe, the slope isn't so slippery that owners of such assets wouldn't have sufficient time to ship, sell, or collect them before such radical measures were put into place.

If you are arguing that the U.S. will make the holding or sale of gold illegal (a highly dubious premise), and that under those circumstances it will be able to compell foreign companies and governments to roll over and freeze or disgorge private assets, that is a different discussion. We are nowhere near that point, in any case.

JOYFUL's picture

Good... now that you've calmed down a bit from your previously worked up state, we can pursue your thesis, and the suppositions which back it, a little more...

and please do note that they are mere suppositions you use to support your case. You want us to believe that you have some kind of direct line on what governments [can]will and [cannot]will not do, as if to say you are looking down upon our humble human world from a higher plane and\or other spatial-temporal viewpoint - I think I have addressed that howler sufficiently that we can move on to the crux of your viewpoint...

that force majeure, and literally dozens of other Corzine-MFG-style dirty deals are not in the toolbox of state-capitalist criminal cartels, and that customers\bagholders stand in no danger of pre-emptive grabs for their stored that you Eric Holder??????????????

That such a viewpoint flies in the face of recent events, and the simple empirical evidence available to even the most casual follower of them is not the biggest problem with your presentation....

the biggest problem you have is that you don't even understand the subject, let alone the absurdity of your pontificating on it in such heavyhanded fashion. One example will serve to drive that point home, at least for the gallery, if you yourself are a lost cause here...

the example you have mentioned, VIAMAT, is a storage company...they store bullion on behalf of companies such as GOLDMONEY, my example, who in turn manage the allocated bullion of retail customers. GOLDMONEY being intimidated, threatened or shut down in any of the jurisdictions is very much the essence of the discussion here - no allocated bullion manager, no safe offshore gold account!!!!!!!!!!! That is part of the action plan of the USA and complicit mafia regimes and that is what I am alerting potential customers\victims to...

whereas you seem to be dead set against that information(and what I have put forth in this discussion are facts, not suppositions)being spilled to them...

now tell us, Space Cowboy....who's yur daddy?

Tinky's picture

First, if there were some kind of special award for irony, you'd be a shoo-in to win it. Anyone juxtaposing our respective posts would laugh his or her ass off at your claim that I was the one who was "worked up", and then they'd keep right on laughing as you call me arrogant while at the same time exclaiming "...the biggest problem you have is that you don't even understand the subject, let alone the absurdity of your pontificating...", " behooves the commentor to exericise the care commensurate to the gravity of the subject here", and "who's yur daddy?".

Now, as to the substance of the matter, I have clearly laid out the foundations for my opinions. You are certainly free to contest my opinions, but your objections thus far have been diffuse, off-topic and weak.

Your main argument is apparently based on your broad view that "governments" are intrinsically evil, and that they can and will conspire to steal the wealth of their citizens. You make dubious leaps such as Corzine to PM confiscation, and blithely ignore the complex political realities involved in the U.S. actually attempting to confiscate legal, privately held assets in foreign countries. Your position also presupposes that the U.S. government is likely to confiscate PMs, when in fact, it would be far more efficient, and far less complicated for it to levy high taxes on their sale.

Goldmoney being threatened and intimidated is, as I've pointed out previously, miles apart from actual confiscation, which is the theme of this sub-thread. Were any PMs stored by Goldmoney confiscated? No. Did they disgorge cash accounts to foreign governments? No. Have any non-bank entities based in Switzerland, Hong Kong or Singapore been intimidated and forced to give up customer assets? No.

Be sure to check back in when you can actually provide directly relevant information that demonstrates that holding legally obtained PMs in non-bank accounts in those countries is dangerous.

Eally Ucked's picture

The main point of your discussion is not if confiscation of gold already happened but if it is possible in the future. If somebody asked question about confidentiality of Swiss bank accounts 5 or 10 years ago the answer would've been - it's 100% confidential and there is no way that those informations would be provided to any governments. 

What would have happend if some government started criminal proceedings for eg. money laundering against VIAMAT? What info would they get and what would happen to "proceeds of criminal activity"?

JOYFUL's picture

Since the Guest from Another Planet is never going to grasp this, I'll put the point forward here, in hopes that somebody does.

Viamat is a storage rent cold stores for apples, freezers for meat, lockers for personal effects, Viamat for gold bullion. In this case, companies with major tonnage of bullion held in trust for customers rent storage from Viamat in places like Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Anybody wishing to interfere with that chain of business is going to serve notice on\raid the offices of\acquire a phony search warrant upon....wait for it...

the leasee - GOLDMONEY, BULLION VAULT, etc. etc.

As has been proven by recent events, there are dozens of ways to get at customers assets when kleptocraptic authorities and\or their partners in crime want them....that the USA governments offshore efforts in "tax recovery" have been a prelude to the identification of all citizen\victims' assets and potential seizure of same is a no-brainer for anybody with two eyes and a nose...

but the more I read Mr Tinky's fantasy narrative, the less I can be sure even those basic attributes belong to our guest, who appears to come from a planet where benevolent higher-ups look down upon their charges with compassion and concern for the wellbeing of all! Most definitely sci-fi stuff!

Tinky's picture

Yes, we all get it. The sky is falling, and only those with PMs buried on their property who are well-armed are poised to survive.

Good luck with that.

Tinky's picture

The answer to your question is that nobody knows at this point. But if you believe that the U.S. government is going to use such an approach, en masse, in order to confiscate gold, then I would argue that you are engaging in dark fantasies. Again, the Government would have a far easier and more efficient time levying high taxes on the sale of gold, then engaging in the sort of convoluted confiscation scheme that you imagine.

The elephant in the room regarding the basis of your first point is that not a single innocent American citizen was harmed by the end of secret Swiss bank accounts. Only those seeking to evade taxes, or laundering money, etc., were harmed. Yes, I agree that there are some slippery slope aspects to the issue, and I am certainly against Big Brother encroachments, but no one has presented a shred of evidence that an American citizen who has acquired, or does acquire PMs legally, and complies with the tax code, might be at risk by storing such metals abroad in through/with non-bank entities.

The whole premise of the-sky-is-falling crowd is that the gubbermint is likely to become so desperate that it will either attempt to confiscate PMs, or make them illegal to own. And while I believe that to be very unlikely, for a variety of reasons, even if it were to actually take place, it won't happen without implicit warning. In other words, anyone paying attention will either be able to sell (likely at a big profit), ship or retrieve their metals before such a radical step is taken.

Winston Churchill's picture

Exactly so,a point people keep missing is the IRS was cracking down on Americans using their

natiomality to evade paying income taxes anywhere.

As long as as income taxes(if appros) was paid somewhere.and again on any

interest income(sweet memories).then the IRS doesn't give a rats ass.

Double taxation agreements exist between the US, and most countries.

TheGardener's picture

"such compliance would lead to the death of extremely important industries in those respective countries."

They swallowed the poison pill on their banks already !

And banks are kind of treated lightly, because they are
all inter-dependent and know each other.

Private company ? "They have child porn on their servers
and drugs in those safe-deposit boxes ! Call Interpol,"
early morning raid in 1, 2 , 3...

20834A's picture

I think if this scenario played out, there would be a massive black market that would put narco-traffickers in the shade. Good luck to to the gov't trying to shut that down. When you're desperate you don't worry too much if something is "legal".

nmewn's picture

CD raises a good question..."But what makes it any safer in another country?"

It wouldn't be.

Unless one is part of the 0.01% where the potental LOSS of this portion would not have a devasting effect on your wealth.

For us, (the commoner) the risk/reward is too high. Again, if you don't possess it, you don't own it. The trust in any government(s) to do the right thing on a range of issues (including this topic) has completely evaporated.

shovelhead's picture

You are correct.

The niceties of legal arguments are academic because those legalities are gossamer strands.

Fucks sakes people...Wake up! They can call you a terrorist and blow your head off with a stroke of a pen and not see a day in court. It's an Exec. order NDAA-World now.

You don't hold it, you don't own it. Simple as that.

TheGardener's picture

Try going to Ecuador, buy property and start messing with
drilling equipment to get to a save storage depth beyond detection. None of your new neighbors will notice , sure !

By the time the newly formed communist bolivarian south american union collapses and gringos are allowed to visit
again, (think eastern Germans only now
allowed to buy back property in their ancestral land administrated by Poland), you receive your FEMA camp survivor pension and are wheelchair bound.

CheapBastard's picture

So that's why all the Central Banks are accumulating I understand....before the mad rush into the yellow metal.

buzzsaw99's picture

Germany is just trying to get its gold far away from jon corzine and his bunch.

Ropingdown's picture

Germany's recall of US-stored gold is a sham, window dressing.  The real goal is to get their gold out of France.  The motivation is obvious.  They've been screwed too many times by France in the last three years.  They don't want France able to grab the gold to pay phonied-up Germany liabilities for Euro debt.  If Germany is forced to break from the Euro the UK isn't a problem, but France definitely is.  Additionally, at the moment that occurs Germany will need flexible foreign reserves fast, with the target trade uncertain at the moment.


I get the idea of not keeping all your golden eggs in one basket.  But if events turn sour like this author is describing, I'd rather keep liquid assets close by and not stored in some foreign county where I don't have citizenship and who's cocksucker politicians are just as evil and greedy as they are in the US.  And who wouldn't think twice about confiscating foreign gold & silver ESPECIALLY if the treasury and fed pull the joker card and retain ownership of foreign held gold in NY and fort knox.  Dig a couple holes instead in an area that is familiar to you and 'deposit' extra gold there if you have so much.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Seems like a more rational approach.   In the event of a SHTF financial mess, what keeps any foreign country from grabbing the gold on deposit in THEIR jurisdictions - no matter who the owner is?  It seems like bank secrecy is no longer withthe US putting immense pressure on any nation that might serve as a safe haven.  A US dentist looking to safeguard a few hundred thousand is screwed - though multinationals get away with billions. 

I suspect gold holdings in those nice big bank vaults (aloocated or not) will be the first thing grabbed by desperate governments if the need arises.  Property rights?  Here's your payment in full - the day before revaluation 100 times higher (there's precedent in the US - FDR).  If some of that gold is foud to be owned by 'foreigners' will a government feel compelled to pay restitution?   Feel free to take your case to court.... bwahaaaaa.....        In some countries it would not be surprising to find out that government simply confiscates PM's - for the national good.   In such locales any complaints will likely be answered with a bullet.  

Under FDR, gold in bank vaults was taken and people were asked to voluntarily exchange personal holdings BUT many did not turn in their holdings and kept them.  Today Homeland Security has the right to check on Safety Deposit Box contents so that is not a good place to keep your holdings.  If you waited 50 years or so, you could legally own your stash again.   

I can easily see governments taking possession of whatever is found in any and all bank vaults - one way out of the GLD and SLV inventory dillemma - all the bullion banks manage to avoid a full public disclosure.  Perhaps this is one reason FOR governments to take such a step - avoiding the embarassment of everyone findng out how little metal actually exists.  Would be easy to SAY you have XXXXX tons of gold - we're doing it now with Ft. Knox.  However it is really worht the effort to go after those holding a few ounces - especially if those peopel are also well armed?    More likely you'd have any 'small' transactions regulated and taxed onerously - easire than confiscation.  However it seems that black markets always find a way around such things when demand exists.   If government tries to regulate the hell out of everything - inclluding food supplies - with price copntrols, you'll have a VERY actiuve black market.

Pewrsonally, I dont' forsee a total SHTF scenarion - TPTB will do all they can to prevent such a thing.  Expect a long drawn out gradual descent into the murk of lower standards of living, endless war for resources and a gradual transition into the new Feudalism.  Glad I won't be living much longer whatever the path.

I'll let my kids know the location of the boating accident - sometime in the future they may want to go after what's on the bottom of the lake.

Acet's picture

You don't keep gold abroad.

You keep stuff in a private vault (and said stuff just happens to be gold) abroad. Or you keep it with somebody you trust. Also make sure NEVER, EVER, EVER  to keep anything with a large international bank, no mater where they are based: such banks will roll-over and comply to any request from the US authorities (at least until the US implodes) to protect the profits they make in the US.

Funghi's picture

Sooo, how about Canada? CEF? GTU?

Ghordius's picture

having seen the world a bit I can't ascribe to your theory that all politicians worldwide are equally evil and greedy - and in particular private gold ownership haters

some countries have a long history of hating gold in private hands

are we there yet's picture

If gold confiscation starts, some law will remove boating accident as an excuse for loosing gold. Never underestimate the hubris of detatched burocrats.

Northern Lights's picture

That would be interesting.  I believe buying gold will eventually be heavily regulated to the point that if you decide to move it/trade it/sell it, you would immediately need to notify the government because the government will start to tax you for unrealized gains on the gold based on year-end market price per ounce.  If you hold it, you pay a tax based on how many ounces you have on Dec 31st. The whole "lost it in a boating accident" will be nullified because if you can't prove to the government to their satisfaction that it was indeed "lost", they'll state that you're lying to them and they'll continue taxing you on it indefinetly!!!!!  This will probably necessitate the need to have your bullion insured against any claims that you may have lost it.  Eventually, all this would make gold prohibitively expensive and would work as a great deterant to holding it or playing in the game.

Tinky's picture

I have yet to receive a compelling answer to this question:

Why would the very same government that is essentially owned by the financial elite choose to harshly penalize their benefactors (who own the vast majority of privately held gold)?

FeralSerf's picture

Because there is no equal protection under the law (prosecutorial discretion).  The financial elite will be allowed to keep their gold.  The Boating Accident Crew will have theirs confiscated (water-boarding is not torture).  This is what happened in 1933 too, I believe.

Tinky's picture

Not compelling. I simply don't see draconian laws being enacted and the elites who own the vast bulk of the PMs being given a wink and and a nod so that they remain exempt.

It also misses the obvious point that high taxes and/or confiscation would only be worthwhile to the gubbermint if those very same elite were subject to the laws.

FeralSerf's picture

Elimination of habeas corpus is draconian.

The goobermint is owned by the elites.  The elites may not wish to keep the bulk of their gold locally.

Tinky's picture

"The elites may not wish to keep the bulk of their gold locally."

Ah, that dovetails nicely with the sub-thread above.

sansnobel's picture

It has to happen over time so nobody will see what is happening. Slight of hand from Central Banks.  They leased the shit out.  Now they have to go back on the market and buy it to settle claims.  Biggest shortsqueeze of all times coming.  If you and every Tom Dick and Harry Central Bank on the Planet can Print Jew Confetti and Buy real resources then it becomes pretty obvious why they want their "NOT MONEY" back. 

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

This "Casey Research" sounds like an enemy of the state.

WmMcK's picture

Not the state of Uruguay -- just saying.

Braverdave's picture

My mom and/or oma can sew it into my clothing maybe :)

My sewing skills are fairly crude :(

Toronto Kid's picture

Curtain weights. You don't want your curtains flapping around do ya?

Sizzurp's picture

Here is an interesting take on the German gold issue that makes some sense.

PeakOil's picture

Thanks, good article!

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

if anyone thinks the gold repatriation by germany isnt a big deal they have no imagination

imagine going to your automattic teller machine and punching in a withdrawal and getting a sign that says "Your withdrawal has been processed and will be delivered to your house in 2020"

This news was tantamount to America declaring that it is defaulting on its debt, period

BeerBrewer09's picture

They gave themselves 7 years to make some damn fine gold plated tungsten bars. ;-P