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IMF Discusses 'One-Off' Wealth Tax

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

IMF Discusses 'One-Off' Wealth Tax

It is undoubtedly nice to have a job with the World Bank or the IMF. One of the most enticing aspects for those employed at these organizations (which n.b. are entirely funded by tax payers), is no doubt that apart from receiving generous salaries and perks, they themselves don't have to pay any taxes. What a great gig! Since these organizations are so to speak 'extra-territorial', they are held to be outside the grasp of specific tax authorities.

This doesn't keep them from thinking up various ways of how to resolve the by now well-known problem of the looming insolvency of various welfare/warfare states. In fact, they have quite a strong incentive to come up with such ideas, since their own livelihood depends on the revenue streams continuing without a hitch. One recent proposal in particular has made waves lately (it can be found in this paper – pdf), mainly because it sounds precisely like the kind of thing many people expect desperate governments to resort to when push comes to shove, not least because they have taken similar measures repeatedly throughout history. 

The recent depositor haircut in Cyprus has also contributed to such expectations becoming more widespread. We believe is that it is far better to let shareholders, bondholders and depositors (in that order) take their lumps in the event of bank insolvencies rather than forcing the bill on unsuspecting tax payers via bailouts. What was odious about the Cypriot haircut was mainly that the government steadfastly lied to its citizens about what was coming and that certain classes of depositors, such as e.g. the president's relatives, got all their money out just a week or two prior to the bank holiday, by what we are assured was sheer coincidence (this unexpected twist of fate which proved so fortuitous to the president's clan increased the costs for remaining depositors).

Still, the entire escapade was a salutary event in many respects. It proved that government bonds are not a reliable store of value (it was mainly their holdings of Greek government bonds that got the Cypriot banks into hot water) and it was a reminder that fractionally reserved banks are inherently insolvent. In short, it has helped a bit to concentrate the minds of many of those who still remain whole and has sensitized them to other attempts of grabbing private wealth that may be coming down the pike.

This is probably also the reason why a paragraph in an IMF document that may otherwise not have received much scrutiny as it would have been considered too outlandish an idea, has created quite a stir. That such proposals are made from the comfortable environment of a tax free zone is quite ironic. Here is the paragraph in question:


“The sharp deterioration of the public finances in  many countries has revived interest in a “capital levy”—  a one-off tax on private wealth—as an exceptional  measure to restore debt sustainability. The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible and there is a belief that it will never be  repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair). There have been illustrious supporters, including Pigou, Ricardo, Schumpeter, and—until he  changed his mind—Keynes. The conditions for success  are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks  of the alternatives, which include repudiating public  debt or inflating it away (these, in turn, are a particular form of wealth tax—on bondholders—that also falls on nonresidents).


There is a surprisingly large amount of experience to draw on, as such levies were widely adopted in Europe after World War I and in Germany and Japan after World War II. Reviewed in Eichengreen (1990), this experience suggests that more notable than any loss of credibility was a simple failure to achieve debt reduction, largely because the delay in introduction gave space for extensive avoidance and capital flight—in turn spurring inflation.


The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to  precrisis levels, moreover, are sizable: reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require (for a sample of 15 euro area countries) a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net wealth.”


(emphasis added)

It is actually not a surprise that there is a 'wealth of experience to draw on'. Throughout history, governments have thought up all sorts of methods to get their hands on their subjects' wealth. It would have only been a surprise if there had been no 'experiences to draw on'. In fact, as wasteful and inefficient as the State is otherwise, this is one of the tasks in which it proves extremely resourceful, inventive and efficient. The extraction of citizens' wealth is an activity at which it excels.

Apparently the IMF judges that stealing 10% of all private wealth in one fell swoop is perfectly fine as long as 'some see it as fair'. Some of course would. There is however a crucial difference between imposing such a levy at gunpoint and letting bondholders take losses. The latter have taken the risk of not getting repaid voluntarily. No-one forced them to buy government bonds.

As to the pseudo-consolation that such a confiscation should be presented as a 'one off' event so as 'not to distort behavior', let's be serious. The moment  governments gets more loot in, they will start spending it with both hands and in no time at all will find themselves back at square one.


States and Taxation

As Franz Oppenheimer has pointed out, States are essentially the result of conquests by gangs of marauders who realized that operating a protection racket was far more profitable than simply grabbing everything that wasn't nailed down and making off with. In modern democracies it has become easier for citizens to join the ruling class (i.e., the more civilized version of these marauders), which has greatly increased acceptance of the State. Also, a large number of people has been bought off with 'free' goodies and all and sundry have had it drilled into them throughout their lives that the State is both inevitable and irreplaceable.

There are of course other advantages to be had in democracies, such as the fact that a market economy is allowed to exist (even if it is severely hampered) and that free speech is tolerated. One considerable drawback though is that taxation has historically never been higher than in the democratic order (and still these States are all teetering on the edge of bankruptcy anyway).

As an aside, conscription and the closely associated concept of 'total war' are also democratic 'achievements'. Whereas war was once largely confined to strictly localized battles between professionals, the French revolution and its aftermath was a pivot point that marked a change in thinking about war and ultimately paved the way for legitimizing the all-encompassing atrocities of the 20th century, with civilians suddenly regarded as fair game.

A little historical excursion: Under medieval kings there was at least occasionally a chance that a tax might actually be repealed, even if only temporarily. For instance, in 1012 the heregeld was introduced in England, an annual tax first assessed by King Ethelred the Unready (better: 'the Ill-Advised'). Its purpose was to help pay for mercenaries to fight the invasion of England by King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark.

Ethelred had been forced to pay a tribute to the Danes for many years, known as 'Danegeld'. In 1002 AD he apparently got fed up and in a fit of pique ordered the murder of all Danes in England, an event known as the St. Brice's Day Massacre. Not surprisingly, this incensed the Danes and Sweyn Forkbeard's invasion was the result. Sweyn seized the English throne in 1013, but died in 1014, upon which Ethelred was invited back by the nobles (under the condition that he 'rule more justly'). However, he soon died as well, which left Edmund Ironside in charge for a few months in 1016. Sweyn's son Knut eventually conquered England later in the same year. Knut simply continued to collect the heregeld tax after ascending to the throne. The heregeld was a land tax based on the number of 'hides' one owned (the hide is a medieval area measure, the precise extent of which is disputed among historians; one hide was once thought to be equivalent to 120 acres, but this is no longer considered certain). The tax was finally abolished by King Edward the Confessor in 1051 (Edward was Ethelred's seventh son and was later canonized. He was the last king of the House of Wessex). The tax relief unfortunately proved short-lived. Shortly after Edward's death in 1066, the Normans conquered England and 'hideage' was reintroduced.




Ethelred the Unready, inventor of the heregeld tax, holding an oversized sword. Although he is generally referred to as 'the Unready', this translation of his nickname is actually incorrect: rather, it should be 'ill-advised' or 'ill-prepared'. In the original old English “Æþelræd Unræd”, the term 'unread' is actually a pun on his name.  'Ethelred' means 'noble counsel' (in modern German: 'Edler Rat') – his nickname thus juxtaposes 'noble counsel' with 'no counsel' or 'evil counsel'.

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


Ethelred's nemesis, the Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard, likewise holding an oversized sword

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)



The man who abolished the heregeld tax, St. Edward the Confessor. It is noteworthy that he is usually not depicted holding an oversized sword (he was however reportedly not inexperienced in military matters. When Welsh raiders attacked English lands in 1049, they soon had reason for regret. The head of one of their leaders, Rhys ap Rhydderch, was delivered to Edward in 1052. The head was no longer attached to the rest of Rhys). Edward is probably not mainly remembered for this, but he gave England fifteen glorious years free of hideage tax.

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


As Murray Rothbard writes in 'The Ethics of Liberty' on the State's monopoly of force and its power to extract revenue by coercion:



“But, above all, the crucial monopoly is the State’s control of the use of violence: of the police and armed services, and of the courts—the locus of ultimate decision-making power in disputes over crimes and contracts. Control of the police and the army is particularly important in enforcing and assuring all of the State’s other powers, including the all-important power to extract its revenue by coercion.


For there is one crucially important power inherent in the nature of the State apparatus. All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods and services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as “taxation,” although in less regularized epochs it was often known as “tribute.” Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.


It would be an instructive exercise for the skeptical reader to try to frame a definition of taxation which does not also include theft. Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist. It is true that State apologists maintain that taxation is “really” voluntary; one simple but instructive refutation of this claim is to ponder what would happen if the government were to abolish taxation, and to confine itself to simple requests for voluntary contributions. Does anyone really believe that anything comparable to the current vast revenues of the State would continue to pour into its coffers? It is likely that even those theorists who claim that punishment never deters action would balk at such a claim. The great economist Joseph Schumpeter was correct when he acidly wrote that “the theory which construes taxes on the analogy of club dues or of the purchase of the services of, say, a doctor only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is from scientific habits of mind.”


(emphasis in original)

In the pages following this excerpt, Rothbard expertly demolishes numerous spurious arguments that have been forwarded in support of taxes by people claiming that they are somehow akin to voluntary contributions.


The Vote Changes Nothing

In the course of this disquisition Rothbard also discusses whether the democratic vote actually makes a difference in this context, whether, as he puts it, the “act of voting makes the government and all its works and powers truly “voluntary.”  On this topic he quotes from the observations of anarchist political philosopher Lysander Spooner, who wrote the following in 'No Treason:The Constitution of No Authority':


“In truth, in the case of individuals their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent. . . . On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having even been asked a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money renders service, and foregoes the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments.

He sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he uses the ballot, he may become a master, if he does not use it, he must become a slave.


(emphasis added)

Discussing taxation in the same text, Spooner famously compares government to highwaymen. He is however not merely equating one with the other, but rather concludes that highwaymen are to be preferred. After all, neither are their activities attended by hypocrisy, nor are their demands without limit (we would add to this that no-one ever published learned papers advising them how to best go about grabbing more loot).


“It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other. . . .


But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: “Your money, or your life.” And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.


The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travelers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection.


He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.”


(emphasis added)

Somehow we don't think that Mr. Spooner would have been a very big fan of the IMF and its ideas.



Lysander Spooner had their number.

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


The particular wealth tax proposal mentioned by the IMF en passant is odious in the extreme, especially as the wealth to be taxed has already been taxed at what are historically stratospheric rates.

It is noteworthy that the alternatives discussed by the IMF for heavily indebted states which are weighed down by the wasteful spending of yesterday appear to have been reduced to 'default' (either outright or via hyperinflation) or 'more confiscation'. How about rigorously cutting spending instead?

One must also keep in mind that any proposals concerning so-called 'tax fairness' are in the main about 'how can we get our hands on wealth that currently still eludes us'. People need to be aware that worsening the situation of one class of tax payers is never going to improve the situation of another. The IMF's publication is a case in point: in all its yammering about 'tax fairness', the possibility of lowering anyone's taxes is not mentioned once (not to mention that it seems quite hypocritical for people who are exempted from taxes to go on about imposing 'tax fairness' on others).

Lastly, a popular as well as populist target of the self-appointed arbiters of 'fairness' are loopholes, but as we have previously discussed, they are to paraphrase Mises 'what allows capitalism to breathe'. Closing them will in the end only lead to higher costs for consumers, less innovation, lower growth and considerable damage to retirement savings.

Two apposite statues at Trago Mills, UK, dedicated to HM Inland Revenue – Loot & Extortion.


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Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:49 | 4069252 withnmeans
withnmeans's picture

To the Tylers, Kudos, a little off the subject here.

Although I am not a regular Washington Times reader, they gave you a plug in an article about China.

ZH is getting a little more well known everyday, heres the link for those who want to read about China, the U.S. debt and the world currency.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:50 | 4069255 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

Many people don't realize when they put money in their bank account, it's not their money anymore. You are in essence lending your money to the bank. If they make bad investments, you could lose some. The FDIC is severely underfunded. 

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:56 | 4069288 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullshit.  That's how it use to work.  TARP/TALF and Hank "tanks in the streets" Paulson has already proven that you will simply be forced to bail out the bank.

If banks were allowed to fail for a fucking change, then you might actually see some real consequences for all this fraud/theft.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:22 | 4069393 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

Er, almost all TARP funds went to the big money-center banks, not the 3rd State Bank of Oklahoma. You did read that there were record number of bank failures in the US in 2009 and 2010 - over 100 each year - didn't you?

Or, judging from most of your posts here, probably not.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:03 | 4069318 Purple headed w...
Purple headed warrior's picture

Why do you think Marc Faber has buggered off half way around the world, he's not daft, its not just about 'the very efficient nightlife'

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:17 | 4069375 Madcow
Madcow's picture

Anyone who keeps their money in a "bank" deserves what they get. 

I hope that governments will just send everyone an invoice for say 20% of their net worth.   It will be hilarious to watch what happens when everyone tries to liquidate their stocks and bonds and homes and other "assets" all at the same time to come up with the cash to pay the bill.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:17 | 4069379 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Maybe the One Percenters can create a protest movement, or maybe they can become a wing of the Demopublican party.

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 14:32 | 4071996 Liberty2012
Liberty2012's picture

Demopublican +1 ..... Name only, not the group...

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:24 | 4069406 Professor Fate
Professor Fate's picture

Hmmm.  What's all this talk about a wealth tax one time confiscation never happen again... when at the same time Chase begins restricting international wires and domestic withdrawals?  Probably just coincidence.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.

Fate the Magnificent
"Push the Button, Max"

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:51 | 4069526 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The tell that is about to happen will be a reduction in the depositor insurance limits.

Oh wait, didn't that just happen to money market funds.

Just happened on an account in the Isle of Man, I know about.

Minor change in the small print to account, from per account holder.

So 100k pounds becomes 50k pounds in insurance.

The blades  are  being sharpened for a general haircut.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:31 | 4069427 tvdog
tvdog's picture

I'm all for repudiating the debt and stiffing the bondholders, but there should also be a way of clawing back the wealth stolen by the banker class over these many centuries. Of course, it's all hidden in trusts, foundations, corporations, and whatnot.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:33 | 4069432 smartstrike
smartstrike's picture

People need to be aware that worsening the situation of one class of tax payers is never going to improve the situation of another.


Tell that to Mit Rommey and his supporters. Oh you never assumed that the argument could be turned upside down, did you?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 17:29 | 4070294 DOT
DOT's picture

Uh huh... and what office does Mit hold?

btw If you don't pay into the system, you are not a taxpayer but you can stil lvote.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:35 | 4069441 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

In the case of Ethelred the Unready, I wonder if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

;-)  Friday humor.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:37 | 4069454 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

The seed was already planted when Barry determined that $250k made you rich.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:06 | 4077071 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

wtf. Even 1/3rd of 250k makes you rich almost anywhere in my country.
What standards you must have, your lordship.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:43 | 4069487 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

I agree on a 100% wealth tax of every politician who votes for or creates deficit spending.

I agree on a 50% income tax on any nation that attacks another nation without UN approval.

I agree on a 70% tax on the profits of arms manufacturers.

I agree to the 100% wealth tax of murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers, etc

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:53 | 4069542 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

100% tax and confiscation of the assets of all PC tards. Job done.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:44 | 4069489 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

"on households with positive net wealth"

Note that they don't even pretend it will only affect the rich.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:47 | 4069505 nowhereman
nowhereman's picture

Anyone who truly understands the ponzi scheme that fiat money is, knows that this is utter Bull Shit

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:53 | 4069544 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

A one-off, one-time confiscation of ALL bank accounts in Euro land and USSA!

"If you have any money in the bank, you did not build that. Along with the agreement with our B-for-IS partners, everyone will soon be issued EBTs. We are working on a small, implantable solid-state chip to implant in your hand, so that you will not lose your EBT."

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 15:15 | 4072060 Liberty2012
Liberty2012's picture

Isn't that called a "smart" phone ;)

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:57 | 4069548 JR
JR's picture

Bill Frezza wrote on Forbes this week that the IMF "one-off" wealth tax proposal is the groundwork for “global wealth confiscation.” And not just for the rich.

Says Frezza: “IMF economists know there are not enough rich people to fund today’s governments even if 100 percent of the assets of the 1 percent were expropriated. That means that all households with positive net wealth—everyone with retirement savings or home equity—would have their assets plundered under the IMF’s formulation.”

And, adds Frezza, “Should politicians fail to muster the courage to engage in this kind of wholesale robbery, the only alternative scenario the IMF posits is public debt repudiation and hyperinflation. Structural reform proposals for the Ponzi-scheme entitlement programs that are bankrupting us are nowhere to be seen.”

The real issue here is that the IMF should not have the authority to tax - neither individuals nor anything else. The IMF’s wealth tax proposal is nothing short of the beginning of funding world government. First a minor measure to counteract debt, then an increase to support an international army. And, then, new policy to supercede national governments’ economic policy in every point.

Wrote Frederic Bastiat in The Law just before and after the French Revolution when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism and before his death in 1850: “There are too many ‘great’ men in the world—legislators, organizers, do-gooders, leaders of the people, fathers of nations, and so on, and so on. Too many persons place themselves above mankind; they make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it...

My attitude toward all other persons is well illustrated by this story from a celebrated traveler:

He arrived one day in the midst of a tribe of savages, where a child had just been born. A crowd of soothsayers, magicians, and quacks—armed with rings, hooks, and cords—surrounded it.

One said: ‘This child will never smell the perfume of a peace-pipe unless I stretch his nostrils.’

Another said: ‘He will never be able to hear unless I draw his ear-lobes down to his shoulders.’

A third said: ‘He will never see the sunshine unless I slant his eyes.”

Another said: “He will never stand upright unless I bend his legs.’

A fifth said: ‘He will never learn to think unless I flatten his skull.’

’Stop,’ cried the traveler. ‘What God does is well done. Do not claim to know more than He. God has given organs to this frail creature; let them develop and grow strong by exercise, use, experience, and liberty.’

Said Bastiat:

Let Us Now Try Liberty

“God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Way with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

“And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May their reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledge of faith in God and His works.”

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:34 | 4069690 ZH11
ZH11's picture

Why all the nature examples when considering a completely man-made entity?

Where in the Bible does God make the industrial capitalist and then the swinish multitude to work in his factories?

Liberty in that conception above is nothing but the freedom to 'Do what thou wilt' in the midst of barbarianism. The romanticism of the language with the will of God at it's base is bullshit once it comes to the real world.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:09 | 4069834 JR
JR's picture

The problems are man made and statesmen such as Bastiat are perfect examples of how man could solve these problems.

First, the men who are responsible are identified (international financiers), the people are then informed (Bastiat), and then the people move to remove the men responsible for this criminality. 

Few understand that "Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man," Bastiat writes. And since they are at the very core of human nature, they "precede all human legislation, and are superior to it." … 

“Where the inventions of men are most nearly in harmony with the laws of God Law is justice. And it is under the law of justice – under the reign of right; under the influence of liberty, safety, stability, and responsibility – that every person will attain his real worth and the true dignity of his being. It is only under this law of justice that mankind will achieve – slowly, no doubt, but certainly – God’s design for the orderly and peaceful progress of humanity. …

“The state is that great fiction by which everyone
tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”  
—Frederic Bastiat

As Americans, we should never forget that the Constitution provides for protection of our rights against abusive government and as Jefferson explained, these are natural rights, God-given rights, with which we were born. That’s why the “natural” references are important.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 17:36 | 4070320 ZH11
ZH11's picture

Sounds lovely, but I don't believe in God and Theodicy so I guess I'll be confined to hell instead if I'm wrong.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 18:31 | 4070503 JR
JR's picture

I don’t know about that but if you want to know what Hell on Earth is like, read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s "The Gulag Archipelago." That’s life on Earth without God. That’s Godless communism. That's the U.S.S.R. under Godless Bolshevism. And that’s where we’re headed…

Chapter 1 of The Gulag Archipelago: “Arrest” Abridged by Edward Ericson.

How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? At ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they’ve never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or of any one of its innumerable islands.

Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity?

The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: “You are under arrest.” The gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all.

It is an alien, brutal, and crushing force totally dominating the apartment for hours. And nothing is sacred in a search! During the arrest of the locomotive engineer Inoshin, a tiny coffin stood in his room containing the body of his newly dead child. The “jurists” dumped the child’s body out of the coffin and searched it. They shake sick people out of their sickbeds, and they unwind bandages to search beneath them.

For those left behind after the arrest there is the long tail end of a wrecked and devastated life. And the attempts to go and deliver food parcels. And this means once and for all: “No right to correspondence”—and that almost certain means: “Has been shot.”

They take you from a military hospital with a temperature of 102, as they did with Ans Bernshtein, and the doctor will not raise a peep about your arrest—just let him try! They’ll take you right off the operating table—as they took N.M. Vorobyev, a school inspector, in 1936, in the middle of an operation for stomach ulcer—and drag you off to a cell, as they did him, half-alive and all bloody.

And even in the fever of epidemic arrests, when people leaving for work said farewell to their families every day, because they could not be certain they would return at night, even then almost no one tried to run away and only in rare cases did people commit suicide. And that was exactly what was required.

A submissive sheep is a find for a wolf. …

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 21:15 | 4070935 ZH11
ZH11's picture

If we're really heading towards Godless communism then I'm happy to be alive at this point in history, something to look forward to and rub into Fukuyama's smug face.

The end of capitalism, the end of nationalism, the end of wars, the end of hunger, the end man-made divisions, the end of the family, the end of religion and the end of idealism over materialism.

I like your hell better than your utopia.

Nonetheless, this stuff from the IMF is merely capitalism battling secular crisis formed by it's immanent contradictions, which are now so exaggerated and perverse the 'solutions' proposed to realign it back to it's more manageable state are becoming commensurably as perverse and exaggerated.

Capitalism is immiseration for the masses in society and therefore another tax to further enforce this is nothing unexpected but in doing so they really are once again proving to be their own grave-diggers which you seem to agree with me on! 

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 02:46 | 4071327 JR
JR's picture

It comes as no surprise that the founders of the IMF were John Keynes, a Fabian Socialist, and Harry Dexter White, a card-carrying Communist. And, yes, I do agree with you that the IMF (and the Fed) “really are once again proving to be their own grave-diggers.”

It’s a fact that the richest men in the world are the financiers of both Communist revolution and Socialist legislation and have developed powerful control centers in both the Democrat and Republican parties, not to mention control over most of the media. Obamacare is their latest creation of government monopoly, i.e., government health care to be instituted by force.

The American people, without representation, are losing the means to make their government observe the law, the Constitution of the United States. Already they have lost the checks and balances of their three branches of government.

It’s a fact that the elite insiders support Communism as a destructive factor in breaking down the world's middle class, the major barrier to their establishment of a collectivist one-world society under totalitarian global governance.

Terror is Communism’s substitute for law. Already, under the banner of terror in America, we are seeing the withering away of private property, law, liberty, private rights and justice – the inevitable results of Communism, of a Congress and President no longer bound by law because the people have no means for making them observe the law.

My hope is in the Internet—exposure is the common man's greatest weapon against the IMF, against the enemies that seek to destroy America and freedom and independence, be they at home or abroad.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:06 | 4077073 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

the bible's a load of crap, why would any sane person use it?

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 21:55 | 4072076 Liberty2012
Liberty2012's picture

Excellent. Thank you JR!

Edit - update: after reading part of your link I have to wonder if you are someone who's uses truth in an attempt to sell lies.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:59 | 4069565 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

They might find it hard to tax the gold and silver you lose during a boating accident.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:15 | 4069646 zipit
zipit's picture

What about Bitcoin or whatever replaces it? How will it be taxed??

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:06 | 4077075 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

prison sentences if caught using it.
It must be used on-grid so it's easily detected.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:14 | 4069601 ivars
ivars's picture

Welth grab would be the best solution to state  debt crisis created by inequality and siphoning of wealth upwards by indebting more and more population.

Another step needed would be to apply another bailin to reduce private debt load by the same amount.

Economy would become alive immedeately.

The invisible hand of universal greed  or self interest have the property of positive feedback and thus has nothing to do with creation of equilibrium- on the contrary , invisible hand amplifies any deviation from equilibrium as much as possible, leading to self destruction tendencies in capitalistic ecosystem.

Wealth tax would be mild and easy way to prolong status quo- just savers need to give away the relative gains of last 30 years. 

Same applies to debt jubille from creditor nations to borrower nations. Same 10% should be transferred to reduce debts of developing countries except those who are creditors themselves. 

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:06 | 4069605 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

With their vehement hatred of Gold, I expect a special tax against holders of gold and possibly silver.   It will be couched as against those evil PM profiteers rather than the people afraid of the money debasers....

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 21:18 | 4069631 ZH11
ZH11's picture

Always the apologist to the transglobal capitalist through the guise of defender of the little man.

The mask fell off when the Von Mises quote at the end was used to defend tax loopholes for capitalists and then treatening the little man with price rises if he dared question or challenge such a way of organising society.

The reversal of this attitude is that taxing the rich is unfair but the resultant mass fleecing of the poorer is fine.

The state is the capitalist's executive committee and operates soley for their enrichment and maintainance of control, therefore, they should fucking pay for it, just for a change!

50% super tax on all assets over $50million, abolition of all national debts globally and the cessation of inflationary efforts to devalue national currencies which is to the determent of the poor solely.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 22:48 | 4071126 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Justifying outright theft by using psycological similes is a classic hallmark of WHAT political system?

A: Marxism

B: Religious Oligarchy

C: Socialism

D: Corporatocracy

E: 'The Obomanite New America'

F: The Fruedian derivitave of the Bernays Doctrines

G: The Jamie Dimon System of 'get rich quick by making other people pay for your mistakes'

I guess I could go on through the entire alphabet...

Anyway, fuck YOU, too, ZH11.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:23 | 4069672 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

how about we just get rid of the illegal taxes and tell the IMF and World Bank to Fuck Off, execute all the bankers, politicians, most lawyers, rulers, despots, dictators, royalty, elitist Globalist scum, enviro-Nazi's, eugenicist murderers, desolve the U.N. and knock that f'ing building down and melt that f'ing stupid-ass twisted gun statue out front, burn all the paper money and get back to gold and silver standard (i.e. Constitutional money), abolish all central banks (END THE FED), dissolve all financials treaties or whatever the hell they are the NAFTA, WTO, PPT ?, etc.

Abolish all the "progressive" (i.e. REGRESSIVE) Constitutional amendments that were added on to destroy America, wipe out all the bullshit case law that has been piled onto the books for over the last 100+ years which is used to supercede the Constitution, go back to our God given unalienable rights, arm and train every American citizen with a rifle and a side arm...

Well, I'm getting tired of typing, but you get the point.  This all has to come down and we have to go back to a simpler way of life like it was meant to be.  We have to rid ourselves of the parsitic classes of scum who are devouring our humanity like a massive cancerous tumor. 

If we put every bankster and politician scum on trial for their treason...I mean really do it hard-core and seriously, it would make the Nuremberg Trials look like weekday traffic court.  We might run out of bullets executing all these motherfuckers.  But it'd be quite the turkey shoot and they'd all fuckin' deserve it too!

And oh yeah...Fuck You NSA and your momma's too for spying on all of us.  You'd be abolished as well. 

Have a nice day...

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:31 | 4069692 Running On Bing...
Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

Wouldn't getting rid of the counterfeit fiat and the organization that introduced it kill all birds with one stone?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:33 | 4069698 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

We will need mass trials, come Redemption Day. Never forget the millions of PC retard little Hitlers who also need their turn on Madame Guillotine.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 23:18 | 4071156 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture


They voted for Obomney, or they voted for McBama, or they voted for Obamacain, or they voted for Rombamney, in the scripted 'selections' of '08 and '12. THEY were TOLD  by the MSM that they would be 'throwing away their votes', and they COMPLIED with this bullshit. NOW, they seek 'twerking videos', and wait slavering and drooling in the wiings, all FIFTY MILLION of them, for their 'benefits', handled and dispensed by J.P. MORGAN/CHASE.

The 'SHUTDOWN' looms, and THEN is forestalled by the stupid, ignorant pricks and pussies in the 'CONGRESS'. The NSA never lost ANY funding, and 'OBAMACARE' is launched on the internet, collecting vital data from those who CHOOSE to give it FREELY to those 'controllers'.

IF WE...

IF WE...


Where and when EXACTLY were YOU when this shit started, or you realized that is was happening? I know exactly where I WAS.

Back in the fucking 1980's, I LOVED this shit, because I knew it was both PREDICTIVE PROGRAMMING, and also got to see it HAPPEN LIVE several years ago, and I also hated it for the same reasons...

Oh, yeah.



Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:43 | 4069734 ImpotentRage
ImpotentRage's picture

A tax rate of 10% on households with a positive net wealth eh?

You know, I remember when having a positive net wealth was a good thing. Now I want to avoid it as long as I can.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:54 | 4069785 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Lets say that you own a piece of property worth $1M.  A farm or small business for example.  The government then imposes a wealth tax of $100K.  If you don't have $100K lying around in a bank account or in cash you are then forced to borrow the money from a bank.  Banks will have no extra cash lying around because all of their depositers will be withdrawing 10% and that will deplete their reserves to zero.  Besides, all the smart depositers have withdrawn everything into hidden caches.  The government doesn't have the cash to loan because it needed it in the first place.  Now what do you do?


Fri, 10/18/2013 - 19:11 | 4070623 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

sell your property for ten cents on the dollar and pay the tax?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:57 | 4076409 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

even better! Thanks to eminent domain you can "sell" your property by force of a judge & SWAT team for 1 cent on the dollar at "fair market value" as decreed by the bought-off judge!
Isn't Murrika grand?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 23:40 | 4071203 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Let's say you are living 'paycheck to paycheck', and own nothing of consequence. You are laid off, and are reliant on 'government subsidies' which seem to actually pay you MORE 'money' than you were earning. You become used to being given free shit, and train your children to 'game the system' Say this goes on for two or three generations...

SUDDENLY, your grandchildren feel as they are 'owed' this 'free  money', and when it is suddenly CUT OFF, they become violent, demanding that 'those rich mother fuckers' give them some MOAR 'free shit'. LET'S SAY, you are one of those who actually WORKS, and EARNS (instead of being on the 'government tax doles'). YOU BOUGHT your 'properties' by work and sweat, and then, SUDDENLY, some motherfucker comes up to YOU and says, "HEY! IT'S NOT FAIR! WE NEED SOME OF YOUR SHIT, FOR FREE! WE'RE ENTITLED TO YOUR MONEY!"

NOW, what do you do?

If there was a faggot on your back, would you leave him there, or beat him off? Would you let him thrust his cock in your ass, or would you thrust your ass back on his cock?

SAY, don't you work for some 'megabank'?


Maybe, someday...

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:45 | 4069964 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture



anyone know what the tonnage of dropped depleted uranium was on libya?

just askin

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 22:40 | 4071112 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Where'd they get that D.U. stuff, anyway?

Reprocessing plants on Honshu, Fukushima Province, perhaps?

WHY is TEPCO still doing business? Injections of capital from American  AND BRITISH holdings?

GEE, I DON'T KNOW (scratches head, wondering the correct answer).

I never heard of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Cartel (HSBC), until I decided to study the 'Opium Wars' of the 19th century. Talk about DRUG WARS...

Are you sure you want to know the answers to your questions? Once you know, your life will be forever changed.


Lots of information enclosed in the links. Test the waters. be CAREFUL...

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:05 | 4070037 DYS
DYS's picture

Wipe out all debt.   Wipe all savings above $10M.   Start over.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 22:22 | 4071075 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture



I WORKED for MY savings, and YOU will not 'WIPE It OUT' by 'FIAT DECREE', you stupid mother fucker!

Fat fucker thinks that hoagies are snacks between MEALTIMES, and MY savings are worth NOTHING...

You want a 'RE-DO'?

How much do YOU owe? You must be in SERIOUS trouble, you stupid, fat fucker.


Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:15 | 4070051 Pumpkin
Pumpkin's picture

Everyone reading this should at the very least look up the statute (not the code) concerning income taxes.  All taxes must name those who are liable to pay them.  You will be shocked to learn, you are not liable!  Your boss is liable, but only if you direct him to withhold the tax, and the government officer recieving those funds is liable, and thats it.  Not you, not ever.  Also the 1936 act defines the individual tax payer.  It is any individual who receives 80%+ income from within a United States possession. Suckers! Tariff Act of 1913 and Revenue Act of 1936.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:18 | 4070068 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

I'd have no problem with confiscating wealth that hasn't been taxed, such as the kind held in offshore trusts and accounts designed expressly for tax avoidance.  The notion this wealth can't be found is absurd.  But if they are going to do something this extreme, they better do it right, which means they better pay off debt with it.  If they just "spend" it and the overall debt grows (a real possibility) they should just stay the fuck away from people's money.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:57 | 4076413 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

the notion all savings should be taxed is absurd. LOOK at the crimes put to work by government, including gun-running & drug-running and mass-murders using drones, and ask yourself why anyone should be paying for that by taxation. People are saving lives by avoiding paying taxes into that.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:34 | 4070105 C-B77
C-B77's picture

Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus are just testing grounds to see how different approaches play out. EU/IMF took different actions for each of these countries under the pretext that the specific circumstances were different. But it was Cyprus that gave them out, I don't think there was a fundamental reason why they had to haircut the depositors in Cyprus instead of following any of the other approaches. One of them coming soon near you...

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:40 | 4070128 bg6666
bg6666's picture

Northern Trust keeps hounding me to complete my "customer profile" particularly my total wealth and where I derive my wealth and income from.  Most recently, they have informed me that they will have to ask the same questions  if I want to place a phone order to buy security/bonds.  My accounts are simple IRA's and are not enabled for purchases on margin.  I told them, that without a professional real estate/business appraiser, I couldn't commit to any such data speculation.  Of course, I did end the conversation with a polite F-off.  

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 23:26 | 4070145 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture



Definition of taxation: Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist. ... The government says “Your money, or your life.”


Human realities are always organized lies, operating organized robberies. Money is measurement backed by murder. No private property exists outside of some system of public violence. Human beings always operated as robbers in their environment, (due to defining them to exist as separate from that environment, which is the only way to use human language to talk about things.) The only things that exist are some dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies, operating organized robberies.

The War Kings have gradually morphed to become the Fraud Kings, who have almost totally dominated the economy, and corporations, because they effectively privatized the public money supply. In order to make and maintain that system, the vast majority of people had continue to act like political idiots, or Zombie Sheeple. By and large, those who talk about how bad the established runaway systems of force backed frauds are, then propose bullshit "solutions" which say that should be stopped. However, it is impossible for the process of robbery to end, since we must necessarily operate relative SUBTRACTION of parts from the Whole in order to perceive the world in ways which enable the use of any human languages.

Everyone has the power to rob, and to kill to back up that power to rob. That is fundamental to the nature of human life as animals, (and more abstractly, necessary to any defined toroidal vortex that acts as an entropic pump.) Warfare gradually selected for those organizations which were the best at surviving in that context, which created the War Kings, that made sovereign states, whose powers were covertly taken over by the Fraud Kings, the private banks, who thereby effectively privatized the power to rob, and the power to kill to back up that robbery.

Given that the overwhelming vast majority of the "citizens" in those sovereign states act like incompetent political idiots, who do not understand, and do not want to understand any of the basic FACTS stated above, what one expects to happen is that those Zombie Sheeple will continue to get fleeced worse and worse, while they are set up to be slaughtered. Meanwhile, the Black Sheep who protest what the Vicious Wolves, and their Domesticated Dogs, are doing, will continue to bleat the moralities that everyone should be better sheep, which is absolutely impossible, and will continue to backfire badly, since those impossible ideals always make the opposite happen in the real world.

The theory of democracy, with everyone equally voting to control the use of the sovereign powers through the rule of law, has already been almost totally subverted by the Fraud Kings being able to almost totally take over privatized control of the powers of the government. The only way to make that democracy workable would be IF there were enough citizens who stopped acting like incompetent political idiots who base their actions upon the same old false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals. Since that is practically impossible, the only realistic futures are for the runaway systems of force backed frauds to become so excessively unbalanced and mad that they destroy themselves eventually.

The powers to rob, backed by the power to kill, are necessarily the foundation of human realities, due to our necessarily originally perceiving and defining human beings to exist, subtracted from their environment, in the ways that all human languages necessarily do. There was no private property that was not based on previous systems of lies and coercions. There is no way to stop those processes of dishonesty, backed by violence, since those are absolutely basic to having perceived human beings to exist as separate from their environment in the first place, which is the only way that human language could operate at all.


Governments ARE organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals, which currently happens to be the international bankers. Citizens are members of organized crime gangs, which have been brainwashed to believe in bullshit, so that they do not understand, and do not want to understand, how the monetary and taxation systems really work. As long as there are not enough citizens who are competent to understand those FACTS, then there can not be any effective resistance organized in order to change the path of least resistance of the flows of energy through the systems of organized lies, operating organized robberies.

These kinds of proposals of extraordinary taxation by the IMF are the path we are on now, because the vast majority of people always act like incompetent political idiots, while they are urged by the Black Sheep to believe that the "solutions" could somehow be if everyone acted like better sheep. The Vicious Wolves have taught the Zombie Sheeple to bleat that morality. Meanwhile, the Vicious Wolves operate their systems of force back frauds, which can pay for the Domesticated Dogs to herd those Sheeple.

I despair of that ever getting any better, since the current systems are based upon the already almost total triumph of financial frauds, which control almost all social and political institutions. Therefore, our political economy operates with deliberate ignorance towards its actual environmental ecology, since it is impossible to understand privatized fiat money as being anything else than fraud, if one understands the principle of the conservation of energy.

The IMF is one of the significant components of the globalized systems of privatized fiat money, made out of nothing, as debts, which is automatically driving its debt slavery towards debt insanity. That is simply the runaway triumph of the dominant established systems of the Fraud Kings being able to use the powers of the sovereign states, originally made by the War Kings, to tax everyone else to death. As long as there are not enough competent citizens able to resist that runaway social insanity, then it must necessarily get worse, faster ... and so, we have not seen anything yet!

The basic realities are debt controls backed by death controls. Since the vast majority of people continue to be Zombie Sheeple who do not understand that, and do not want to understand that, therefore, they will continue to be fleeced and slaughtered, in more and more unbalanced ways, since there is not enough organized effective resistance to change the real systems of debt controls, being backed by real death controls. As long as there are not enough competent citizens to understand and operate better death controls, then those controls will continue being operated through the maximum possible deceits (including the deceits that deny those controls exist, or should exist.) As long as those deceits continue to be triumphant, then the debt controls will continue to drive debt slavery to become debt insanity, as the numbers get more demented, and the fake "solutions" become more and more desperate to maintain the established systems of force backed frauds. The only theoretical solutions are breakthroughs to more radical truth about these political paradoxes, however, since that seems practically impossible, therefore, one can only predict that suggestions from the IMF to even more spectacularly tax will be implemented, in order to keep the unbalanced systems of organized lies, operating organized robbery, becoming ever more unbalanced.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:54 | 4070173 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

If we placed IMF staff & membership doles in a Walmart. Would they react the same if the SDR’s were raided? This would be a good human experiment to test the difference between a EBT card holder vs. a SDR carpetbagger.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 17:01 | 4070203 Oligarch
Oligarch's picture

Worldwide confiscation of wealth.  International Mockery Fund.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 18:45 | 4070555 RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

If everyone were required to do the same, I would not object to a wealth tax of 10% of my total net worth.  As my net worth is in the range of half a million, such a levy would be more painful to me than it would be to those who in recent years have paid themselves bonuses of millions,  at the expense of stockholders, employees and customers. 

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 22:14 | 4071061 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture



Fri, 10/18/2013 - 22:13 | 4071056 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

That's a pretty in-depth and accurate article.


I haven't even read all of it yet...

Corporations (Corporations),

AMNESTY! (amnesty!)!

Bankers in the Hague,

Bankers in New York,

Steal liberty



Sat, 10/19/2013 - 00:06 | 4071224 Promethus
Promethus's picture

A wealth tax?  Don't make me laugh.

The government can sit on its collective ass and use financial repression and currency debasement easily making a lot more than one percent. A $100 K in savings sitting in "safe" bank CDs since 2008 has lost $30K in real interest and probably another $30K to real inflation. Tax my small nominal gain of interest, throw in a bail-in and finally a Corzine rehypocation and presto.  Why make a lot of fuss and bother for a lousy 1%?


Sat, 10/19/2013 - 12:05 | 4071757 Liberty2012
Liberty2012's picture

Excellent article and many wonderful comments. Thank you!

Some / Limited government is a practical reality however. It's a question of participation of the people. We always have the world "we" want. People agree on how they are going to live together.

The comparatively honest Highway robbers described in the article turn into oranized crime rings unless they are prevented from doing so.

Similarly, the elected Representative Republic turns into a Totalitarian Thugocracy unless they are stopped.

People who enjoy power generally want more and more and more. The only restraint is We the People.

We create the world we live in with every choice we make.

/ \
Freedom Individual
\ /

Everything good in life requires free will.


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