Introducing The Latest Tactic For Governments To Raise Cash

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

‘Creativity’ isn’t usually a word associated with ‘government’. Words like stodgy, bureaucratic, and incompetent are typically more appropriate.

But there is at least one area where bankrupt governments in particular tend to be exceptionally creative - finding unique ways to steal people’s money.

And over the last few years, one of the most creative ways that bankrupt governments have come up with is to confiscate what they consider “dormant” bank accounts—this would be an account without any transactions over a specified period of time.

The UK was the first on the scene with this idea with the 2008 Dormant Bank and Building Society Act. It was passed just in the knick of time right as the entire financial system was collapsing.

Within two years, the British Banker’s Association estimated that the law could raise as much as $600 million for the government… no small sum in the UK.

Earlier this year, Japan launched a similar initiative aimed at grabbing dormant bank accounts; they expect the move will raise approximately $500 million annually.

Both at least Japan and the UK have long-term thresholds. In Japan, they’ll seize an account if it has been dormant for more than 10 years. In the UK, it’s 15 years.

But there are a number of things wrong with this approach.

First, it calls into question the fundamental principle of private property. How can something be yours if the state can legislate its authority to seize it?

And even if the account holder has long since passed, shouldn’t the funds, by default, be awarded to the survivors nominated in accordance with the instructions in his/her last will and testament?

It is a rather ignoble act indeed to set aside the wishes of the dead so that the state can have yet another resource to plunder.

More concerning, though, is that if the state can simply legislate its authority to seize dormant bank accounts, then they can just as easily lower the bar.

Australia (which actually has a well-capitalized banking system and is not even a bankrupt government) passed legislation last year to reduce the threshold on seizing dormant accounts from seven years down to just THREE.

And in the last 12-months since the legislation was passed, the Australian government has seized a whopping 80,000 accounts totaling A$360 million… more than has been seized in the previous five decades COMBINED.

In case you’re wondering, yes of course, the Land of the Free has similar rules.

In fact, each of the 50 states has its own regulations pertaining to the seizure of dormant accounts. And the grand prize goes to… the great state of Georgia!

Georgia’s Disposition of Unclaimed Properties Act sets the threshold as low as one year.

In other words, if you have a checking account in Georgia that you haven’t touched in twelve months, the state government is going to grab it.

So much for setting aside money for a rainy day and having the discipline to never touch it.

If you’ve locked away money for your children’s savings or unforeseen emergencies, your government might be sharpening its knives ready to dig in.

And just like central bank policies punish savers with interest rates that don’t come close to keeping up with inflation, these policies provide disincentives for people to be responsible and save money.

It’s just another example of how the entire system is rigged against the individual… and all the more reason to divorce oneself from it. Physical gold, anyone?

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0b1knob's picture

California had this YEARS ago.

seek's picture

All states have this. The key here is that they shortened the time of "dormant" to something so short as to be ridiculous.

A lot of states are in the 3-5 year range. One year is simply insane, a time frame that short and you're going to start picking up retiree's savings accounts, soldiers that are out of country, etc.

This is simply badly camoflaged theft.


Pladizow's picture

Um, hate to point this out, but the moment you deposit your money in the bank it IMMEDIATELY ceases to be yours!

You have just lent the bank your money without requiring any collateral from them - you are an unsecured creditor!

zaphod's picture

This is simply a method to steal from pools of money where the government expects the least resistance. The expectation here is no one is closely watching these accounts so no one will put up a fuss. The fact that legally they belong to an account holder is inheritance trust is immaterial.

With bitcoin your cold wallet is yours forever, untouchable regardless of the length of time. You can pass the key to funds through multiple generations without transactions even hitting the block chain or being visible if you choose. You can escape in a boat and go somewhere else and immediately have access to every single coin with zero cross border risk.

JLee2027's picture

bitcoin can be hacked.

Only Gold and Silver in your possession is safe.

SilverIsKing's picture

Would this apply to Credit Unions as well?

zaphod's picture

Love the kneejerk downvotes whenever someone mentions the benefits of bitcoin over dollars in banks. 

To those who respond that gold is safer, tell me which is safer and easier to secure secure.

1) A bitcoin key (around ~40 characters) written on a peice of paper, or better yet memorized as a brain wallet (ten random words memorized), that controls a lifetime of wealth, or 

2) Several hundred ounces of physical gold

Both are easy to bury underground, yes. But I'd argue bitcoin is much easier to transport bitcoin out of country and/or spend it securely than gold. 

zerozulu's picture

Is there a law that people cannot keep more than US$10,000 cash at home ??

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Yes, is call "law of primordial tropical forest". If is not tie down with guard posted or bribery pay, any possession is subject of seizure  by state or bank.

Nail it's picture

See that's why I stay broke, Boris .

NidStyles's picture

I want someone to tell me how it's creative if nothing is actually being created. Confiscation is destructive. 

jeff montanye's picture

this totally happened to me at suntrust in neptune beach, florida a couple of years ago. i had a small savings account to cash checks from a part time job. i hadn't put money in or taken it out in a year or two.  i got a statement one day and it was gone. no phone call, no letter saying it might happen. after serious screaming and hollering, initially met with "this is out of our hands" i got it back in a week. needless to say i closed the account and consolidated the funds.

this is a real risk.

CheapBastard's picture

"If you don't hold it...."


How many times do peeples need to hear it to understand it?

Umh's picture

The problem is that the goons (police) will claim it is drug money and you will probably never see it again.

americanreality's picture

Sure you will.  A good lawyer, $10,000, and three years in court and you'll get every penny back.  Why you gotta be so negative?

gina distrusts gov's picture

The major drawback of any crypto coin is the internet itself

if the .gov shuts it down or filters it the "coin" can be worthless instantly

mvsjcl's picture

Bitcoin is not real.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

At this point, and IMO, carefully done Bitcoin transactions and Bitcoins themselves are pretty secure.

YES, very volatile.

(Don´t forget to include Pt and Pd as safe PM possessions!)

Save_America1st's picture

got me a little Pt action about a month ago.  Not a lot...but just enough to look really fuckin' cool stacked with the Ag and the Au...right before it all fell overboard in a terrible boating accident while I was deep sea fishin' out in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Darn it...

NidStyles's picture

I need to start diving where you guys keep going, it seems like there would be a lot of gold down there. 

Burticus's picture

Dang, I lost thousands of ounces of silver bars and coins in a tragic accident while I was deep sea fishing out in the Gulf of Mexico too, probably for the same reason!  Ain't that a coincidence?!

I suppose the cybercurrency bugs were right all arrangement of electrons on a computer is much more safe & valuable than physical silver and always will be.  Dumb me.

balanced's picture

"an arrangement of electrons on a computer" is every dollar in a bank.

i-dog's picture

Indeed ... Are you seeing the pattern yet?

chumbawamba's picture

Well, that's bullshit, too.  Anything physical can be taken.

The only secure form of money is NONE AT ALL, i.e. no physical tokens, and no virtual ones either (fuck you bitcoin fags).

I submit that the ONLY form of money worth considering is TRUST.  It can be cheated but it can't be stolen.  However, mankind was not capable of using trust as money in this past age.  Maybe this time it'll be different.  We'll see.

Does anyone even understand what I'm talking about?

I am Chumbawamba.

macholatte's picture


I like plastic.

I take plastic money to the grocery store and they give me food. I trade guns & ammo for plastic and cars and furniture and dental work. I can even get gold and silver with plastic money. Who needs paper when you can use plastic.


Erudite Redneck's picture

My treasure is stored in Heaven where no one can steal it.

Umh's picture

Give us a call when you get there.

NidStyles's picture

How crazy would it be if it actually happened?

zhandax's picture

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.  His lifeform will change.

Obaminator's picture

If you really...REALLY believed wouldnt be on ZH.


know what I mean.

lotsoffun's picture

macholatte - and you are smarter then me.  i'm stuck in the old ways - i really am.  when you don't pay it back, they erase the debt completely - increase your credit score and beg you to take a new card at 12 months zero %!!  love you.  keep going buddy.  you sucking down all of my years of work.

Cathartes Aura's picture

I do.

but then I also understand that nothing in life is guaranteed, every day holds possibilities, some of which may not be desired or even expected,

and so Trust - whether in Self or trust'd others chosen - is a practice that deepens over time, and can be used to dis-engage from a system that exists to exploit us all.

can't be bought with monies either.

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

Speaking of dis-engagement here's an interesting concept:

Milton Friedman's grandson is involved in this project, and he has some thoughtful insights regarding government and self governance. The floating city idea is cool. But the idea of creating competition against established government is fantastic.

gh0atrider's picture

No fuck you you dunce loser!

We're riding with Satoshi until the bitter end!

balanced's picture

Just ignore him gh0atrider, he doesn't understand. He is not capable of understanding. When eventually Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency is used more than fiat, he will still claim that it "can be hacked" (not even understanding what "it" is, thus having no idea how stupid he looks). Bitcoin haters are the same as PM haters in that they have made a given choice, and they do not understand the alternatives, so they fear and mock what they do not understand.

Just ignore them. There is not a single Bitcoin-hater that actually understands even the most basic mechanisms of the protocol. Bitcoins are more secure than dollars in any bank account. From a technical perspective, hacking into a bank account is quantifiably simpler than somehow "stealing" Bitcoins. Obviously it's easy to steal an unsecured pen drive, or piece of paper with a key on it, but that could also be said for bank account credentials, or even physical PMs.

A rational person would simply say, "Hey I don't understand it, so I'm staying away from it." The fact that they are so passionate in their hatred of Bitcoin reveals the fear behind those feelings.

This comment voted down in 3... 2... 1...

gh0atrider's picture

bitcoin can be hacked.

Only Gold and Silver in your possession is safe.


Bitcoin cannot be hacked you asshole!!!!

sessinpo's picture

gh0atrider    Bitcoin cannot be hacked you asshole!!!!


However, your wallet can be rendered useless with a virus and the NSA has backdoors on everything. And that doesn't include and EMP attack that wipes out everything electronic.

cooky puss's picture

You're going too far. A good magnet or the proximity with other magnetic devices in the long run will suffice.

JustUsChickensHere's picture

idiot .... Bitcoin itself has never been 'hacked'...  third party businesses with poor security practices have been hacked. Dishonest third party business have stolen Bitcoins entrusted to them..

The suggestion was a paper wallet held personally ... that has never been hacked. Educate yourself.


sessinpo's picture

JLee2027     bitcoin can be hacked.  Only Gold and Silver in your possession is safe.


In a society where government has replaced God for so many, nothing is safe.

TheRedScourge's picture

Until someone comes to seize that too, at which time it will no longer be in your possession of course. The trick is in knowing the probabilities of losing one's money by any given method.

No Quarter's picture

NOTHIING is untouchable. 

Buster Cherry's picture

1's and 0's cannot move without the flow of electrons.

When the lights go out, whether by martial action or emp blast, if there's no electricity, there's no crypto commerce.

Buster Cherry's picture

1's and 0's cannot move without the flow of electrons.

When the lights go out, whether by martial action or emp blast, if there's no electricity, there's no crypto commerce.

JustUsChickensHere's picture

True ... but there would also be no clean water, no food ... and not a lot of life around.

you enjoy myself's picture

that's the point.  how valuable does a silver coin or US dollar become if you have it on you?  when the SHTF your ATM balance means nothing.  everyone should have at least 7 days worth of water and canned goods, batteries (or a generator), a gun, and maybe $500 in cash.  and that's the bare minimum.  you'll be more prepared than 99% of the feral public.  if you have a propane stove, water filter, swiss knife, band aids, tent, flashlight, and toothbrush then you'l be the freaking 1% of the 1%, Kyle Bass excepted.  

sure, you may have some canned/dried goods expire eventually, but that's what, $50 in replacement costs every 3 years?   if you live near a city of any size, and the power goes out for real, how long until it becomes Escape From NY?   probably 3 days.