Robbing Peter

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via Doug Casey's International Man,

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw


“Since the beginning of recorded history, the business of government has been wealth confiscation.” – Ron Holland


The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” – Vladimir Lenin

On 16th March 2013, the banks of Cyprus, with the approval of the Cyprus Government, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, confiscated private savings of accounts exceeding €100,000.

At the time, there were two readings of the unanimous approval by four bodies. As the confiscation was presented to the public, the unanimous approval implied that the confiscation was above board. To those who looked a bit deeper, however, the unanimous approval meant that, not only had the four bodies clearly been working on the plan for some time, behind closed doors, but it also demonstrated that all four bodies colluded to steal a significant amount of privately owned money.

For those of us who took the latter view, the confiscation meant that there would be more to come—that Cyprus was being used as a test case. If successful—that is, if the world did not immediately express outrage over the theft—a precedent would be set whereby the EU, the IMF, and presumably any of the banks and governments of the world could assume that it was alright to confiscate private funds, so long as there was an “emergency.”

As it turned out, they got away with it. There was no great outrage—very possibly because so few people in the world were directly impacted, so they were not especially bothered.

However, the precedent had been set, and at the time, I predicted that this was a test case and that the Cyprus model would spread.

I subsequently wrote a follow-up article, when Canada wrote into its 2013 budget that the Canadian banks could perform their own bail-in, should they find themselves in a state of “emergency.”

But, in fact, this did not begin with Cyprus. It began in November of 2010 in a meeting of the G20 countries, all of whom agreed to the concept of a bail-in. Since then, under the UK Banking Act 2009, legislation allowing bail-ins was passed in the UK. The US followed with the Dodd Frank Act of 2010. Switzerland followed in 2013 with a revision of the 1934 Banking Act. Other countries followed—some having completed legislation, some still in the works.

Now, on 4th July, Spain announced that it would impose a blanket taxation on all bank accounts at the rate of 0.03% for the purpose of “Harmonizing tax regimes and generating revenues.”

Spain may defend its decision by pointing out that it has one of the lowest tax takes in the European Union, which is true. However, what should be the issue here is not the amount of tax being imposed, but the principle upon which the tax is being taken. Let there be no doubt about this bail-in or any other—it is pure theft.

There will be those who are shortsighted, who may point to the tax rate of 0.03% being low. But history shows us that, over time, once a taxation concept is accepted by those being taxed, the rate tends to be increased over time. (All taxes start out small.)

The measure in Spain is also an advance on the concept that, as long as an emergency is perceived to exist, confiscation is justified. In Spain, no emergency situation is being pretended; they simply want the money and have decided to take it.

There are a number of points that the reader may wish to consider, even if he does not reside in Spain:

  • Since the initial confiscation in Cyprus attracted the approval of the EU and the IMF, it should not come as a surprise if the EU passes bail-in legislation. (Indeed such legislation is now in the works.)
  • It is unlikely that people who bank in any G20 country are safe, even if they do not as yet have bail-in legislation, as they may be next.
  • Should the US and /or the EU replace their paper currencies with plastic debit cards, as has been suggested, those who live in those jurisdictions will have no choice but to rely on banks as the clearing houses for all monetary transactions, once paper currency is eliminated. This, coupled with bail-in legislation would render all personal and corporate funds open to confiscation.

It does appear as though the table is being set for the citizens of all the G20 countries to be subject to legalised theft by their banks and/or governments. The question then to be asked would be, “How can I steer clear of this outrage, either in whole or in part?”

First, it might be wise to establish banking in another jurisdiction where, at the very least, confiscation legislation does not appear to be under discussion.


Second, it might be wise to establish a home base of some sort in another jurisdiction, in order to further diversify your risk.


Third, should you choose to remain in your present jurisdiction either full or part time, it might be wise to retain only three months expense money in banks in that jurisdiction, to minimise the possible loss-level.


Fourth, it might be wise to move a significant portion of your cash into investments that would be difficult, if not impossible, to confiscate. (Those who advise on internationalisation tend to recommend real property and precious metals as the two safest choices. Such investments should be outside of the endangered jurisdictions.)


Fifth, other types of confiscation are planned by some jurisdictions—notably with regard to retirement funds, through the demand that retirement funds be invested in government treasuries and/or bank debt. (It might be wise to move these funds elsewhere internationally as well.)


Sixth, it might be wise to resolve all of the above issues as soon as possible. Once legislation is in place, exiting from confiscatory laws may become impossible. Certainly, as in Spain, there will be no warning offered by governments. One day, you will own your deposit, the next day you may not.

One last note: In robbing Peter, the individuals performing the robbery will not be dressed like the individual in the photo below.

They will be wearing suits, and they will present themselves as legitimate authorities, carrying out the law. Unlike a customary robbery, there will be no authority to complain to; there will be no means of recourse. Your wealth, however large or small, will be lost.

Editor’s Note: This story is not surprising. In fact, we predicted it here. And don’t expect this to be the end of bank deposit “taxes” (i.e. confiscations) either. This is only the very beginning. As governments in the EU and throughout the world sink deeper into bankruptcy expect measures like this to increase in frequency and intensity. This is yet another great illustration why you need to have a bank account in a jurisdiction with sound finances. More on that here.

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Escrava Isaura's picture

Robbing Peter to give to Paulette….. Nothing to see here. Next?

jackstraw001's picture

Teach a man to fish and he'll still vote for the guy who gave him a fish.

RafterManFMJ's picture
  • They say if you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish.... then he's gotta get a fishing license, but he doesn't have any money. So he's got to get a job and get into the Social Security system and pay taxes, and now you're gonna audit the poor cocksucker, 'cause he's not really good with math. So he'll pull the IRS van up to your house, and he'll take all your shit. He'll take your black velvet Elvis and your Batman toothbrush, and your penis pump, and that all goes up for auction with the burden of proof on you because you forgot to carry the one, 'cause you were just worried about eating a fucking fish, and you couldn't even cook the fish 'cause you needed a permit for an open flame. Then the Health Department is going to start asking you a lot of questions about where are you going to dump the scales and the guts. 'This is not a sanitary environment', and ladies and gentlemen if you get sick of it all at the end of the day... not even legal to kill yourself in this country. Thanks again, John Ashcroft, you weird bible addict, can't even handle your own drug. You were born free, you got fucked out of half of it, and you wave a flag celebrating it. [audience member]: Hey, don't hold back! [Doug]: You got an argument? [a.m.] No, keep goin'! ... The only true freedom you find, is when you realize and come to terms with the fact that you are completely and unapologetically fucked, and then you are free to float around the system.
  • Doug Stanhope
Racer's picture

I would have read that.. but for.......

Borrow Owl's picture


l have, on several occaisions, sent links to the video of this particular performance to those who 'just don't get it' in lieu of repeatedly beating my seriously scarred noggin against my keyboard as I embark on a futile attempt to explain that which should be obvious to anyone more intelligent than a day-old pile of dogshit. Unfortunately, it sems that I am forever doomed to grossly overestimate th intelligence of the average american.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Borrow Owl...,

I read your comment twice and still couldn’t get it. Can you make it easier on me.


Slave's picture

Can you stop replying to every post in the thread with fucking nonsense?

Escrava Isaura's picture

Wow! And you see your comment as an improvement... I would imagine.

Dead Canary's picture

I hate when that happens.


Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Teach a man to fish and he'll still vote for the guy who gave him a fish.

Yes that is true when you substitute fish with money and fishing with working for said money.

See how the scam works yet...

If you control the idoltry you in essence control the fish. The guy he is voting for just controls the fishing hole.


Radical Marijuana's picture

Subsidize fishing with "money" made out of nothing, and then the fish stocks will be wiped out, causing the originally induced fishing boom to burst.

Statetheist's picture

Government is nothing but coercion through violence and force. The sooner we are rid of it, the better off we'll all be.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Both of you aren't making any sense. Next?


Matt's picture

Unless you have some means of changing human nature, if you remove government, the vacuum will be filled by another entity using violence. A Warlord, A religion, an Aristocracy, a Cartel. 

Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah, Matt! There are no other realistic solutions than have to muddle through the madness of different systems of organized lies operating robberies, which may develop dynamic equilibria between themselves.

Everyone has some power to rob, and power to kill to back that up. Governments were historical ways that those powers to rob were assembled and channeled. Those who recommend "no government" are spouting impossible ideals, which are bullshit that actually makes the opposite happen in the real world. One of the reasons why the social rates of robbery have come so extremely unbalanced is that the opposition groups have become almost completely controlled, so that their "solutions" are always impossible bullshit ideals.

Too many citizens have been successfully brainwashed to become incompetent political idiots that do not want to understand that they are members of an organized crime gang, called their country. That has been in a vicious spiral with the best organized gangs of criminals being able to capture control over the powers of governments. The results have been that the school systems and mass media brainwashed people to believe in bullshit, while the controlled opposition groups present some better analysis of the problems, but then collapse back to presenting bullshit "solutions" based on the same old-fashioned false fundamental dichotomies and related impossible ideals, which have been backfiring badly for thousands and thousands of years.

Zero Hedge articles and comments are full of goofballs promoting impossible ideals as the "solutions" to the real problems. One of the main reasons why We the People dismally fail to stop the best organized gang of criminals continuing to control the government is that almost all the alleged "opposition" is also controlled by them too.

Here is a relatively recent example of the general pattern of a presentation which is 90% good analysis, following by 10% bullshit "solutions:"

Century of Enslavement:

The History of The Federal Reserve

That hour and a half documentary starts off discussing the deliberate lying by omission about "money." At about the 1:07:46 mark that video correctly states that anyone who watches that video then knows more than 99% of the rest of the abysmally ignorant population!


Human realities are always organized lies operating robberies. Private property does not exist outside of some system of public violence. All private property is based on claims backed by coercions, with money being the most abstract way that works.

A democratic republic operating through the rule of law is the best theory regarding how to cope with the fact that everybody has some power to rob, with the ultimate form of the power to rob being the power to kill. The basic problem has been the prolonged success of the best organized gangs of criminals being able to apply the methods of organized crime to capture control over the government, which in turn enabled the runaway feedback of turning enough of "We the People" into Zombie Sheeple that were conditioned to not want to understand how the monetary and taxation systems worked.

Meanwhile, almost all the controlled opposition groups who claim to be against the established systems continue to promote bullshit "solutions," which have never worked previously, because they are staying inside of the biggest bullies' bullshit world view. I am not aware of any significant opposition group which does not follow the general pattern of making presentations which are about 90% good analysis of the problems, followed by 10% bullshit "solutions," because their "solutions" continue to be based on the same old-fashioned false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, which always actually make the opposite happen in the real world.

The genuine source for a better political revolution should be an intellectual scientific revolution, to understand human civilization as energy system. However, doing that means that there can be no more fundamental dichotomies, and therefore, no more "solutions" based on realizing impossible ideals.

Human beings, by definition, operate as entropic pumps of energy. Groups of human beings necessarily live as robbers in their environment, to the degree that we define them as separate from their environment. Human beings are political animals. Politics must necessarily be based on organized systems of lies, operating robberies, which may develop dynamic equilibria. The less that most people understand that, then the more unbalanced the social rates of robbery are going to become, because the more that people believe in false fundamental dichotomies, and in "solutions" based on impossible ideals, then the more that the opposite actually happens in the real world.

At the present time, the world is being controlled by systems which appear to be about 99% legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, (as is clearly symbolized by the privatization of the public "money" supply created out of nothing as debts) in which context about 99% of the people do not understand that, because they feel like they do not want to understand that. The controlled opposition groups continue to present good analysis of the problems, up to the point where the propose bullshit "solutions," because they refuse to go THROUGH the looking glass of our Bizarro Mirror World, that human realities are always actually 100% organized lies, operating robberies.

The biggest bullies promoted the bullshit of false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, while they controlled their apparent opposition to continue to operate inside that false frame of reference too. In that context, the controlled opposition groups are typically reactionary revolutionaries, or Black Sheeple, whose "solutions" are to recommend that everyone should become better Sheeple. In fact, the opposite is the case. Metaphorically speaking, everyone should become better Wolves. That is what being a "good citizen" actually should mean! However, the established systems are operated by Wolves in Sheep's clothing who have been so successful at doing that for so long that their bullshit social stories almost totally dominate the school systems and the mass media, so that elections are shows put on staring puppet politicians, performing for the masses of muppets, which enables the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites to become the most successful politicians.

Meanwhile, progress in science and technology has been significant with regards to many other various general energy systems, EXCEPT when it comes to anything to do with human beings, bullshit almost totally dominates, especially since those few who do good analysis of the real problems, up to a point, then tend to always collapse back to old-fashioned bullshit "solutions" to those real problems.

That Grand Canyon Paradox of progress in understanding many other general energy systems, EXCEPT human energy systems, keeps on automatically getting wider every day! The reasons are that governments are necessarily the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gang of criminals. There are NO realistic solutions which can change that. There are only possibly different dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies, operating robberies.

Harbanger's picture

"The reasons are that governments are necessarily the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gang of criminals. There are NO realistic solutions which can change that"

Lets not lose ourselves in theory.  All this has been experienced by humanity before, the closest we gotten and we shall return to, is the understanding that all people are flawed.  Therefore no one is fit to be our leader without limits of power.

Matt's picture

I suspect it is cyclical and happens whether people work towards it or not. The Empire collapses, creates a temporary state of anarchy, then smaller city-states/kingdoms/republics organize with more even distribution of violence, wealth and representation. Over time, new cartels and oligarchies form, and eventually a new empire rises, rinse repeat.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Matt, what can be seen as cyclical also can be seen as a widening spiral!

The building of a system of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which has become globalized electronic frauds, backed by the threat of the force of atomic bombs IS the same old pattern repeating again, BUT, on an astronomically amplified scale.

The thing that has changed is the development of science and technology, as demonstrated by the runaway industrial revolutions, changing everything, EXCEPT the social pyramid systems just getting bigger and BIGGER!

That also appears to be happening faster and faster ...

Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah, Harbanger, the checks and balances, or the divisions of powers, in the American Constitution was one of the best ideas. However, gradually the power of money in the political processes was able to corrupt all that, step by step, until now all three branches of government are banksters' puppets, as well as the "fourth branch" the mass media.

All together, there is a runaway consolidation of political power, through the monetary system, feeding back through the funding of the political processes, so that there is practically nothing outside of that which has a hope in hell of competing!

Money controls people's lives so much, that, as they lost control over their money supply, they lost control over everything else!

I WISH that I could think of any practical ways to change the political systems, after the checks and balances have already been destroyed, but I can not!  We are Catch 22ed up the creek without a paddle. The ONLY apparent "solutions" are for the runaway unbalanced robberies to become so mad that they destroy themselves ... and then, MAYBE, somebody survives through that, and has learned from that?

At the present time, I doubt it. The People should control their money supply, BUT, since they have already lost control more than 99%, they seem to be terminally screwed! While it easy to dream up theoretical ways to fix the problems, there is NOTHING practical that can be done without money, but the supply of money IS THE PROBLEM, which makes any other solutions practically impossible!

Caviar Emptor's picture

If Peter robbed Paul...would that be less immoral?

Escrava Isaura's picture


Let's keep it simple... shall we?


BobTheSlob's picture

Define "immoral". Apparently if you employ the government as your third party agent, it's no longer immoral. So "If Peter robbed Paul...would that be less immoral?" Perter would do time.

Harbanger's picture

Duhh, Immoral is anything not PC.

Cruel Aid's picture

Shaws solution to the pauls was to gas them actually. Or so he said.

or is it the peters

Cacete de Ouro's picture

This is all obvious stuff. How many more of these similar stories do we have to take? It's like beating a dead horse at this stage. G20 bail-ins, Cyprus bla bla bla...precious metals bla ba...scare mongering so as to sell some advice or gold. Bla bla bla

Can someone write something original, like a good investigative exposé ?

Escrava Isaura's picture

Cacete de Ouro,

"Can someone write something original..."

NO! Because it would go against the narrative that many of the Hedgers want to hear… or face.

And where did you get your name?

Cacete de Ouro's picture

Escrava Isaura,

Same place you got your name....although I haven't yet appeared in a novela, but maybe one of these days :)

Escrava Isaura's picture


Well, Zero Hedge, sometimes, does appear like soapoperas.

Cin Cin!

Harbanger's picture

Too many fucking gay Euros, they love a long story.

yogibear's picture

 "In robbing Peter, the individuals performing the robbery will not be dressed like the individual in the photo below."

LOL, dressed like Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger. The types of elderly that would rob you blind and smile doing it.

deflator's picture

 Pretty soon the government will be telling us that Peter didn't build that wealth, that it was government that created Peters wealth in the first place. 

Spastica Rex's picture

Is "Paul" Unitedhealth Group?

Very clever!

Dutch's picture

Once people became broadly convinced that it is noble and proper for the property of one person to be seized and given to another, and that the government is fully empowered to do so by force, then the only real choices for the owners of that property are to either grin and bear the burden, leave town, or fight back. Putting up with it is just about over, and leaving town is disappearing as a choice, as the world gets more tightly controlled and regulated. That really leaves only one other choice, doesn't it?

nmewn's picture

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” – Vladimir Lenin

No kidding, well done Vlad.

Escrava Isaura's picture


Bourgeoisie, Taxation, Lenin… I like the direction you are leading us.

Now this thread is making progress.

nmewn's picture

The middle class, the bourgeoisie.

Escrava Isaura's picture

NO. The academic bourgeoisie class. The one’s setting the policies.  

nmewn's picture


The bourgeoisie (as defined by Marx) are exploitive, we have no feelings toward our fellow man, we must be crushed under the millstone of inflation & taxation OF MARXIST GOVERNMENT so the proletariat can rise to its proper place in the social order...because, the bourgeoisie are not WAGE EARNERS themselves...or some such bullshit.

I've been over this a thousand times, Marx was a parasite on capitalism (Engels wealth) who would rather let his own children live in squalor so he could persue his ambition.

Which was, being a narcissist parasite.

jmcoombs's picture

Marx's wife told him to quit writing about capital and to get his ass off the couch and go make some. True story. Another dirty little secret about Marx is he loved to play the stock market.

Harbanger's picture

No you fucking idiot, the bourgeoisie class IS the middle class.  Communism IS a 2 class system, that's the end game, class warfare is the bullshit they use to destroy the middle class which they CLEARLY SAID WAS THE PROBLEM WHICH STOOD IN THE WAY OF THEIR UTOPIAN SOCIETY. wake the fuck up.

Escrava Isaura's picture


Communism IS a 2 class system.... UTOPIAN SOCIETY.

Where do you learn these things?

are we there yet's picture

They can only rob the little Peter, The really big Peter in internationaly untouchable.

Borrow Owl's picture

Good point.

Pack enough patassium nitrate (and, perhaps, a wee bit of sulphur and charcoal) around The Really Big Peter-and... voila:

The Really Big Peter becomes, for all intents and purposes, internationaly untouchable- unless, of course, you have an insatiable fetish for micronutrients.


















are we there yet's picture

Paul is mostly the government.

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

Government lives paycheck to paycheck, it's employees and cronies are some of the wealthiest people in the world. Paul works for the government.

taggaroonie's picture

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

I think Shaw had a less-than-libertarian viewpoint.

In fact, he may have been advocating robbery of this nature, and he figured that the Pauls would outnumber the Peters.



A Lunatic's picture

All I see these days are another 50 ways to reduce your exposure to corruption; not a word about bringing the corruption itself to an abrupt and permanent fucking end. To all of the assholes making money off of misery and woe; There will be retribution........