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Desperate Acts Of Government Continued - Europe Edition

Tyler Durden's picture


It appears that while some will argue that all is well and all we need are some animal spirits to bring us out of the doldrums, it would appear that governments and central banks disagree. Having recently discussed Argentina's forced bank-lending (and of course the BoE's wink at Barclays), we now hear a German think-tank (DIW) is strawman-ing an idea to force the wealthy to buy government debt (or lend "transfer" up to 10 per cent of their net worth). As the Germans come under more and more pressure to save their friendly neighbors the compulsory loans from anyone with a net worth above EUR250k would provide around 9% of annual GDP (or EUR230 billion) that could be mobilized to support the Euro-rescue efforts. As FAZ, Handelsblatt, and Die Welt note, this is not being well-received as the ZEW (Center For European Economic Research) reacted critically that this "would be a huge intrusion into property rights, and probably not possible under German law" running the major risk that "with enforcement action it will probably not be able to regain market confidence," and while a similar system had been installed after the Great Depression in the 1920s (as well as after WW2), these previous loans encumbered real estate properties and not directly to cash.

We discussed this three months ago (not as policy recommendations but as expectations that all wealth will be extracted to prevent what 'they' think is pending social collapse), and while it will not be popular, it seems either directly through this route or indirectly through banking repression, the forced financial tax that we wrote of back in September is exactly what is occurring - as there are only painful ways out of this miasma.


(h/t Thomas Weber)


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Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:53 | 2606753 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

In Europe, debt buys you. 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:25 | 2606936 Doña K
Doña K's picture

That eliminates real estate as wealth preservation. I had posted before that real estate can be taxed to extinction. Now it's perfectly clear.

the only wealth preservation asset is PM's in any form, silver bangs, gold wire, gold and silver coins and in any other form. We little people should avoid bars as they need assay before selling.

Do the right thing mates


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:39 | 2607610 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

PM's are just as big a fallacy as real estate. PM's hold no value other than what people currently ascribe to them. So on one hand you say that the powers that be can tax you to infinity for real estate, but fail to see how those same powers can ban the transactions of all PM's, or tax the shit out of them when you buy or sell? Your kidding yourself if you think PM's are going to save the day in the end. What you should actually be looking at is the big movers of PM's and what they are doing with it. HINT: they are not keeping it, they are selling it at higher premiums to people like you and buying "real wealth", as in the kind of wealth that everyday people will saw off their arms to acquire, sell their first born, etc. If you can't see the forest from the trees, you're screwed...

...and in the end PM are not really that precious now are they? Especially with the work being done over at CERN - the Large hadron Supercollider has now made previously unknown elements, so don't think for one moment that could not take Mercury 196 and insert a neutron which would convert Merc-196 to Merc-197, and after its small radioactive half life stable gold-197.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 17:35 | 2607845 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

Wow 2 negatives but no explanation as to why? Figures... reply without substance

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 04:09 | 2609150 Western
Western's picture

the 'thought police' prowl these boards.. i've a list of several posters that post as if they are hired marketers by JPM/ECB/the Queen.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 18:45 | 2608123 GernB
GernB's picture

Under that logic, the value of everything is a fallacy, because nothing has any value except what people ascribe to it.

I'm curious as to what you think is real wealth, given than nothing has any value except what people ascribe to it.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 19:29 | 2608224 runlevel
runlevel's picture


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 21:27 | 2608538 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 PM's are just as big a fallacy as real estate... blah, blah.. but fail to see how those same powers can ban the transactions of all PM's, or tax the shit out of them when you buy or sell?

A government can enforce land taxes because it is the undisputed coercive force within that polity.

Banning PM sales outside its borders? Not so much.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:24 | 2606940 WiretapWilly
WiretapWilly's picture

It will be called a refundable tax.... with the details of the refundable part to be worked out later.  In unadjusted Zimbabwe dollars ofc.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 17:52 | 2607916 crazyjsmith
crazyjsmith's picture

Great, let's just call it a Freedom tax.
That way we can all be guilted into paying it.
You are a patriot aren't you?

Freedom isn't free folks.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:50 | 2606760 agent default
agent default's picture

Why bother making money or doing anything productive if the government is free to just walk in and confiscate it?

If they enact anything along these lines, there is no point in starting a business or running a business anymore, just join the bread line and demand more handouts.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:59 | 2606795 surf0766
surf0766's picture

You just made the argument against communism.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:25 | 2606947 WiretapWilly
WiretapWilly's picture

re-confiscate it u mean?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:11 | 2607188 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

better to be a confiscator than a confiscatee


i never before thought of my money as having a 'shelf life'

use it or lose it

actually not a bad idea

if you make more than 250k a year, you must spend ALL of it

no savings allowed

any leftovers will be used to purchase govt debt, like it or not

that oughta spur some inflation, or sumthin

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:25 | 2607275 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Missing /sarc tag?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:56 | 2607112 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

The government has always had that power, it has simply chosen not to exercise it on a grand scale recently.  Words on a piece of paper aren't going to protect you from a desperate government and the Supreme Court is an arm of that government.  Don't expect any protection from that quarter.   It is "All your bases are belong to us," time. Take a lesson from Argentina.  Anything left in a bank or other sort of account will be taken, if not by the government then by the robber barons who are really in charge and are already stealing ostensibly "segregated" accounts without any fear of reprisal. Real estate doesn't really belong to you either, since it is subject to confiscation.  The government will leave you naked in its attempts to protect itself.  I'm expecting sociatal collapse on a scale not seen since the black death.  I don't expect to be one of those left standing, but I hope and pray I live to see the elites and their minions get what they've got coming.  

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:02 | 2607145 agent default
agent default's picture

If you are expecting total collapse, then you are better prepared more than 95% of the population.  The mind set is just as important as the tools at hand in this type of situations.  With that said, take UBS's earlier advice, and get a gun some gold and some canned food, just in case.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 18:54 | 2608146 GernB
GernB's picture

The US supreme court just ruled that the commerce clause of the constitution can be circumvented by calling it a tax. By logical extension any clause of the constitution, or all clauses of the constitution can be circumvented by the taxing authority of the government. You may not have had any real property rights before, but the US supreme court has just made it official, you only have those rights the majority lets you have.

What's more, I don't think there's any logically consistent basis on which to support confiscating money you just earned, and oppose confiscating money you already own. Why would anyone think governments cannot take what you own as easily as they take what you earn.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:50 | 2607414 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

yeah, I stopped being productive a few years ago, just closed my business. I won't take any gov handouts and will just survive the best I can.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:58 | 2606763 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

A better way would be to question directly the legality of much of the amassed wealth. And confiscate it directly.

Anyone who can conclusively explain within five minutes that he had worked for 50 bucks an hour for fourty years and inherited another two hundred thousand will be fine. And anyone else will be heard in the morning and guided to the nearest labor camp the same afternoon. High time for a major change.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:00 | 2606804 agent default
agent default's picture

Yeah, but why not just question your right to exist and just have the likes of you taken to the nearest concentration camp? After all those with the wealth are in a position to afford it. 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:09 | 2606825 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

The question has to be whether the right to steal from the working class (to amass undue wealth) supersedes the right of the people to conduct a life worth living.

Behind every major fortune is an unpunished crime. Time to catch up with the perpetrators.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:13 | 2606864 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The perpetrators won't be caught.  The merely frugal will.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:16 | 2606887 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

That's another story we have to keep an eye on. War on Cayman Islands?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:15 | 2606877 Clayton Bigsby
Clayton Bigsby's picture

Dude, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:30 | 2606985 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

A looter.

Who is John Galt ?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:17 | 2606896 agent default
agent default's picture

"Behind every major fortune is an unpunished crime."  This is just beyond stupid.  And behind every leftist there is a potential NKVD henchman or a Red Brigade Terrorist.  There, you logic in action.

And what do you mean steal from the working class and what do you mean undue wealth?  And steal from the working class?  Two facts of life:  First, you need employers to have a working class.  Second, nobody and I mean nobody screwed the working class harder than the "Socialist Paradise" states where there where the only employer was the "People's Government".


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:23 | 2606932 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Now, who's creating wealth, the salaried hand swinging the tools over in Detroit or a Goldman Sachs poker player sitting in front of his trading screen, shafting some widows and orphans with his secret algorithms?

Not a single 'socialist' country ever had been as indebted, relative to GDP, than our entire Western nations are. So, who did a better management of their system?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:49 | 2607064 agent default
agent default's picture

That's true, socialist countries managed to collapse their economies without a penny of debt.  Now quite that's an achievement.  As far as Western debt is concerned, you know what?  It mostly went towards unsustainable welfare and entitlement projects and other "Social Policy" crap. And no, under a capitalist system Goldman Sachs and the rest of the bucket-shops would have gone out of business a long time ago.  Then again, under such a system you wouldn't have centrally planed, artificially low interest rates allowing for the debt bubble to build up in the first place.  You would have to deal with the economic realities on a day to day basis, as in no zero money down mortgages, no student loans to get degrees in things like Liberal Arts or other dead end "studies",  no easy credit card debt so that you can buy that 90 inch plasma TV you didn't really need and couldn't afford anyway especially if it wasn't made in China.  In other words, you would have to live within your means, and really work to provide for those means.  Allowing you to live above your means was a Westernized version of Socialism, encouraged by scumbag politicians looking for an easy reelection trip, enabled by guess who?  The likes of Goldman Sachs. 

And that's why the bucket-shops are getting bailed out.

Oh, and if you think that labor alone creates wealth in a competitive way,  good luck to you and your sledgehammer keeping up with a modern production like which requires minimal manual labor, and a lot of capital investment. 



Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:19 | 2607243 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Never would have thought to see the bottomless war machinery being called 'unsustainable welfare and entitlement projects and other "Social Policy"', but thanks for the enlightenment.

Just for you, comrade: Goldman Sachs managed to fine-tune the capitalist system beyond our wildest dreams. This quote from an unknown thinker explains it best:

"To paraphrase a line from AIG’s rescue plea, government backstops are the oxygen of the free-enterprise system. Without the promise of protection against life’s adversities, the fundamentals of capitalism are undermined, and we would all be on the road to serfdom."

Capitalism equals crony capitalism. We can't have water without getting wet.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:52 | 2607437 agent default
agent default's picture

The war machinery is part and parcel of keeping the Ponzi going.  You know when they decided to invade Iraq?  When Saddam decided to sell oil in currencies other than the Dollar.  You know when Qaddafi was toppled?  When he decided to drop the Dollar.  You know What the Syrian situation is really about? Iran is dropping the Dollar. But they can't get to Iran without taking out Syria and the Russian bases in the region first.  The Petro-Dollar is instrumental in maintaining the US and to a large extent the Western Ponzi. 

And stop using AIG and the likes as an example of Capitalism, they are part of the mechanism that enabled the creation of the debt bubble which was designed to create fake prosperity.  You cannot possibly mix the words Capitalism and protection in the same sentence.  

You know what Capitalism is?

Telling LTCM to go to hell back in the Asian crisis.

Greenspan raising interest rates back in 2000 when the DotCom bubble burst, and flushing the bad debt and the over-levered speculators out of the system. 

That would have been Capitalism.  What you have now is the final stages of a failed Socialist experiment, where everybody no matter how dumbfuck he is, should not go broke.  

But you see the problem:  Everything I mentioned above, would have caused an immediate adjustment for the standards of living for the average Joe out there.  He would just have to live within his means,  and any excess would have pretty fast come to an end right there.  But no, the average Joe was "entitled" to a better standard of living.  Hence the Ponzi.


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:30 | 2607613 dolce vita
dolce vita's picture

agent; pass

tirp; fail

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 17:06 | 2607746 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

"Everything I mentioned above, would have caused an immediate adjustment for the standards of living for the average Joe out there."

The good thing is the house of card coming down could never have affected the million boni collecting executive class and their kin.

"He would just have to live within his means, and any excess would have pretty fast come to an end right there. But no, the average Joe was "entitled" to a better standard of living. Hence the Ponzi."

The average person may feel to be entitled to a job which pays for a living. Nothing wrong with that, in my view. Give him a job and he'll work for his money.

That Ponzi you seem to be fixed so much upon must sure be of his doing as well. After all it was neighbor John Doe who didn't care about his pension plan getting properly funded, as part of his work contract, which apparently enjoys less legal standing than the needs of some holders of inherited wealth, who never in their entire life got a hand dirty from honest work.

Your fine capitalism works possibly in theory, but on this planet capitalism always quickly moves towards monopolization and cronyism. Take other people's income and pollute their environment. Privatize gains and socialize the losses.

The current malaise does not even in the most remote sense have anything to do with socialism, where the people, instead of a few hundred families, earn the means of production and its income.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:15 | 2607217 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

"Behind every major fortune is an unpunished crime"


i've got to agree with tirpitz


think 'robber barons', the range wars,early opium trade

country has been a rigged game from the start

ask an american indian

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:58 | 2607470 agent default
agent default's picture

You cannot use someones financial situation as evidence of crime, or evidence of anything.  How would you like the following:  Poverty is evidence of incompetence, weak character, low intelligence, and an underlying criminal nature.

But it's funny how people react when you use their line of thinking from the opposite direction isn't it? 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:25 | 2607590 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Stop beating around the bush and state the problem plainly;  There has not been any real consequences for bad behavior at any level.  The "educated" elite should fucking know better.

Fine, you don't want to see the rule of laws and contracts restored,  fucking fine, burn it all down, at least then we can find out precisely what the real value of everyone's labor really is.  Fucking bring it.  fuck the paper-pushers and their weapons of financial destruction.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:57 | 2607712 agent default
agent default's picture

Didn't I just make this point using LTCM and Greenspan's interest rate policies as an example?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 17:19 | 2607791 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Guess he wasn't that aware of LTCM and Greenspan having been products of socialism, owned by the people, run for the people, with no private scooping up of rich profits occurring in the background.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 17:15 | 2607778 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

"How would you like the following: Poverty is evidence of incompetence, weak character, low intelligence, and an underlying criminal nature."

It ain't easy to run into poverty as long as you have some work and a system which allows for proper education. Unless, of course, some excessive medial bill throws you off track, just while your employer outsources your job for some extra tax-sheltered profits.

Now, how can you get wealthy, become part of the 0.01%? No chance with a honest job. But running some lovely ponzi scheme amongst a group of fellow crony capitalists a la Corzine, Madoff or Blankfine helps mightily on the bank account side. While being born into the right tribe family won't hurt either. Must be in the genes, somehow.

Again, I wonder how quite a few people here are so eager to see the splinter in the working man's eye, all the while they don't care about the beam in their own ones.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:06 | 2606814 XitSam
XitSam's picture

I hope you realize, after the troublemakers, the fellow travellers are the next ones to be sent to the labor camps.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:07 | 2606833 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Got to make them big enough. Have space for their entire tribe.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:32 | 2606996 Doña K
Doña K's picture


<<<A better way would be to question directly the legality of much of the amassed wealth. And confiscate it directly.>>>

Certain european countries make you pay income taxes based on the real estate and type of car you own.

You can not have a mansion and a top of the line luxury car (they claim) and report that you make 20,000.00 Euro per year.

The law is appropriately called "De donde eres" "pothen esches" and both mean: "Where do you come from?"


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:17 | 2607233 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

that doesnt catch the bigtime(read wall street) thieves

just dope dealers, who at least provide a useful fucking service

Sat, 07/14/2012 - 17:20 | 2616377 Doña K
Doña K's picture

True! It catches the underground economy only. The wall streeters and big dope dealers own everything through dummy corporations. Hard to find.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 19:07 | 2608181 GernB
GernB's picture

Well, who voted in the people who did this, and why. Did they vote for them because they promised free stuff? Did they cheer them on when they launched two wars? Did the advocate bailing out failing banks? Are they standing there now advocating massive spending in the face of a historic economic collapse? I've voted for the wrong people, stood behind the wrong policies, and I'm willing to sufffer the consequences.

People who have obtained money illegally should be penalized in proportion to the damage they've done and the lives they have ruined. But, those whose only crime is providing goods and services that people need. To penalize them for providing those goods and services, or view money freely given for value received as somehow tainted is wrong, and will only hurt the the people who currently buy those goods and services, when they are no longer available.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:51 | 2606765 Caggge
Caggge's picture

Keynesians got us into this mess and now we (non-Keynesians) have to sacrifice our principals so that they can get us out of this mess.


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:55 | 2606783 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Not sure Reagan's misguided supply-side spending spree had that much to do with Keynes.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:16 | 2606888 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

We recovered from Reagan and the 1980s congress' mistakes.  If anyone owns the current situation it is Bush II and that congress.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:30 | 2606960 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Almost agree here. Reagan lifted the debt level to unprecedented levels, and even Clinton didn't manage to get off this unsustainable level.

Bush finally blew it, and Obama leveraged W's wretched way of running the government.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:29 | 2607300 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

WTF do all of those puppets have to do with anything????

Could you at least engage in mature conversation, rather than focusing on the facade?

This isn't HuffPo, Slate, nor Free Republic, mister.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 19:27 | 2608222 GernB
GernB's picture

Tax revenues rose at a reasonable clip throughout Regan's administration, nearly doubling in 8 years. Spending grew just as fast.

I don't understand the obsession with income inequality, Am I crazy to assume that what matters to most people is how much they make and whether they are doing better over time. The problem with focusing on income disparity as a goal is that it seems to forget that equalizing income is not desirable if the end result is you make less. I'm far more confortable focusing on whether the system if fair and free, because I have faith than in a free and fair system I can prosper.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:51 | 2606766 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture     for accompanying graphs


' I saw... its thoughts. I saw what they're planning to do. They're like locusts...  After they've consumed every natural resource they move on ...'
-President Thomas Whitmore (Independence Day)

The same "Senior Compliance Manager" who signed off on the PFGBest affadavit and who is listed on the NFA website as both the "Director of Audits/Investigations" and the "Director of FOREX Compliance", Lauren Brinati, is the same woman whom I and my attorneys dealt with two years ago. {Brinati told my lawyer...}
"I don't actually understand any of this stuff. I just sign whatever comes across my desk." 
Lauren Brinati, June 2010

'Outside theft is even harder to stop in advance than foolish risk-taking. No reform proposal  should adopt the impossible goal of eliminating the need for trust and integrity. The cost of any proposed remedy will ultimately be passed on to brokerage customers.'
-Financial Times 7/11/12

'Client funds held by PFG Canada are also covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, which puts them at an advantage over U.S. clients. The U.S. equivalent to the CIPF, the Securities Investor Protection Corp. doesn’t cover futures accounts, while CIPF covers all investment accounts, from stock to futures to currencies.
CIPF was apprised of the situation late Monday afternoon but does not believe it will be called upon to cover any losses, said vice-president Barbara Love.
Regulators are working “very quickly. There’s a lot more knowledge in Canada about the futures industry after MF Global.”

Bad people do bad things.
Clearly, mistakes were made.
Madoff? Lone wolf. MFG? Market turned against them...whoops! PFG? How were we supposed to know that P.O. Box was a fake? He was such a nice man.

The second time this fella has missed a ponzi by whiskers. The first saw overseas institutions take a hit. Caveat Emptor Deutschland!

This time its' personal. Good folks, some known to me, who through no fault of their own...wiped out. Financial detritus strewn about with the skidmarks of another clown car.

This morning whilst grabbing the normal cup of joe got into a conversation with a MF Global refugee. A stranger who overheard my riffin' on the PFG headline in today's comics.
Everytime he reads how 'most' have received 70-80% back he wants to grab a pitchfork... he has seen nada and knows many that have garnered just as much.

'When you tell folks that it is a criminal syndicate they roll their eyes', I opined.

'They have no idea', he replied.

Let me though gentle reader, fan such a thought, provide perhaps a gentle breeze to just such an ember in your mind....  

The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama's economic recovery.  While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits…     After adjusting for inflation, median annual household income dropped 5.3% between June 2009 and May 2012. In contrast, median incomes dropped 2.6% during the 18-month recession, Sentier found.  "The recession was bad enough," said Sentier's Gordon Green, "but what's extraordinary is the even larger decline during this so-called economic recovery."…  7/6/12

Oh and the situation is much much worse if you exclude entitlement payments.

Clearly the Band of the Hand can only create a Potemkin demand. This so-called recovery, with so-called free markets, and so-called regulators, should be called for what it is ...a Ponzi reliant upon the charisma of the schemer.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:57 | 2607704 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Maybe if this is the 2nd time you've missed a ponzi by the whiskers, you need to re-evaluate your investment criterion and improve your due dilligence methodology?  Just sayin'

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:51 | 2606768 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

..."huge intrusion into property rights".............'ya think?

If I wasn't living it I wouldn't believe it. I need a drink.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:06 | 2606828 drink or die
drink or die's picture

May as well make it German themed:


1 part goldschlager

1 part Rumpleminze

1 part Jaegermeister

1 part $100 dollar bills (shredded)


Remove all gold flakes from goldschlager and discard.  Pour all 3 liquids over ice and stir in $100 dollar bills. Best enjoyed in the evening with an AR15 slung across your lap.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:53 | 2606771 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

Desparate times=desparate measures=already too late.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:53 | 2606772 Kokulakai
Kokulakai's picture

This will go over like a lead zepplin.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:53 | 2606775 Segestan
Segestan's picture

The NWO ... we're all minorities now!!

Banksters, Liberals= Minority Hope.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:59 | 2606799 same old story
same old story's picture

I have a question for posters on here.  I understand the reason for having PM's, but just not sure how it will work in practice.  Most of us work in major cities and until the SHTF can not afford to pack up and move.  I say that because already this has been going on for four years, and moving to some remote place with family and surviving on no income would have proven to be a real drag if not impossible for most.  


But when the SHTF how will PM's help.  Even if you have an escape plan you might find yourself on foot or other means to get there.  Are you meant to carry your PM"s in your BOB with all the other things you need.  leaving your PM"s at your safe house might not work as who knows how long it might take you to get there, and despite your best efforts your stash could have been discovered in the meantime.  leaving your PM"s in a bank vault etc is not a good idea.  So how exactly is having PM's going to help?  just curious as to how others are planning and preparing for this.  thanks

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:04 | 2606816 Shameful
Shameful's picture

People expect different scenarios.  If you are worried about a "Road" situation then PMs aren't going to mean a damn thing.  All that will matter in cities is weapons, a willingness to go feral, and killer instincts.  Now if it's a more civilized slow slide into poverty then all PMs are is an asset that is expect to hold onto purchasing power.  Have a need, sell the PM for local Fiat Fun Bucks, guy goods with currency.  Personally I see a more stable slide into abject poverty.  People are tied into the system and will give anything to keep it propped up.  Granted if WW3 starts and goes nuclear then all bets are off.  But hey, who cares most of us city dwellers will die in the 1st wave anyway.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:11 | 2606848 Tinky
Tinky's picture

I agree with this, essentially, but would add that depending on how much PMs are accumulated before a (likely) sharp appreciation in value, it may well be possible to take those profits and acquire productive land, start a business, move abroad, etc.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:21 | 2606920 Shameful
Shameful's picture

It depends.  In a Wiemar situation it does on it's face seem like one could buy productive assets on a spike in relative value.  It's my understanding this was the Chile experience as well.  However in such a case the underlying assumption is that society will hold together, and the governing class simply won't seize the asset from you.  So I got to figure those two big unknowns are factored into the price, turning it into a gamble.  As to moving abroad, better done before not after.  Capital controls could be quite the problem.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:34 | 2607006 Tinky
Tinky's picture

I share your concerns, which is why, Simon Black-bashing notwithstanding, I think that it is wise to hold at least a portion of one's PMs outside of the U.S. (and the broader banking system).

I recognize that only a certain percentage of the population is in a position to acquire substantial amounts of PMs, let alone store them abroad. I also see the point of those who advocate holding (and defending) them in person. But in my view, those who can afford to own a substantial amount would be well advised to keep at least some outside of the country. 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:59 | 2607719 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Getting a boat and knowing how to use it also seems like a very good idea...

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:32 | 2606903 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I agree with the slow slide into poverty.TPTB are trying to manage this thing down with as little disruption as possible. Slowly but surely the populations expectations will adjust downward and those things that we take advantadge of today will be luxuries tomorrow. It's a pretty sad state of affairs.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:17 | 2606839 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

depending on where you live i doubt you will need to escape...

things zh'ers believe

to assign probabilities to the future of gold we must look at the history of gold.

to assign probabilities to the future of fiat we must look at the history of fiat.

to assign probabilities to the future of "democracy" we must look at the history of democracy.

now, it seems to me that the same intellectual disipline is not being applied by zh'ers when examining societal collapse.

to assign probabilities to the future state of society after collapse, we must look at the history of societal collapse.

what does history tell us of the time line of collapses? what are the historical antecedants of rapid collapse? a proper analysis suitable for personal planning must ask some questions. for instance, how often and for how long does the "roving band" or "golden horde" scenario occur and what does a typical collapse look like?

IANAH (i am not a historian and i'm not at all certain of my conclusions) but it seems to me that:

1. there is a natural feedback mechanism whereby, as society descends into chaos, calls go out for a strongman. these calls are almost always granted (ceasar and hitler come to mind). thus, in most cases, descent into chaos is stopped by authoritarian rule.

2. starvation and poverty or competition for power and resources are often accompanied by an increase in inter ethnic violence but rarely intra ethnic violence. (lebanon, yugoslavia, almost all of africa). where intra ethic violence occurs, it is almost always inter cultural (northern ireland).

3. intra ethnic violence, when it does occur, is most often conducted in a large scale and well organized manner (first world war, american civil war).

4. chaotic intra ethnic violence most often occurs when there is a wide economic gap between opposing forces and when the numbers of those in the "lower" classes reach a critical ratio (vis a vis the upper class) (french revolution, russian revolution).

5. during a severe crisis, imposed by external events, human beings show a remarkable propensity to self organize and co-operate, even when from differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds. humans are biologically hard wired to co-operate (for obvious reasons, natural selection has not favored non-cooperative humans [although many still exist today as truck drivers]).

6. it seems to be a rare occurance, that members of the same ethic and cultural group kill other members of the same ethic and cultural group in a mad max scenario. perhaps someone with a greater knowledge of history than i could help me here. what historical antecedants exist for mad max scenarios?


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:13 | 2606859 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

I think it depends on degree to which SHTF;

If SHTF but money is still valid then people shuffling money out of one asset class to PM will push PM price higher. If you hold PM then you can cash out to take profit.

If SHTF really bad so either money becomes invalid or people are completely broke then having PM won't mean shit. Having basement full of cann'ed food and ammo will be all that matters.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:51 | 2607093 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

" Most of us work in major cities and until the SHTF can not afford to pack up and move."

SOS, this is why so many Jews died in Germany. Hitler broadcast his views of Jews and plans before he ever attained power - and plenty of Jews thought "it can't happen here" or "civilization is strong here in Germany, they won't pick on minorities" or "I can't afford to leave all I've built up here!"

They died.

A few others sold out, moved elsewhere, and survived. Hard, painful relocations in many instances, but they lived.

What will you do?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:31 | 2607305 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

As one who (for different reasons) bugged out quite awhile back...if it's in your plan at all do it now.

What you think you "need" is probably quite a long way from what you really need.  Truth is, it takes time to build up a community at the bugout location, which is an absolute requirement to survival far from the crowds (or zombie hordes).  You might think that living off the land is easy.  It isn't.  You'll need help, you'll need land and a lot of other things that won't be for sale then, even for PMs - we rural people have those already, along with even more important survival tools - and we know how to shoot quite well, we do it daily - do you?

Here's a thread by some smarter people than most here about wants vs needs:

Anyone who thinks a pile of PM's is going to make established rural people bow down and support them is an idiot who hasn't done his homework very well.  Why wouldn't we just shoot you, take your stuff, and continue on with our lives, particularly if you show up with a bad attitude, instead of a hoe and shovel and a willingness to help?

Besides, as a refugee from DC and the mil-industrial nightmare, let me tell you something.  It's nicer here by far even if you're not very well off than it is to be wealthy in why wait?

Why live in a city full of losers and liars when there are other choices?  Some people think things like that are much more important than having the latest bling slightly better than the clown who you live so close to you can see in their windows - and going into debt to have that stupid shit that hits the toilet or the trashcan all too quickly.


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:48 | 2607394 delacroix
delacroix's picture

 dc fusor what part of the country?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:56 | 2607111 darteaus
darteaus's picture

" will PM's help."

Do you need to eat?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:59 | 2606801 Shameful
Shameful's picture

All the more reason to move money out of easily seized accounts.  At least make the gov put some effort into wealth confiscation.  If a person worked for the money it's the least we can expect that the looters should have to put a little leg work into stealing it.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:03 | 2606808 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to me that the rich would already have a substantial amount of their wealth in government bonds .

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:05 | 2606817 agent default
agent default's picture

It's probably true, a haircut on US government debt is much more likely to blow Soros and his kind out of the water than anybody else.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:12 | 2606855 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Soros and his ilk will survive - they got the right connections.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:06 | 2606831 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

how long before "Barclay's Premier League" becomes "Bank of China Premier League" ???

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:13 | 2606865 allocater
allocater's picture

Right, we have been lending money from the rich for 50 years. Thereby enriching them even further and indebting us even more. Another round of this will not fix it.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:14 | 2606867 Payne
Payne's picture

The simple way is to require all Pensions, IRAs etc to hold 25% Government debt or similar instruments.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:35 | 2607010 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

In order to cause more pain, Payne?

The government has already stolen money (value) from every paycheck of mine for over twenty years. Now you want to steal 25% of what I have managed to save for them? Why do you think that will even help?

Also, what about my rights? Do I belong to the government, so that they can steal more from me whenever they wish?

You are delusional if you think a) 25% will solve anything, b) 25% will be enough to fix the over-indebtedness, or c) they will stop at 25% (assuming they start down this path).

Inflation (money printing) devalues your savings, devaluing the wealth you have managed to save and devaluing your PAST labor. Government cannot be trusted to do anything productive, useful or even rational (these days).

Take your totalitarian outlook elsewhere, and stay there.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:02 | 2607494 n8dawg84
n8dawg84's picture

Encroaching Darkness,

I don't believe Payne is suggesting it SHOULD be done, merely that it would be easier for TBTB to impliment that policy to try and raise funds.  A friend and I have this discussion often.  How much money rests within either a 401k or an IRA account nationally?  Personally, I do not know, but I'd be willing to bet its a BIG number.  These are all digital fiat accounts, and we've seen how easy it is for big companies to steal these accounts.  All the goverment would need to do is initiate a law saying any percentage must go into goverment bonds, and then it's instant cash for them.  You're right when you say it will do nothing to solve the problems, it won't fix the over-indebtedness, and they wont stop short of 100%.  To me, this theft is a likely scneario.  I'm trying to convince my parents to close their 401k before anything like this is implimented. 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:37 | 2607023 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

That would be hilarious if Pension Funds as such were not heavily into Bonds already. Until 1960s it was compulsory in the UK to be in Bonds, especially 3% Consols......Inflation worked wonders on pensions. There are NO Pension Funds as such in the EuroZone outside Netherlands - it is not a feature of the economic system. Most people depend on the State Pension system which levies high taxes and Company Pensions are unfunded usually invested inside the Business.


Your next clueless idea is ?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:14 | 2606868 aleph0
aleph0's picture


All this to save the Euro ?
Why save it , it has proven to be a failure beyond repair.

OTOH, it was fun reading all the German comments on these artcles this morning ... never seen them that riled up before.


Oh  ... and this really added insult  to injury :

“Big Majority of Germans feel Merkel is doing well for them.”
"Große Mehrheit fühlt sich von Merkel gut vertreten"

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:41 | 2607037 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Can't be there is a typo in that headline? A friend of mine suggests:

"Große Mehrheit fühlt sich von Merkel gut getreten"

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:54 | 2607106 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Instead of the wealthy, all politicians and "civil" servants should pay an immediate 20% wealth tax until the budget is balanced.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:25 | 2607276 mudduck
mudduck's picture

Animal spirits that we are seeing; rat, weasel, slug, sloth, skunk, pigeon, squid, cockroach, wankin spider monkey.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 15:27 | 2607287 q99x2
q99x2's picture

We are at the point where the banksters have to start robbing the upper middle class of nations. That is where the SHTFs. Bankster hunting season is here.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:17 | 2607561 sakayama
sakayama's picture

That was already tried in.....Argentina! a century long example of what not to do regarding economic policies.

The funny part is that all that idea was authored by "graduates of Harvard, Stanford and the University of Minessota". Also with knowledge and approval from the IMF... with that background, what can go wrong?

Three month later, the obvious. If you don't reduce deficit spending....

And finally, hyperinflation, turmoil, president resignation....

May I add that the "graduates of Harvard, Stanford and the University of Minessota" did not face the option of eating cats or starving that many argentinians faced?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:17 | 2607565 zrussell
zrussell's picture

If I were the gubment I would be salivating over the public's largest cash assets: 401K, IRAs, etc.

For the sake of "National Financial Security" I would convert all those accounts to annuities and back-fill them with Treasuries. That would kick the can down the road a few years...

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 18:27 | 2607790 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Some bimbo / bimbette in the Department of Labor (named ? Theresa something? Gharducci? can't remember, someone help me out here!) proposed "requiring" something like this in IRA's or 401k, not too long back.

Someone remind me of her name, I want to remember who to blame....

Edit: found it! From an earlier ZH thread in March:


"The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort."

Google up Theresa Ghilarducci.]

We have to stop this, whether with votes, juries, laws or bullets.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 10:59 | 2609864 Defiant1968
Defiant1968's picture


I propose a wealth tax of 100% of the wealth of all workers in the military industrial complex, all New York federal reserve bank employees (including all member banks), and all politicians for the last 50 years. Plus also all living in these classes including their spouses and children be sold into slavery.  I know that this will include some innocent people but sometimes you have to "throw the baby out with the wash"

This will also be a great jobs bill.


Have a nice day!


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 06:06 | 2616988 juliawong
juliawong's picture

NotAvailable, Agreed. Been "speed-reading" and by-passing loads of shit comments recently on ZH. Hopefully these trolls will go away after a while and that ZH might go back to smart-conversation paradise that it used to be.

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