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Guest Post: Guess Who Folded Now

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Guess Who Folded Now

Banking privacy is dead. Completely, totally dead. Murdered, really. The US government is the assailant, and FATCA is the murder weapon.

We’ve talked about this a few times before– FATCA is the heinously insidiously piece of legislation that the Honorable Barrack Hussein Obama passed into law in 2010 as part of the “Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act”.

There were no hiring incentives, and there was no restoration of employment. But any vestiges of banking privacy were destroyed.

In brief, FATCA has two key concepts. First, it requires an additional (and completely unnecessary) layer of reporting from all US taxpayers who have ‘foreign financial accounts’ at ‘foreign financial institutions.’ Though as we have discussed before, both of these critical terms are ridiculously and flagrantly ambiguous, putting the onus entirely on the taxpayer.

Without clarifying what constitutes foreign financial accounts and institutions, Congress has effectively created decades of debate in tax court… a move that will undoubtedly ruin the lives of the unfortunate folks who get dragged into the fight.

The second key issue is that FATCA puts a burden on ALL foreign financial institutions worldwide to enter into an information-sharing agreement with the IRS; this essentially obliges every bank on the planet to submit reports and customers’ private data to the IRS.

Banks who don’t enter into this information sharing agreement will have a 30% tax withheld on funds that originate from, or go through, the US banking system. Further, banks who enter into the information sharing agreement are obliged to withhold the 30% tax on transfers to other banks who do NOT enter into the agreement.

Such provisions are absolutely, 100% impossible. And it’s becoming clear that FATCA was passed with no intention of being enforceable. It’s inconceivable that every institution on the planet could enter into an agreement. And it’s inconceivable that every institution on the planet could possibly know whether every other institution has entered into the agreement.

The only thing FATCA has accomplished is scaring the living daylights out of non-US banks. So much so that foreign banks have approached their governments to ask for help.

As I wrote last week, in order to dull the effect of FATCA in their countries, the governments of Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom recently announced that they were entering into inter-governmental information sharing agreements.  Individual banks will no longer have to comply with the IRS, but instead share all with their home governments.

In other words, French banks will report to the French government, US banks will report to the US government, and the two governments will swap data.

It’s no small coincidence that the first signatories to such an inter-governmental sharing agreement are five of the largest (albeit most insolvent) countries on the planet, forming the core of the OECD. Now it’s only a matter of time for smaller nations to fall in line.

Last Friday, Isle of Man became the first. Treasury Minister Eddie Teare announced that “the inter-governmental partnership approach announced by the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK should be explored by the Isle of Man Government” and that a “high-level FATCA working party has already been formed.”

With Isle of Man laying down, we can expect places like the Channel Islands, BVI, Cayman, Bermuda, Mauritius, and other popular offshore banking jurisdictions to sign up next.

There are two key points I’d like to make here-

1) There is no such thing as banking privacy. Do not trust your banker to keep secrets for you, and definitely do not trust a government-regulated banking system to keep secrets for you. If you have undeclared income that’s been nestled offshore, it should be obvious at this point that such arrangements will soon unravel.

Voluntary disclosure is always better than getting caught by your home government’s tax authorities. And, especially if you’re a US citizen where tax noncompliance is a criminal offense, paying hefty penalties is a much better outcome than going to court and ending up in a day-glow orange jumpsuit.

2) Most people who are interested in financial privacy tend to use cash. But since carrying large amounts of cash is more and more being criminalized (and confiscated), this is no longer a viable option.

The best form of financial privacy at the moment is physical gold, at least until a better option for digital currency hits the market. Gold may not be useful for day-to-day transactions, but as a store of value tucked away in an anonymous offshore facility, there is no better way of maintaining financial privacy.


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Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:00 | 2202002 non_anon
non_anon's picture

alot of guessing posts today, but alas, the culprit is the same

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:15 | 2202185 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

This is helping to accomplish exactly what it was designed to do - Help bring America to its knees by economically crushing it!

There can be no NWO with a super power in it.

The USSR collapsed without a shot being fired and the US will face the same fate.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:50 | 2202370 DaveyJones
Tue, 02/28/2012 - 16:41 | 2205427 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



Even Humble Pension-Holders Are In The FATCA Net, Tech Firm Warns Tom Burroughes
Group Editor in London

27 February 2012

News Analysis

The US tax compliance net will spread to catch people with pension portfolios, highlighting the extent to which financial businesses need to get their client details in order as deadlines approach, a technology firm has warned.,_Tech_Firm_Warns_&id=44595

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:20 | 2202205 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

This is downright shameful.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 08:56 | 2203249 JennaChick
JennaChick's picture

An interesting commentary I read at Armada Markets website on EURCHF and SNB's reactions:

1). The closer EUR/CHF gets to the said 1.2000 floor (it's not a peg...thats different) the less the SNB will have to least in theory . How many here would add to their long positions at 1.2020?

2). If the floor is broken, so many stops would be triggered that the SNB would have to spend incalculable funds just to counteract the squeeze, and would have to bust their butts just to get the pair back to the 1.2000 floor.

3). The SNB is playing a very dangerous game, as they have left very little room between the existing rate and the floor. If we get a EUR shock (i.e. Greece blows up or CDS are activated etc..) the SNB will be caught between a rock and a hard place...with no room to wiggle.

4). The floor will not be raised. The SNB will however defend the 1.2000, because if they do or can, the EUR/CHF has the best chance to organically go higher, which will negate the need to defend a higher floor, which just would cost them even more.

5). The shorts are just Hedges and normal inflows, because thats the way things work.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:02 | 2202005 Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa's picture

If the US government didn't tax offshore earnings, then it wouldn't need information on foreign holdings.

There are a number of tech companies that have huge hoards of offshore cash that they cannot invest in the US because taxes would be excessive. So they are starting to invest it in overseas branches at the expense of the US economy.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:57 | 2202134 brokenclock
brokenclock's picture

There are too many ZHer's posting bullish (sarc) on almost every quote now. With that said I'm official going short. When the most negative financial blog has too many bullish indicators even though the fact show us differently. It has to be close to a top. Hedge accordingly or be very careful on the long side.


Good luck


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:10 | 2202177 donsluck
donsluck's picture

ZH is a lousy contrarian indicator. When half your friends buy gold, that's a contrarian indicator.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 01:43 | 2202833 Widowmaker
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Jon corzines bet on greece aint over yet.

zh an pm's are joined at the asshole.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:14 | 2202189 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Fuck no, you are making a big mistake shorting now.  Wait until SPX 1380-1400.  We have it all figured out here at ZH.  Just listen to us.  Timing is everything.  

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:02 | 2202006 algol_dog
algol_dog's picture

I just want to move some where, any where, away from all this ...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:07 | 2202013 stopcpdotcom
stopcpdotcom's picture


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:10 | 2202020 Waffen
Waffen's picture

Forget Mars.  Lets all pool our resources and move to the Moon.   Then if the Earth gets out of line, we threaten to launch huge boulders at them.  Heinlein approved.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:17 | 2202039 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

i know a great place to move where a lot of us could get out. but, i don't know you, don't trust you, and don't want you to shit all over my plans.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:10 | 2202178 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Speaking of moving somewhere to get away, I live in North Dakota, which is actually doing alright, but I worry that all this will eventually catch up to us even here. I've been thinking about going back to school for a while now, and I consulted all you fellow ZHers about it and got some really good advice. I want to be as prepared as possible for the coming mess, and to be able to support my family. I've got all the usuals: food, guns, metals, community. Got my wife to start gardening and canning food, got a job way closer to home, all that.

I had decided not to go back to school, as (I'm sure you're all aware) taking out student loans is a nightmare. The market is massively inflated and due for a crash, and so the price of an education is way higher than it should be. After talking with you guys, I decided to wait. But two days ago, my grandfather generously offered to pay for ALL my school expenses, which means no student loans!

So I have a question for all you guys: what do you think I should go for? It's free, but I don't want to waste this opportunity on some job that won't be here in 3 years. Many people here have suggested accounting (I'm good with numbers), but they don't have a clue as to where the world is today so I don't trust their opinions very much. You guys do. Accounting may still be an okay choice, but probably not. So what's your advice? I appreciate any help you can give.

Oh, and if you're annoyed by my post, sorry. Just ignore me, no biggie.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:17 | 2202196 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

I advise every student to either go into structured finance or data mining.   If you want to have a future, that is.   

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:54 | 2203084 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Probably profitable. Definitely evil. :) Thanks though.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:30 | 2202227 Real Money Wins
Real Money Wins's picture

IMHO you should take a long view of the future. If the the whole monopoly money system collapses, where will there be a need for workers or entrepreneurs. If there is nothing to account for visa vie worthless fiat. How much of a need will there be for accountants with all those who will be out of work. The focus should be in the area of things people need and can't do without. I.E.- Energy, food, medicines etc. Just give it some extended though you will find the answer and it may be to be an Entrepreneur rather than a worker.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:28 | 2203064 d_senti
d_senti's picture

That's my primary concern about accounting. You never know when it's gonna go boom, or how bad the collapse is gonna be (bad recession? Great Depression II? Mad Max? No idea). Entrepreneur is a bit of a problem since I have virtually no working capital and little in marketable skills (hence going to school). But I agree that energy/food/medicine is probably a safer way to go, thanks. I'd like something that will be there whether things get bad or not, so those are pretty good bets.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:51 | 2202262 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

something real. When i was in school, i was poor, and a journalism student; i switched to comp-sci; now i make money, have a job, been around the world; bullshit all day on ZH. can understand the math behind it all.

1. Accounting/Finiance

2. Computer science (applied)

3. Auto-repair (2-year, vocational school)

you have to get a real skill; any of the sciences, like biology, physics, are nice; but need a Phd for a job. Art, architecture; are cool, but you need to be the type, and go to the right school; like RSID.

To be honest, you can lie on your resume and still probably get a job if you could teach yourself. no one checks. take your grandfathers money and buy gold, chevron, and philip Morris international (GOD, gold, oil, drugs).

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:32 | 2203065 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Yeah, my grandpa would pay for a 2 or 4 year, but no way he'd hand over enough cash to get a Phd. I actually think it'd be a good idea to try and learn multiple skills like the above, just to cover my bases. My second idea, instead of finding that "perfect" choice, is to find a "business as usual" skill and a "SHTF" skill/s. And yeah, I could lie and teach myself, and it's tempting at times, but I don't lie.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:17 | 2202303 Obadiah
Obadiah's picture

Learn how to be an small business owner and mechanic and farmer  you cant go wrong

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:42 | 2202350 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

The first and last are just rape targets for the gov't/corporate complex.  The knowledge of how to make, build or fix will always trump.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:44 | 2202358 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

.... and a butcher, logger and wood-gasifier builder....

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:33 | 2203068 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Not bad ideas, and a small business would be nice, but I agree with Vlad frankly. I don't see how I wouldn't get massively shafted by either the govt or my corporate competitors. I've watched plenty of small businesses dry up in the area as the bigger dogs moved into town (including my dad's own small business), and it's pretty heartbreaking.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 08:00 | 2203167 twotraps
twotraps's picture

di senti, Obadiah has some good points.  General business skills, farmer are not bad skills to have should the world unfold the way you speak of.  Computer Science, I'd not bother.  There are 100,000's of computer scientists running around making computer/tech applications so easy my 20 mo. old daughter can look at pictures and play 'find the fish' on her ipod.  Therre may be more of a need for thinkers/business owners/entrepreneurs than writing computer code.  There is no way to tell what will happen or what you will have an interest in so get started with the basics and align yourself with people that are successful in their fields, see what its like.   Unless you go to school for something so specific like Brain Surgery.......get the basics and get out, you never know what you'll come up with.  Good luck.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:39 | 2202340 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

You might also consider mining engineering.  It is an underpopulated field with an excess demand.  People will be paying millions for someone to tell them where to find phosphates and how to get them out of the ground in the not too distant future.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 02:20 | 2202889 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

1) ask your grandfather for the money up front..  buy silver and gold bullion with 1/3 the money, and take delivery.

2) you need at least TWO trades.  i don't mean certified this or that by a piece of paper.  I mean skills for an earn, which competently executed will be your best advertisement.  some other poster said build or fix stuff. damn right.



welder/BLACKSMITH (never know when shoeing horses will make a comeback)






and learning how to grow your own food ain't a bad idea either

btw, lead paint will make a comeback.  it's great for stopping rot.  and if you're prepared for a little lead poisoning later in life, you could make a good earn as a painter.


3) with another third of the money, buy distressed properties with arable land near where you live.  make sure you have a good lawyer who can put nice riders on those contracts in case the disposing bank ends up not having clear title.

4) the final third is startup capital.  you'll need spare cash, tools, a truck, etc. make sure your truck can run on anything from reboiled ear wax to peanut oil.

5) don't ever give credit. "i'm not a bank, ma'am"

6) if they don't have cash, make sure you can sell whatever at ++ 1/6th of the value of what they give you to cover the transaction/barter costs you're incurring.

7) become involved with your community.  be a sheriff or magistrate or mayor or something.  helps tip the scales in your direction.


by the way, if you do what i suggest, you will have something for your money straight away, not the empty promise of something in the future.

also, if you're school fees would cover most of the cost of a suitable dwelling and land, then having that out burden out of the way makes you a rich man overnight.

good luck.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:36 | 2203071 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Thanks, I hope it all works out.


Frankly I think your plan is awesome, and I'd probably do something similar if it were my money, but I know my grandfather. He comes from the old school line of thinking where "college = good" and that's the end of it. I won't see a dime of it unless it goes to getting that fancy piece of paper.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 04:41 | 2203035 tabasco71
tabasco71's picture

Come on, are you serious?  This is an obvious TROLL.  Were you the kind of personality to hoard metals, can foods the last thing you would be interested in is a college education.  You're probably building a bunker too right?

Although your stereotypical circumstance (which I know you have invented) did get me daydreaming, so if I had the choice (and the assumed abundance of space in N.Dakota) I would spend the money on livestock (horses or cattle or deer or turkey) and start breeding and selling them.  Looking forward 4 years, I could have either a piece of paper that says I can add numbers (well, I can already kinda do that?) or I could have ownership of a business which would have real value if/when the infrastructure collapses and be earning real margins.

If by some miracle you are serious, then please consider this: if you have to ask people what you should study, then maybe study is not for you?

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:16 | 2203057 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

no shit...

I was about to suggest he study alchemy...


Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:52 | 2203081 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Zero Hedge: The only website where you can come, politely ask for advice, and immediately be accused of trolling (or being a psyops agent).

Love this site and most of the people, but there's always a few of you guys.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 05:47 | 2203077 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Not a troll at all, actually. If you don't believe me, fine, but you can go read my posting history. If this is trolling, it's one incredibly drawn-out plan with zero payoff...

Like I replied above, the money isn't mine. My grandpa won't just hand it to me. He'll pay for a college education or I won't get any money at all.

It's rather ridiculous of you to suggest that, because a person likes to prepare for (likely) bad outcomes, they therefore couldn't possibly have an interest in getting an education for free. I don't even see how you come to that conclusion, frankly. I don't have a lot of money and never have, but I'm not a frivolous spender. The money that we've saved up has gone into resilience, as we see the real possibility going forward that tomorrow will be much worse than today. Anyone who DOESN'T make such preparations and instead buys their fifth iPod is plainly an irresponsible idiot. And it's not as though I have 250k worth of food, guns, and gold stashed away, just the little I can afford to prepare myself.

As to your last question, that's legit. I started college right after high school years back solely because of pressure from my family, but I had no interest in pursuing it. I blew it off and eventually just dropped out and got a job.

Now I'm married, have one child and another on the way, a (good) mortgage, and make just enough money to get by. My wife wants to be a stay-at-home mom because we don't want to put our children into public school (as I know first-hand how crappy it is), instead homeschooling them. We can't save anything really, make any preparations, afford any luxuries, or spoil our kids even a little. My wife worries about money a lot. I've spent the last year and a half pounding pavement, trying to find a decent job so she could even just work less, or we could bring in a little more money. I've found nothing. We don't get government handouts, even though we qualify, because we don't need them and I don't believe in them (Ron Paul supporter). I can't do manual labor for a living because I'm partially disabled.

Then my grandfather offers me a "get a 4 year degree free card." With apparently zero other options, why wouldn't I take it? I'm just trying to do what's best for my family.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:15 | 2202192 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

The best form of financial privacy at the moment is physical gold, at least until a better option for digital currency hits the market.


Nope, if one really needs to protect wealth in tough times, one should consider buying a piece of art. Gold will be taken away from you by greedy governments like in the 30ies, but they know not a thing about art ....

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:17 | 2202429 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Then I guess my blowtorch and I are going to create some really shitty avant-garde art.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 08:22 | 2203186 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

Interesting point.....but good luck carving up that priceless Van Goh when you need to barter for food or anything else. There is quite simply no substitute for gold and silver when it comes to transporting, dividing, and using value.

The goobermint will not confiscate anything it doesn't know you have. And if we DO reach the stage where they are rolling around confiscating metal, then I'd bet dollars to donuts that a priceless Van Goh would also make the list, particularly once your local 'magistrate' is made aware that you have such things in your possession.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:42 | 2202248 dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

Gingrich is that you?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:21 | 2202425 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

Easter Island. BTW, heard today that population of the planet increases by 200,000 per day. Got me thinking about going somewhere remote. Easter Island.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 23:17 | 2202550 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I would go there, but I'm no good at chiselling Obama heads out of stone....

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:19 | 2202045 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

The graveyard

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:06 | 2202165 X86BSD
X86BSD's picture

I was thinking of Iceland personally. When the world implodes and no one has fuel Iceland has plenty of geothermal power and lots of tasty reindeer and fish to eat. Most other places are going to burn to ashes when the oil stops powering them. Iceland will be just fine.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:31 | 2202230 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

Actually Beautiful British Columbia is totally self sufficient with its Hydro Power as well. If the lights go out here...the World has just ended.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 02:26 | 2202899 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

Take your pick.  Living amongst a bunch of Canadians doesn't mean the world has ended; it just means that hell has arrived.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 23:18 | 2202555 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Unhh, I think Iceland has a better chance of burning to ashes than even Hilo....

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:07 | 2202012 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Electronic financial surveilance is getting pretty sophisticated. This is the first year that most cost basis calculations can be downloaded.

PayPal and Amazon now have monthly statements. Expect annual totals to be reported to capture state sales taxes being missed by states and hurting brick and mortar stores.

For those who already claim, it's convenient to download the data right into TurboTax or some other program, and it will help the U.S. avoid the tax evasion problem that helped take down Greece.

But it feels a little like being watched through a peephole - just a little creepy.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:08 | 2202014 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Anytime gubmints try to regulate commercial choices, some underground criminal industry is born to circumvent and defy it. Money monitoring will be no different.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:16 | 2202035 Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez's picture

I see more gold shows in our future, like gun shows.

This is a way to add liquidity and volume to small time purchasers and sellers of gold.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:24 | 2202059 Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

Alas, and have a new corps of "mobile revenue agents" descend upon every show -- a "gold speakeasy" industry is more likely to blossom in its stead.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 01:51 | 2202849 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Clueless chavez, go try to purchase a gun at a gun show without paperwork. All vendor sales have their FFL (firearms license) to even get in the door, and they aint gonna risk losing that for a couple cash and carry sales.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:10 | 2202018 perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

So FATCA legislation panders to American banking fatcats. We are in the matrix, and it needs a better writing staff.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:13 | 2202023 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

your "privacy" statement, formerly 2 pages of boilerplate. will now be 20

plus, it's only "data"

may i have my implant now, please, sir?

this will push GDP skyward, BiCheZ!

if they owe US taxes (held in their banks), we can trade them for imports!  net trade deficit goes down;  GDP goes up!  NW0 "nations" will collect taxes for each other, mix these tax "receipts" with carbon credits, swicth to natGas, and the newSlewieWealthCycle cometh!  clothing optional!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:43 | 2202103 AbruptlyKawaii
AbruptlyKawaii's picture

Yo Mama!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:43 | 2202104 AbruptlyKawaii
AbruptlyKawaii's picture

 thot so-

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:12 | 2202027 GAAP is crap
GAAP is crap's picture

"Gold may not be useful for day-to-day transactions, but as a store of value tucked away in an anonymous offshore facility, there is no better way of maintaining financial privacy." I believe guidance as to whether the IRS expects one to voluntarily report offshore gold holdings is currently in the 'Yes' category. I think it has something do to with the definition of a financial institution or financial holdings. No matter, if they want it, they'll make something up. How soon before they make an off-shore custodian go in and count someone's gold and report it?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:35 | 2202087 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

I am not sure anyone really believes they own physical gold in offshore accounts any longer. It may be there, and it may be above water in a vault, but how much of it is yours, and how much would you get if you ask for delivery might be hypothecalated to a large degree.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:02 | 2202148 GAAP is crap
GAAP is crap's picture

I disagree. I think there are a lot of people who believe they own physical gold in a vault. Otherwise, why do people use services like ("You can also withdraw the bars.")instead of just buying shares of GLD? Maybe I am missing something there. However, you may have the start of an argument as to why to not report it to the IRS: 'How can I own it (therefore report it) if it doesn't really exist?'

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 02:38 | 2202914 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

Can you report your gold holdings at $35/oz as some do?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:50 | 2202102 defencev
defencev's picture

I wonder whether you ever received Emails from Nigeria with information that millions are about to be send to you. The only thing they needed a detailed information about your bank account: your name, bank and account number. Guess what: IRS requires now that and much more regarding your every offshore account. In my view, it opens up a lot of possibilities for fraud

(on top of that , they have your signature on tax return). Who can prevent some crook to withdraw funds from some or all of your offshore accounts? If they simply wanted an information about your offshore holdings, they would ask the address of financial institution your customer number and total amount of your holdings with it. I think new law and new reporting requirements is not just invasion of privacy, it is a huge and despeakable abuse opening up opportunities for a direct fraud.

Note that Mitt Romney offers in his tax plan the exemption of all individuals with income less than 200K  of all taxes on interest,dividends and capital gains. That alone should exclude this category of taxpayers from submitting any kind of forms regarding offshore holdings. And yet again, all bullshit is coming from Marxist Obama...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:12 | 2202028 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

capital controls.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:13 | 2202032 hazek
hazek's picture

Bitcoin bitches!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:20 | 2202046 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

yeah right.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:14 | 2202033 gigeze787
gigeze787's picture

Nice try blaming just "Barack Hussein Obama" for this legislation...what about the other 535 corrupt politicians in Wash, DC -- how many of them supported the HIRE Act?

The Senate voted 68-29-3 in favor of this bill (HR 2847) on Mar 17, 2010.

The House voted 217-201 in favor of this bill on Mar 4, 2010.

The part of the legislation you criticized is merely designed at making life difficult for millionaire/billionaire tax cheats who hide assets outside the US and the foreign banks that aid and abet them.

Is the legislation a sham intended to keep foreign banks from taking US customers? Perhaps. But Obama did not enact the legislation by himself, or without good cause.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:37 | 2202094 Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez's picture

The millionaire and billionaire tax cheats have armies of lawyers and accountants. They dont need to be so crude as to hide money like that. They can cheat under color of authority.

Money laundering for illegal activities wont be affected by this either. The schemes generally require some degree of collusion and assistance by banks, the entities that are supposed to monitor and self report under this law. If they are breaking it already this law wont change their behavior.

Who this hurts is the small guy with 50,000 to 100,000 in assets who wants to keep something tucked away and out of sight of plaintiff lawyers and governments. The small guy cant get laws written in his favor, so his attempts to guard his money are generally outlawed.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:39 | 2202098 Havana White
Havana White's picture

Yes, this writer, Simon Black, lost me at "Hussein."  Grow up, writer.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:45 | 2202107 Havana White
Havana White's picture

Oh... meant to ask:  what is with Obama's ears?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:26 | 2202451 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

More interestingly , what is up with all the long scars on his scalp?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:37 | 2202188 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It's a bit ironic that Havana White is criticizing Simon Black about a guy half black and half white. . Get it? Cause your last name is White and his last name is Black and Obama is...... Oh nevermind.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:48 | 2202367 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

....a narcissistic asshole that can read a teleprompter?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:56 | 2202386 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That too.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:29 | 2202456 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein. Can you tell me who Dubya is?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 23:20 | 2202560 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

According to a quick search of, the guy who got us into this mess?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:44 | 2202105 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

IF BHO didn't agree, he didn't have to sign it....He could've actually vetoed it to protect American rights, but he DIDN'T.

and yes EVERYONE who voted in favor deserves a pitchfork in the ass

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:06 | 2202159 defencev
defencev's picture

 And the vote was mostly along the party line. What I noticed is that there is (apparently paid) group of people hanging out here just with asingle goal: to whitewash whatever Marxist Obama is doing to destroy the country. What kind of millionaires you are talking about? What about 5 millions Americans living overseas? The law does nothing to catch real big fish:

this people do not leave any records. It is about those Americans who are desperately trying to preserve their assets (including those living on fixed income) in light of zero interest policy of shit Bernanke and destructive policies of Marxist Obama whose sole goal is to destroy the country and set up over here his Marxist paradise. Just shut up!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:16 | 2202037 Magnum
Magnum's picture

As a result of FATCA, non-US banks implemented a "no American citizen" policy, so it's not possible to open a bank account in a foreign country if you're American.  Banks don't want anything to do with us because of the extra paperwork needed to comply, as I understand it all account data has to be transmitted to the IRS several times each year. No self-respecting bank will do this, so if you're American you have to bank with American banks regardless of where you happen to live or want to do business.

I've heard stories of Swiss citizens who worked in USA for even the shortest period of time, when they go back home to Switzerland no bank will take them as customers because they've had RESIDENCY in USA.  It's a poison pill now if you've lived in USA.  

If you're from Mexico or Japan, Indonesia, China, or anywhere else, the Swiss welcome you with open arms.  Americans are in a class by themselves, it's eerily similar to the way Soviets were treated back in the day when they had to trade in rubles.  

Sadly there are so few Americans who care about the detrimental effects of FATCA.  It's quite discouraging.  It's not easy to change citizenship.  I don't know what will come of this but it's not going to help the US economy one bit.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:23 | 2202054 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

  Sadly there are so few Americans who care about the detrimental effects of FATCA.

There's a correlation with the number of Americans who have significant amounts of money kept in a bank.  The poor don't give a flying fuck what the government does to the rich folks.

(The converse applies, too, by the way, which is why we so blithely maintain the war on drugs and a prison system in which rape is acceptable.)

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:33 | 2202080 Magnum
Magnum's picture

I'm reminded of an enterprising Japanese fellow who came to the US about 15 years ago to invest in a little canned food enterprise not far from where I live.  He's done well, built a brand from zero, his product is packed here using local ingredients and shipped to Japan where it's enjoyed.  His kids are bilingual and will no doubt generate goodwill and future trade between the countries.  All of this is good for the taxman, everybody wins.  I think it pales in comparison to the Americans of old who struck it out and made lots of money by learning to do business overseas, and their kids followed along creating even more success in their careers thanks to the experience of growing up overseas.  

FATCA will deal a severe blow to American entrepreneurial culture and will create a strong backlash overseas against the United States.  This will become more apparent in many forms, as FATCA is implemented.  Frankly, we become more like a poor African nation while the rest of the world moves upward and onward without the severe restraints of FATCA.  Very sad indeed, and nobody seems to care...

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 02:01 | 2202860 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

I dont want the dollar to support MS13, quite the contrary.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:51 | 2202121 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

However the fed turning anyone who handles more than $20 into the police does effect the poor.

(THe converse applies, too, by the way, which is why we so blithely maintain the war on poverty and the epic fail nature of it where the taxpayer funding multi generational dependency is acceptable)

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 23:01 | 2202518 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

There's no war on poverty, that's a war on the poor.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:29 | 2202071 goodrich4bk
goodrich4bk's picture

Well, one thing that may come of this is that uber-wealthy folks will finally take an insterest in restraining our government spending.  As long as you get to avoid taxes by parking your money in foreign banks, or limit your marginal tax bracket to 15%, you have no real objection to deficit spending.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:42 | 2202245 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

My Wife is a US citizen (We live in Canada) to be good citizens of the Plant we filed her tax returns for the last three years in August 2011 and have not heard a single thing back yet.  That's pretty funny.  If we don't hear back from them we are simply not sending them any more returns...we tried damn it we really did.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:50 | 2202369 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

And when you don't file once, they'll come back and say they never got the other three and now you owe them *big time*. 

On an unlrelated topic, when is your wife planning on nationalizing to Canada?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:23 | 2202441 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Don't be stoopid. File as required. Three sure ways to misery: 1) major illness 2) bad, expensive divorce 3) have the IRS crawl up your ass. I have a buddy that the IRS just destroyed- he gave them everything (and he had plenty) and they borrowed an additional $200k from his wife's retirement fund. HE was struck down with a brain aneurysm and she now requires a nurse. I know the fight and hassles with the IRS caused his health problems. He is totally hosed.  I do not know what the issue was with the IRS, but he was just ground into the dirt.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:16 | 2202038 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

So the US Mail will lose even more money hauling mountains of privacy notices no one will read anyway.

What's next? fooking serial numbers on your cash to be reported too?! .sarc

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:19 | 2202200 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Every FRN has a serial number. All they have to do is scan it at the counter when you buy your groceries. We could call it counterfeit prevention.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:17 | 2202040 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

Bitcoin knows no borders and you can carry an infinite amount as just a private key printed on a slip of paper. I am looking forward to crypto money... the more the banksters tighten their grip the more compelling it becomes.

Trade your gold for bitcoin, flee the country, turn it back to gold.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:22 | 2202052 batz
batz's picture


Flee to where, Liberia?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:36 | 2202090 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

you guys at bitcoin sure must be smoking some good erb. Problem is, people like me, have been programming for a long time. I know you MIT fucks are full of shit.


What about this scenarios:

1. I give some nigga my golds; he gives me a piece of paper containing a base64 encryption key.

2. I fly to Uganda, cause I want to get back to nature, and get away from it all; make a new start, see the gorillas.

3. I pull out the paper containing my base64 encryption key... and ummm. look around. scratch my head; go to the police station, go to the local bank. ummm... i'm fucked.



Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:49 | 2202259 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

You need to flee to someplace with internet where you can exchange your BTC, obviously. More merchants and currency/PM exchanges are joining all the time. It works, and it's growing!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:08 | 2202167 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Tell that to the people who have had all their bitcoins stolen with no recourse. I'll take my chance with physical thank you.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:45 | 2202251 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

You can (and should) hold your bitcoins yourself, physically, just like gold. Save your wallet.dat on a thumb drive and secure it.

People who lost bitcoins had them on deposit with the currency exchange MTGOX when it was hacked. That would be like losing your gold because someone robbed your bank's safe deposit boxes. Bitcoin itself has never been compromised.

And I wasn't advocating bitcoin over phys as a long term store of value. Too volatile at the moment. But for moving money across borders, it has no equal in terms of privacy and security. It's still early in terms of adoption but it is growing all the time. Several PM<->Bitcoin dealers exist already.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:28 | 2202051 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

And it’s becoming clear that FATCA was passed with no intention of being enforceable. It’s inconceivable that every institution on the planet could enter into an agreement...


Teneo, our previous presidents company has as their calling card the ability to navigate businesses through the myriad of regulations that arrest commercial activity.  The hon. Corzine had them on retainer at the time of MF Globals difficulties.  It would be presumptuous to believe this ex-presidents secretary of state wife's jockeying for position to become president of the world bank is anything more than coincidence of course.


Where's Corzine?  

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:27 | 2202056 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

These morons are thinking about missed pennies through leakage ( leakage my balls). But I'm thinking the more you tighten your grip tarkin the more star systems will slip through your fingers. You can't enforce earth good luck, if you tripled the agents it's still futile. Good luck evil snakes and roosters and your puppet ox's

Silly rabbit dicks are for chicks

Sorry zh to be cryptic ask a real Chinese person about what I wrote and times we live in and they will nod "yes" or Wang or whatever yes is in Chinese

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:27 | 2202067 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

My money will always follow the path of least resistance.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:31 | 2202075 cdskiller
cdskiller's picture

Hey, does this mean any paranoid, racist, criminal idiot can hope his blather will get posted at ZH as long as he is also a gold bug?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:04 | 2202155 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I thought you were describing Obama until you got to the gold bug part.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:34 | 2202084 ozziindaus
ozziindaus's picture

Everything from Cashless to FACTA to the TSA are means to track and prevent wealth transfers out of the system. The world is collaborating and pandering to the banks to ensure every penny passes through their hands, at their will and under their control. Breaking out of the system through bartering, favors and good will trade will be outlawed as tax evasion or outright criminal. Trust amongst neighbors will obviously be lost. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:45 | 2202106 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture


Thank God I'm a dual national and dead.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:48 | 2202113 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

One wonders what TPTB will do next? One also wonders at what point do we sheeple stand up & "vote" these people out and repeal this nonsense?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:53 | 2202125 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Move over Obama, Bradley Manning next to recieve Noble Peace Prize!


Is everything up-side-down, or is it just me?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:35 | 2202332 Alpha Monkey
Alpha Monkey's picture

Personally, I think anyone who attempts to de-mask the man behind the curtain, in a non-violent manner and with the intent of bringing unjust wars to an end, deserves some sort of peace award.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 02:10 | 2202878 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Too bad he was paid by the taxpayer to take orders, not be a mouthpieceofshit.

If out of military service manning might be inspirational, but now he roasts.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:55 | 2202131 solgundy
solgundy's picture

fuck banks anyway

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:56 | 2202132 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Well I always wanted to go back to Belize anyway.

Bearer shares in an  International Business Corp.,money

in corporate name.

Bullish fo Belizian company  agents !

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:58 | 2202139 navy62802
navy62802's picture

We are already at the point where it is more beneficial to literally keep your cash under the figurative mattress as it is to keep it in the bank. Interest rates on checking and savings accounts are effectively zero, so the only benefit you really get from a bank is security ... and even that is dubious. Someone steals your account info (which is arguably more likely nowadays than someone breaking into your home), and your done. I'm surprised that people don't just pull all of their money out of the banks. I mean the main function of the modern bank is to provide credit at a massive profit for the bank.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:01 | 2202147 Gromit
Gromit's picture

And pull your stocks from your brokerage while you're at it..


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:11 | 2202179 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The woes of fractional reserve banking are not understood but if the systm implodes watch how quickly everyone learns that physical cash compared to bank account balances is in fact no comparison.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:24 | 2202212 navy62802
navy62802's picture

A very good point which I failed to mention. No one really knows the likelyhood of a bank failure nowadays, in this labyrinth of credit obligations.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:55 | 2202380 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

FDR declared a "Bank Holiday".  What if the ATMs don't work?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 23:20 | 2202559 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Who cares?

We have not even looked at a ATM in over a decade.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:24 | 2202152 Racer
Racer's picture

If you log into HMRC, which is her majesties revenue and customs... the UK tax site,

you get this:


"Important note

HMRC bank accounts changed to Citibank in August 11. You may incur default surcharge if you attempt to pay to Bank of England."


the UK has now bent over the UK 'subjects' literally in both ways for the US

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:07 | 2202172 laomei
laomei's picture

Haha, I keep my cash in banks that are exempt and don't care about this crap.  Enjoy having FATCA shoved down your throats!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:39 | 2202242 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

You blokes still have cash with these very save and trustworthy banks?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:52 | 2202265 Old Poor Richard
Old Poor Richard's picture

When Ron Paul wins the White House, it won't be long before he forces congress to repeal the income tax, making FUCYOU irrelevant.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:42 | 2202352 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

How exactly, will Ron Paul force Congress to repeal the income tax? Can anyone here give a good example of how this will happen? 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:30 | 2202458 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Hmmm . . . what would Stalin do?


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:58 | 2202277 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

All these moves have been predicted for a while now by the likes of G celente P Schiff and others. fascism follows a predictable enough path it seems.

The PTB are not dealing with a stable system like a machine, where changing a law will have a predictable outcome.

This is where Von Mises had his important insight that it is the "human action" of the individuals concerned that will determine the outcome.

Usually this means that the law or regulation that is introduced generates the opposite result of what is intended.

Looks like we are going to see an accelerating move away from fiat currency usage in international transactions if my reasoning is correct.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 23:02 | 2202519 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Wise and insightful you are. With the US committing economic suicide the movement to dump the USD as WRC has got to be gaining steam. What country really wants to be bullied into capturing some other asshole government's runaway economic slaves? 

When the USD is finally euthanized as WRC there will be no more leverage for this economic imperialism.  


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:11 | 2202298 Cynthia11640
Cynthia11640's picture

Sounds to me like the world bank is well on its way, only thing left to do is bk a few more countries, confiscate some gold from all those not in possession (MF global) and then legislate one currency

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:14 | 2202300 GNWT
GNWT's picture

but as a store of value tucked away in an anonymous offshore facility, there is no better way of maintaining financial privacy...


Nice thought, but, prey tell where that place is that is not going to ask for name, rank and serial number...


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:14 | 2202301 GNWT
GNWT's picture

but as a store of value tucked away in an anonymous offshore facility, there is no better way of maintaining financial privacy...


Nice thought, but, prey tell where that place is that is not going to ask for name, rank and serial number...


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 21:42 | 2202348 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

Most transparent administration EVAH!!1!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:45 | 2202487 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

Most transparently and consistently viciously disingenuous

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:46 | 2202482 gwar5
gwar5's picture

This has been happening for several years and a leading indicator of what else is in store. This is financial repression and intimidation to keep money inside the USA and prevent capital flight, even before the SHTF. Foreign banks either agree to shut out Americans or they agree to become de facto IRS agents.


More, in Costa Rica US longtime pensioners for the last couple of years have randomly been finding their meager bank accounts frozen until they produce their last 3 years tax returns to the local bank, which then turns it over to the newly enlarged IRS office in San Jose, Costa Rica.

I thought about opening a Costa Rican corporation to import medical equipment to the US but my lawyer there said all CR corporate books now have to be sent to the banks to identify any American members and any of their accounts, the phased in compliance deadline for corporations is summer 2013. Was too much bullshit for me because we all know the harrassment is never going to end. 

The Money Gestapo is after everyone because the US government is insolvent and craven. Read up on John Law and how the French blocked their borders and searched all carriages and persons for any gold and jewels going out of France when their fiat scam collapsed. I am convinced the TSA and naked body scanners are really just there to do the same thing when the time comes. History is repeating 300 years later. The banks are little smarter now and being proactive, but they are confirming with  their actions what is going to happen. 

I took a small sack of regular coins through the airport last time. While the TSA did a double-take on the X-ray and asked me about it, they did not search it to look for any bullion coins, which remains good news for anyone who might wish to take barbarous relics out of the country. They seem pretty decent folk at my airport.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:59 | 2202513 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

I took gold through TSA on a domestic flight. They jogged the xray backwards to inspect it but they did not ask me anything.

Gold shows up completely black because it is so dense. I imagine fiat coinage would show up lighter.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:52 | 2202497 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

I always pass on the rads and opt for the pat down. Cash not allowed in pocket, gotta hold it in your hand or leave in billfold through the scanner. Next time, I'm going to have $200 in singles in hand to see what reaction I get from TSA lackey

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 01:12 | 2202553 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

Yes, more land of the used-to-be-free news.  Been there, been a victim. 

Pre-FACTA, my UK brokerage firm ejected my account along with every other US Person, because of the hassle of putting up with IRS agents "auditing" their US client accounts.   I fled to another UK firm, but  FACTA compliance was going to cost them a million Pounds, and they summarily ejected the accounts of all US Persons, and in quite a hurry to ensure they were all closed by December 31 of 2010.  I moved my account to SwissQuote and their service is excellent.

In my opinion, FACTA is shameful money-grrubbing that will result in lower net tax revenue for the US government.  We all are being enslaved by goverment's ever-expanding reach into economic issues.  I consider personal financial privacy to be one of my unalienable rights, and will do what I can to politely and peacefully decline to participate with government intrusion into my private affairs.



Tue, 02/28/2012 - 00:01 | 2202621 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

Singapore would require a constitutional amendment in order to comply. Aint honda happen.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 00:42 | 2202722 Heyoka Bianco
Heyoka Bianco's picture

Cash is too much hassle but physical gold is the cure? Unless you're gonna carry an ingot around in your rectum (and even then how woould you get it on a plane?), that gold ain't worth shit, never mind trying to conduct any transaction in gold. The fact is, the retail folks are fucked, as always. You can try to assuage your impotence with fantasies of a personal PM stockpile and your ability to hold off the hordes with your one handgun, but that's just delusion.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 03:04 | 2202939 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

... just another mark of the beast ...bitchez. 

P.S. You would think a place where it takes the biggest balls on the planet to ride around town, and I don't mean NASCAR la la land, they boys would at least try to come in second when crossing the fascist line. Lol

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 03:34 | 2202977 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I don't see the issue here? You belong to the state. Your labor belongs to the state. Your children belong to the state.  So you work and slave and achieve and try to hide some cash overseas? Hey, dullard, your efforts to build and fight entropy are infact propping up the state; you are infact a traitor to the people, to American.

Go Galt, shut your business down, and let it burn.  Striving is SOOOOO 19th century.  The only reason this horror show goes on is because so many try by hook or crook, to suceed and pull the wagon load of ticks and freeloaders forward as well. Take a sabattical; tune out, drop out. How many times must the Tick Class feast on you before you leave the swamp?

Sat, 03/03/2012 - 01:02 | 2219175 q5251355
q5251355's picture

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