Guest Post: How Bankrupt Governments Will Confiscate Your Gold

Tyler Durden's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

How Bankrupt Governments Will Confiscate Your Gold

About two weeks ago, GoldMoney sent out an apologetic email to all of its Dutch customers. The email explained how the Dutch financial regulator (AFM) considered GoldMoney to be in violation of various licensing rules and compliance requirements.

Among other things, AFM indicated that GoldMoney was selling ‘investment objects’ without a license… something that they consider a heinous breach of their silly bureaucracy.

Now, there are so many technicalities involved here– whether physical metal constitutes ‘investment objects’ anymore than a collection of 80s action figures or a cellar of fine Bordeaux. Then there’s the jurisdictional issue– GoldMoney doesn’t even operate in the Netherlands, nor does the company sell its own inventory. Etc., etc.

None of these points seem to matter; the regulators have spoken, and as a consequence, GoldMoney is now closing the accounts of every customer living in the Netherlands.

It’s always troubling when governments go after firms like GoldMoney. The more signs I see, the more I’m starting to believe that we’re heading down a path where precious metals are once again confiscated, outlawed, or at least severely restricted in many countries.

Let’s start with the why. What possible sense would it make to reduce or restrict gold ownership?

Simple. The modern financial system is a complete joke. Money is conjured from thin air, backed by false promises from bankrupt governments. Then there’s the fractional reserve swindle, centrally planned interest rates, government-produced inflation, manufactured statistics, insane credit and sovereign debt bubbles, etc.

It’s a total fraud… and like any good con, it depends on just that: confidence.

In order for a system based on -nothing- to perpetuate, it’s imperative that it commands the confidence of the people within it. And people in rich western countries have been programmed since birth to believe that the colored pieces of paper circulating around in their economies are intrinsically ‘valuable’.

It’s funny, because developing countries already know it’s a scam. They don’t trust their governments, and they don’t trust those silly pieces of paper either. Out here in Asia is a great example– most of the region is very gold-oriented. They use paper as a medium of exchange, but it’s a cultural norm to save with gold.

In fact, when I walked into an Internet cafe earlier today here in Thailand, I noticed quite a few people at the computers checking out live gold charts (from Kitco).

People in western countries are just starting to get it… and as more people peek behind the curtain to see the true crimes being committed, the system will be finished.

The gold price is a constant reminder that the fiat financial system is a con job. And the higher the gold price becomes, the more people become aware. The political establishment will do whatever it takes to maintain the status quo, and it’s possible that precious metals restrictions will become a tactic:

Step 1: Just make gold ‘harder’. To buy. To transport. To own.

Think about the changes we’ve seen over the last two years; government-regulated exchanges are continually hiking their gold margin requirements, increasing investors’ burden to buy.

On the physical side, the US government buried some insane regulations deep within last year’s healthcare bill. The new rules required a mountain of paperwork such that anyone who purchased a single ounce of gold from a coin shop would have to submit a special 1099 form to the IRS.

(The rule was later modified under intense pressure from various lobby groups, but it still gives you a good idea of what these people are thinking…)

Then there’s the new Dodd-Frank legislation that makes it nearly impossible for US citizens to trade securities and commodities from overseas accounts beyond the reach of the federal government.

Then there’s the Liberty Dollar debacle in which the US government used obscure counterfeit laws to seize millions of dollars of silver coins that were owned by the firm’s customers!

Then earlier this year, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued new guidance requiring that US taxpayers who hold gold in certain offshore financial accounts report such holdings on their annual FBAR. Conveniently, this ruling put up a barrier for Americans to use GoldMoney.

GoldMoney’s battle with the Dutch regulators is just another example of governments making gold ownership more cumbersome.

Step 2: Plant seeds of doubt

We’re seeing signs of this as well. “Prominent” economists have been pounding the table against precious metals with vigor, and the propaganda ministry is focusing its efforts on gold’s recent price drop to make people believe that it’s dangerous to buy.

This recent media clip in which a reporter extols the virtues of the US dollar being backed by the federal government says it all. It’s already begun, and we should expect more.

Step 3: Tie gold to terrorism. Plant evidence.

Here are two incontrovertible facts: Westerners are petrified of Arab terrorists. The Arab world is a very gold-oriented society. It wouldn’t take much effort to link the two by suggesting (and planting evidence) that terrorists use gold to move money and finance their operations.

This will be surely be the next step… and if we start seeing this, you can bet your last ounce that restrictive controls are coming.

So what to do…?

If you live in a broke western nation, whatever you do, don’t store your gold in a bank safety deposit box. Bankers are unpaid government spies, so you might as well hang a sign up that says “please seize my assets”.

Ideally you want to move your gold out of the country. We’ve talked about anonymous boxes in Vienna’s Das Safe facility in the past, as well as Hong Kong’s The Storage. Both of these are great options to buy and store gold.

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lookma's picture

This confiscation nonsense is horrible. 

Keep your gold in hand. 

jaap's picture

don't forget that the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) had forbidden the painters union to invest in gold. They had todivest, losing a substantial part of the capital.

For myself, having a Goldmoney account and a Dutch (Rabobank) and Belgium (BNP Fortis) bank account, they made it hard for me as well. Fortis closed my account because of the Goldmoney transactions and Rabobank inveted me to their office to explain my transactions.

gmrpeabody's picture

All your gold are belong to us!

darkstar7646's picture

How? Especially if your life expectancy becomes tied to your believed "usefulness"/"productivity, that's really the only real result -- that your life itself is basically owned by TPTB.

Harlequin001's picture

This article is complete and utter horseshit. Gold is money, it will circulate as a medium of exchange once again on a black market if not a main one.

The only reason it was confiscated, and it wasn't confiscated it was limited in ownership to 5oz per person, which is not the same, was to force Americans to use Federal Reserve notes when notes existed in circulation side by side with gold. Now that that FR system is failing gold and silver will be back in vogue as money. There is no need to confiscate because they will tax it to oblivion before they then allow it to circulate as tax free money.

GoldMoney is not in trouble for selling gold. It's in trouble for selling investment products to Dutch residents without a license. It is not the same, and it has nothing to do with gold. Anyone can find themselves in bother for doing the same thing with anything other than gold. You imply a great deal with this article which is wrong. Time to stop pandering to what you THINK ZH readers want to hear me thinks Mr Black...

Pladizow's picture

They can only confiscate what they know you have - only use cash to purchase gold!

Harlequin001's picture

Until the incentive is offered to turn you in when you offer payment with it.

Let's assume that you salt away your gold and the whole system goes bang. What do you think the Revenue will do, sit idly by when you waltz past in your Ferrari, or are they going to come banging on your door wanting to know how you paid for it?

darkstar7646's picture

And then siccing a "useless eater" on you to ensure "compliance"...

trav7777's picture

have you idiots ever heard of bribery?

Harlequin001's picture

Yes, idiots that try it can find themselves in deep shit just for trying. Have you ever considered that you might not need to?

americanspirit's picture

H - you might not want to purchase anything like a Ferrari with your gold at that point because there would be a lot more intense people than mere tax collectors watching and figuring out where you live. May I suggest something like a 1974 chevy pickup, well-battered, with a high-powered engine, self-sealing gas tank, and run-flat tires instead?

But hey, everybody to their own taste. And fate.

Harlequin001's picture

We don't have Chevy's where I am old stick, but I get your drift...

My point is that if you are a gold investor now then you are going to be one of a few wealthy individuals left after the fail. How are you going to deal with that without attracting attention, and then having a good compliant explanation that doesn't involve tax fraud?

CH1's picture

Bottom line: The state will use violence against their citizens whenever it is in their interests. If everyone complies, they will keep doing it.

I have no time for long, drawn-out arguments.

Harlequin001's picture

Those of us who are about to die salute you!


Mr. Fix's picture

Speek for yourself, I still plan to live long and prosper.

Mr. Fix's picture

Just how tiny can these boxes get?

DaveyJones's picture

every empire turns on its own in the end

Mr. Fix's picture

The American empire did that many years ago.

AE911Truth's picture

It will not be tax fraud if you get your congress to pass HR 4248 Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009,

TheMadNumismatist's picture

Yeah, "only know what you have". Just l;ike thise "secret" bank accounts in Switzerland.

Fíréan's picture

quote: You imply a great deal with this article which is wrong.


You make some good points and i write to state that i agree with You.

Also one can still own gold and better still than owning gold which is stored on an island in the the english channel ( is it really there ?) which one has little access to in times of emergency.

I would rather have physical gold than an assumed  amount  stored somrwhere where i have never been nor seen.





darkstar7646's picture

I thought you were talking about MY comment being complete and utter horseshit. :)

The problem with your stand, vis-a-vis confiscation, is that if you know that gold and silver are back in vogue as money, so will THEY. And if it is the only true accepted store of value (one large-scale indicator would be the inflationistas' belief that, eventually, OPEC will order oil be repriced in gold and RMB and out of the US dollar), then they will grab with both hands as a result of that.

The problem with taxation to Hell and back is what most people believe will happen anyway -- most real commerce will go black-market/barter before then.

Harlequin001's picture

There is a big difference between my personal gold and gold in circulation as money. Please read my post below. To confiscate gold only removes it from circulation causing higher gold prices and deflation in the same way that an economy that produces many goods for export, and receives gold in payment will experience lower gold prices as a consequence and thus higher goods prices and inflation. There is no point in confiscating it; they will only need to tax it before it becomes money once again and the tax income will cover all the losses from credit instruments. That is what I believe you need to look out for.

FeralSerf's picture

How does it remove from circulation if it's confiscated to pay for TPTB's stuff?  When the paper is no longer accepted by the people with the oil and they say "no gold, no jet fuel", then they will need to confiscate the gold for "national security" reasons.

silverbullion's picture

They will have to dig through 20 feet of dog shit.

CIABS's picture

good questions, no real answers.

if the government legislates that you have to declare all your gold holdings worldwide, perhaps to repatriate all of it, or pay taxes on it, perhaps more than once, under penalty of forfeit, then you'll have to decide what to do.  if you don't have your gold "in hand", then you have a paper trail.  and how many people have coins in hand with no paper trail?  if you have a paper trail, what will you do when they pass those laws?  they might not be able to "confiscate" your gold easily, but they can easily force you to decide whether to cooperate or become an outlaw.

some believe that such laws will quickly precipitate a revolution.  but why should we believe that gold confiscation will be the last straw?  not many americans actually own a meaningful amount of physical gold.  other last straws are imaginable, but not gold confiscation, not in the u.s.a.  and confiscation would probably occur beforehand.  that's sort of the point:  they want to get their hands on your gold before all hell breaks loose.

so they will probably force gold owners to decide whether to become outlaws and sweat it out until the collapse of the central government, which might or might not happen, and which might take a while if it does.

keeping your gold in a storage facility in hong kong hardly solves the problem.

Harlequin001's picture

Two questions, how would they force you to repatriate anything, and especially if it is held overseas for you in Trust, and second, why didn't Americans revolt when it was last 'confiscated ' for want of a better word?

CIABS's picture

i'm saying that they can't necessarily force you to comply, only put you in the position to decide whether to obey or become a lawbreaker.

i would also say that if you have enough gold and it's all wrapped un in legal complexity, they're going to ask "who are you?" and think "maybe you're one of us." and if you are, they'll go into their ad hoc process of exempting you.  it would be a small group of people taking gold away from everyone else.  the more you have, the more likely it is that you could make trouble for them, and the more likely they would be to treat you as one of them.  they'll collect the low-hanging fruit from people who are afraid to defy them.

the fact that americans didn't revolt when FDR confiscated gold, or whatever he did, is consistent with what i said, which is that confiscation won't be the catalyst for revolution.

Harlequin001's picture

They can't and won't force you because any law that required that they do would be unenforceable. They will simply tax it to oblivion and you will wonder why you bothered.

My advice is to go research "Controlled Foreign Corporation' CFC rules and work out what is not a CFC. You will then have all that you need to defeat domestic income tax on non domestic assets.

But you need to be careful...

CIABS's picture

would you be concerned about them changing the laws governing CFCs?

Harlequin001's picture

Generally speaking it is very difficult to change and enforce a law retrospectively, but even if they did I don't see how they can make those rules anymore draconian than they are. They are already quite comprehensive...

DaveyJones's picture

ex post facto but hey they've already chucked most of that document

unnamed enemy's picture

unenforcable you say?

look up war on drugs, all they need is a bag of weed and all your property belongs to them, including your gold.

they could do it within the existing legal framework - no need to write new laws.





Vlad Tepid's picture

Tax IS confiscation, buddy.

defencev's picture

Can you give me an example in US history when someone was Federally  taxed based on possession rather than capital gains as a result of transaction? Even estate tax can be perceived as transaction based on changed ownership.

If, however, government would try to track all transactions  of Gold made all over the world by Americans, good luck with that. That is the reason for keeping Gold overseas in private safe deposit boxes with private,personal access. And I am not saying that based on SB recommendations : it is what Marc Faber recommends.

FeralSerf's picture

Yes, two examples are the marijuana and the machine gun taxes.  You might say that the machine gun tax isn't a tax but is a license.  I would say there is no difference between a license fee and a tax.

There is a history of real estate and possessory interest personal property taxes being levied by local governments.  The Feds could get into this form of confiscation too if they decide it's in their interest.

Since very few Americans own gold, most of them would be happy to see the gold hoarders relieved of their stash, especially if they thought it might make their lives more comfortable (as in tax them, not us).

The advantage of foreign gold stashes is that of not keeping all one's eggs in the same basket.  That principle also applies to the foreign baskets.  If you  keep all your assets in an American, Canadian, Hong Kong, Swiss, Panamanian, etc. basket and that basket turns out to be the 21st Century version of the Soviet Union, you're fucked.

trav7777's picture

if they do you melt it into a bunch of religious articles or some other exemption WHICH WILL BE written into the law by a favored interest.

use your fucking brains and start playing the game.

Your minds are bound by rules you are too chickenshit to break like the big fish do

Harlequin001's picture

You might want to go and do some research on that...

koperniuk666's picture

some of you guys watch too much CSI. The government does not have that degree of skill or manpower to seek out and find your gold (or whatever) no matter WHAT paper trail exists . Their employees are mostly a bunch of under paid bumbling buffoons going throught the motions of doing a shit job for an employer they hate - whether for the IRS, FBI Fed etc.   Provided you keep your head down and your mouth shut the spotlight will pass over and miss you.  What you must not do is attract the spot light. once you do that their limited power is focussed on you  and you WILL be found out. 

Leona Helmsley is an excellent example.

That CSI or (in England- 'Spooks') stuff is utter horseshit.


PS - hello IRS -  I haven't got any gold!!! 

FeralSerf's picture

The IRS has a long and often sordid history of not believing the taxpayer's claims of innocence.

Socratic Dog's picture

"some believe that such laws will quickly precipitate a revolution.  but why should we believe that gold confiscation will be the last straw?"

More likely that confiscation of all TV sets would be the last straw.  That would REALLY hurt.  F'ing sheep.

Two Towers AU AG's picture

new gmrpeabody

What you said is .... "All your gold are belong to us! "

I am sure..What you really meant is...  ""All your gold are belong to USA!""


Marco's picture

I don't see anything sinister in either of those. Pension funds face rather strict rules about their asset classes and you're going to hit automated triggers for potential flags when you use goldmoney, Fortis apparently just didn't think the risk was worth the customer ... their prerogative.

Jeff Lebowski's picture

Silver = useless shiny metal going to $3/ounce.  Clever (sarcastic) youtuber that must be on ZH.

*edit - "Sarcastic" is the adjective form of the noun "Sarcasm".  Confusing, I know.... 

Jeff Lebowski's picture

I give up explaining sarcasm.  Junk away.