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Guest Post: Why 308,127,404 Americans Are Going To Get Hosed

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black from Sovereign Man

Why 308,127,404 Americans Are Going To Get Hosed

Last week, the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the US Treasury Department, published its 2011 annual report. There are a few numbers that are pretty startling.

We’ve discussed before that FinCEN is the executive agency tasked with ensuring that every US banker is an unpaid government spy through Suspicious Activity Reports.

A Suspicious Activity Report, or SAR, includes details of any transaction that may be deemed ‘suspicious’. Naturally, there’s no clear guidance on what is/is not considered suspicious. Banks, brokerages, money service businesses, precious metals dealers… even casinos are required by law to fill them out.

If you withdraw an unusual amount of cash from your bank account, that could be deemed suspicious. If you set up a new payee in your billpay service, that could be deemed suspicious. Anything and everything is fair game.

Banks and other businesses who do not fill out SARs face hefty penalties, including imprisonment. If they disclose to a customer that s/he is the subject of a SAR, they have hefty penalties, including imprisonment.

When push comes to shove and they have to choose between a nasty penalty, or submitting a SAR about your unusual cash withdrawal, which option do you think they’ll pick?

Unsurprisingly, nearly 1.5 million ‘suspicious activity reports’ were filed across the US banking system in 2011, well over twice the number reported in 2004. On top of this, there were an additional -14.8 million- ‘currency transaction reports’ filed in 2011, a 6% jump over last year.

It’s an unfortunate trend which highlights not only the end of financial privacy, but also the massive amount of data being collected by the government to keep tabs on its citizens.

According to this year’s report, a full 36 distinct federal law enforcement agencies requested information from FinCEN (and even more who haven’t). Three dozen. And that doesn’t include state or local law enforcement.

That there are this many federal law enforcement agencies to begin with is mind-boggling… let alone the thought that some knucklehead at the Fish and Wildlife Service has access to bank records.

This is one reason why international diversification is so important– the likelihood of such collection and monitoring is greatly reduced when you bank overseas. Moreover, should one of these dozens of agencies or courts decide that your ‘suspicious activity’ warrants locking you out of your accounts, they have zero jurisdiction overseas.

This is a common tactic in the US; financial activity is one of the many, many areas with a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ burden of proof. You don’t even need to be doing anything wrong (which is the case most of the time this happens) for one of these agencies to freeze your account ‘pending investigation’ with a simple phone call. Good luck getting it unfrozen.

They don’t have that kind of pull overseas. That’s why we’ve been writing for years to more than 100,000 subscribers that the most important thing you can do for your financial security is to have a foreign bank account, no matter where you’re from. Planting a ‘banking flag’ outside of your home country is a very prudent, simple insurance policy.

More and more people are starting to wake up to this reality. FinCEN also tracks the Report of Foreign Bank Account and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the FBAR. This form is required to be submitted by any US taxpayer with foreign financial accounts whose aggregate total exceeded $10,000 at any point during the year.

For example, if you have a bank account in Uruguay with $9,000, and a small brokerage account in Panama with $2,000, you would have to submit the form by June 30th of each year to the Treasury Department.

In 2011, 618,134 US taxpayers filed an FBAR (which would have covered the calendar year 2010). This is more than a 100% increase over the filings just two years ago… a huge jump. I suspect the 2012 figures will show similar growth.

As a percentage of the population, though, the number is embryonic. It still leaves 308,127,404 Americans who have no backup plan, no insurance policy for their hard-earned savings. In other words, 99.8% of the population holds all of their money in an insolvent, corrupted, government-controlled, unsecured (though cleverly disguised) banking system.

Are you one of the 0.2% who is paying attention? If not, what’s holding you back? I’d like to know.

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Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:50 | 2055073 brew
brew's picture

big brother bitchez...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:10 | 2055158 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Fuck 'em, and their law.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:26 | 2055236 pods
pods's picture

 "America is at that awkward stage; it's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

-Claire Wolfe

We are getting closer to the end of awkward.



Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:32 | 2055263 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:15 | 2055451 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 16:19 | 2055780 falun bong
falun bong's picture

Cash transactions over 1000 euros are now illegal in Italy. AGAINST THE LAW. The limit will soon go down to 300.

Coming soon to a "free market democracy" near you.

Ron Paul 2012.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 18:32 | 2056325 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i know i am way late to this party {article}...but it seems our best interest is to give them what they want...they want all of us to be suspected terrorist...lets give it to them...if we get their numbers a little higher than their info is useless...if we all turn ourselves in as suspicious what do they have...if we tell the bank teller, "dont forget your sars..have a nice day"...these people truly are morons...even if they were evil, when you apply simple math to their logic it always blows up at about the third step.....they remind me of the 900 lb. person..really took you to 900 lbs before you figured you were fucked....their moment will be when they have 300,000,000 million suspects, including themselves....their moment of zen...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 21:38 | 2056945 Incubus
Incubus's picture

Everyone knows that only illegals, nutcases, and i-talians pay in cash. 

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 23:40 | 2057246 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Dude, I got totally fucked when my SOB gov't contractor boss fired me on the spot because I told them the Emperor had no Clothes. Fuck them.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 23:50 | 2057264 passwordis
passwordis's picture


 Forget Italy.



This summer, the State Legislature and Governor of Louisiana passed a law that bans individuals and businesses from transacting in cash if they are considered a “secondhand dealer”.  House Bill 195 of the 2011 Regular Session (Act 389) broadly defines a secondhand dealer to include   “… Anyone, other than a non-profit entity, who buys, sells, trades in or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property more frequently than once per month from any other person, other than a non-profit entity, shall be deemed as being in the business of a secondhand dealer. ” The law then states that “A secondhand dealer shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property.



Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:05 | 2055409 metastar
metastar's picture

I'm afraid to vote you up, so I'll give you a +0 instead.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:42 | 2055312 Sketch
Sketch's picture

prodigy... great music....what ever happened to them, anyway??

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:52 | 2056192 FoieGras
FoieGras's picture

Apparently tried and imprisoned for "their law", never to be heard of again. Could have had a great future that band, Music for a jilted generation certainly created a whole new genre of eletronic music.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 21:34 | 2056934 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Prodigy were lamers -- they only had one real hit, and 90% of the vibe of that tune was from the Max romeo sample they used.  It's one thing to borrow an idea, it's another to completely steal the original recording.

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 00:08 | 2057297 Rusty.Shackleford
Rusty.Shackleford's picture

smack ma BITCH up

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 16:18 | 2055779 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

Exactly.  So I withdraw a bunch in cash......file a SAR.....I don't give a fuck.  Some govt weenie asks me, I'll tell him it's none of his damn business WHAT I did with it.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:47 | 2056180 BigJim
BigJim's picture

...Unsurprisingly, nearly 1.5 million ‘suspicious activity reports’ were filed across the US banking system in 2011, well over twice the number reported in 2004. On top of this, there were an additional -14.8 million- ‘currency transaction reports’ filed in 2011, a 6% jump over last year.

This is actually good news. There's no way they can meaningfully process all that information.

The more you tighten your report requirements, Bammy, the more transactions will slip through your fingers.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 18:15 | 2056224 akak
akak's picture

The more you tighten your report requirements, Bammy, the more transactions will slip through your fingers.

Not after we demonstrate the power of this central banking cartel. In a way, you have determined the choice of the currency that'll be destroyed first.

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 00:35 | 2057340 Rottenclam
Rottenclam's picture

+1 greenie for the Star Wars reference

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 14:19 | 2062401 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

And when they discover they can't process the info, they move to summary arrest? And then when jails are full...what? Firing squads?

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 04:53 | 2057576 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

And here's how to fuck 'em - file an SAR everyday on 1) your 80 year old neighbor whose dog is shitting on your lawn, 2) the bank teller who's wearing a head scarf, 3) the car salesman who has an Arabic-sounding last name - overwhelm the system, bring down the system.

But be a good american and report EVERYTHING.

Baaaaaaaaaaaa - I am the sheeple.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:12 | 2055160 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It's not that bad...
To many people have been complaining that they are the 99%
So now they get to be the 99,8%!
The more the merrier!
Now everybody will be broke!

NO MORE 1%!!!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:16 | 2055182 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Yes, that's where we are going.  The 0.2% do not have (in aggregate) the money to feed the system.  They will be coming for the 1% soon (except for the connected...), then the 10%, then the rest.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:39 | 2055301 john39
john39's picture

of course, those few with money and power will gladly throw those with only money (and no power) to the angry masses....  hoping to quietly slip way to hide under a rock.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:17 | 2055189 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

-- If you see someone buying large amounts of non-perishable food, say something. --


Big 'Sis & DHS

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:36 | 2055290 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

"We’ve discussed before that FinCEN is the executive agency tasked with ensuring that every US banker is an unpaid government spy through Suspicious Activity Reports."

Well, actually, no.  The FinCEN, an FIU (or financial intelligence unit) represents a network of 80 FIUs, out of 95 offshore financial centers globally, or tax havens, which the USA is to many foreigners, is chiefly about the control of money laundering.

The FinCENs or FIUs elsewhere, have been set up and/or coordinated by the Egmont Group, in collaboration or by contract with the IMF --- how does one explain FIUs situated at the world's offshore finance centers, or tax havens???

The change in the bank reporting act in the '80s, which somehow snuck through congress, ensured that NAFTA would have to be passed so that the Mexican banks could be privatized and the multinational banks could rush in to recapture the lost drug cartel money laundering which had fled to Mexican banks after those changes to the bank reporting legislation.

David Rockefeller's Council on the Americas lobbied on behalf of NAFTA, and thus it came to pass.  Within a year of the passage of NAFTA (championed by Bush #1, all the republicons, and Clinton and Gore), 90% of the Mexican banks were privatized and foreign-owned.

Surprise....surprise, as old Gomer Pyle would exclaim.

History, isn't it fundmanetal?  (Read Ravi Batra's Greenspan's Fraud for some background on this.)


Thu, 01/12/2012 - 04:45 | 2057569 Tompooz
Tompooz's picture

"how does one explain FIUs situated at the world's offshore finance centers, or tax havens???"

A cushy job in a sunny place. With a pension (for now).

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:27 | 2055511 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Ron Paul or this shit is never going to stop.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 16:25 | 2055800 falun bong
falun bong's picture


I'm pledging to convert 10 other people to Ron Paul voters. I'm starting with extended family members, educating them one at a time. Independents and free thinkers are first. Then come the "conservative' Republicans, Reagan voter types. Last are the Lefties. Those I convert by asking whether they would support a candidate who is RELIABLY:




Anti-bank crime



Wed, 01/11/2012 - 18:14 | 2056256 smiler03
smiler03's picture

It's a shame you can't ask...


then RP=President guaranteed.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 23:40 | 2056764 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

No matter how bad Obama gets, probably 70% of the left will never vote for RP due to political correctness.  It's their religion.  The gay thing and the newsletters will be the primary deal-breakers for Ron Paul.  I check DailyKos every so often and they hate RP, even going so far as to blame him for the crash of '08.  Worse, Kossacks do not see this year's even bigger shit-meteor hurtling towards us, they like the idea of printing money to throw at unfixable problems or take care of people who often couldn't be bothered to take care of themselves, they don't see the government as hopelessly corrupt, and they think that any corruption can be solved by more regulations from the legislative sausage mill.  There are still many nauseating cock-slurping paeans about how great Obama is because he supports gay blah blah SEIU blah blah gun control blah blah sustainable affordable blah blah close Gitmo blah blah pay their fair share blah blah blah blah save the fucking whales.   Sooner or later, the left will learn their civics lessons in a FEMA camp.

The left are just like the fundies under Bush.  Easy to manipulate with push-button ideological blather and irrelevant bugaboos.  They will follow their false Messiah off the cliff.

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 00:54 | 2057374 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

There's a very small and very loud group of folks who'll drown out a lot--if you let them.  If you ignore them, they don't matter at all.  It would be easy to make bad inferences about virtually any crowd here, too.  It makes more sense to worry about the issues than the people.  It shouldn't be that it takes only a half-dozen idiots to keep you from achieving your aims.

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 18:12 | 2059959 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Yeah, on further consideration I'd say you're right.  The left has two broad factions that don't always get along:  The activists/socialists/PC memebots, and the hippies/libertines/new agers.  The latter are natural allies, and since they tend to keep a low profile, there are probably more of them than it seems.  The trouble is reaching them and getting them out to vote (for RP, of course).

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 21:38 | 2056944 Absinthe Minded
Absinthe Minded's picture

I'm on board! I converted my wife and about a dozen co-workers. I just received my Ron Paul 2012 and End the Fed bumper stickers and am displaying them proudly. Go Dr. Paul!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:34 | 2055541 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Buffalo Ben Bernank says:

"It keeps its fiat in the system, or else it gets a nasty fist 'em."




It rubs the lotion on its skin

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:00 | 2055976 Divine Wind
Divine Wind's picture

...or else it gets the hose again.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:50 | 2055074 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

Why do corporations get to keep their billions overseas ?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:13 | 2055165 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I don't why wonder at all.  Wouldn't you?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:14 | 2055170 maxw3st
maxw3st's picture

When you have billions, you own the legal system in the US.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:18 | 2055195 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

As a corporation, I'll gladly answer the question. Errrr... how do I start? OK. Here it goes: overseas for whom? I mean, it all depends on your perspective, right? Sometimes our, I mean my, my billions are overseas and other times they are domestic. You can't generalize. My point is: these billions are always on the move....

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:11 | 2055431 economics1996
economics1996's picture

Yes indeed.  So true.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 21:52 | 2056985 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

It's all about finding synergies that correspond to worlds best practice while maximizing opportunities for stakeholders and other parties.

All being in accordance with the latest internationally agreed regulatory framework.

Next question......

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 16:03 | 2055702 Mr Kurtz
Thu, 01/12/2012 - 05:52 | 2057618 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Who do you think shows up to those $45,000 a plate "round table discussion" bribery extortion protection money election fund dinners?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:11 | 2055077 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



How is that TPS (Treasury's People Snooping) report coming along?


...jobs saved or created.

Relax.  Just another make-work project for bankers and federal employees.

If it is for our protection, then what is the number of criminals, terrorists, and psychopaths whose crimes have been foiled because the government knew their whereabouts, opinions, or spending patterns?  My guess is zero, but I might be off by a few.  Unfortunately, no government wonk wants to be out doing actual field work...investigating...way too hard.  They'd rather review some meaningless report and surf tranny porn.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:15 | 2055178 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

My all time favorite movie :)
I must heve seen it a dozen times already and it still cracks me up

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:22 | 2055215 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

"Yes, I also am not a poo-sy" -Samir Nagheenanajar.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:31 | 2055529 Osmium
Osmium's picture

Hey Peter.  Watch out for the cornhole bud.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:06 | 2055390 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

The Bernank is running a Superman III scam.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:14 | 2055444 economics1996
economics1996's picture

The feds are figuring out which portion of the population will end up in Soylent Green food products.  I know I am on the list.


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