To believe that governments…[won’t confiscate your] gold to help support their national finances… would be naïve, especially in light of past and recent events. That’s why it is now incumbent on all investors to look at the meaning of ownership in investing and investors’ vulnerability to government confiscation as well as vulnerability to exchange and capital controls. We do this below.
So writes Julian DW Phillips in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled Gold Consfication – If You Don’t Own your Bank Deposit, Do you Own your Gold?.
The post by is presented compliments of www.FinancialArticleSummariesToday.com (A site for sore eyes and inquisitive minds), www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) and the Intelligence Report newsletter (It’s free – sign up here) and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
Phillips goes on to say in further edited excerpts:
Three New Realities
When it was announced [in Cyprus] that both large and small depositors were to have a percentage of their deposits seized, it was not the amount that horrified the world but the discovery that you do not own your own bank deposits.
- Most investors worldwide are of the belief that when you deposit your money in a bank, it simply has safe-keeping of that money. The realization that you have lent the bank your money and are an “Unsecured Creditor” of the bank is an unpleasant revelation.
- The sight of deposits being confiscated by bank creditors and governments brought home the fact, and blew away the illusion…, that you own your own money. The reassurances from Brussels that “this is not a template for future bailouts” do not remove the stark realities of the state of depositors from now on. The reality that your money can be confiscated in your bank brought home the meaning of the word, ‘confiscation’ as a present and very real danger in the future if the situation warrants it.
- Governments have the power to control your money through capital and exchange controls in a bloc like the E.U. This can happen for a long time, probably, in an emasculated state, in a developed country. This is an additional shock to investors and depositors. Note that this is not Argentina or South Africa or Zimbabwe, but a member of the E.U. whose demise was caused by the E.U. through its handling of another member of the E.U., Greece!
It is now incumbent on all investors to look at the meaning of ownership in investing and investors’ vulnerability to government confiscation as well as vulnerability to exchange and capital controls. We do this now in regard to gold and silver in particular.
Vulnerability #1: Generally accepted ways to own gold that may not actually be so
When you buy gold futures, ostensibly, you buy gold for future delivery. However, if you want to take delivery at the end of your contract, you have to notify COMEX so they can notify the seller of the future because 95% of futures contracts do not deliver gold at the end of the period. They are simply closed out…Such futures contracts have matured and you’ve taken delivery of the gold [which] means you own the gold you bought but where you hold it is equally as important.
2. Gold Shares
When you buy a gold share, you buy a company that mines for gold; you do not buy gold. If the day should come when governments want gold from citizens and from corporations, then it is possible that they will either nationalize the mine, or instruct that all future gold mined by the company be handed to the government.
Currently in China, the locally-mined gold is being taken into the nation’s reserves and doesn’t reach the market. Gold miners are paid by this agency in local currency, so where a gold mining company pays dividends to clients, they will continue to pay shareholders dividends. It’s sensible of governments to follow this road when they want to increase their gold reserves because this way the gold price isn’t directly affected. All that happens is that supplies of gold to the international market are lowered. Only later will this impact the gold price.
Please note that to get a gold-price-related return, you must own shares in a gold mining company that does pay dividends that relate to profits. This should be a mine that really can control its costs so you benefit from a rising gold price. Many have simply extended their lives, not benefitted their shareholders.
3. Gold Exchange Traded Funds
When you buy shares in a gold ETF, you do not buy gold. You buy shares in a company that buys gold, whose price moves with the price of gold.
The gold the fund owns, not you, is held in a Custodian Bank possibly in unallocated accounts. In the light of Cyprus, let’s be clear, the gold belongs to the fund.
a) If held in unallocated form at the bank, it does not belong to the fund, it belongs to the bank, i.e. Custodian, as it is held on the bank’s balance sheet just as deposits were held in Cypriot banks.
If a series of actions takes place, in the style of Cyprus and the government wants to confiscate it, it will simply take it from the bank custodian and inform the fund of the event. The fund will then inform you.
b) If the fund holds the gold in allocated accounts, then the government will take it from the fund directly and the fund will then pay the shareholders the proceeds in liquidation in specie.
The benefit of this type of fund is that you do have a direct relationship to the gold price, not the gold [but] if you want to own gold, this is not the way to do it.
Vulnerability #2: Unallocated and Allocated
Just as bank depositors were under the impression that they owned their deposits and didn’t, so it is possible in the gold world to find oneself in a similar position. Gold owners should be very clear on this danger.[The above] was highlighted when we read about the repatriation of gold by Germany and the likely repatriation of gold by Switzerland after their referendum on the subject. The possibility that the foreign central banks is making money out of a foreign nation’s gold by leasing it out to the market was reinforced by the fact that it is going to take seven years to get it back to Germany. This places such banks in the same place as a bank depositor.
The fear that their gold is held in other central banks in unallocated accounts incited their fears. The danger to us is not that the gold is not there in the foreign central bank, but that it is held in unallocated accounts. What does this mean?
The London Bullion Market Association defines these terms for us as follows:
Unallocated is an account where specific bars are not set aside and the customer has a general entitlement to the metal. This is the most convenient, cheapest and most commonly used method of holding metal. The holder is an unsecured creditor. Holding gold this way opens one up to a Cyprus event…
Allocated accounts are opened when a customer requires metal to be physically segregated and needs a detailed list of weights and assays.
(Please note that when the gold is allocated it remains in the owner’s name and is his gold not the Custodian’s even if it is held on his behalf by someone else. This means that if the Custodian goes bust, or has his assets confiscated, the gold held by its clients is separate and not capable of confiscation or seizure. This is the right way to hold your gold to avoid a Cyprus event.)
Vulnerability #3: Government Rights
When U.S. citizens were allowed to own gold again in 1974 after 41 years, they were told they were allowed the “privilege” of owning gold. Clearly this meant that the government did not deem it a right. This continued to place it in the area where in the future it was within the ambit of government to confiscate it should the conditions warrant such.[The gold] is defined as “an important reserve asset” in the words of the central bank gold agreements that have been in place since 1999. Its importance is growing, as highlighted by the World Gold council’s report from the OMFIF reporting on the advent of the Chinese Yuan to the list of global reserve currencies in the coming years (or months?) where they expect it to take a pivotal position in the monetary system. This makes it as vulnerable as the deposits in Cypriot banks in the future….
With Governments repatriating their gold, investors should try to understand why. Perhaps the reasons behind bringing gold home apply to private investors?
Of course, the advantage of governments is that they have total power in their own jurisdiction, which they will only lose if someone invades them. So once on German soil, German gold will be untouchable. As an individual, however, the owner remains in his government’s jurisdiction and does not have the same control. He, therefore, must consider where he can hold it to retain that control.
Vulnerability #4: Banks & Vaults with U.S. Branches
Recently we have seen Swiss entities rejecting U.S. taxpayers as clients (to avoid the possibility of having to pay hefty fines to the U.S. government to settle attacks by the I.R.S.) rather than lose their U.S. banking license…Hence, the desire to remove all vulnerability to the U.S. government fines and seizure of Swiss-owned, U.S.-based assets….[As] long as they have this vulnerability to government control they have to act in their own interests even at the expense of their clients.
A re-evaluation of [the above 4] vulnerabilities should be taking place in the entire financial world in the light of Cyprus and U.S. I.R.S. attacks on foreign companies. Whether the owners of financial assets are governments or companies or individuals, all of us should have begun such an analysis, particularly those who own gold or silver.
Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions in the above article are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original post. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.
*http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article39695.html (Gold Forecaster regularly covers all fundamental and Technical aspects of the gold price in its weekly newsletter. To subscribe, please visit www.GoldForecaster.com.)
Cyprus is a trial balloon for the NWO [New World Order], taking a small country that can more easily be controlled, putting the financial screws to bank depositors and then watching how it all unfolds, creating a playbook for future bank raids… If anyone thinks this [was] a one-time, knee-jerk response, the Bank of Cyprus is offering a free toaster for new deposits as a reminder that your money will be toast.
The United States has seen four different gold confiscations — the last of which was in 1933. Few people realize that when the freedom to own gold was restored in 1972, the President retained the power to require us to surrender our gold which he can do again any time (probably on a Friday) with the mere stroke of a pen. That means all confiscated gold could possibly be compensated at only $42.22 per 1oz. and not at the world market price. Don’t take this decision lightly. It was another blatant warning that the government may be contemplating grand larceny — AGAIN. Words: 1740
FDR confiscated American’s gold for the same reason Lenin confiscated it in Russia and Hitler confiscated it in Germany, namely, to get it out of the hands of the people. [That view is contrary to the prevailing belief that such was done] to re-establish confidence in the dollar. [Let me explain the background of this confiscation and my rationale for coming to such a conclusion.] Words: 815
The laws of gold confiscation are very clear in the U.S.: During any time of national crisis, it becomes illegal to buy, sell, or “hoard” gold bullion in any form. It is delineated under an Executive Order and can be re-administered as quickly as the assets in your checking account can be frozen. The penalties for violation are 10 years in prison, $10,000 fine, or both. Words: 821
Imagine living in a country where the government suddenly decides to make it illegal to hold a certain type of asset, and goes on a systematic process to relieve its citizens of such an asset? Such actions happen in wartime and by politically-corrupt regimes but how about private-asset seizure in the good old U.S.A.? Well, it has happened before. [The 64 trillion (in keeping with the times) dollar question is: “Will it happen again?”] Words: 585
Do we really honest-to-God no-fingers-crossed cherry-on-top believe that the powers-that-be will simply allow us to mosey up to the cashiers cage and redeem or convert our Gold for whatever monetary unit reigns supreme or is created [should our current financial system and currencies collapse? As such,] IF there comes a time when the best move forward is to sell most of our Gold and switch to another asset class, one more likely to survive the transition intact, will we be able to see this as obvious and a no brainer? [Let me explain what could well happen and the effect such a development would have on all things Gold.] Words: 3037
Silver has more than doubled [in price] from its 2008 multi-year high…primarily due to demand among the industries of the developing world…and among those industries where silver is virtually irreplaceable… If silver goes too high, however, it could provoke government interference in the name of ensuring national security. Let me explain. Words: 606
There has been a persistent fear among…owners of gold that…their gold will be confiscated by their governments, as was the case in 1933. For very different reasons, we believe that that danger persists and is growing by the day. We feel that because gold is rapidly returning to an active role in the global monetary system…investors should be aware of the conditions in which this would happen. We also indicate what we feel to be a solid solution for protecting yourself against a gold confiscation. (Words: 1581: Charts: 2)
Worldwide economic uncertainty has created a growing interest in precious metals as a way to…protect one’s wealth from impending economic Armageddon…Unfortunately, many today don’t know how to purchase or store bullion, and consequently may find themselves as vulnerable to financial collapse as those who didn’t purchase any bullion at all. [This article outlines what rigorous due diligence is absolutely required when entering into an agreement to buy gold bullion and how it should be stored and why. Don’t buy any gold product without reading this article first.]
Private investors, institutional and individual, will become wealthy simply by being invested in gold in this environment. Stupendous capital gains with gold priced at USD $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 or more per troy ounce should be expected – but should we assume that hugely indebted governments, whose citizens are struggling with ever lower living standards, will stand idly by while investors reap what will be characterized as unwarranted and unearned capital gains? Not very likely! I can already hear populist calls for a Windfall Profits Tax to confiscate these unwarranted gains in the name of fairness and equity. Owners of gold, therefore, might be wise to take appropriate evasive action which anticipates this eventuality. Words: 1300
People ask me on a consistent basis if I think the government will confiscate their gold and silver coins if times get rough. I feel there is little chance of this happening, and here’s why. Words: 390
The politicians will do whatever they find convenient, because there is no longer anything to stop them – not an electorate that is jealous of its freedoms and certainly not the Constitution, which is now just a playhouse for judicial imagineering. No one can know what’s coming next from the government and the financial system it has fostered, but for many of us there is an awful suspicion that we are not going to like it. Most Americans still have yet to stick a single financial toe across the border, but more and more are considering it [and in this article I outline 10 ways to internationalize your assets to provide you with some much needed protection as the future unfolds.] Words: 3923
The United States and most of Europe…risk an eruption and collapse of the mountain of unsustainable sovereign debt built up over the last two decades. Frankly, the U.S. dollar and national debt situation is so dire – and our means to contain a sovereign debt crisis so limited by multiple wars and Washington’s debt and political incompetence at home – that anything could happen, almost overnight. [The best] America and most European governments and the central banking elites, which created the criminal sovereign debt fiasco, [appear able to do is] try to buy more time and delay the inevitable. This inaction means the threat of an immediate US debt and dollar collapse cannot be ruled out. Therefore, readers who have not protected themselves certainly have cause to worry because now could be too late. [Let me explain further.] Words: 1689