October 12, 2011
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 (WarIsCrime note: already removed from YouTube!) 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.