By John Galt
November 7, 2011 – 08:00 ET
On April 5, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102. The summary of this act is as follows (from the link in full at the University of California at Santa-Barbara):
34 - Executive Order 6102 – Requiring Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates to Be Delivered to the Government
April 5, 1933
By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled “An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes,” in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of this order:Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term “hoarding” means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.
Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following…(etc., etc….)
Since that was almost 70 years ago, so no big deal, right?
It was until the news came out of Germany this weekend via Reuters:
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) reported that Bundesbank reserves — including foreign currency and gold — would be used to increase Germany’s contribution to the crisis fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) by more than 15 billion euros ($20 billion).
The European Central Bank (ECB) would own the reserves, according to the paper, citing sources at the G20 meeting held in Cannes this week.
Thus the idea of the Germans turning their foreign reserves, especially their gold reserves, over to a multi-national foreign banking concern was avoided for the purpose of saving the PIIGS this weekend. But what happens when that crisis burns itself out and rotates back over to the United States? What process and procedure would be used to abscond with America’s real gold reserves held by investors and citizens and allegedly by our central bank and the Treasury Department?
The truth is pretty scary. As first reported way back in 2008 under an idea by the then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Charles Rangel via Neal Boortz’s radio program, the Democrats have long thought about nationalizing 401K’s, IRA’s, and private pension funds. This was followed up with another example in 2010 in the publication Human Events in a story by Connie Hair on May 4, 2010, titled “Republicans Sound Alarm on Administration Plan to Seize 401(k)s.” From the article:
In February, the White House released its “Annual Report on the Middle Class” containing new regulations favored by Big Labor including a bailout of critically underfunded union pension plans through “retirement security” options.
The radical solution most favored by Big Labor is the seizure of private 401(k) plans for government disbursement — which lets them off the hook for their collapsing retirement scheme. And, of course, the Obama administration is eager to accommodate their buddies.
Vice President Joe Biden floated the idea, called “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs), in the February “Middle Class” report.
In conjunction with the report’s release, the Obama administration jointly issued through the Departments of Labor and Treasury a “Request for Information” regarding the “annuitization” of 401(k) plans through “Lifetime Income Options” in the form of a notice to the public of proposed issuance of rules and regulations.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and a group of House Republicans are mounting an effort to fight back.
The American people have become painfully aware over the past year that elections sometimes have calamitous consequences. Republicans lack the votes (for now) to reign in the Obama administration’s myriad nationalization plans for everything from health care to the automobile industry.
Now the backdoor bulls-eye is on your 401(k) plan and the trillions of dollars the government would control through seizure, regulation and federal disbursement of mandatory retirement accounts.
The story above is the groundwork, or basis, for seizing gold from private individuals is in place as the Executive Order 6102 from Roosevelt is still viable and the idea that nationalization of private retirement accounts are no further than one Executive order away as it is doubtful the Republicans would ever endorse such a plan in the light of day.
This opens up the door not just to precious metals IRAs, foreign holding accounts (See the HIRE act of March 2010), and other synthetic concoctions, but does present an idea of which should be obvious to my long time readers and listeners:
The concept that an old friend of mine, Steve Quayle, propagated years ago that if you do not hold it, you do not own it.
Gold is being used as a hedge against a currency collapse by many of the ultra wealthy and central banks of the world, but what happens when a central bank or government in the case of the United States in 1933 decides to confiscate gold holdings from investors and citizens? The process in that era was quite simple and due to the nature of the citizenry at that time, compliance was quite structured and natural to the nation. In this current era however, there is an even greater distrust of the government and financial system in general, thus opening the door for citizens to object and rebel against such an order.
While a confiscation might have been a reach as recently as 2008, in the years since the financial crisis it has been revealed that the prospect is no longer that wild. The United States government has a massive debt that can not be serviced without some type of drastic action. The social contracts designed to provide a safety net have become a liability that is unfulfillable as structured and will require either a default on the programs or a confiscatory tax policy with rates returning to 1930′s extremes north of 80%. As part of such a restructuring of our domestic governmental financial structure, gold confiscation becomes more of a potential reality.
As the prospect of confiscating the yellow metal becomes closer to reality in the years ahead, odds are that it will not appear anything like the Executive Order referenced above. It will be an emergency declaration that starts the ball rolling, but before that happens the average individual needs to understand the warning signs will not appear until the very last minute. First and foremost, rumors of and a crisis of such magnitude creating the need for a bank holiday and shutdown of all financial markets. This would enable the government authorities to lock down all positions in key assets at a point where they would be accessible for a secret audit and stop the flow of funds and/or the metals out of their control. The first gold to be seized will obviously be the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) like the GLD which currently contains approximately $70.2 billion (as of 11.03.2011) in gold at this time. The “paper” gold, as it has become known, would be the easiest to seize as the gold bars are inventoried and itemized and compensation to the owners of those shares would be decided by the government at whatever exchange rate it desired. The managers and owners of those funds would be compensated, after tax penalties are assessed, with an equivalent investment probably within the Treasury bond complex or new debt instrument from the Federal government.
Next on the list would be the other paper gold asset which has gained in popularity in recent years, the precious metal IRA’s. The individual investor or small player is more likely to own a retirement account of this design and the objections would be minimal as the government would probably offer up a share of a Treasury bond based fund in lieu of cash compensation. Even with the rate of return guaranteed at 3% on average by the government it would be a losing hand and some individuals might attempt legal action to recover their losses. Based on historical precedent there would be little recourse or recovery as demonstrated by recent court decisions against bond holders in recent corporate nationalizations and other cases involving individual rights and the Fifth Amendment have discovered. This leaves the final confiscatory action and it will be the most destructive not just from a monetary point of view, but from a citizen’s perspective of their relationship to the authority known as government.
The final act of confiscation will require the long rumored proverbial bank holiday. The financial authorities, under the Department of Homeland Security and Internal Revenue Service, would have the ability during such a holiday to conduct on site audits of safety deposit boxes for contraband, precious metals, and other financial materials of interest. This audit could be completed within a thirty to ninety day period, while re-opening the institutions but locking down all access to safety deposit boxes from customers and holding the bank management criminally liable if that policy is violated. As a bank’s audit is completed, the authorities would notify the owners of the event, probably begin an initial tax evasion case inquiry for intimidation purposes, and then determine fair value for all bullion or non-numismatic coinage that is seized. The process would be messy and by designed to browbeat the owner thus creating a level on mistrust beyond anything since the Wilsonian police state actions of World War I. Sadly, such an event would be coordinated with European authorities to insure that no American assets were hidden in their banks and to allow them a chance to seize assets for “inspection” or government confiscation to block capital flight from their nations.
A clue as to when this event will begin has been dropped by the world monetary authorities in the last seven days, yet few souls have noticed it. The G20 and Europeans have investigated the idea of boosting the IMF’s Special Depository Receipts (SDRs) to the point of a becoming a viable global currency to provide a stable alternative to the dollar reserve system currently in place. This action was discussed to provide an alternative to the European Central Bank problems and to stifle the currency war initiated by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Until action occurs to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency occurs, there is no reason to confiscate assets to provide a base of value for the United States to create a new monetary regime. The circus that will occur in other nations will be mirrored by our own and the door opened at that moment to seize assets, possibly including real estate, to insure a backing for our ability to service the debt and participate in a new currency regime within a global central bank.
Just remember, this is not a problem for those who hold precious metals in their possession or know the location of that safe that fell overboard during the canoeing accident in the lake or river near their homes.