The Phaserl


New Executive Order: “Obama Has Just Given Himself the Authority to Seize Your Assets”

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

On Monday the U.S. government took steps to seize the US-based assets of Russian lawmakers and anyone else that the US government deemed complicit in supporting the Crimean secession movement.

We’ve seen the U.S. government do this in countless cases surrounding drug and financial crimes, and sometimes even against foreign leaders like Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega.

What makes this particular instance so unprecedented and terrifying is that President Obama went so far as to issue a new Executive Order to give himself the authorization to do so, because the laws of the United States are such that our government is not allowed to simply take someone’s bank assets, home or business without due process.

Here’s the kicker.

The new Executive Order doesn’t just apply to just Russians or foreigners. It gets blanket coverage, so even American citizens could now face asset forfeiture if their actions are deemed to be “contributing to the situation in the Ukraine.”

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1 comment to New Executive Order: “Obama Has Just Given Himself the Authority to Seize Your Assets”

  • rich

    Questions Over Goldman Deal as Investors Sit in the Dark

    The fight raises such a cornucopia of financial issues that it could shoulder an entire business school course. The holders of preferred stock in the company have taken to commenting to the Securities and Exchange Commission in outrage. Professor Angel accuses Goldman of multiple securities law violations. In essence, the question is: In these post-financial crisis days, what constitutes improper conflicts of interest?

    In 2007, a Goldman private equity fund called Whitehall took a company that runs franchised motels, like Residence Inn, private in a $2.2 billion transaction. It renamed the company W2007 Grace Acquisition. A Goldman entity, Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company, was the main lender for the leveraged buyout. Grace is run by current Goldman employees.

    Goldman did not buy the publicly traded preferred shares, however. Instead, Grace went “dark,” as Floyd Norris explained last year. That meant it no longer filed financials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a move allowed for companies with fewer than 300 shareholders. Grace delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and stopped paying dividends. It took other steps to make it difficult for anyone, including the preferred holders, to get any information about the company. Shareholders had to request the financials from the company and, at one point, had to pay 10 cents a page for the privilege of finding out how their investment was doing. They also had to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

    In 2012 and 2013, a mysterious entity named PFD Holdings started buying those battered-down preferred shares. In 2012, PFD was paying $3 to a little more than $5 a share. Soon after, the preferred doubled in price, and now the shares trade at about $12. As of its last announcement, PFD owns 58 percent of the preferred shares. Nice trade!

    So, what is PFD Holdings? Few outsiders really know because there’s little information out there about PFD. In Grace’s news releases, the company calls it a “sister company.” In other words, Goldman is ultimately behind PFD. I asked a former Goldman executive. He hadn’t heard of it but jokingly suggested the initials stood for Pretty Fishy and Dodgy. Well, in truth he used another “F” word, but you get the idea.

    When deals like this go down, I feel like we are nation of Jake Gitteses, watching big bank deals with incomprehension. In “Chinatown,” the private detective asks the wealthy baron Noah Cross: “Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What could you buy that you can’t already afford?”

    The scary thing about this Grace deal is that the money is so small (well, relative to Goldman, at least). The preferred shares amounted to about $146 million initially. It’s almost as if Goldman does it because it can.

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