by Doug Casey, Casey Research:
“I know the cops are there.”
The receptionist looked around. She didn’t know what the man on the phone was talking about.
There were no cops in the lobby. Just a delivery man standing in front of her desk, trying to drop off a package.
But the man on the phone was right. The cops were there. Three dozen of them, watching every exit in the building…plus an undercover FBI agent posing as the delivery man.
He was carrying a package of 1,000 gold coins—worth $1.5 million.
The man on the phone had ordered the coins online. His gang had stolen millions of dollars by hacking into a bank account owned by one of America’s most famous tech billionaires. Now they were trying to purchase gold with the stolen money.
You see, these criminal hackers knew something most people don’t…that physical gold is totally untraceable.
So even though it was only a matter of time before the feds tracked the money they had stolen, the criminals could sell, trade, or melt the gold they bought without any suspicion. In short, they used the gold to launder the money they stole.
And it worked.
Although the cops foiled the plot this time around, the criminals had successfully purchased a box of 1,000 gold coins just a week earlier. After signing for the package, a man immediately drove half a mile to Tampa International Airport, walked through security, and flew away.
To this day, no one knows where that $1.5 million worth of gold coins is.
The feds will never, ever find it.
This is a true story. I heard it firsthand from the coin dealers who loaned the FBI agent a delivery uniform and 1,000 gold coins before the sting.
I promised them I’d keep certain details confidential. I can’t share the name of the large national bank that was hacked. Or tell you who the famous tech billionaire was. Both are household names that you’d immediately recognize.
It’s all hush-hush. The story never made the news, and the banks want to keep it that way. They don’t want the public to know their accounts are that easy to hack. And the government doesn’t want more folks to know what the hackers know…
Owning physical gold is the only way to prevent the government from having total control of your financial life.
Today, nearly every transaction is tracked by the government. Every time you withdraw money, deposit money, buy something, sell something, trade a stock, cash a check, or make a wire transfer, the government tracks you.
This makes it easy for the government to control and tax every aspect of your life.
Gold is the only asset outside the control of central banks like the Fed.
Gold is not an investment asset…it’s money.
You don’t buy gold as a speculation the way you’d buy a gold mining stock. Since it’s easily exchangeable into any currency in the world, it’s the world’s safest form of money.
That’s why the Fed hates gold. It’s also why the government is making it increasingly more difficult to buy and own gold.
It’s Getting Harder to Buy Gold
During the Great Depression, the government made it illegal to own most forms of gold. President Roosevelt claimed that people “hoarding” gold were making the Great Depression worse. The penalty for not turning your gold in to the government was a $10,000 fine and 10 years in jail.
Finally, in the mid-1970s, the average American could buy gold again. Americans piled into the metal as protection from the collapsing value of the dollar.
But since the 1970s, the government has enacted a series of laws that have made owning gold more difficult, more costly, and less private:
The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 required financial institutions to help the government detect and prevent money laundering. To get around this law, some criminals laundered money by purchasing gold bullion and coins.
To help crack down on this illicit cash, the IRS created Form 8300 in 1984. It requires merchants to report certain cash transactions over $10,000. Essentially, Form 8300 forced coin dealers to comply with burdensome rules that were originally written for banks.
Then came 9/11…and the Patriot Act. Among other things, it allows the government to collect bank and credit reporting records on Americans in the name of national security.
The Patriot Act made Form 8300 universally accessible to the government without a warrant. What used to be a tax collection tool is now available to all law enforcement. Merchants filling out Form 8300 also have to send a copy to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) database.
FinCEN is a branch of the U.S. Treasury that collects and analyzes information about U.S. financial transactions to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
But that’s not all. Merchants also have to fill out a Suspicious Activity Report and submit it to FinCEN whenever they suspect a customer of making multiple transactions to avoid a Form 8300.
The Hobby Protection Act restricts how dealers can, or can’t, sell replica coins made from gold or silver.
The Dodd–Frank Act, passed after the 2008 financial crisis, created new reporting requirements for bullion dealers, which don’t allow smaller dealers to “hedge” the price of gold.
Recently, some state governments have gotten even more aggressive in cracking down on gold…
In 2014, the state of Minnesota required any coin dealer selling to citizens of the state to first obtain a surety bond (a promise by a third party to pay a certain amount if an obligation from the coin dealer isn’t met) before conducting business. Many dealers couldn’t comply with this rule and abandoned customers in the state altogether.
A new Louisiana law prevents gold dealers from buying precious metals with cash. Now they can only write checks to selling customers. State authorities want to know about all of these check payments via a special form.
Earlier this year, I went to a local jewelry store looking for gold coins and found this surprising sign posted:
It says, “CASH transactions are limited to $6,000 within a 48 hour period.”
$6,000 seems like an arbitrary number. And 48 hours seems even more contrived. This is a sign of the times.
The Fed claims all these restrictive laws are in the name of safety, security, and fairness. The government says criminals use gold to avoid the banking system. But the laws rarely seem to ensnare criminals.
For average citizens, owning gold isn’t about avoiding taxes or laundering money. It’s merely about ditching the liability that comes with owning dollars.
When the government makes a law protecting something, it often ends up taking that thing away from you. For your own good, of course.
We think the government’s real intention is to keep all U.S. money in the banking system. There, it can be traced, tracked, and most importantly…taxed.
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