by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:
It has been a common practice for people to keep cash stowed away in lock boxes or under mattresses in their homes, but now, even something as logical and important as keeping a cash stash for a rainy day can make you a suspected criminal.
Ethel Hülst, a 91 year old Swedish woman, unfortunately got to experience the ruthlessness of her country’s central bank first hand which may have contributed to her death.
Over the years, Ethel had accrued a modest and honest nest egg of around 108,450 Swedish krona which amounts to approximately $12,000 USD in cash.
To her surprise, upon her request to exchange her outdated notes, she was denied the new issue notes. The bank’s justification for denying the woman the service was that she could not produce the proper receipts to prove the cash was earned legitimately.
She was pressed with hard questions such as whether she had ever been involved in laundering money or ever had involvement in organized crime.
She was essentially assumed to be guilty until proven innocent.
Little did she know, she was dealing with the policy of the biggest and most dangerous organized criminals in the world; central bankers.
In this case, Ethel had no way of proving the cash was legitimate. She´d saved it a little bit at a time over decades. And of course, 50 years ago, the idea of providing a receipt for cash would have been seen as ludicrous.
Ethel lost the case the first time when the bank ruled against her. Then she lost the appeal. The idea that a central bank could request proof for cash was upheld and the stress presumably helped to encourage her death.
This is the kind of craziness going on in a world where central banks have been increasingly set against cash transactions and cash in general.
Central banks have a monopoly on legal tender and thus are the arbiters of what is and isn’t legal tender.
Right now Sweden is one of many countries in the middle of a big cash war and the victims are those who for a variety of reasons want to save outside of the current, oppressive, savings system.
Ethel Hülst was told she would have to prove the origin of her savings. The bank was in the midst of an exchange in issue and ordinarily could have just traded her new notes for her old ones. But not these days. Not anymore. In this “Brave New Sweden” even holding small amounts of cash gives you an appearance of criminality.
If you’re a young person with a lot of cash, you might have to prove where you have gotten it from. As an elderly person, you may have to prove that your money wasn’t a part of a larger cash hoarding scheme comprised of ill gotten gains.
Since Ethel had to prove the stash was legally acquired, unfortunately the burden of proof was all hers.
The bank is entirely unapologetic. And it is certainly making it clear that cash from a bank is becoming increasingly less dependable and that other forms of money such as bitcoin and gold are superior.
This does not mean that alternative forms of money are always dependable. However it certainly highlights the usefulness of currencies such as bitcoin, gold and silver as alternative mediums of exchange and more secure stores of value and savings.
Aside from being the best performing currency by far this year bitcoin is also one of the best performing assets in any asset class.
Our guide is for beginners who recognize the value in a currency which is nearly impervious to capital controls and retains its value in the face of fiat inflation.
Despite how tragic a story Ethel’s is, it is a wake up call for those young and old, but especially for those who are retired or close to retirement who are planning to hold cash in their physical possession.
These types of things happen all the time. One example is Lyndon McLellan, the owner of a convenience store, gas station and small restaurant under one roof in rural North Carolina who managed to save $107k or so in cash before the IRS deemed it ‘illegal proceeds’ and stole it. They claimed it was suspicious because he deposited it in increments of just under $10,000 to avoid filing paperwork.
To learn how to avoid banking predicaments like these by investing in bitcoin, check out our Bitcoin basics book here.
And you can receive a free copy of our book, Getting Your Gold Out of Dodge here.
The War on Cash is in full swing. People in India and Venezuela have already woken up to find out most of their cash was outlawed. These are likely test cases that will soon happen in other countries. In fact, Greece has just moved forward on its attacks on cash and we’ll cover that here tomorrow.
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