Archive for the ‘5c. Asset Protection’ Category

Move Your Money Out of America and Soon

April 21, 2009

Apr 3rd, 2009 | By Simon Black and Fitzroy McLean

leadimageThings are getting uncomfortable for individuals and corporations looking to deposit their money in tax havens around the world. Just recently, Congress introduced the so-called “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act,” which is designed to do away with the privacy afforded by doing business or investing outside the U.S. and to eliminate or reduce tax benefits available offshore.

We are patriots. We have proudly served in our country’s military, have extended a helping hand to its public sector, and have plowed our entrepreneurial enterprise into its once fertile soil. We love America, but these days, America does not love us back. It takes without giving and squelches free enterprise. These days, America is no longer the land of the free, especially when it comes to the market.

Just look at the headlines, seemingly ripped from the pages of Atlas Shrugged: Unconscionably large bank bailouts. Punishing regulations and tax requirements. An arctic business climate. Government money bombs. Riots and protests. Slowing trade. Protectionist rhetoric. Demonized corporate executives. Even pirates hijacking cargo ships. One can guess what will happen next.

We predict the next several years will usher in larger, more obtrusive governments, resulting in a decline of personal liberty and financial privacy. The world will become increasingly polarized between two groups: those who consider government intervention a great idea, and the rest of us who happen to be sane.

As such, you can bet your last falling dollar on some absolute certainties: bank nationalization is a given, at least de facto if not de jure; taxes are going up on those of us with any money left; the Fed’s money blitzkriegs will spark a blaze of inflation; and financial privacy will be a thing of the past in the United States.

The obvious and necessary solution is to position one’s finances outside of the United States, and to do so now, while the narrow and finite window of opportunity is still open.

To be clear, evading (or even avoiding) taxes at this point is not a wise move, given the size and scope of the ever-growing IRS. But there are significant advantages to expatriating your capital now:

For starters, you will actually have control of your own money. Yes, in certain instances you’ll be obliged to tell the IRS exactly where it is and what you’re doing with it, but no government agency will have the authority to reach into your overseas pocket and freeze or expropriate (read: steal) on a whim just so Team Obama can give it away to pay for someone else’s McMansion.  Plus, when exchange controls are implemented and Americans are forbidden from wiring money overseas, your capital will already be secured in another jurisdiction, where you will be free to do what you want with it.

Secondly, you will no longer have to assume the risk of insolvent banks or go through the hassle of petitioning the government to get your FDIC insurance bailout. Many overseas banks are far better capitalized than those in the United States, and some of them are in jurisdictions with constitutionally protected banking privacy.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, moving money overseas gives you a last chance at diversifying out of the dollar, which, in a very short period of time, will barely be worth the paper on which it’s printed.

Bank and Brokerage Accounts

Opening a foreign bank or brokerage account is easier said than done; the United States government severely restricts where and under what terms you can open a bank account, invest in a fund, or engage in other economic activities that facilitate the protection of and access to your assets. As the signatory on an overseas account, you are required by law to inform the federal government on Treasury form TDF 90.22 by the end of June each year. Ostensibly, this has been done in the name of fighting money laundering, but it has the effect of severely restricting your freedom of financial movement.

Many foreign banks simply won’t work with you… don’t worry, it’s nothing personal. Uncle Sam has been beating them down since the Reagan years, and between Qualified Intermediary rules, tax treaties, and the USA PATRIOT Act, Sammy gives himself a lot of regulation to bury the opposition with.

There are some jurisdictions that are still excellent banking centers; Switzerland may have rolled over, but Panama, Uruguay, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates have thus far ignored the call for “greater transparency” (read: government access to private finance).

Some individual banks, like Credicorp and Global Bank in Panama, or Banco Itau in Uruguay will not work with U.S. citizens anymore, but there is still opportunity with the hundreds of remaining banks in these jurisdictions.

Similarly, opening a foreign brokerage account is a shrewd move, not only to move your money overseas but also to have greater access to financial markets. Remember when world markets tanked on Martin Luther King Day 2008? If you were a U.S.-based investor and wanted to sell, sell, sell, you had to wait a full 24 hours until the markets opened after the holiday on Tuesday morning. If you had been invested with global depository shares through a foreign brokerage, you could have saved yourself several points and gotten out in time.

We would suggest looking at Verdmont Capital and PanaAmerican Capital in Panama, and Saxo Bank in Denmark.

Bullion Storage

If you have gold, it would be highly beneficial to get it out of the U.S. – stat. If you do keep it in the U.S., your only truly reliable and private option is to store it yourself in a safe that you bury in your backyard.  Otherwise, move it out of the U.S. now before Team Obama pulls an FDR and takes your gold from you.

At the moment, gold is not considered a monetary instrument by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, so there is no legal requirement to declare your bullion upon leaving the United States. Some countries, like Taiwan and Uruguay, require you to declare gold in excess of a certain value to customs officials upon entry.

We recommend Panama, Austria, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates as locations to store bullion; one particular favorite is a location called Das Safe ( in Vienna where anonymous safes start at 400 euro/year.

Real Estate

It might sound counterintuitive after the subprime debacle, but real estate is a sound option for moving money outside of the United States; there are zero reporting requirements. It’s your business where you own property, and (so far) no one else’s. You can purchase property in a private way by setting up a corporate structure to hold the assets so that they’re not in your name (Panama is an excellent jurisdiction to set this up), and although there are many places with depressed real estate markets, there are also many with good growth potential: in Latin America, we would recommend Panama, Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile. In Europe: Slovakia, Albania, and Poland. In the rest of the world: Lebanon, Hainan Island (China), the Philippines, Cambodia, and New Zealand.

Time is of the essence – start looking for your safe haven now.


Sylvia Earle: How to protect the oceans

April 18, 2009

Imagine if the Dollar Collapsed

March 12, 2009

I find it a bit difficult to imagine how the dollar might actually crash

in one day. In a snowball effect. This video helps educate how it might happen.

Economist and Author, David Morgan reenatcs a dramatic scene from the Movie “Rollover” (1981), a frightening worldwide currency crisis he says we should be prepared for in our lifetimes.

The Case for Walking Away

January 17, 2009

Normally I’d say suck it up, cut spending and repay your debt. But not if you’re going broke.

by Jane Bryant Quinn


From the magazine issue dated Jan 12, 2009

In January, we’re supposed to sit down and organize our personal finances. This year I’ll risk my good-girl reputation with a subversive idea: go bankrupt in 2009. If you’re reaching the end of your rope, don’t try to hold on. Save what you can.

It’s painful and humiliating even to consider bankruptcy, let alone join that crowd in the courthouse corridor, waiting for your name to be called. Normally I’d say suck it up, cut spending and repay your consumer debt. But that’s not always possible, especially with an economic tsunami rolling over your home, job and health insurance.

Most families, honorable to the end, struggle longer than they should, says Katie Porter, a law professor at the University of Iowa. By the time they give in, they’ve lost assets they could have used to start over again. That defeats the point of bankruptcy—to stop the self-blame and hopelessness that goes with bad luck and bad bills, and give yourself a second chance.

The right time to go bankrupt is when you’re financially stuck but still have assets to protect. You can use Chapter 7, the most popular type, only once in eight years, so draw upa “no kidding” plan for living on your income when you’re finally clear. “If you’re out of work, try not to go bankrupt until you have a new job and can see what’s ahead of you,” says Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren.

Goldmoney – Safe Offshore place to store Money

January 13, 2009

“An easy, economical way to buy gold online.” — Barron’s

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Easily buy gold & silver while earning interest on cash balances. Use GoldMoney’s patented technology to make goldgram® payments.

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The word is getting out: Buy Gold!

January 13, 2009

Merrill Lynch says rich turning to gold bars for safety

Merrill Lynch has revealed that some of its richest clients are so alarmed by the state of the financial system and signs of political instability around the world that they are now insisting on the purchase of gold bars, shunning derivatives or “paper” proxies.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
09 Jan 2009

Rich investors are spurning gold exchange traded funds in favour of krugerrands.

Rich investors are spurning gold exchange traded funds in favour of krugerrands. Gold
Gary Dugan, the chief investment officer for the US bank, said there has been a remarkable change in sentiment. “People are genuinely worried about what the world is going to look like in 2009. It is amazing how many clients want physical gold, not ETFs,” he said, referring to exchange trade funds listed in London, New York, and other bourses.

“They are so worried they want a portable asset in their house. I never thought I would be getting calls from clients saying they want a box of krugerrands,” he said.

Merrill predicted that gold would soon blast through its all time-high of $1,030 an ounce, and would hit $1,150 by June.

The metal should do well whatever happens. If deflation sets in and rocks the economic system it will serve as a safe-haven, but if massive monetary stimulus gains traction and sets off inflation once again it will also come into its own as a store of value. “It’s win-win either way,” said Mr Dugan.

He added that deflation may prove the greater risk in coming months. “It’s very difficult to get the deflation psychology out of the human brain once prices start falling. People stop buying things because they think it will be cheaper if they wait.”

Merrill expects global inflation to hover near zero, with rates of minus 1pc in the industrial economies. This means that yields on AAA sovereign bonds now at 3pc will offer a real return of 4pc a year, which is stellar in this grim climate. “Don’t start selling your government bonds,” Mr Dugan said, dismissing talk of a bond bubble as misguided.

He warned that the eurozone was likely to come under strain this year as slump deepens. “There is going to be friction as governments in the south start talking politically about coming out of the euro.
I don’t see the tensions in Greece as a one-off. It is a sign of social strain in countries that have lost competitiveness.”…or-safety.html

Gold could rise above $2,000

December 14, 2008


By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

woman with gold bar - Citigroup says gold could rise above $2,000 next year as world unravels

Dig It: These People Are Burying Their Cash

December 13, 2008
by Anne Kadet

The day the Dow fell 777 points, David Latham, a 45-year-old Alabama cattle farmer and electrician, was busy doing errands. Driving his Chevy pickup into Montgomery, he dropped by the hardware store, then stopped into the bank, where he withdrew $8,000 from his CD account, all in 20s. Back home, he slipped the four inch-thick bundles into a Ziploc bag, popped them into a waterproof PVC tube and set out for a remote location on his 300-acre property, where he dug a deep hole with a post digger. And then he buried his money.

Is there an American alive who hasn’t considered burying his savings—or at least stashing it in the mattress—as this financial crisis has deepened? Latham assumes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will step in if his bank collapses, but he figures it might take a few weeks to get his money. Now, he says, “I can get my hands on cold, hard cash anytime I want.” But beyond that, there’s the nagging fear that the world isn’t as secure as we’d like to believe. Latham says the $8,000 is an insurance policy against, well, who knows? “I’m hedging my bets,” he says.

America’s uneasy relationship with banks has deep roots. Between the financial panic of 1837 and the Great Depression, the nation endured six widespread bank failures in which millions lost their savings. The bank runs typically started in rural areas before spreading to the cities, accounting for the lingering distrust country folks have for banks to this day. “In some ways, it really was wiser to put your money in the ground,” says Dartmouth history professor Ronald Edsforth. Given this history and the current panic, he adds, “It’s not unusual that it would resurface.”

Mitch Cohen, a family physician in the remote logging town of Elma, Wash., says his patients who grew up during the Depression have always kept savings in coffee cans buried under the porch. But in recent months, when hometown stalwart Washington Mutual went south, the younger generation caught on. Residents have taken to making treasure maps (“walk 20 paces, turn left at the tree”), which they share with a trusted friend or family member. Cohen finds it hard to argue with the impulse. He, too, snatched his cash out of WaMu before it went under. “But I moved it to a credit union,” he says. “I avoided the backyard.”

It’s not just rural folk who get the urge. Kristy Young, an accounts manager with a Texas-based credit union, recently confronted a customer who wanted to transfer $150,000 from the bank to his backyard. She pleaded with him for an hour, using arguments ranging from the technical (soundness ratings) to the practical (“If a dog digs it up, that money is gone!”). The man relented, but Young is more worried about the customers who withdrew their money silently. “I don’t put it past people to keep money in their own personal safes,” she says. Indeed, according to Doug Brush, head of business development for SentrySafe, the nation’s largest safemaker, the company’s retailers report sales of home safes increasing 20 to 40 percent in recent weeks.

Of course, there’s opportunity in every crisis. Earl Snyder, a Sarasota, Fla., home builder who first buried cash after the S&L crisis and currently tends a subterranean stash of gold coins, recently launched a Web site and eBay listing to sell an invention he calls the Midnight Gardener: a 12-by-4-inch capped, watertight PVC pipe. As his listing notes, the device is “designed by a licensed septic installer” (“That’s me!” Snyder hoots) and perfect for burying “over $4,000 in gold, silver and paper money.” Within two weeks of the launch, Snyder sold several, and he expects more sales as the crisis wears on. “Maybe instead of Chia Pets,” he says, “people will buy a Midnight Gardener for Christmas.”