International Man: Recently, the FBI raided 700 safe deposit boxes in Beverly Hills.
They opened and searched through the content of every single box, regardless of whether there was any probable cause that individual box owners had committed any crime.
The FBI then attempted to confiscate anything worth more than $5,000 through civil asset forfeiture proceedings. Again, this was regardless of whether there was any evidence of wrongdoing by the individual box owners.
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Doug Casey: This is another of many indications that the FBI is totally corrupt and out of control. There’s no indication the agent-in-charge was even reprimanded, much less fired. It’s just one agency, but the fifteen other Praetorian agencies are no better.
An even bigger problem is that the rule of law itself is dead. At this point, almost any federal agency can do whatever they want. If you don’t like it and want to fight them, it’s going to cost a ton of legal fees.
The federal government is now controlled by actual Jacobins. They’re inclined to engage in lawfare against citizens—especially those who don’t share their views.
What’s in it for them? When they perform a civil asset forfeiture, a certain percentage goes to the agency that does it.
That money can buy cop toys and training to pad their resumes. That gives them a personal incentive to do things that are, in fact, criminal. It’s a very serious matter. It’s only going to get worse when CBDCs are initiated—they’ll make civil asset forfeitures, fines, and asset freezes much easier when all your money is visible and available at the central bank. It’s one more reason to own gold—but not store it in a US safe deposit box.
International Man: A federal appeals court recently found that the FBI violated the Fourth Amendment with their actions.
While this is good news, the individual box owners invested considerable time and money in uncertain legal actions to get their property returned to them. It seems there will be no consequences for the FBI agents who flagrantly violated the individual box owners’ Constitutional rights.
It sends the message that the government can engage in gross violation of rights with near impunity. The only consequence is that the courts might reverse their actions years later. No government agents will be punished for violating the law. Such a standard does not apply to regular citizens, of course.
What’s your take?
Doug Casey: Individual agents are a protected class. It’s extremely hard and very expensive to prosecute them as individuals. Remember that the first loyalty of agents is to each other, and the second is to their employer. The public, who they’re supposed to “protect and serve,” is in third place.
Federal law enforcement agencies have become much more aggressive over the years and increasingly recruit and retain the kind of people who fit in that culture. They have every incentive to continue and no incentive to change course.
What about the Constitution? Isn’t it supposed to protect us? Yes, in theory. But it’s simultaneously a dead letter and a “living document” that can be altered to suit. It’s so selectively enforced and has been so grotesquely reinterpreted that it basically doesn’t mean anything anymore. There’s an occasional victory, but the trend has been downhill for many years. The next major crisis will allow lots of emergency measures to further subvert it. The type of people who are attracted to the US government never let a good crisis go to waste.
International Man: Civil asset forfeiture lets the government seize your property under the flimsiest pretexts.
As political risk continues to rise in the US and other countries, what does this mean for people with wealth and property within reach of an increasingly bankrupt and aggressive government?
Doug Casey: Financial and economic risks in the US are huge and growing rapidly. But political risk is much greater than either of them. Political risk is about laws or taxes that threaten your freedom and your wealth.
The only way to defend against political risk is to diversify politically and geographically. You must internationalize. That means all of your money and assets should never be just in one country. And absolutely not your home political jurisdiction because your government considers both you and your property to be its property.
You should diversify into at least two other political jurisdictions in case something goes wrong at home. In other words, you should have a backup system and a backup to your backup. It’s a lesson that the citizens of scores of countries didn’t learn until it was too late. The Russians in 1917. The Germans in 1933. The Cubans in 1959. The Vietnamese in 1975. The Rhodesians in 1979. The Venezuelans and Ukrainians today. Those are only a few of many examples.
Most Western countries are heading in the wrong direction. You should diversify now while it’s still possible.
International Man: What are your thoughts on safe deposit boxes and vaults in foreign countries?
Doug Casey: First, let me say a word about gold. You should have a meaningful part of your net wealth in gold because it’s the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously someone else’s liability. I’m talking about physical gold, not paper gold, futures, gold stocks, or the like.
But where should you keep it? You can bury it or hide it in a substantial safe, of course. But a safe deposit box with your local bank has traditionally been the best answer. Unfortunately, in these days of high political risk, that’s no longer the case. Furthermore, the riskiest place for a safe deposit box is in your home country. It’s easily accessible to your government, and they consider you and your property national assets.
Your primary safe deposit box—the one with most of your gold—should be outside of your home country. At this point, a number of countries are safer than the US or Canada. In the Orient, Singapore is a good choice. In Latin America, Uruguay is probably the best choice. In Europe, probably Switzerland—except that option is only open to those dealing with at least the mid-seven figures. All things considered, I think the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean, are probably the best choice.
Do you have to fear a foreign government? The answer, surprisingly to most, is much less your own government. With a few exceptions, the assets of foreign citizens everywhere are actually safer than those of nationals. That’s because you’re considered to be the property of another foreign government. And governments usually, believe it or not, show a type of professional courtesy to each other. Last Rights: The Death... Buy New $19.99 (as of 04:44 UTC - Details)
Let me re-emphasize that now is perhaps the 11th hour to diversify your assets abroad. Foreign exchange controls are looming in many countries, especially in the United States, which is running massive foreign trade and balance of payments deficits. To stop the hemorrhaging, governments typically put restrictions on private citizens transferring substantial amounts of money or making investments abroad.
You’ll be told that you should all keep it within the country. If you’re going to do it, do it now.
International Man: Given what we’ve discussed, how do you recommend people take action to protect themselves and their wealth?
Doug Casey: If you’re in a position to do so—and if you’re not in a position to do so, get yourself in a position to do so—you should have a foreign residence. They can’t make you repatriate that.
In addition, acquire a meaningful amount of gold abroad. It’s best to keep it in a foreign safe deposit box because that doesn’t violate any US laws—at least at present. Equally important, there are currently no US reporting requirements. It’s generally almost impossible for an American to open a bank or a brokerage account in a foreign country today. A safe deposit box is one of the best ways, and one of the few remaining private ways, to keep some assets abroad.
A safe deposit box filled with legally non-reportable gold and silver is a great insurance policy.
Reprinted with permission from International Man.