- 21st-century America… where we’re all suspected of money laundering
- How the feds wage the war on cash… using a century-old template
- “The war on cash is mostly over,” says Jim Rickards. Here’s what to do now
- Waiting on the Fed, amid more signs of resurgent inflation
- “Computer error” dings taxpayers’ bank accounts for an average 12 large
- “Mark of the beast” on a teller receipt… wire transfer trouble… bureaucracy when transacting in Benjamins… and more!
We got a flurry of new frontline reports from the war on cash yesterday, after a reader told us his bank account was shut down — perhaps because his wife used it once too often to send money to family in China. “Suspicious transactions,” you know…
“I was at one of the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ banks,” reads one of these emails, “to deposit some money into my son’s account.
“I used to deposit cash into my son’s accounts for living expenses in college. The bank said that’s no longer allowed. When I asked why not, they said to prevent money laundering. Mind you, I had made the same deposit consistently every month for two years.
“But the most recent experience blew my mind. I was paying my credit balance at this bank with cash in an amount less than $600. The bank clerk asked to see my ID. I asked why does he need my ID when I am only making a payment with a statement in my hand?
“I was told that when making payment in cash, they need to see an ID.
“Has anybody else experienced such mind-boggling lunacy?”
We’ll share more reader emails later. For now, we want to draw upon this reader’s experience to illustrate a critical point…
Yes, there’s the maddening surveillance-state aspect of it all. But there’s also the inconvenience aspect — which might be an even more effective tool in the war on cash.
How many more times will our reader put up with the ID harassment before simply doing an electronic transfer to pay the bill?
Even without the ID harassment, it’s just easier to transact without cash, right? Pull out a credit or debit card. Heck, just swipe your smartphone!
“We are witnessing an accelerated move toward digital currencies, or the so-called cashless society,” Jim Rickards writes in his latest book, The New Case for Gold.
That makes it easier to enforce negative interest rates: Rather than earn a small percentage on your checking account each month (remember those days?), a small percentage would be deducted from your account.
“Eliminating cash also makes it easier to force bail-ins, confiscations and account freezes,” Jim writes. “To lock down depositors’ money, it is helpful to herd everybody into one of a small number of megabanks (Citi, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America) that take orders from the U.S. government. Then the stage is set.”
The template for the war on cash was created a century ago — with a war on gold, waged however subtly.
After all, it’s not as if G-men were going house to house in 1933 carrying out FDR’s gold-confiscation order. People had already voluntarily surrendered their gold during the early decades of the 20th century.
How, you ask? “Banks slowly took the coins out of circulation (the way cash is going out of circulation today), melted them down and recast them into 400-ounce bars,” Jim explains. “Nobody is going to walk around with a 400-ounce bar in her pocket.
“Then they said to people, in effect, ‘OK. You can own gold, but it’s not going to be in the form of coins anymore. It’s going to be in the form of these bars. By the way, these bars are very expensive.’ That means you needed a lot of money to have even one bar, and you weren’t going to take it anywhere. You were going to leave it in a bank vault.”
And just as with the war on cash today, Americans were lured down the garden path with the promise of convenience. Why lug around those $5, $10 and $20 gold coins when you had those handy paper “gold certificates”?
“Ironically,” Jim writes, “the solution to the war on cash is to go back to gold, because gold is now legal again.”
Heck, it’s been legal for 42 years now — longer than it was banned!
“The war on cash is mostly over, and the government won,” Jim goes on. “But it’s not too late to get some gold, which maintains its worth as a physical store of wealth and is not affected by the digitization of other forms of money.”
That said, what’s the best way to get some gold? And what’s the best way to keep it? Jim addresses these weighty questions as well in The New Case for Gold. Among other topics, he walks you through…
- The only “paper gold” vehicles Jim trusts (Page 153)
- A super-secret and much more portable version of “gold” that has the same store of value but is far easier to transport in a proverbial SHTF situation (Page 169)
- Plus, Jim’s “mystical” gold-buying formula. Use this formula to determine just how much gold you should own (Page 166).
Amazon will charge $16.66 for The New Case for Gold when it’s published on April 5. But if you order through us, you get it free, as long as you can cover a $4.95 shipping-and-handling charge. Your book will be signed by Jim and contain a bonus chapter exclusively for Agora Financial readers.
You’ll also get a no-obligation trial of Rickards’ Strategic Intelligence… and access to an exclusive online briefing on April 5, in which Jim will reveal new information from a well-connected contact about a catalyst that could drive the gold price sharply higher, and soon.
It’s an unbeatable combination, and it’s available nowhere else. Claim your signed hardback copy of The New Case for Gold right here.
To the markets — which are in suspended animation awaiting today’s rate announcement from the Federal Reserve, coming around the time this episode of The 5 hits your inbox.
The S&P 500 is up a point, at 2,017. The 10-year Treasury still hovers just below 2%. Gold is steady, a shade below $1,230.
The only big move is in crude, up 3.5% at $37.66. OPEC leaders announced this morning they’ll meet next month in Qatar with leaders of major non-OPEC producers to talk about a production freeze.
Not that it will affect the Fed’s decision today — almost no one expects a follow-up increase in the fed funds rate — but the data gods have bestowed us many numbers to chew on…
- Industrial production: Down 0.5% in February. But the manufacturing component of this number grew 0.2%; it’s utilities (milder weather) and mining (low energy prices) dragging the number down
- Capacity utilization: 76.7% of the nation’s industrial capacity was in use during February — down from 77.1% the month before. But again, the worst might be over for now in manufacturing; that portion of the number is flat
- Housing starts: Up 5.2% in February. But permits, a better indicator of future activity, fell 3.1%
- Consumer price index: Down 0.2% in February, up 1% year over year. The core rate excluding food and energy — which is what the Fed cares about — is up 2.3% year over year and accelerating.
We’ve been noticing accelerating measures of inflation since the start of the year. Wouldn’t surprise us at all if the Fed makes some “hawkish” noises this afternoon about a June rate increase…
Now that the war on cash is lost, a hazard alert: Due to a “computer error,” the government of Washington, D.C., mistakenly pulled $7 million from taxpayers’ bank accounts.
It happened last week to 581 people who’d previously authorized electronic bank withdrawals to pay their income taxes.
Heh… That’s an average withdrawal of more than $12,000. Wouldn’t that trigger a reporting requirement?
“The money was basically stolen from me,” D.C. lawyer Bezalel Stern tells The Washington Post. “You expect this from the bad guys. You don’t expect this from your government.”
The money was returned to everyone’s account within 24 hours of the snafu. In addition, the department says it will reimburse anyone who got hit with overdraft charges.
Bonus points: Stern says someone from the D.C. tax department told him the error took place because the department was testing new anti-fraud software.
“Last month, I went to my state credit union to make a cash deposit,” a reader writes as we return to more frontline tales from the war on cash.
“The deposit was very small, less than $150. While making the deposit, I asked to exchange some $20s, $10s and $5s for a $100 bill. My receipt reflected the cash swap as a ‘currency exchange.’ No amount was listed, just the notation of a ‘currency exchange.’
“Needless to say, I was totally pissed off by this being reflected on my receipt, and for such a small amount.”
“I usually send two wire transfers to India per year,” writes another. “Last year, I could not send one in December because my local bank exceeded their year’s quota.
“The amount is only a few hundred a time. So it is now harder to help someone. But what business is that of the government, anyway? I should ask my Big Brother.”
“Strange event at the Chase branch in my little Texas town,” writes yet another. “Pull up at drive-thru window to make a deposit. (Note: Been using this branch for 10-plus years and well-known by the staff.)
“Deposit is $1,000.00 in Benjamins. Throw ’em in the canister thingy with my debit card and tell teller to deposit. NOPE! We need you to fill out and sign a deposit slip AND send us your driver’s license as well. First time ever.
“Checks? No problem… send debit card and signed check. Went to two other banks same morning, and debit card with the Bens… no problem!
“Sidebar: Yours truly is of the opinion that a certain J. Dimon is a pompous, lying, larcenous, insufferable p***k!”
“I respect both Jim’s and others’ convincing arguments that 1) Gold’s time has come and the high probability is that its price will be moving much higher in the years ahead, and 2) The gold price has been consistently manipulated (depressed) since 2011 or before to prevent the price from moving higher, for macro political purposes.
“So which of the two does Jim believe will prevail?
“I have held a large position in physical gold bullion since October 2008, when the economic chaos began. I have watched the manipulators prevail consistently every time the market and economic conditions send gold prices higher since the September 2011 high.
“Thank you for The 5. It has been a daily read for me for nearly a decade — excellent.”
The 5: “History shows manipulations can last for a long time,” Jim writes in The New Case for Gold, “but always fail in the end.
“They failed in the London Gold Pool of the 1960s, with the U.S. dumping in the late 1970s and the central bank dumping in the 1990s and early 2000s. The price of gold went relentlessly higher from $35 per ounce in 1968 when the London Gold pool failed to $1,900 per ounce in 2011, the all-time high. There are new forms of manipulation going on now, but ultimately, they always fail. The dollar price of gold will resume its march higher.”
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. In fact, Jim suspects many of the manipulations that have suppressed the gold price are about to fall apart.
“I recently got back from Switzerland,” he says, “where I met with the head of one of the largest gold refiners in the world. It’s no exaggeration to say that this man is one of the most connected and influential people in the physical gold market today. Due to the sensitivity of the information he’s revealed to me, I can’t share his identity, but I can tell you what he told me.
“This man, a senior member of one of the five largest gold refineries on Earth — which supplies gold to sovereign nations, central banks, hedge funds and financial institutions the world over — says a major event will soon take place that is going to shake the very foundations of the gold markets. And, in all likelihood, will lead to a major movement in the gold price.”
If you claim your copy of The New Case for Gold today, you’re guaranteed access to a live online briefing Jim will hold on these developments April 5. “I’ll share with you exactly what this insider shared with me… how we expect it to play out… and, most importantly, a solution set that will help you prepare… and prosper… from the aftermath.”
Access to this briefing won’t cost you a thing, above and beyond the $4.95 shipping and handling for the book. Here’s where to sign up.