Current Dollar Currency Controls

NATIONAL COMMON STOCK

National fiat currencies represent the common stock of nations.  Because of the large amounts of capital involved they usually move slowly according to trend.  As their share price sinks despots implement doomed currency controls enforced by violence in a vain attempt to artificially increase price.

Notice how the FRN$ trended downward with the 200dma tracking the 50dma.  Then a convergence happened and there was a very steep strengthening.  Likewise the 50dma and 200dma have recently converged and the slope of the declining curve is particularly steep.  The trend is changing.

CURRENCY CONTROLS

Currency controls, or foreign exchange controls, are imposed by governments on the purchase, sale, convertibility, or use of foreign currencies.  They are gross interferences with the unalienable human right to freedom of contract.

Most people think that currency controls are only implemented in ruthless socialistic, communistic or fascist countries like Russia under Stalin or Lenin, Germany under Hitler, Zimbabwe under Mugabe or other oppressive regimes like China, Argentina, etc.  Viewing explosive history through the lens of monetary policy reveals a common thread.  Dictators attempted to abrogate monetary rights and the people either killed them or were killed.

Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson wrote on page 149 of The Ascent Of Money about the French Revolution which seared the gruesome visage of the guillotine into the hearts and minds of French politicians.

Not surprisingly, some people began to anticipate a depreciation of the banknotes, and began to revert to payment in gold and silver.  Ever the absolutist, Law’s initial response was to resort to compulsion.  Banknotes were made legal tender.  The export of gold and silver was banned as was the production and sale of gold and silver objects.  By the arrêt of 27 February 1720, it became illegal for a private citizen to possess more than 500 livres of metal coin.  The authorities were empowered to enforce this measure by searching people’s houses.  Voltaire called this ‘the most unjust edict ever rendered’ and ‘the final limit of a tyrannical absurdity’.

Money and currency are essential and unalienable human rights.  The use of force or intimidation against innocent people is immoral.

With the pot calling the kettle black Vladimir Putin said, “The only problem:  your [U.S.] results were poor [Georgia] and this will always be the case because the work you do is unfair and immoral.  In the long run immoral policies always lose.”  Following the example of so many other failed nation-states as the FRN$ has evaporated additional currency controls have been put in place be unfair and immoral politicians.

PAST DOLLAR CURRENCY CONTROLS

One of America’s greatest tyrants, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, exacerbated the rapidly shrinking United States share price.  He greatly infringed on the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus, implemented Executive Order 6102, New Deal legislation resulting in a ‘Constitutional revolution’ and extremely restrictive SEC rules.

Then on 15 August 1971 Richard Nixon, who said he was not a crook, unilaterally declared international bankruptcy for the United States by refusing to honor the promise of gold convertibility.  Now the federal government has no intelligible answer to ‘What Is A Dollar?’ and yet strut around in their costumes robbing people if  they do not like how their unintelligible definition is applied.

CURRENT DOLLAR CURRENCY CONTROLS

Many currency controls trammel the FRN$.  For example, there are ‘qualified intermediary’ rules the Infernal Revenue Service require foreign banks to follow.  The PATRIOT Act allows for ’sneak and peak’ warrants along with the ability to confiscate cash at will and in secret.

A particularly insidious but scarcely mentioned currency control was implemented by the United States Mint on 14 December 2006 which provided:

The United States Mint has implemented regulations to limit the exportation, melting, or treatment of one-cent (penny) and 5-cent (nickel) United States coins, to safeguard against a potential shortage of these coins in circulation. … Prevailing prices of copper, nickel and zinc have caused the production costs of pennies and nickels to significantly exceed their respective face values.

“We are taking this action because the Nation needs its coinage for commerce,” said Director Ed Moy. “We don’t want to see our pennies and nickels melted down so a few individuals can take advantage of the American taxpayer. Replacing these coins would be an enormous cost to taxpayers.”

Specifically, the new regulations prohibit, with certain exceptions, the melting or treatment of all one-cent and 5-cent coins. The regulations also prohibit the unlicensed exportation of these coins, except that travelers may take up to $5 in these coins out of the country, and individuals may ship up to $100 in these coins out of the country in any one shipment for legitimate coinage and numismatic purposes. In all essential respects, these regulations are patterned after the Department of the Treasury’s regulations prohibiting the exportation, melting, or treatment of silver coins between 1967 and 1969, and the regulations prohibiting the exportation, melting, or treatment of one-cent coins between 1974 and 1978.

The new regulations authorize a fine of not more than $10,000, or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, against a person who knowingly violates the regulations. In addition, by law, any coins exported, melted, or treated in violation of the regulation shall be forfeited to the United States Government.

Notice the underlying assumptions Mr. Moy makes evidenced by ‘the Nation needs’ and ’see our pennies and nickels’.  Who owns the penny or nickel in your change jar?  Are one-hundred nickels five dollars?  Are one-hundred pennies a dollar?  What Is A Dollar?

If you own the penny or nickel then why would you be prevented from doing whatever you want with your property so long as you do not violate another person’s rights or harm their legitimately acquired property?

Often I receive questions about the ultimate form of currency control: gold confiscation which I think is highly unlikely.

INFLATION AND SHORTAGES

Inflation leads to shortages and shortages lead to rationing.  The adjusted monetary base has spiked tremendously since October 2008.  Many prancing court economists seem to think that this activity is not inflationary because asset prices have not risen.  They are wrong.

Inflation is an increase in the money or currency supply.  Rising prices are an effect that generally results from inflation.  Rising prices are not inflation anymore than wet streets are rain.

The United States Treasury Bubble is the biggest bubble of them all and there are reasons for how and why the Treasury will burst.  Should the effects of this out of control inflation begin to be felt then it will be real things of intrinsic value and not paper tickets that will be of the most worth.

During these relatively calm times it is important to learn how to buy gold or silver and why to avoid the problematic GLD or SLV ETFs.  There will likely be shortages, delivery delays and other potentially chaotic conditions.

Many of the complex systems society takes for granted, like the just-in-time inventory systems of our supermarkets, may become difficult or impossible to operate.  Due to rapid advances in supply chain management the margin for error is getting increasingly thinner.

The marketplace and creative entrepreneurs will likely devise alternative services and digital commodity currencies, like GoldMoney, to fulfill market demand for a medium of exchange but they may take a while to be adopted in commerce.

In Zimbabwe the people are trading gold for bread at a price of about one gram of gold per loaf.  I think it would be wise to set aside at least three months of food and get a 72 hour kit.  Food storage is a great form of insurance that is not subject to counter-party risk.  Store what you eat and eat what you store.  Chicken Little may also like to have a plan for how to vanish.

CONCLUSION

Money and currency are unalienable humans rights.  Infringements on these rights are immoral and always fail.  As the FRN$ continues evaporating the mendacity of the United States government appears unbounded as decade after decade it keeps implementing increasingly oppressive currency controls and uses greater savagery to perpetuate its influence.

Interest rates need to rise higher for Treasuries to become attractive because of the budget and trade deficits which act like an millstone on the income statement and balance sheet of a devalued nation.  At all times and in all circumstances gold and silver remain money.  They constitute insurance against currency crisis.  And it is the world reserve currency, the FRN$, that is in a currency crisis.

Disclosure:  Long physical gold and silver.

Join the forum discussion on this post - (2) Posts

1 comment to Current Dollar Currency Controls

  • Mike Chase

    Dear Trace Mayer,

    I take no exception to anything you say. What concerns me is what you don’t say. … currency controls are only implemented in ruthless socialistic, communistic or fascist countries like Russia under Stalin or Lenin, Germany under Hitler, Zimbabwe under Mugabe or other oppressive regimes like China, Argentina, etc. They can also be implemented and then abused by beloved US presidents that preside over incredibly huge spending plans, budget surpluses and build ups of government debt. If the US does run a deficit in the next year of 1.8 or 2 TRILLION dollars the treasury is going to have to find suckers, excuse me investors to buy this paper. Where is it going to find enough patsies to buy it, why at the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Bubbles Greenspan admit that there were some problems with a few of his ideas and he has left his legacy to his successor, “bumbling Ben”!

    If we are both looking at this in the same way, your suggestions of canned beans and corned beef as investment mediums is not bad. There are a few companies that have figured this out, and while they don’t mention it in their annual reports or 10K’s, you can see it on their balance sheets. Now all they have to do is find an alternative to cash and short term investments and they will have it right for the balance of the millennium.

    Mike

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