the dollar vigilante blog
Feedback Friday - February 22, 2013
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The week has passed, as did asteroid DA 14 which did not destroy the earth. And no meteors attacked Russia this week, which is good news. Meanwhile, life in the USSA rambles on, with higher taxes and more drone warfare. Why haven't you left yet?
On to this week's feedback...
GOLD STORAGE VS. DELIVERY
I have a question about buying gold. I'm considering buying online through an online intermediary such as BullionVault, and I have the option to either arrange storage in one of their vaults or to take delivery.
If, as may happen, the lights go out, 'money' goes back to its true value of zero and the internet is inaccessible, I may not be able to arrange delivery from them. Or another scenario: what if they get a run on their vaults and simply shut the doors?
We're not talking large amounts in my case, it could certainly be stored in a safe. What's your opinion - storage or delivery? And thanks for the quality information that you provide. It has certainly opened my eyes.
Vin Maru’s Response:
The biggest risk right now is having all your assets in the current paper financial system in which the risk of loss is much greater than having physical gold stored in an overseas vault. If the financial system does implode, the losses in the paper system will most likely be the first and most extreme since that paper is backed by nothing other than promises to pay from institutions (most western banks and governments) which are technically bankrupt in the first place. Whether this is happens by outright confiscation, default or loss of value via inflation, it makes very little difference. The end result for those holding paper will be the same.
The best plan would be to first have some of your assets (including gold) close at hand and in your control, so you have access to it during times of emergency. Secondly, if you have a significant amount of assets that need diversification outside of your country, then consider buying and storing some gold with one of the bullion dealers that offer offshore storage outside the banking system (We have covered many such options in Get Your Gold Out Of Dodge which is a free report to TDV Weekly basic and premium subscribers). If we had to choose between storing wealth in a morally corrupt and bankrupt western financial system backed by faith and force, or at a private vault whose business is to protect your assets from theft, then the choice is pretty clear because we have a little more faith in the private storage option.
As for not getting access to your bullion if the lights go out and the bullion dealer shuts down or there is a run on the vaults: yes, these are definitely possibilities and there are no guarantees in life. This is why geographical diversification of assets is probably the best way to manage and protect those assets. Diversification of assets outside one’s country could also include purchase of other strategic metals stored in vaults, foreign real estate or even private investments in businesses backed by hard assets or commodities. This could also mean using several bullion dealers and vault locations. We also suggest making sure that the bullion dealer offers allocated or segregated storage options. Also try and get actual serial numbers on the bullion bars you own and keep all your receipts and documentation for the purchases.
Most of the bullion dealers we cover in Get Your Gold Out Of Dodge offer purchase and storage solutions, but the gold is held in your name and the account is segregated from the dealer. We really can’t say that is true for most financial paper assets sold and held by dealers or banks in the regular financial system. Take for example the GLD and SLV ETF’s; there is no way of verifying that they own the precious metals they claim to have or that it hasn’t been hypothecated or leased out into the system many times over. The same goes for gold stored at many of the western central banks. They do not even allow audits and clients are not encouraged to ask for delivery or even question if the gold really exists.
The fact is, these dealers are in the business to try and help you protect your wealth and assets with precious metals purchases and storage. But if you feel the financial world is ready to implode and that your assets stored in vault may not be safe, then take action right away and ask for delivery of the physical bullion held for you. This really comes down to an individual choice based on the amount invested, comfort level with buying and storing gold at a vault and one's own views on how the whole financial mess will come down. The fact is no one really knows if or when confiscation will happen or if the “lights will go out”, money goes to zero or the internet gets shut down.
Government and bankers may really go off the deep end and start confiscating or stealing private wealth directly or indirectly, including assets held at private vaults. But if it ever came to this point, it wouldn’t make much difference where your assets are stored because they will come after it and steal it from you or the bullion dealers' vaults regardless. Of course they will do this using threats, force and most likely at gunpoint. The choice is really up to you if an how you want to protect and diversify your wealth. All we can do is try and provide you the best options available. After that you will have to listen to your inner voice and decide what is best for yourself and family.
Gary's Note: A couple of weeks ago a reader asked Jeff about the possiblity of the locals in Latin countries turning on white foreigners in the case of a worldwide economic crisis. Jeff wanted to pursue that question a little bit more. We meant to feature his extended answer last week, but missed that deadline. So now we have finally included Jeff's answer this week...
Jeff's Response, Part II:
I apologize. Like Gary said, I meant to have part 2 of my reply last week, but it slipped through the cracks.
To begin, I want to make a comment that I find this fear that mostly white Amerikans have regarding being targets in other countries very irrational. If you are a “minority” and go to the US… such as a Mexican going to the US. If they don’t speak very good English they’ll be admonished almost every day, “Speak the language, wetback!” and all kinds of other xenophobic and aggressive attacks. This does not exist --at least not close to this degree-- anywhere outside of the US. If you, as a light skinned Amerikan go to almost any country on Earth, you are likely to be treated incredibly kindly. Sure, in some places you may be taken advantage of somewhat by being charged higher taxi and drink rates than the locals… I just call that a “new tax”. Once you learn a bit of the local language and culture and show you aren’t just a “stupid Amerikan tourist” it is very easy to blend into the local scene.
Secondly, and again, most Amerikans, who rarely even own a passport, aren’t aware… but every country in Latin America is completely different from the others. Even in Mexico, there are countless areas that have different accents, cultures and styles. For some reason, those who have never been to those countries think they are all the same. Well, they are not.
Take the Dominican Republic (DR), for example. I spend a fair amount of time in the capital, Santo Domingo… much of that time is working with our agents, lawyers and clients on getting them DR residency and citizenship. But, when I am not, you can usually find me at the poker tables at Hotel Melia on the main beachside strip. I’ve seen the whitest of whites, the blackest of blacks and everything in between, including countless Asians at the tables. There is no noticeable racism what-so-ever (the worst place on Earth for racism is the USSA). That’s because the people who are situated there are incredibly mixed. 73% of Dominicanos are of mixed race (white, black and taino). The remainder are 16% full whites and 11% full blacks. Therefore, in answer to your question whether I believe a full global financial collapse will result in racial based violence in the DR, the answer is: how could they? It is an incredibly mixed place.
I’ll also comment on Chile where we have decided to start up Galt’s Gulch Chile. Chile is similar to Argentina, ethnicity wise. And there is a saying about Argentines… an Argentine is an Italian who speaks Spanish who thinks he is British. Chilenos aren’t the same in that regard, but their ethnic history is very similar. 95.4% of the country are either of European or Mestizo descent. A public health book from the University of Chile states that 30% of the population is of Caucasian origin; Mestizos with an average 60% Caucasian ancestry and 40% Native American ancestry are estimated to amount a total of 65%, while Native Americans (Amerindians) comprise the remaining 5%. A genetic study by the same university showed that the average Chilean's genes are 64% Caucasian and 35% Amerindian.
In short, if you spend most of your time in the capital, Santiago, or at the world class beach resort of Vina del Mar, or half way in between both, at Galt’s Gulch, the great majority of people are fair skinned and light eyed. So, to think that somehow in a total worldwide collapse that they would look at you, a Caucasian American, and attack, is out of the question.
Now, for our dark skinned readers… if you really want to fit into the crowd more… go to Panama or Belize. Both those countries have a mostly dark skinned population.
And, to try to not miss anyone, if you are Asian, there are massive and very integrated Asian communities in Paraguay. Every second girl I met there was Korean.
Here's the thing. People from the USSA and other white Western countries tend to think in terms of xenophobia and racism because -- let's be frank here -- the Western cultures are among the most xenophobic and racist on earth, with the possible exception of Japan (which is in some ways very much part of the Western world) and China. Not that other countries and cultures don't have some measure of xenophobia and racism...but in the rest of the world, particularly in Latin America, it is nowhere near as bad as in the US, many countries Europe or Russia. I've been to nearly 100 countries and I can tell you that the only other noticeably racist places were Australia, China and Japan.
Latin America just doesn't have the equivalent of Neo Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan. As I've detailed, it's largely because the people all throughout Latin America are so genetically mixed...and I've read that's because the invading Spaniards tended to make families with the women from the people they invaded. So their mixed-race offspring were treated like legitimate heirs instead of being sold into slavery like mixed-race offspring were in the Anglo New World cultures.
But, I really don’t think it is going to get to that point in many or any countries in Latin America. They haven’t bought into this Keynesian and debt based systems and most countries are quite self-sufficient. To me, the most dangerous place to be during the coming collapse, no matter what color your skin is, is the USSA.
I like your analysis, but the conclusion is disappointing...
All we have to do is go away and watch it burn down? No. Everything that has happened until now, every major conquest that we, the plain citizens, ever had were through collective efforts. And the internet provides [the means for] just that: the information and the means to communicate with each other in order to organize and fight the tyrants.
We are living in a crucial point in history; the tyrants are losing, and they know it, and we have more information and means to overthrow them than ever before. If we back down now, we will continue to be slaves for many generations to come. But if we win, we'll be free forever. And the victory doesn't come through cowardice and passports to foreign countries.
If only Leonidas and his 300 had purchased passports to St. Kitts and Nevis and fled when the barbarians were coming through...
Who said anything about not fighting? We just don't believe in playing to our enemy's strengths. When it comes to brute force they have a comically overwhelming advantage. No point standing toe to toe against armies of jackbooted thugs and unmanned aerial vehicles laden with city-destroying ordinance. We are fighting like scholarly guerillas. We use the internet to inject the mental cure to statism into as many minds as we can and watch the cure slowly spread throughout the population. We feel it is generally better to do this from a location where DC's uniformed thugs and drones can't easily reach us.
Some of us, however, are currently fighting from inside the belly of the beast. Let me be clear: If you have the means to get yourself, your family and your assets out now, do so immediately. Go ahead and get another passport, dissolve your ties to the US and never look back. Seriously. Do it. But for those of you can't leave, TDV has boots on the ground here in the rapidly worsening US. And those people --including yours truly-- are writing for TDV Homegrown whose entire reason for existance is to provide solutions to the increasingly difficult proposition of remaining free and prosperous on US soil.
And when I say "increasingly difficult" I'm not just whistling "Dixie". Doing what it takes to beat the state back from encroaching on your privacy, your property and your liberty is going to require a vigilance and a daring that most people just don't have. But for those who have that spark, Homegrown is here to help. If you just want to keep handing over all your money to the government and letting them monitor your email and accounts and peep into your bedroom and bathroom...then DO NOT subscribe to Homegrown. If you want to protect what you have from the predation of the US government and prepare for the coming political and social chaos so that your quality of life is maintained and even improves, then by all means click here and sign up!
We stand by TDV's message, however, that it's best to get out if you can while you can. The US government is getting psychotic as the forces of enlightenment fostered by technology continue to make the state even more obviously irrelevant. Like you said, the tyrants are losing and they know it. That makes them even more dangerous than ever. Staying within easy reach of this well-armed, desperate bunch of criminals is an exceedingly risky game. Homegrown is our attempt to help you as much as possible if staying is your only option. But we want the best for you and the safest option is to leave and cut ties if you can. We suspect that in a few years the US will be replaced by America again and then it will be a wonderful place to invest and to live. But that won't be for a while yet.
And the Spartans were a bunch of baby-murdering eugenicists whose rite of passage involved the stalking and mass murder of their slaves. They might have been fearless warriors, but they were also a bunch of jerks in a martial culture that stood in opposition to the peaceful ideas of individuality, freedom and progress that we are trying to advance here at TDV. If we had been around back then, we would have been offering passports to other city-states, too.