The bank and your money

(News & Editorial/ The bank and your money)

 A.  Shutting Off the Money Tap
27 January 2014, InternationalMan.com, by Jeff Thomas
Pasted from: http://www.internationalman.com/78-global-perspectives/1077-shutting-off-the-money-tap

news-desk[1]Recently, an HSBC depositor in Swindon, UK attempted to withdraw £10,000 from his account (which was in credit of about £50,000) and was told that he could withdraw no more than £1,000 without providing adequate proof as to how the funds would be used.

The depositor later stated:

“HSBC will not let me take out anything over £1,000 cash over the counter. I gave them warning, but they say they must know what I will use it for—they want to see evidence of hotel bookings, etc. In short, they refuse to give me my cash. HSBC say it is new internal rules to help prevent money laundering.”

An HSBC spokesman stated:

“In these instances we may also ask the customer to show us evidence of what the cash is required for. The reason for this is twofold, as a responsible bank we have an obligation to our customers to protect them, and to minimize the opportunity for financial crime.”

Further Developments
After less than a week of this policy having been implemented, it generated significant outcries from depositors—so much so that HSBC has already backed down. They had this to say:

“However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We are writing to apologize to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced.”

So… apparently, it was a mere misunderstanding. Some mid-level manager apparently became overzealous in exercising what he considered to be “reasonable caution.”

So, what are we to make of this? Well, the message is clearly that we are to say to ourselves, “Cooler heads have prevailed. Tempest in a teacup. Problem solved.”

But this is not so. Similar instances of refusal to return funds over £1,000 have taken place in HSBC branches in Wilshire and Worcestershire in the past week. This tells us that this was an HSBC policy decision—that it came from senior HSBC management.

This attempt at greater control over depositors’ funds has a broader significance. Over the years, we have predicted that as the Great Unraveling progresses, we shall observe the seizing of wealth and monetary control by governments and banks, acting in concert.

Over time, both wealth in general and the control over it will move inexorably into the hands of the banks and the political leaders. As this unfolds, we shall see numerous trial balloons, such as this one by HSBC and others. (The Cyprus bail-in was a similar but more successful trial balloon.)

Some will succeed, others will fail, but the central program will move inexorably on. That program will be driven by a new assumption—that the holding of wealth and the management of wealth are so central to national and international stability that only the central banks and governments can be entrusted with them. The individual cannot be trusted to control his own wealth.

The Bank Takes on the Role of a Regulatory Body
In floating this new policy, the banks have changed their traditional role as a monetary storage facility. They have now been granted the authority to refuse the return of funds that have been entrusted to them, based upon their authority to be satisfied that the money will be well spent by the depositor. If the depositor is, in effect, being expected to prove to the bank that he does not plan to perform a criminal act, the bank goes beyond its function as a business and becomes a regulatory body.

Without delving into conspiracy theories, there can be little doubt that the UK government has provided extraordinary latitude to HSBC (and presumably other banks)—latitude that, not long ago, would have been considered reprehensible.

However, throughout Europe, the US, and much of the rest of the world, we are seeing a growing tendency for governments to allow banks to control depositors’ funds.

As stated above, the 2013 Cyprus bail-in is a similar case—one in which the banks literally stole depositors’ funds with the tacit approval of the Cypriot government, and to much encouragement from the EU.

Since that time, Canada has passed legislation allowing its banks to do the same; and, more recently, the IMF has announced a similar plan for the EU.

As regular readers of this publication will know, we frequently publish reminders that, historically, when a nation is in the final stages of decline, the government invariably performs a last squeeze of the lemon—a final confiscation of the public’s wealth.

They tend to do this through whatever means they feel may succeed. As that is the case, in the future, we can expect to see increasing:

  • Confiscation: As we have already seen and will soon see on a larger scale, banks will be given the right to steal depositors’ funds, as stated above.
  • Capital Controls: This will take many forms, but of particular interest will be an increase in governmental control over the expatriation of individuals’ money.
  • Civil Forfeiture: Law enforcement authorities of all branches now have the authority to seize the assets of any individual who is under suspicion of a crime. (This is particularly the case in the US. It is not necessary that the individual be convicted or even charged.) This will be on the increase and has begun to reach the point of “shakedowns”—stopping people expressly to seize assets.
  • Freezing of Assets: In the EU and US, accounts are presently frozen for a variety of reasons—the client may be “suspected of a crime,” or his transactions may be deemed to be “inappropriate.” In the future, reasons for freezing assets will expand to “the threat of a possible run on the bank,” and “concern for the stability of the economy.” Governments will additionally simply use the nondescript blanket term, “temporary emergency measure.” (As Milton Friedman noted, “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”)

As these events unfold, the average depositor will be pressed to continue to function economically, but, as troubled as he might be, he will go along, as he really doesn’t have a choice. (Should he object too strenuously, he may well be investigated.)

bank$ pickpocket

Each of the above justifications for shutting off the money tap sound reasonable… It’s just that they happen to be a lie.

As stated above, when a nation is in the final stages of decline, the government invariably performs a last squeeze of the lemon—a final confiscation of the public’s wealth.

That process has now begun and will inexorably expand and continue until the confiscations have reached the point of greatly diminished returns or collapse of the governments’ power, whichever comes first.

If the reader sees this as even a 50/50 possibility, he would be wise to take steps to safeguard his wealth by removing it from a system that has become a threat to his continued ownership of his wealth.

  B.  The Global Elite Are Very Clearly Telling Us That They Plan To Raid Our Bank Accounts
27 Mar 2013, The Economic Collapse.com, by Michael
Pasted from: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-global-elite-are-very-clearly-telling-us-that-they-plan-to-raid-our-bank-accounts

Don’t be surprised when the global elite confiscate money from your bank account one day. They are already very clearly telling you that they are going to do it. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the president of the Eurogroup – an organization of Eurozone finance ministers that was instrumental in putting together the Cyprus “deal” – and he has said publicly that what has just happened in Cyprus will serve as a blueprint for future bank bailouts. What that means is that when the chips are down, they are going to come after YOUR money.

bank$ 1So why should anyone put a large amount of money in the bank at this point? Perhaps you can make one or two percent on your money if you shop around for a really good deal, but there is also a chance that 40 percent (or more) of your money will be confiscated if the bank fails.

And considering the fact that there are vast numbers of banks all over the United States and Europe that are teetering on the verge of insolvency, why would anyone want to take such a risk?

What the global elite have done is that they have messed around with the fundamental trust that people have in the banking system. In order for any financial system to work, people must have faith in the safety and security of that financial system. People put their money in the bank because they think that it will be safe there. If you take away that feeling of safety, you jeopardize the entire system.

So exactly how did the big banks in Cyprus get into so much trouble? Well, they have been doing exactly what hundreds of other large banks all over the U.S. and Europe have been doing. They have been gambling with our money. In particular, the big banks in Cyprus made huge bets on Greek sovereign debt which ended up failing.

But what happened in Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the planet major financial institutions are being incredibly reckless with client money. They are leveraged to the hilt and they have transformed the global financial system into a gigantic casino.

If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy.

If they lose on their bets, they know that the politicians won’t let the banks fail. They know that they will get bailed out one way or another.

And who pays?

We do.

Either our tax dollars are used to fund a government-sponsored bailout, or as we have just witnessed in Cyprus, money is directly confiscated from our bank accounts.

And then the game begins again.

People need to understand that the precedent that has just been set in Cyprus is a game changer.

The next time that a major bank fails in Greece or Italy or Spain (or in the United States for that matter), the precedent that has been set in Cyprus will be looked to as a “template” for how to handle the situation.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has even publicly admitted that what just happened in Cyprus will serve as a model for future bank bailouts. Just check out what he said a few days ago…

“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalize yourself?’. If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalizing the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders”

Dijsselbloem insists that this will cause people “to think about the risks” before they put their money somewhere…

“It will force all financial institutions, as well as investors, to think about the risks they are taking on because they will now have to realise that it may also hurt them. The risks might come towards them.”

Well, as depositors in Cyprus found out, there is a risk that you could lose 40 percent (and that is the best case scenario) of your money if you put it in the bank.

Why would anyone want to take that risk – especially in a nation that is already experiencing very serious financial troubles such as Greece, Italy or Spain?

As if that was not enough, Dijsselbloem later went in front of the Dutch parliament and publicly defended a wealth tax like the one that was just imposed in Cyprus.

Dijsselbloem is being widely criticized, and rightfully so. But at least he is being more honest that many other politicians. His predecessor as the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, once said that you have to lie” to the people in order to keep the financial markets calm…

Mr. Dijsselbloem’s style contrasts with that of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister, who spoke in a low mumble at news conferences and was expert at sidestepping questions. Mr. Juncker once even advocated lying as a way to prevent financial markets from panicking—as they did Monday after Mr. Dijsselbloem’s comments.

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” Mr. Juncker said in April 2011. “If you have pre-indicated possible decisions, you are feeding speculation in the financial markets.”

But Dijsselbloem is certainly not the only one among the global elite that is admitting what is coming next. Just check out what Joerg Kraemer, the chief economist at Commerzbank, recently told Handelsblatt about what he believes should be done in Italy…

“A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product”

Yikes!

And as I wrote about the other day, the Finance Minister of New Zealand is proposing that bank account holders in his nation should be required to “take a haircut” if any banks in his nation fail.

They are telling us what they plan to do.

They are telling us that they plan to raid all of our bank accounts when the global financial system fails.

And calling it a “haircut” does not change the fact of what it really is. The truth is that when they confiscate money from our bank accounts it is outright theft. Just check out what the Daily Mail had to say about the situation in Cyprus…

People who rob old ladies in the street, or hold up security vans, are branded as thieves. Yet when Germany presides over a heist of billions of pounds from private savers’ Cyprus bank accounts, to ‘save the euro’ for the hundredth time, this is claimed as high statesmanship.

It is nothing of the sort. The deal to secure a €10 billion German bailout of the bankrupt Mediterranean island is one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times.

It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens, because it establishes a dire precedent.

And when you cause paralysis in the banking system, a once thriving economy can freeze up almost overnight. The following is an excerpt from a report from someone that is actually living over in Cyprus…

As it stands now, nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed. If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are on the rise. If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL losing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash. TONIGHT there are demonstrations at most street corners and especially at the parliament building (just 2 miles from me).

Many are thinking that the ECB and EU are allowing Cyprus to fail as a test ground for new financial standards.

Just wanted all you guys to know the real story of what’s going on here. Prayers are appreciated (although this is very interesting to watch) many of my local friends have lots of money in the banks.

Would similar things happen in the United States if there was a major banking crisis someday?

That is something to think about.

In any event, the problems in the rest of Europe continue to get even worse…

-The stock market in Greece is crashing. It is down by more than 10 percent over the past two days.

-The stock markets in Italy and Spain are experiencing huge declines as well. Banking stocks are being hit particularly hard.

-The Bank of Spain says that the Spanish economy will sink even deeper into recession this year.

-The latest numbers from the Spanish government show that Spain’s debt problem is rapidly getting worse…

“The central government’s interest bill surged 15 percent last year to 26 billion Euros, while tax receipts slumped 21 percent. The cost of servicing debt represented 30 percent of the taxes collected at the end of December, up from 20 percent a year earlier.”

-The euro took quite a tumble on Thursday and the euro will likely continue to decline steadily in the weeks and months to come.

For a very long time I have been warning that the next major wave of the economic collapse is going to originate in Europe.

Hopefully people are starting to see what I am talking about.

As this point, the major banks in Europe are leveraged about 26 to 1, and that is close to the kind of leverage that Lehman Brothers had when it finally collapsed. As a whole, European banks are drowning in debt, they are taking risks that are almost incomprehensible and now faith in those banks has been greatly undermined by what has happened in Cyprus.

Anyone that cannot see a crisis coming in Europe simply does not understand the financial world. A moment of reckoning is rapidly approaching for Europe. The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers…

At the end of the day, the reason Europe hasn’t been fixed is because CAPITAL SIMPLY ISN’T THERE. Europe and its alleged backstops are out of money. This includes Germany, the ECB and the mega-bailout funds such as the ESM.

Germany has already committed to bailouts that equal 5% of its GDP. The single largest transfer payment ever made by one country to another was the Marshall Plan in which the US transferred an amount equal to 5% of its GDP. Germany WILL NOT exceed this. So don’t count on more money from Germany.

The ECB is chock full of garbage debts which have been pledged as collateral for loans. If anyone of significance defaults in Europe, the ECB is insolvent. Sure it can print more money, but once the BIG collateral call hits, money printing is useless because the amount of money the ECB would have to print would implode the system.

And then of course there are the mega bailout funds such as the ESM. The only problem here is that Spain and Italy make up 30% of the ESM’s supposed “funding.” That’s right, nearly one third of the mega-bailout fund’s capital will come from countries that are bankrupt themselves.

What could go wrong?

Right now, close to half of all money that is on deposit at banks in Europe is uninsured. As people move that uninsured money out of the banks, the amount of money that will be required to “fix the banks” will go up even higher.

It would be wise to try to avoid the big banks at this point – especially those with very large exposure to derivatives. Any financial institution that uses customer money to make reckless bets is not to be trusted.

If you can find a small local bank or credit union to do business with you will probably be better off.

And don’t think that this kind of thing can never happen in the United States.

One of the key players that was pushing the idea of a “wealth tax” in Cyprus was the IMF. And everyone knows that the IMF is heavily dominated by the United States. In fact, the headquarters of the IMF is located right in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House. When I worked in D.C. I would walk by the IMF headquarters quite a bit.

So if the United States thought that confiscating money from bank accounts was a great idea in Cyprus, why wouldn’t they implement such a thing here under similar circumstances?

The global elite are telling us what they plan to do, and the game has dramatically changed.
Move your money while you still can.
Unfortunately, it is already too late for the people of Cyprus.

[Metaphor: If you were a field mouse who looked up to see an owl fly off the limb of a tree and glide toward you, would you dive back down underground to your earthen nest for assured safety, or wait until its hard talons clutched your flesh before realizing you should have prepared? Some suggested measures for defending a sizeable portion of your savings, are seen in the images below.  Mr. Larry]

bank$ at home

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