Chapter 10

Doug Casey on Protecting Your Assets

August 19, 2009

Louis: Doug, we’re getting a lot of questions from readers on how to follow your advice to diversify assets, politically. I know it’s a prickly subject, but what can you tell us about getting our money out from behind the new iron curtain that seems to be descending?

Doug: First—and I can’t stress this enough—you’ve got to accept the grim reality of impending currency controls. The modern era of foreign exchange controls really started with the perversely Orwellian-named Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. For the first time, that made it obligatory for U.S. citizens to report any foreign bank or brokerage accounts they had to the government.

But the threat is older than that, of course, going back to 1933, when Roosevelt confiscated Americans’ gold. Interestingly enough, only gold bullion held by Americans within the United States was confiscated. If you had gold outside the United States, you were insulated.

L: I didn’t know that. If history repeats itself, that could be a key tactical factor for our readers to consider.

D: Yes. There are no guarantees, of course. Those in government today think they can do absolutely anything they deem necessary and expedient. But at least if it’s out of their physical bailiwick, it improves your odds.

L: Why do you think they allowed that exemption last time? I doubt it was because they had any shred of respect for private property; maybe they just recognized that trying to seize gold ...

Get Right on the Money: Doug Casey on Economics, Investing, and the Ways of the Real World with Louis James now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.