– The Day The Government Seized Americans’ Gold – April 5th 1933 (ZeroHedge, April 9, 2013):
Alix Steele reports on the 1933 declaration by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to have American’s turn in their gold on Bloomberg TV’s “Lunch Money”.
“80 years ago on April 5th, 1933, was the day that the federal government took all our gold and changed the precious metals as we know it,” said Alix Steel.
April 5th, 1933, FDR confiscated every gold coin, bar, or certificate and people had to turn in their gold to the Federal Government or else they would face a fine of $10,000 or 10 years in jail. That is about $179,000 in today’s money. You were able to keep a small amount or some rare coins and those that did give up their gold received about $20/oz.
“Why would the government do that?” asks Ms. Steel. They did this for the following reasons:
1. To prevent hoarding.
2. To devalue the dollar during the Great Depression.
3. The government set the gold price at $35/oz and pegged it to the dollar.
“But this could never happen again, right?” asks Ms. Steel. “Well tell that to Texas.”
Steel reports, “The state of Texas is contemplating creating a bill to create the Texas Bullion Depository to protect its gold. It will abandon its New York depository and move their gold back stateside. If the U.S. Federal Government tries to come for their gold the state says it is prepared to fight with the 10th amendment. Arguing that state’s rights trump any order by the federal government.”
The confiscation of individuals and companies savings by the Troika (EU, ECB and IMF) in Cyprus shows how there is a risk of confiscation of all assets – from deposits to pensions funds to stored gold.
This is something we have long warned of and we have consistently said that if confiscation takes place it will be of large stores of pooled gold, ETF custodial and unallocated gold in the banking system and large holdings of gold stored with companies and in countries that are massively indebted.
This shows the vital importance of owning gold either with a AAA rated government that has a tradition of respect for property rights or in a private depository in a safer country such as Switzerland. It also shows the importance of owning and taking personal possession of some gold coins and bars.
Anecdotally it is known that many people did not turn in their gold in 1933. Today, it would be even more problematic and governments would be unlikely to send the police door to door to confiscate the tiny amounts of gold coins and bars held by its citizens.