Confiscating Gold : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I'm not wealthy, but I do have some investments. I got out of equities in April, like Yourdon did a year ago, started investing in gold and precious metals. I saw the meltdown coming, except what I anticipated was the Y2K problem, not all the other crazyness that's been going on lately.

I'm up a bit so far, and I think I could make a ton of money on precious metals in the next two years because, finally, I know something that other people don't know, don't want to know, and can't be made to know. Lord knows, I saw enough eyes glaze over before I finally gave up trying to explain what it was like being a programmer trying to fix the problem and what I see coming a year and a half from now.

Let's say gold soars and I make a bundle. I can look after my wife and kids, help my community, strangers, etc. Or can I? What if the government confiscates gold, because, they say, a few are benefiting at the expense of the many? Can they do this? Will my wealth vanish?

-- Steve Francis (, October 02, 1998


Hide it where it can't be found and it can't be stolen.


-- E. Coli (, October 02, 1998.

They can confiscate anything for the good of the country including your food.

-- Bardou (, October 02, 1998.

Not if you are willing to destroy your stores rather than see it plundered, and/or if you are willing to die to defend your right to property.


-- E. Coli (, October 02, 1998.

Back in 1932 the United States was still on the gold standard, so the government had a logical interest in rounding up as much of it as possible. Now the currency isn't backed by anything except promises. If that doesn't change, then I don't see them doing anything. But...

We could still go to some gold backing (imitating the Euro, perhaps?) as an emergency measure to restore confidence in the country's money, particularly if widespread trade arose using gold and silver because no one wanted to use paper money. That would give the feds an excuse to order precious metals to be turned in.

-- Max Dixon (Ogden, UT USA) (, October 02, 1998.

The US confiscated gold before, so why should this be different?

When gold was last confiscated there was an exception made .....numismatic coins. These were supposedly held for their collectors value, rather than the value of the underlying gold. Since that time the wisdom has been to hold coins, rather than bullion.

One thing I've never seen is any report on people who simply refused to surrender their gold. I seriously doubt that everyone ran right down to their safe deposit boxes, withdrew their bullion and turned it over to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Is the fed really going to spend time running all over the country looking for a few coins or bars?

Let's see......they're going to take my food, my gold, my guns. I think 'they' will have their hands full. Good grief, imagine a house- to-house search across America for food, guns and gold. Staggers the the time they finished they'd have consumed all the food they confiscated.

Does this mean it won't happen? Hey, logic has never detered government officials before

[Apologies to any logical government officials (oxymoron?) reading this].


-- rocky knolls (, October 03, 1998.

Did the govt. actually confiscate gold before, or did they pay cash for it forcibly?

-- Buddy Y. (, October 03, 1998.

The US government paid the official rate for the gold, but there was a little surprise later on...

In 1792 the U.S. Congress adopted a bimetallic standard (gold and silver) for the new nation's currency - with gold valued at $19.30 per troy ounce. This remained essentially unchanged until 1834, when the price of gold was raised to the $20.67 level which held for the next 100 years. It was not until 1934 that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt devalued the dollar by raising the price of gold to $35 per ounce.

So, people were forced to sell their gold at $20.67, and the government shortly thereafter set the official price to $35.00.

-- Max Dixon (Ogden, Utah USA) (, October 04, 1998.

For people who are interested in the source of the quote above, go to History of Gold by Vronsky.

For a collection of links related to gold, go to Top Analysts Research index. Some of the articles here are written from a Y2K point of view; see Oracle of Alberta and Sunil Madhok.

-- Max Dixon (Ogden, Utah USA) (, October 04, 1998.

I have read endless discussions regarding gold confiscation from seasoned gold investors, gold brokers, attorneys and the like. Bottom line...if you don't participate in the confiscation you'll likely have quite a bit of company. The government pulled a fast one back in the 30's. Many who found themselves caught up in that scenario would likely tell you today they didn't appreciate being hoodwinked, however, back then most citizens trusted in government to do good by the country and it's citizens. Not so today. There is great mistrust and dissent.

There has also been much discussion on the topic of re-monetizing with the gold standard. There is a theory that suggests some rather interesting numbers for the price of gold should this occur. Is it based on fact? The numbers are factual, however the outcome is pure theory. Based on a calculation of domestic and international greenbacks in circulation (including digital debt), and tabulating U.S. stores of gold, the theory states that remonitization would put the price of gold at roughly $57,000 per oz. The theory also states that it can be done here in the U.S. without causing massive inflation of goods and services. All that has to happen is the inflation of the cost of an ounce of gold. All fine and dandy, and quite a pleasing outcome for all, even those that did not purchase any gold prior to remonitization, but we shall see. I personally do not see the government applying such a theory because it is too easy. But that is just my opinion.

-- Goldi (, October 07, 1998.

You can't eat gold. Ask King Midas. Wealth will be kerosene, propane, rice, wheat, kerosene and propane stoves, pressure cookers, TVP, dried milk, axes and buck saws, wood stoves, bicycles, hand pumps, solar and windpower electrical generators, non-hybrid seeds, wind powered well pumps, cords of fire wood, warm clothing, hand crank radios, guns and ammo, and all that other survivalist stuff. Not to mention vices--liquor, drugs, porno, girls of easy virtue, etc. Not gold, jewels, etc.

-- batman (, October 09, 1998.

I think it was mentioned above, but one major difference between now and the gold confiscation in the 1930s is that it was necessary then to prevent the American people from finding out that the gov't had stolen (i.e. spent) the gold. The dollar was a unit of measure (like an ounce or gram) directly convertible into gold and if everybody went to convert their worthless paper into the tangible asset they would have found out that they had been robbed. So the gov't confiscated what the people already held instead of getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Unfortunately, people had already come to view the paper as the "real money" and so there was no rebellion, as there should have been.

It's different now, of course. All we have is the worthless paper and even more worthless electronic promises to pay. I think the only way gold would be confiscated now is if it threatened to form a back door, black market currency that undermined whatever fiat money the gov't was trying to back.

To Batman, an economy such as the one you outlined never exists for more than a few months at a time and only then in the most bleak conditions. Eventually people must come to some other form of exchange to make trade fluid enough to be practical. Gold is now, always has been and always will be the ideal medium for this exchange. So I agree with you for the short term and disagree with you for the long term. History is always an accurate predictor of future human results.

-- Franklin Journier (, October 09, 1998.

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