Monday, March 23, 2015

Big Brother and your money

Simon Black brings us a disturbing warning about possible capital controls in America.

You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.

You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.

The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.

When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.

Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.

But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier . . .

. . .

Federal regulations in the Land of the Free REQUIRE banks to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ or SARs on their customers. And it’s not optional.

Banks have minimum quotas of SARs they need to fill out and submit to the federal government.

If they don’t file enough SARs, they can be fined. They can lose their banking charter. And yes, bank executives and directors can even be imprisoned for noncompliance.

. . .

According to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, banks are required to file a SAR with respect to:

“Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

It’s utterly obscene. According to the Justice Department, going to the bank and withdrawing $5,000 should potentially prompt a banker to rat you out to the police.

There’s something else about this that I want to point out, though: this may be a very early form of capital controls in the Land of the Free.

There's more at the link.

Note that money deemed suspicious can be seized under asset forfeiture rules without any criminal conviction, leaving you to fight in court (at great legal expense) to get your money back.  It's a well-known tactic by Federal, State and local jurisdictions.  Even airport travelers are now being targeted.  It treats normal precautions such as keeping a store of ready cash on hand (which I've recommended before) as suspicious or even criminal activity - which is ludicrous.

Land of the Free, indeed!



Anonymous said... to say this BUT; where y'all been for the last 10 years?!!??! This is NOT new news. It is old stuff. My wife use to be a bank manager and this was SOP for oh the last 10-15 years. It is a way to stop all that "drug money" that gets laundered through legit accounts...(snerk, guffah)....I think they have even tightened the amount down to $4000 (could be wrong on that amount). I know that my wife has filled out oodles of fed paperwork reporting the amount folks withdraw.
Kind of shocked that it's taken THIS long to bubble to the surface.

Peter said...

@Anonymous at 12:17 AM: The reporting requirement isn't news - as you say, it's been around for years. The reduction to $5K is new, and the risk of asset confiscation is relatively new. The ruthless enforcement is definitely new. In the old days it was 'investigate, then enforce'. Nowadays that seems to have been reversed.

Habakkuk21 said...

Good morning, Peter!
Yeah, the banking system is more intrusive than it might be, but since the chances of ME ever having a cash $5000 transaction are rather small, I was unaware.
Peter, could I prevail upon you to email me? I have some observations about writing older characters that I'd like feedback on, but they aren't appropriate for a public forum.
patpatterson12 at comcast dot net is my email address.

Anonymous said...

Each day the federal military police state drives the people one step closer to armed insurrection. I think that very soon the people who are behind this will be hunted thru the streets with dogs "from the highest unto the lowest". My God have mercy on all of you that have served government because no one else will.

Anonymous said...

And its YOUR money, the account that the government already knows about since IRS tax statements already have been sent to them. Its not like they don't know where it came from - they just want to know where its going.

I think the old amount was $10,000 before a SARs was put out, but I may be mistaken.

Larry Thomson said...

When is the revolution?

From a mild mannered Canadian

Mark Matis said...

This is why that, for me anyway, happiness is a dead pig. The Elite swill stand behind the Blue Wall and laugh. And the Only Ones do WHATEVER they are told, as long as that paycheck keeps comin' in.

Anonymous said...

Over $10K cash in or out they have to file a currency transaction report with the man regardless of whether you are Michael Bloomberg wanting to buy "assault weapons" for your armed escort or joe average who came into some money. Under $10K they have to file a SAR for anything that is out of character with your traditional banking pattern.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Does this apply to credit unions?

Anonymous said...

As far as I know yes, but it has been a decade since I audited a credit union.