The Money Privacy Crisis: “Banking” Secretly in the U.S.A.
by Grant Hall
“Banking” Secrecy Prevents Identity Theft and Seizures
EVER WONDER WHY Americans give up their financial privacy so
easily? Slowly condition a population over a generation or two to
believe it’s normal to let government, quasi-government agencies,
and private investigator–types have access to citizens’ money and
banking information—and privacy becomes obsolete.
Throw in a numerical identifier that nearly everyone has—the
good old Social Security Number—and a national money-tracking
system is created. And the most sophisticated and otherwise
security conscious individuals roll over and accept it like timid little
Why? Because they lack the information, assertiveness, and
persistence necessary to create a banking and asset privacy plan
This article is about doing just that—establishing a financial privacy
plan for your money and other liquid assets. Once you have a
banking privacy plan in place, you’ll be able to effectively eliminate
the threat of theft of your money by identity thieves and others who
may be attempting to find your cash.
Why should you be so concerned about your financial
privacy? Since identity theft is the fastest-growing fraud crime of the
century, preparation to conceal business and personal money is a
prudent move. In the event you or your business become the
successful target of an identity thief, you can expect an average
personal loss of $2,400 and an average business cost of over
$10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses to clean up the mess (Hall, 2006).
What about intrusions from your own government? Violation
of financial privacy is a necessary first step to gaining control over
every business and individual (Hill, 1998). Would it not be best to
have assets and money hidden and out of reach from everyone—
government included—in order to avoid unlawful theft or seizures?
Recently, a notable property seizure occurred, as FBI agents
raided offices and seized property, equipment, and cash of Liberty
Dollar maker, NORFED corporation. The seizure warrant—case
1:07-mj-100119-DLH—was issued and signed by U.S. Magistrate
Judge Dennis L. Howell in Asheville, North Carolina, on November
Privacy advocate and author W. G. Hill warned us of the
current trend and wrote: “In so-called western democracies, the
state has increasingly granted itself the power to simply take from
you whatever it desires” (Hill, 1998, Banking in Silence, p. 43). While
Hill advocated banking secrecy through the use of offshore
accounts and jurisdictions primarily, he acknowledged the increasing
difficulty of financial privacy worldwide in his book on the subject,
Banking in Silence.
Financial Privacy in the U.S.A.
Readers may be surprised to learn that banking privacy can be
accomplished in the U.S.A. In fact, if you reside in the states, you’ll
be best served in most cases by keeping your funds in the country.
The exceptions are high-net-worth individuals and those who spend
substantial time out of the U.S.A.
Offshore bank accounts and assets may be vulnerable to
discovery and seizure, and few jurisdictions offer complete banking
secrecy. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT) between the
U.S.A. and forty-eight countries enable the exchange of financial
information without “probable cause” and with only “reasonable
suspicion” (Barber, 2007).
As you work, live, purchase goods and services, and make
investments in the U.S., you need immediate access to your funds
and timely clearance of negotiable instruments. Otherwise, you face
lengthy hold times on deposits—sometimes in excess of thirty days
for offshore banks, not to mention the withdrawal restrictions on
many foreign accounts.
Years ago, the most private bank account known to privacy
seekers was the Austrian Sparbuch account—an anonymous
passbook type of account with only an associated password as an
identifier. This bearer account belonged to whoever held it and
could recite the password to the banking official. This account is no
longer available through Austrian banks. Numbered accounts
previously offered by the Swiss banks are also no longer offered.
These two stalwarts of banking secrecy have gone by the wayside
following pressure from outside forces—mainly the U.S. government.
Today in the U.S.A., you, as a believer in freedom and privacy, can
have your personal and business financial privacy once you gain the
information and know what resources to use for privacy. Stop
listening to the “talking heads” who tell you that your privacy has
been taken from you or that you have to give it up in the name of
America has traditionally been a land of free people who have
been entrepreneurs and innovators. Business men and women risk
time and capital to produce products and services to supply the
demands of the marketplace. Take advantage of what is available
to you for your privacy needs and learn how to best utilize these
resources to create a bulletproof “banking” privacy plan.
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