Investors suffered financial losses in recent weeks as stocks globally came under pressure in August and had their worst month in the last three years.
In one of the most volatile trading periods since the global financial crisis, August saw a massive $5.7 trillion erased from the value of stocks worldwide. No major stock market was left unscathed and the risk of financial and economic contagion became evident again.
There are growing concerns internationally that in the event of another Wall Street or global stock market crash and a new systemic crisis – a Eurozone debt crisis or another Lehman Brothers collapse – there could be enforced bank closures or extended bank holidays in the EU and U.S. as seen in Greece recently.
In this scenario, deposit boxes and vaults in U.S. banks and financial institutions could be sealed and gold confiscated again.
There is a legal precedent for this. April 5th, 1933 – at the height of the Great Depression – was the day when U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instructed all American citizens to hand over all their gold coins and bars to the Federal Government.
Every coin, bar and certificate had to be handed in to Roosevelt’s government or else one would face a very large fine of $10,000 or 10 years in jail. That is whopping fine of $180,000 fine in today’s money.
Gold was money at the time as dollars were backed by gold so in effect Roosevelt was confiscating the safest and most valuable form of money that people owned for the benefit of the state. Under the Gold Confiscation Act of 1933 Roosevelt ordered all gold be handed to the authorities. At the time, gold was valued at $20 per ounce. Once the gold was confiscated from the citizens and in the government coffers they revalued gold and devalued the dollar to $35 per ounce.
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