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Monday, November 21, 2011 10:52 AM

New Currency Controls in US at Currency Online; Capital Flight and Forced Repatriation in Europe

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A securities analyst sent a note this morning "I just received this today from a company I have used for 3 years."

He was referring to a memo from Currency Online regarding Restriction of our service to USA based clients

Regrettably I write to inform you that, due to changes in legislation, we will be unable to continue to offer our international money transfer services to clients located in the United States of America (USA). As a result, any existing transactions that you have outstanding with Currency Online will be completed in the normal way, however you will be unable to undertake any new transfers.

Below we have anticipated some of the questions you may ask. Should you have any further questions please email us at customercare@currencyonline.com or call us on our free phone number 1866 420 7697.

Q: Can I still access my online account?
A: Yes. While you will be unable to undertake further FX transactions with Currency Online, you can still log into your account and have full access to review funds held on account plus any current and historical transactions.
Q: What happens to my existing FX transactions?
A: Simply complete the contract as normal. Please ensure you deliver your funds by the agreed value date and we will pay your purchased funds to the nominated beneficiary.
Q: What do I do if I have a Market Order in place?
A: As the outcome of a market order is an FX transaction we will unfortunately need to cancel any outstanding Market Orders you have. We shall, if we have not already done so, be calling you directly.
Q: What if I am no longer located in the USA?
A: Simply provide us with your new proof of address and you will be able to continue to use our services as normal.

Once again, please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We will of course let you know should we resume our services to US based clients. In the meantime, we thank you for your support and understanding.

The team at Currency Online
Capital Flight and Forced Repatriation in Europe

Bruce Krasting had an excellent article over the weekend on ZeroHedge regarding Capital Flight and Forced Repatriation
Put yourself in the mind of a Greek who had some savings in a local bank. What would you do? You would do whatever you could to get your money to high ground. It would be perfectly reasonable for you to do that. And that is exactly what the Greeks have done. They’ve moved billions of Euros to Swiss banks in an effort to preserve their wealth. In the process they have crippled the Greek banks and have added to the downward spiral in Greece and the rest of the EU.

There was (IMHO) a very significant development on this front last week. A move is being made in Brussels to “force” the Swiss government/banks to transfer all of the assets of Greek citizens back to the Greek banks. For a Greek this means that your money is hostage. It has been functionally expropriated. It will be transferred into a banking system that is fraught with risk. Some portion of the money that goes back to Greece will certainly be lost.

I have talked with some who I know in Athens. They are out of their minds with this development.

BRUSSELS — The European Commission is helping Greece negotiate an agreement with Switzerland to repatriate as much as $81 billion believed to be hidden in Swiss bank accounts, a high level European Union executive body official said Nov. 17.

$81 billion? That’s massive. This is not the shopkeeper or pensioner. This is big bucks and that means the Greek shippers. It is a fact that the Greek government doesn’t tax the foreign earnings of the shippers. Call that a mistake, but that is the law. As a result, the shippers have held huge bucks in Switzerland. It’s not dirty money. Right or wrong, there was no legal tax on this.

The European Commission is working with Switzerland and Greece stop what it believes is an ongoing exodus of money from Greek bank accounts into Swiss and other offshore banking centers, the EU official said.

The only way to stop capital flight is to address the underlying causes of the flight. That can’t happen in Greece for years. The alternative is to trap the money, force it to go where it is at most risk. The owner of the money will have no choice. Any rights they might have to preserve their assets will be abrogated.

I’m amazed at this development. The Swiss government/banks are obligated to cooperate with EU tax authorities when there is evidence of tax fraud. But that is not what this is about. The people in Brussels and Bern know that. The fact is that the Greek tax system is so screwed up that there simply are no taxes levied on certain types of income/capital (the shippers). No doubt, some of the Greek cash that is in Switzerland is there because of tax avoidance. But the vast majority is simply safe haven money.

The word “Repatriation” sounds nice enough but really it means “Theft and expropriation”. There will be nothing voluntary about this. There will be little (if any) due process.
If you have money in Greek banks, get it out now. If it's a small amount put it under the mattress. If it's a large amount, I am not sure where to tell you to put given pressure on Switzerland and illegal requests from the EU.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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