You are here

How serious is the threat of gold confiscation?

Section: Confiscation

11:30p ET Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Doug Casey's colleague at International Man, Jeff Thomas, today ruminates on the possibility that in a currency crisis, such as one prompted by an anti-U.S. bloc's creation of a gold-backed currency, the U.S. government will resort to some form of confiscation of gold from investors.

After all, as Thomas notes, the United States has attempted confiscation before. In 1998 South Korea undertook a remarkably successful campaign to persuade its people to donate their gold to the government as a matter of patriotism to avert default on the country's debt to the International Monetary Fund:

China may be providing for a similar emergency. As money manager Willem Middlekoop and others have noted, the Chinese government's recent encouragement to its people to buy gold may be part of a policy of "storing gold with the people":

Thomas writes: "If the U.S. and the European Union could come up with a large volume of gold quickly, they could issue a gold-backed currency themselves. It’s a simple equation: The more gold they have = the more backed notes they can produce = the more power they continue to hold. By seizing upon the private supply of their citizens, they would increase their holdings substantially in short order.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Fisher Precious Metals offers great prices
with personal service from a family team

Family-owned and operated Fisher Precious Metals is a great low-cost source for precious metals -- coins, rounds, and bars. But we also get you the highest prices available when you sell your precious metals.
Expect a personal approach with Fisher Precious Metals. You can always speak directly with the owners within 24 hours if not immediately. We provide you a team you can get to know and call at any time to discuss your investments with no pressure to buy.

Check our Google reviews to see what our clients have to say:

Contact us at 1-800-390-8576 or or visit us here:

"Either that or they could just give up their dominance of world trade and power. What would you guess their choice would be?

"It is entirely possible that the U.S. government (and very likely the EU) has already made a decision to confiscate. They may have carefully laid out the plan and have set implementation to coincide with a specific gold price."


Maybe, but any currency purporting to be "gold-backed" would probably not gain much credence unless it was convertible to gold for whoever held it, or convertible somewhere, if only among governments. Otherwise what would "gold-backed" really mean except another confidence trick when confidence already has been lost?

In any case, the currency of any country with gold reserves is already "gold-backed." For example, in its annual reports the Reserve Bank of Australia used to acknowledge candidly the market-rigging purpose of gold reserves, as in the RBA's report for 2003.

"Foreign currency reserve assets and gold," the report said, "are held primarily to support intervention in the foreign exchange market":

The bank's more recent annual reports, like last year's --

-- are not as explicit, subsuming gold with the bank's "foreign reserves," which "are held to give the bank the capacity to intervene in the foreign exchange market." The bank adds reassuringly, "Such interventions occur rarely." (You know -- only when investors seem about to profit at the central bank's expense.)

But it's all plain enough. Any gold reserves are potentially backing for a currency, if there is convertibility somewhere -- and the necessity for convertibility somewhere, if only among governments rather than investors, would seem to limit the potential for confiscation. 

Thomas' commentary is headlined "Don’t Dismiss the Possibility of Gold Confiscation" and it's posted at the International Man site here:

For whatever it may still be worth, 16 years ago GATA went to the source about confiscation. We pestered the U.S. Treasury Department long enough to obtain a formal statement of policy.

Essentially the department replied that upon proclamation of an emergency by the president of the United States, pursuant to the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, the Treasury Department would have the power to seize or freeze any gold or silver or any gold- or silver-related asset, like shares of mining companies. But, the Treasury Department added, investors in the monetary metals shouldn't get too paranoid about this, because pursuant to the same laws and proclamation, the department would claim the power to seize or freeze any damned thing it wanted to. (That's not the anthem means when it comes to the part about "the land of the free and the home of the brave.")

GATA's correspondence with the Treasury Department about confiscation is here:

Nine years ago GATA noted that Australian law already provides for confiscation of gold and silver:

Other nominally democratic, free-market countries may have similar laws. Do they have citizens prepared to resist totalitarianism? Or could they be persuaded, as South Koreans seem to have been, that expropriation to compensate for government's financial mismanagement is actually patriotism? 

Maybe the first conclusion to be drawn from all this as government finances become more reckless is that people should amass as much monetary metal they can and then find a safe planet to keep it on. (Thanks if you can alert your secretary/treasurer to any such planets.)

This really isn't investment advice -- more like advice for life in an increasingly crazy world.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

Join GATA here:

New Orleans Investment Conference
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
Wednesday-Saturday, November 1-4, 2023

* * *

Toast to a free gold market
with great GATA-label wine

Wine carrying the label of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, cases of which were awarded to three lucky donors in GATA's recent fundraising campaign, are now available for purchase by the case from Fay J Winery LLC in Texarkana, Texas. Each case has 12 bottles and the cost is $240, which includes shipping via Federal Express.

Here's what the bottles look like:

Buyers can compose their case by choosing as many as four varietals from the list here:

GATA will receive a commission on each case of GATA-label wine sold. So if you like wine and buy it anyway, why not buy it in a way that supports our work to achieve free and transparent markets in the monetary metals?

To order a case of GATA-label wine, please e-mail Fay J Winery at

* * *

Support GATA by purchasing
Stuart Englert's "Rigged"

"Rigged" is a concise explanation of government's currency market rigging policy and extensively credits GATA's work exposing it. Ten percent of sales proceeds are contributed to GATA. Buy a copy for $14.99 through Amazon --

-- or for an additional $3 and a penny buy an autographed copy from Englert himself by contacting him at

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

To contribute to GATA, please visit: