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How the U.S. Government Is Choking Off Access to Traditional Safe Havens

Stock-Markets / Financial Markets 2011 Jun 14, 2011 - 04:19 PM GMT

By: DailyWealth

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleChris Weber writes: Everywhere I go in the financial world in Europe, I hear the same thing: The U.S. is shooting itself in the face.

The problem is the regulations the U.S. now insists every nation impose on U.S. companies or people seeking to do business or lower their taxes.


For instance, there are two Swiss cantons that are using low corporate taxes to lure companies to place their headquarters there. The more famous one is Zug, but the up-and-coming one is Obwalden (which just passed a flat tax rate of 6% of a company's profits).

Companies from all over the world are using this to lower their taxes. But when even the bluest-chip U.S. company – publicly traded on the NYSE – sought to do so recently, it was turned away. Almost no one wants to deal with U.S. companies or people anymore. They've decided it is more problem than it is worth, due to the intense regulatory atmosphere from the U.S.

It used to be that anyone, from whatever nation, could come to the Obwaldner Kantonalbank (OKB) and open an account, even if they had just $100. (Those who know the gold and silver ETFs offered by the Zuricher Kantonalbank (ZKB) know these banks are backed by the cantonal governments and are thus very safe. These are the banks that are regarded as public utilities.)

But starting around four years ago, with the UBS debacle and the U.S. financial crisis, this all changed. The long arm of the U.S. government and the numerous new regulations have made OKB decide it will not take on American clients.

And please don't think I'm talking about tax-evaders here. Americans who used to be able to open accounts with tiny amounts of money at a safe bank like this and treat it just as they would their local banks, fully declaring all their money – these people are no longer welcome. It was with sadness that they told me this. But it is just too much trouble dealing with all the American red tape.

The effect of this is to deny small U.S. investors a way to protect themselves from unsafe banks and devalued U.S. currency. Now, pretty much anyone except Americans can do this.

It goes the other way, too. Non-U.S. companies used to dream of listing themselves on the NYSE: That was the "big-time." But it is no accident that the overall number of listings on the "Big Board" reached its peak in 1997 and has been falling ever since.

Again, the problem is excessive regulation. The companies can list themselves on Hong Kong, Singapore, or London exchanges with much less cost and headache. The list of companies who have turned down a chance to list themselves on U.S. exchanges is long.

It goes further than this. There are many nations on earth that have no inheritance taxes, or maybe just small ones. But if a non-U.S. person buys stocks in the U.S. (in excess of about $60,000), their estate has to pay U.S. estate taxes if they die. So no wonder people are not excited to buy U.S. stocks.

If the object of the government is to encourage investment, entrepreneurship, and create jobs, this is exactly the wrong way to go about it.

And I'm not blaming just one political party. Things are the same now as under the last American president. It's as if the nation has decided it no longer wants to encourage its companies or foreigners to invest in the U.S. Most likely, they don't think of it in those terms; they likely still think that since the U.S. is such a great country, then of course anyone would want to invest there.

But the truth is that by doing these things, non-U.S. people are less likely to invest, and thus the U.S. is seen to be simply hurting itself.

More than just hurting itself, it is building up ill will all around the world. It is getting so that people will be avoiding the U.S. entirely, going around it to invest and even trade. I know this sounds like an extreme reaction. But if things go the way they've been going for the last four or five years, this will be the result.

The American government can put on all these restrictions and keep out foreign investors and companies who want to list on the NYSE. It can deny the right of even the smallest investor to diversify into another banking system with a stronger currency.

But will this make for a stronger U.S.? Are we entering a new world where everyone prospers except for Americans? If so, it is particularly sad, since America will be turning its back on the very ideas which made it so great.

You see, one hundred years ago, there was outright famine in Obwalden. Full of farmers who often had 10 children, the available farmland was just not enough for the people. Starvation got so bad, the Swiss government offered anyone free passage to America if they would promise never to come back. Many of them settled in the Imperial Valley of California, about as far from the Alps and green meadows as you can get.

The U.S. was haven for the poor people of Obwalden, who were starving and saved by moving to America. These people are very appreciative of what America offered to their great-great-grandparents: America literally saved their lives.

And that is why they don't understand why America is now "destroying itself," as one of them told me. They are very, very sad to see it happen. In fact, they seem much sadder and more concerned about what has happened to the U.S. than most Americans do.

Regards,

Chris Weber

Editor's note: Chris Weber is one of the smartest investors we know here at DailyWealth. He pays close attention to what's going on in the world and figures out the best way to protect himself and profit from any scenario... including what's going on in the U.S. right now. If you'd like to learn more about Chris' insights and how he's protecting himself and his money from the "end of America," click here.

http://www.dailywealth.com

The DailyWealth Investment Philosophy: In a nutshell, my investment philosophy is this: Buy things of extraordinary value at a time when nobody else wants them. Then sell when people are willing to pay any price. You see, at DailyWealth, we believe most investors take way too much risk. Our mission is to show you how to avoid risky investments, and how to avoid what the average investor is doing. I believe that you can make a lot of money – and do it safely – by simply doing the opposite of what is most popular.

Customer Service: 1-888-261-2693 – Copyright 2011 Stansberry & Associates Investment Research. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. This e-letter may only be used pursuant to the subscription agreement and any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, LLC. 1217 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21202

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Daily Wealth Archive

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Comments

1776Again
15 Jun 11, 02:48
Taking a clue from the Obswaldens

A reverse maneuver would be necessary to solve the problem, as our population has been intentionally made more and more dependent on government, through the gradual conversion of destroying the history of our country, and its origins in independence and freedom, and self responsibility. Replacing the history with politically "socializing" the various facets of life from cradle to grave, in order to keep re-electing politicians, through promises of goodies . Basically the idea that government will take care of you has been promoted for votes with the help of the mainstream media, that is basically owned by the "powers that be" (PTB).

The incremental creep of socialism has resulted in our children having no idea of the history of our country, and its fight for liberty, as the schools removed all trace of American History from the curriculum. The Federal Reserve System, along with the politicians' use of the "credit card" offered by the central bank to the politicians, in order to finance their schemes to remain in control, has now been maxed out. It seems that the destruction of the dollar was made contagious, the results of which has created a world financial system beholden to the world's central bankers, which now robs the world.

Unless we are able to send the bankers and their dependents that think they can run the world, to their deserved fate, in spite of having created a nightmare worldwide, the next step, always, is another war. If we cannot give free one way tickets to their favorite socialist/fascist/communist/ collective based country to these traitors, we cannot undo the damage they have created. The Tea Party is the beginning of the awakening, and maybe we can accomplish the task of reeducation of the generations since 1933, when all this began.

The question is whether we can take a clue from the Obwaldens, by removing the culprits and letting us get to work doing what Americans have been best at doing, before there is complete amnesia of the symbol and password of this country: INDEPENDENCE.


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