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Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 21, 2011 Reporting From: Split, Croatia

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Expatriation, Food and Staples, Government, History, Money and Finances, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Personal, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 21, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 21, 2011
Reporting From: Split, Croatia

Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny. These are a the principal tenants of the Greek restructuring plan that were released today from Brussels… it’s as if EU policymakers put it together after shaking a Magic 8-ball.

The whole world knows that Greece is bankrupt and has been living bailout to bailout for over a year. Deep in debt and devoid of cash, the country has completely forsaken its sovereignty in exchange for becoming a ward of the European Union; Prime Minister George Papandreou is now a hapless stooge awaiting instructions from Germany.

It’s ironic that the Greek proposal released today calls for a ‘Marshall Plan’ of investment across Europe… given that the last time Greece was being controlled by Germany was during the country’s occupation by Nazi forces after being vanquished by Hitler’s 12th Army in April 1941.

And so, with limited debate and even less fanfare, Europe has just officially signed on to destroy its own currency. Utterly worthless, quasi-defaulted Greek debt will become perfectly acceptable collateral, much in the same way that the US Federal Reserve took every scrap of toxic paper it could find off banks in 2008 and 2009.

Given the favorable market reaction, European politicians must be feeling pretty proud of themselves. The euro is up. The stock market is up. Oil is up. Well, never mind about oil, they’ll blame that on evil speculators… just like food prices.

And the proposal is so deliberately vague, they can go back home and tell constituents whatever they want. Angela Merkel can tell German voters that the French are paying for it, and Sarkozy and tell French voters that the Germans are paying for it. Win, win!

The European sovereign default SOP has just been set. When Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland’s time of insolvency arrives, it will be handled just like this: Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny.

Every day it becomes more and more obvious that the financial system as we know it is breaking down. The United States and European monetary union, whose currencies comprise nearly the entirety of the world’s fiat reserves, have both signed up to debase their currencies as rapidly as possible.

This is going to kick inflation up another notch as anyone holding on to Greek debt is going to trade out of it as quickly as possible. All that money has to go somewhere… and it’s a sure bet that a lot of it will feed rising commodities price (which translates into more inflation).

If you haven’t found a safe haven for your savings yet, it’s time to start. Now. No more excuses. A few you could consider:

Swiss franc, Norwegian krone, Singapore dollar, Chilean peso: These four currencies are generally regarded as safer, stronger, and managed by less obtuse central banks. In a world of fiat, these are among the least worst of the bunch.

Unidad de Fomento (UF): This is a special unit of account used in Chile that was set up during the hyperinflation days of the 1960s. The UF is designed to keep pace with inflation and it’s possible to establish a bank account denominated in UF in Chile. I’ll be telling SMC members how to do that in an upcoming issue.

Agricultural Property: Nothing hedges your risk against rising food prices like being able to produce your own food. This idea underpins the concept for the resilient community we’re planning in South America.

Precious Metals: Portable, divisible, durable, and scarce, precious metals are the classic hedge against rising prices. Gold and silver aren’t going to go up in a straight line, and gold in particular is due for a correction, but in a world ruled by an economic magic 8-ball, it’s a much safer store of value than a government IOU.

High quality equities: If my only two options are Apple stock and a bank account earning 0% interest, I’m going with Steve Jobs. The chief problem with equities is that the more money that central banks print, the more money flows into equities… pushing valuations up to dizzying (and unsustainable) levels.

Firearms and ammunition: Weapons and ammo serve a dual purpose of providing better home security, as well as a reasonable store of value. Unfortunately, they can also serve a third purpose– putting you on some government agency’s radar.

This list is by no means exhaustive… but if you have the majority of your savings just sitting there wasting away, it’s time to act.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 20, 2011 Reporting From: Split, Croatia…..”Take Heed America” added by Admin/floridabusinessportals.com

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, Expatriation, Government, History, Interesting places, Money and Finances, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Personal, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field

Date: July 20, 2011

Reporting From: Split, Croatia

Bruce Lee, a long-time hero of mine, died 38-years ago today, and in tribute to his intellect and philosophy, I wanted to blow the dust off an old quote of his that seems quite prescient:

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”

Each day it becomes increasingly obvious that there are essentially two kinds of people in this world– those who are unaware that they walk in the darkness, completely oblivious to the real dangers in the world, versus those who understand reality and seek the truth. The former group comprises the vast majority of society.

This is your voting electorate and mainstream media audience, and they’ll buy every bit of propaganda that’s sent their way… whether it’s support for the war(s), ruinous economic programs, child molesting TSA policies, or just plain old fear and hate. In its latest effort to spread fear and hate, the Ministry of Love, also known as the Department of Homeland Security, has produced an Orwellian new video intended to encourage Americans to rat each other out.

If you’re not in a place to watch the video right now, I’ll summarize briefly. First of all, it’s one of the most pathetic attempts at filmmaking in the history of motion picture; the average shampoo commercial has better acting and production quality… and is much more subtle in its message.

In the world of Homeland Security, terrorists all drive unmarked full-size vans, wear hooded sweatshirts, and deposit backpacks in conspicuous public places. They might as well have had a cackling James Bond villain twirling his moustache in the corner.

At its core, the video is filled with scenes of ordinary citizens spying on each other and alerting the authorities to their compatriots’ suspicious deeds. In my favorite scene, a woman calls the police after snooping over the shoulder of a young man typing away on his smartphone. Naturally, it’s all for the common good… for everyone’s safety and security. In fact, everyone shares in this responsibility according to DHS, so we should all be on our toes to rat each other out at the first sign of suspicious activity.

Apparently this is yet another obligation that comes with citizenship. For the majority of people who watch this video, their chests will swell with pride in the knowledge that they now have a role to play in their country’s security. These are the folks walking around in the darkness, unaware. You can’t talk to them about things like personal liberty as they’ll just regurgitate the propaganda they’ve been spoon fed since birth. These are the same folks who take their shoes off at the airport and proclaim, “Whatever it takes to keep us safe,” or “I have nothing to hide!”

Truthfully, real criminals aren’t back alley types, but rather the policymakers who spread fear and paranoia in the name of justice. They cloak their crimes in good deeds while building a brainwashed class of future Thought Police. If Orwell had written a prequel to 1984, this would all be part of it. It seems the boiling frog is getting just a bit warmer..

. Until tomorrow, Simon Black Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

SIMON FINDS NUMBERED ACCOUNTS FOR DEPOSITS AS SMALL AS $8,000 Not yet a Sovereign Man: Confidential subscriber? This edition could have been a double issue. Here’s what you’re missing in what may be the best month yet: * This country may be a small country wedged in between two European powerhouses, but it checks just about every box for Simon. Hint…it’s NOT Switzerland. From safety, lightning-fast Internet, low taxes and minimal government intervention, this country should be on the top of your list for places to visit. Simon shares where to stay and how to fly in and out. For a land-locked location, it may be one of his favorites! * Simon proves this country isn’t just a tourist spot. He’ll show you how to get residency for an relatively small investment . Find his contact to get it done quickly. He also highlights the most difficult documentation requirement and how to be sure you have it covered. * Privacy in offshore banking? YES, this stable, European country still has private, numbered accounts AND will do business with US Citizens. Simon will share the different banks and even has negotiated a discount for Sovereign Man: Confidential members. You won’t want to miss this. * Ever-opportunistic, Simon will give some easy entrepreneurship opportunities in an emerging frontier, Kosovo. These options are the equivalent of “selling shovels to gold miners”. * Mark Nestmann also returns to go further in depth for those interested in expatriation with an honest assessment of the worst-case scenario. * Tim Staermose also offers his actionable insight from his most recent China trip. You need to have an understanding of the social and financial implications of the coming bust. To learn more about SMC and get access to the archive, click here for more information.


This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field -Date: July 18, 2011 Reporting From: Becici, Montenegro

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, currency, Government, History, Opportunity, Personal, personal and business, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 18, 2011
Reporting From: Becici, Montenegro

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law one of the most arrogant, unfeasible bills ever to hit the books.

Known as FATCA [Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act], it was enacted as part of the inappropriately titled HIRE Act; the law requires that foreign banks must disclose personal account details for their US clients, essentially agreeing to get in bed with the US government.

If a foreign bank does not agree to disclose information on all of its US customers, then the law further requires that noncompliant banks withhold a 30% tax on all payments that may have originated from the United States.

The arrogance of this law is overwhelming. It would be as if the Saudi King issued a decree forbidding US grocery store chains to sell pork to Saudi citizens while on US soil. Crazy, right? Americans would be up in arms– who do those Saudi’s think they are, trying to control a US company on US soil?

But that’s exactly what FACTA does. Needless to say, the international banking scene has been up in arms since March 2010 when the law was passed. Those cries have largely fallen on deaf ears… until late last week when the US government granted a brief extension for the law to take effect.

This is important, and I’ll explain why.

We’re in the early stages of what I call the Age of Turmoil– a tumultuous time in which governments turn to increasingly desperate, authoritarian measures in order to maintain the status quo.

They drive their economies into the ground, generate painful inflation, and destroy the livelihoods of millions, even hundreds of millions… and when you don’t like it, they turn their police forces after you to ensure they still get to live a life of power and privilege on your dime.

We’ve already seen these people in action– they’ve seized pension accounts, turned the nation into a police state, ruined the economy with corrupt, reckless spending programs, inflated the currency to dangerous levels, and made it extremely difficult to do basic things like establish a business or even open a bank account.

There are a few things you can try to do about it. The default option for most people is to do nothing. They’ll stick their heads in the sand as things continue to get worse and their families’ livelihoods get eaten away by public policy.

Others think they can ‘vote the bums out,’ only later to realize that the brand new crop of politicians is just as bad as the old batch.

I’ve long been an advocate of the internationalization approach– diversifying your assets and interests overseas to reduce the control that one single government has over you.

If you live, work, bank, invest, own property, store gold, operate a business, etc. in the same country of your citizenship, you are truly putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Internationalization is an approach to take back your privacy, cut your ‘sovereign risk,’ and declare your economic independence, and it’s what I discuss every month in our premium service, Sovereign Man: Confidential. Think of it as your personal, offshore intelligence service.

To give you an idea, here’s what you missed in the July edition that just came out over the weekend:

– How to LEGALLY establish a private, numbered account in one of the world’s strongest banking jurisdictions… as well as how to remain compliant with the law. I tell you exactly who to contact to get started.

– How to establish residency in an extremely safe, modern, vibrant, cost effective, beautiful, and FREEDOM LOVING European location… it’s a fantastic choice for families, retirees, and even singles. Again, I tell you exactly who to contact.

– My boots on the ground recommendations for entrepreneurial business ideas in one of the world’s most opportunity-rich boom towns. Some require very little up-front capital, and you can make a fortune;

– New intelligence just revealed about relinquishing US citizenship;

– Portfolio strategies to protect against (and profit from) the coming economic slowdown that we see happening in China

– How to make the right kinds of internationalization decisions– walking through your own situation, and what to do about it.

This is the sort of actionable intelligence that can help you survive and thrive in the Age of Turmoil by reducing your exposure to any one single government. It will take time for you to implement these strategies… and given the FATCA extension I told you about earlier, the limited window of opportunity is now open.

I strongly encourage you to consider these strategies; no matter what happens, you will sleep better at night knowing that your family’s livelihood is much better protected.

The alternative– doing nothing– could be devastating.

Click here to read more about a risk-free trial to our premium intelligence service, Sovereign Man: Confidential.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 14, 2011

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Jobs in Cape Coral, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Renmimbi currency, renminbi currency on July 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 14, 2011
Reporting From: Thessaloniki, Greece

Last night I had quite an unexpected surprise.

You see, at my hotel here in Thessaloniki, there’s a delegation from some group of the European Parliament called the Committee on Regional Development. They’re here to help… Hey, isn’t that what they always say? The Committee wants to supervise Greece working its way out of the debt crisis and make sure that Greece’s poor are getting the support they need.

The hotel’s restaurant was filled with these sycophantic parasites last night– an entire room full of people with a superiority complex who think that they are entitled to make decisions about other people’s lives and money.

They sat at dinner drinking fine wine and polishing up steak tartare making proud, bombastic proclamations about the virtues of foreign aid, the democratic process, and the great progress of Greece’s austerity measures.

Coincidentally, not 300 meters down the road, a campsite has been gathering for economic refugees, Thessaloniki’s former middle class that has been vanquished by the crisis. Some of the children swung by the restaurant’s outdoor terrace begging for change, only to be waved off by one of the delegate’s extended pinkie fingers as he sipped his wine.

It couldn’t have been more ironic… the perfect image of what passes for democracy today, right here in the country that invented it.

Today’s democracy is nothing more that pseudo-authoritarian rule by an elite few, executed by legions of self-deluding freeloaders who have convinced themselves that their current bureaucratic roles are both necessary and honorable… as well as a stepping stone into the next job which will be even more necessary and honorable.

With each successive position up the bureaucratic ladder comes more power, more privilege… until they actually expect to be called “The Honorable…” so and so, or “His Excellency” so and so, etc.

My dictionary suggests a few definitions for ‘honor’. One of them refers to a person’s chastity… and I doubt it applies in this case given the political establishment’s Twitter record. The other definition says, “conferred as a distinction, especially an official award for bravery or achievement.”

In the United States, they must be confusing the term ‘achievement’ with ‘destroying the economy and culture of the formerly most powerful nation on earth.’  President Obama is apparently so honorable that he can’t even be bothered to hold negotiations anymore about debt compromise, arguing that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t be doing that…

He seems more concerned about his esteem and rank being respected than facing the grim facts of economic reality.

Simultaneous on Capitol Hill, Comrade Bernanke sent the dollar plummeting once again. Just to put things in perspective, the entire eurozone is on the precipice of a meltdown, and the euro had been falling for days. The second this man opened his mouth, the dollar plunged… indicating that investors would rather take a chance on European insolvency than Bernanke.

It was truly pathetic… and yet another example of what passes for democracy today: One man who has never been elected is essentially given control of the money supply to do with it as he deems best in his sole discretion.

All in all, as usual, it’s going to come down to the taxpayers. The bureaucrats will go on enjoying their steak tartare and ignoring the huddled masses. The politicians will go on posturing over title. The central bankers will keep making interest free loans to their friends and destroying their currencies.  We get stuck with the fallout.

In the end, the governments will make it a matter of national security and patriotism, ensuring that we ‘do our duty to the nation’ by coughing up more of our livelihood. I stumbled across this WW2 propaganda video a few days ago in which Daffy Duck tells us all that it’s our patriotic duty to give as much as possible to the government.

Should we expect a new video soon suggesting that it’s our patriotic duty to buy Treasury bonds…? In what passes for democracy today, you can bet on it.


Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com 

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 13, 2011 Reporting From: Thessaloniki, Greece

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Government, History, Opportunity, Political, Political parties, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 13, 2011
Reporting From: Thessaloniki, Greece

I went to dinner last night in an upmarket area of Thessaloniki. It wasn’t a touristy part of town at all, nearly everyone there was local.

As we walked down a narrow cobblestone path flanked by traditional Greek restaurants, all the various hostesses and proprietors ran out to greet us and pitch their menus.

“We have the freshest seafood!”

“We have the cheapest prices!”

“We offer free drinks and dessert!”

Within seconds, outright calamity ensued with each thrusting menus in our faces, pulling at our shirtsleeves, and shouting over the competition. Then a shoving match… and then finally an all out physical altercation, literally coming to blows over what amounted to a $20 dinner tab.

Now, aggressive behavior is common in this part of the world; it gets even worse in Turkey and North Africa. But there is an element of desperation that I have not yet seen before here. Given the graveyard of former restaurants gone bust nearby, it’s clear that last night’s owners are trying to stay afloat at any cost.

Later in the evening, I dropped by the city’s ancient agora ruins. Inside I could see a number of stray dogs marking their territory as they saw fit, and it was the perfect metaphor. This place has literally gone to the dogs.

Coincidentally, the Greek government held a ‘successful’ bond auction yesterday, unloading 1.6 billion euros of six-month bills. This sounds like a lot of money until you figure that it just barely covers this month’s interest payments on the roughly 340 billion euro debt that they already owe.

Just last month alone, the Greek budget deficit was 2.2 billion euros. Greece must continue indebting itself not only to make interest payments, but simply to keep the lights on. Meanwhile, the principal balance owed keeps rising while tax revenues are falling… making the situation perpetually worse.

Bailouts can’t fix this problem. Think about it like this: say your best friend is swimming in debt, paying $5,000 per month in interest. His best job prospect is $1,000 per month, so he’s in the hole $4,000 per month and rising.

If he receives a new $10,000 line of credit, would this fix his problems? Not at all. He’d be staring at bankruptcy again within 3-months.

Living bailout to bailout while going deeper into debt is simply an unsustainable Ponzi scheme. And given the Greek government’s current cash position and bond auction calendar, the next do-or-die bailout should come to a head this summer.

Europe will have to make a decision: (a) continue financing Greek largess and hope that taxpayers don’t care or notice; (b) take cover and allow the Greek government to default; or (c) an ‘orderly restructuring’ that combines loan workouts, haircuts for bondholders, and strings-attached cash injections from the ECB and IMF.

The most likely is the third option, but no matter how you dress it up, it’s still a default.

We’ve seen this play out once before in Dubai. The emirate underwent a steep restructuring period on roughly 50% of its $59 billion debt load in late 2009 and 2010, and it caused a deep recession and losses in the local market. Two big differences, though.

First, Dubai had a wealthy big brother in Abu Dhabi. Europe has angry German taxpayers.

Second, Dubai was isolated. Europe has a number of insolvent countries whose collective debts far exceed the capacity for any bailout.

If the market is allowed to function, the consequent derivatives chain reaction from default will cause a wave of bankruptcies among a number of large financial institutions, triggering even more government intervention (read: taxpayer bailouts) and a deflationary sell-off in financial markets.

Barring a miraculous, no-strings-attached emergency bailout, I think we can expect the opening salvos within the next few months.

So why should you care if you’re not Greek? Because the ensuing capital controls, raids on public and private pensions, and social chaos met with overwhelming police brutality will be a preview of things to come when the rest of Europe and the United States arrive at their financial reckoning days.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 6, 2011 Reporting From: Wuhan, China

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Continental Travel, Government, History, Interesting places, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Political, Taxes, Travel on July 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 6, 2011
Reporting From: Wuhan, China
[Editor’s note: This missive was sent in from our partner Tim Staermose in China]Maybe the Chinese politburo has been watching too much deep cable, and, inspired by Kevin Costner’sField of Dreams movie, decided to churn out a bunch of empty cities. As it turns out, though, if you build it, they won’t come… and if you’ll forgive the movie analogies, these empty developments acrossChina are turning into fields of nightmares.I’ve been quite bearish on China lately. There are so many reports about how the Chinese economy is going to lift the world out of recession, and insatiable Chinese demand for commodities will deliver permanent good times in resource-rich countries like Australia.

I suppose that if you’re sitting on a few trillion dollars in reserves and decide to dump a lot of it into your domestic economy, it’s good for growth… at least for a while. But China is doing the 21st century equivalent of digging ditches during the day and filling them up at night.

We’ve all seen the videos of Chinese ghost cities and bridges to nowhere, but I wanted to put some boots on the ground and check it out for myself.

I started my trip In Guangzhou, and it didn’t take me long to find the first example of what I call China’s “build it and they will come” philosophy of economic growth.

Guangzhou has this new district of glitzy office towers and apartment buildings in the Tian He district called “Pearl River New City.”

It is SEVENTY percent vacant!  Prices are DOUBLE what they are in the older section of town which most people prefer living in, because there’s actually nice established neighborhoods with stores, businesses, restaurants and so on which remain affordable to average people.

They’re still building stuff in this “New City.”  Here’s a sign that showed half a dozen of the buildings with their respective heights proudly displayed.  The whole thing only sprang up in the past few years ahead of the 2010 Asian Games which were held here in Guangzhou.  In fact, they built a brand new stadium just for the opening ceremony!

Among all the impressive new skyscrapers in the Pearl River New City, I saw at least two 5-star international hotel brands– Hyatt and Westin.  I think you’ll find that if you call them and pose as a conference organizer, they have PLENTY of rooms available.

Beneath the surface (literally) this whole new district may not be so impressive.  During heavy rains, the area floods.  Apparently the developers were not as careful about what they built underground, and the drainage and sewerage systems leave something to be desired.

Traffic was light while I drove around the area with prominent local friend; he pointed out that IF the buildings were all occupied, the sheer number of people who’d be coming and going would probably cause a traffic snarl of epic proportions.

So who’s buying all of these units? Developers keep building because people keep buying, right?  They’re all mostly investment properties. Chinese real estate “investors” don’t actually care about rental yield at all.  Indeed, most of them deliberately let their properties sit vacant.

They buy apartments as an inflation hedge and are prepared to hold them as long as it takes to sell at a profit. As the theory goes, there’s always a greater fool out there willing to make an even dumber financial mistake.

I get the feeling some of the recent buyers in Guangzhou may be waiting a very long time.
The supply of rental property in Guangzhou is so vast that rental prices are roughly half as much as it would cost you to service a mortgage on the same property.

These observations– rental yields that don’t come close to covering the mortgage, empty buildings, bold advertisements heralding the grandeur of these projects, rising construction costs, cutting corners on infrastructure, etc. are all classic bubble indicators.

And as I’m going to explain in the coming days with even more boots on the ground reports, this is a bubble that’s bound to pop soon. Stay tuned.

Until tomorrow,
Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com 
This article appears courtesy of <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field</a>, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">http://www.SovereignMan.com</a>


Sovereign Man Weekend Edition Date: July 2, 2011 Reporting From: Roissy, France

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Money and Finances, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Sovereign Man

Weekend Edition

Date: July 2, 2011
Reporting From: Roissy, France

I imagine that travel used to be quite glamorous back in the 1960s… when airline captains were accorded same social status as mid-rank diplomats, and stewardess (as they were known back then) were little more than Vegas cocktail waitresses.

Today is a bit different. It seems that most legacy carriers are still employing the exact same flight attendants that they did 40-years ago, and nightmare delays are commonplace.

In addition, there are now so many ridiculous fees involved in flying.  Just the taxes alone can add an additional 30% on top of the ticket price– another example of Thursday’s note about how taxation is just another form of inflation.

Then they tack on extra fees for the fuel. The ground service. Checking luggage. Checking in. And my all-time favorite, the “payment fee” where they actually charge you to pay them. This is very common inEurope, and if you’ve never experienced this before, don’t worry– it’s coming soon to an America near you.

Anyhow, I got waylaid here in Paris (not a bad place to be stranded) for a day on my way to Eastern Europe. After finishing up my business in Bulgaria, I plan on putting boots on the ground once again inGreece (what’s left of it). Hopefully the default will occur when I’m there… I do love a good crisis.

Speaking of PIIGS, earlier in the week I wrote a piece about my most recent observations in Spain– including remarks about some small villages in the north of the country that have been using the Spanish peseta once again (Spain’s pre-euro currency). This is certainly a sign of Europe’s post-euro future.

Remember, Europe is a continent with over a thousand years’ history of tribal warfare, genocide, inquisition, and marauding invasions. Sure they’ve been playing nice for the last 20-years, but it’s foolish to think that a German hairdresser is willing to take on greater taxes, inflation, or public debt so that a Greek hairdresser can retire at age 50. More to follow on this.

[As an aside, I also wrote about the growing police presence in Spain… and I would not characterize them as friendly. Writing from Santiago, Chile on Friday, Dr. John Cobin filled in for me to talk about how Chilean police actually treat people with courtesy and respect.]

Meanwhile, our Asia-based partner Tim Staermose has his boots on the ground in China once again. He’s tired of all the ‘economic puff pieces’ talking about how Chinese demand is going to save the global economy and promise endless sunny days, especially for commodity exporters like his nativeAustralia.

It seems that these optimists have a very short memory and have forgotten the hard lesson that all booms bust. They seem to think, instead, that ‘this time is different …,’ the four most expensive words in finance.

Last, I want to mention that we held our monthly premium teleconference for Sovereign Man: Confidential members this week; this live Q&A call is something that we do especially for SMC members at the end of each month, and this call was full of great questions.

We received a lot of questions about the plans for our resilient community project, as well as details about the property we’ve selected in central Chile. I have so much to say on the topic, I was practically bursting at the seams.

We also had a lot of questions about moving and storing gold, some great places to bank overseas, how to establish a business offshore, what to do with a US-based retirement account at/near retirement age given so many threats to pension funds, and more.

The monthly teleconference is just one of the benefits of SMC membership; members also receive a monthly letter that’s packed full of actionable information from our boots on the ground around the world– internationalization strategies, investment opportunities, time-sensitive deals, contacts, and more.

You can think of it as your personal intelligence service.

Then there’s our members’ only website, where people within the community can connect, build relationships, discuss their ideas, and trade experiences. This site is a fantastic way to build a strong network of like-minded people, and it’s been my privilege to interact with so many members using this tool.

If what I’m describing sounds like it would add value to your life and help you to prepare and thrive in the tumultuous times ahead, I encourage you to read more and sign up for our no-risk membership. You’ll receive instant access to past issues, as well as the teleconference we just conducted.

Have a great weekend.

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com 

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

We The People……..We The People – The significance of these words are losing their meaning………Admin/CapeCoral

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, currency, Government, History, Jobs, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Taxes, Travel on June 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm

WE  THE PEOPLE,  the words at the start of one of our most cherished documents are quickly beginning to mean nothing!!!!

  How does that make you feel???? Me, for one, feel really bad…We the people of this great land are being diminished far faster than one can imagine.

We the people, we pay the bills, we fight the wars, we manage to take care of our own as best we can, yet, each passing day dawns with more liberties being torn away by the very people we had confidence in and elected to do our heavy lifting…

The presser that was presented  yesterday at 11:30 AM, was not something that  generated a warm fuzzy feeling internally.  It seemed to be worded as  if to be presented to a nation of “Stepford Wives” who needed to be put back in their place or face the consequences of the “Beltway” crowd.

We the people have let many things slide because of our personal needs, forgetting the country’s needs. The country’s needs have been left to folks, many of whom we trusted to propel our wants into the corridors of our government. However, with the words of yesterday, it seems the corridors have been turned into a maze of twisted turns which not many seem to be able to find their way out of.  This administration seems to always want to diminish the “go getter, go better ” idea and replace it with “go slow and better yet, STOP”.  The picture is ” Nero Fiddles while Rome Burns” only this time it’s more golf and, please don’t forget the Campaign, Oh, here’s the contribution jar too.

We the People, it’s time to get smart before we do not have any time left to get SMART….

God Bless America

One Nation Under GOD, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 30, 2011 Reporting From: Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In Continental Travel, Food and Staples, Government, History, Interesting places, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Taxes, Travel on June 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 30, 2011
Reporting From: Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In addition to being one of the most picturesque places on the planet, Andorra is a textbook example of what happens to an economy when a limited government sets up a liberal tax regime.

Like conjuring money out of thin air, taxation is just another form of inflation that either directly or indirectly sticks the end-user consumer with a higher price.

Think about it– when businesses get taxed on their payrolls and profits, it’s consumers who end up paying for it at the cash register. When governments decide to pass sales taxes or increase VAT rates, it’s consumers who end up paying more.

This is theft, plain and simple… a robbery from everyday, hardworking people perpetrated by unproductive bureaucrats. Governments around the world collect trillions of dollars each year by sticking consumers with higher prices, only to go waste it all trying to centrally plan their economies.

In his recent book Daemon, author Daniel Suarez summed this up when he wrote, “Anyone who has ever tried to share pizza with roommates knows that [central planning] cannot ever work. If Lenin and Marx had just shared an apartment, perhaps a hundred million lives might have been spared…”

The major fallacy in politicians’ logic is that if governments can collect enough tax revenue, they will be able to dump it all back into the economy, creating jobs and stimulating growth.

It sounds great in theory, but in practice, government spending is prone to massive misallocations and value distortions… let alone corruption and bribery. This is how we end up with bridges to nowhere, empty cities, expensive wars, and millions of dollars of stimulus money spent on giant signs bragging about how much stimulus money has been spent.

Spain is a great example of how this doesn’t work. For years, the government has been collecting painfully high taxes on earnings, savings, consumption, and death, then plowing this stolen booty back into the economy, effectively becoming the country’s dominant economic force.

Years of misallocations have created dismal economic conditions, as well as a horrible debt crisis.

At this point, the government has nearly run out of cash, the official unemployment rate is north of 20%, and retail prices on the street are rising by the month. So how has the government dealt with such overwhelming economic adversity? By raising taxes, of course… calling the exact same play, even though it never works.

After raising the VAT last year to 18%, personal income rates have been raised to nearly 50% on Spain’s top earners. Even middle-income earners are being taxed now at 37% to 43%. Capital gains rates have also been hiked. Guess what’s going to happen to prices?

You’d think that Spanish politicians would look at their track record and realize that government spending does not buy a one-way ticket on the economic gravy train… especially when low-tax Andorra is just up the road.

Andorra has no direct taxation on individual income, no tax on business profits, no tax on gifts, no tax on inheritances, and limited taxation on consumption (like sales tax or VAT). The net result looks a lot like Switzerland– a bright, clean, beautiful, prosperous country that consistently has some of the world’s lowest unemployment.

It’s not like Andorra is sitting on a huge oil reserve. This place is high up in the Pyrenees Mountains. There’s barely any place to grow a turnip around here, let alone drill for oil. No, Andorra has prospered because the country has set the right conditions that attract productive people and their capital, similar to what Hong Kong has done.

Prices here are reasonable. In fact, it’s much cheaper than Spain with quality as nice as Switzerland. Crime in Andorra is… well… it isn’t, basically. Standard of living is among the best in the world, and Andorrans even have the fourth highest life expectancy in the world at 82.43 years (compared to 81, 80, and 78 in Canada, UK, and United States).

With such a fantastic model right on its borders, its absolutely mind boggling that politicians in Spain, and the rest of Europe for that matter, refuse to take a page from Andorra’s playbook and set conditions for success.

For SMC subscribers, I’ll be telling you in the upcoming July edition how you can set up residency here, as well as establish a bank account. Also, don’t forget about our monthly subscriber teleconference this afternoon at 4pm eastern.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 27, 2011 Reporting From: London, England

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Continental Travel, Food and Staples, Jobs, Medicine, Opportunity, Political, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on June 28, 2011 at 9:45 am

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 27, 2011
Reporting From: London, England

Are you a US taxpayer? Do you have at least $10,000 in overseas accounts? It’s time to put those annual disclosure statements in the mail… and quickly. Let me explain.

Each year by June 30th, US taxpayers are obliged to report all foreign financial accounts in which they have either a beneficial interest or signature authority, so long as the aggregate value of all the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. The form is known as the FBAR.

You must accurately disclose the highest value of each account during the previous calendar year on your FBAR… so make sure you go back through your bank and brokerage statements to check.

Let me give you a few examples:

Iggy Noramus is a US citizen who keeps all of his money in the United States. He happily watches the value of his dollars depreciate and completely ignores important warning signs like the Treasury Department confiscating pension funds to make up for their budget shortfalls. Iggy does not need to file the FBAR.

Guy Sharpe is also a US citizen who took action in 2010 to set up a foreign bank account in Hong Kong after reading an issue of Sovereign Man: Confidential. He only funded the account with $1,000, figuring that he just wanted to have an overseas account ready in an emergency. Guy doesn’t need to file the FBAR either.

Dee Pockets is a US citizen with four overseas accounts. One personal account in Switzerland has just over $1 million, one business account in Singapore has $5 million, one small account in Belize has just $50, and a Cayman brokerage has $250,000. Dee must file the FBAR and declare each of the four accounts.

Goldie Bugg is another US taxpayer who established an account in 2010 with GoldMoney; she opened the account with only $8,000 at the beginning of the year, but the market value of her gold peaked at $11,500 during 2010. Goldie must file an FBAR as well.

The gold ruling is new this year, and we first reported this back in March. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Division (FinCEN) made it quite clear that any gold held in the custody of another firm or individual constituted a foreign financial account and needs to be reported on the FBAR.

Frankly I’m starting to believe that this was part of a larger movement to recast gold as a ‘financial instrument,’ subjecting precious metals to regulation, control, and potential confiscation.

Given what we’re seeing now with so many brokerages cutting off their OTC gold contracts, this hypothesis is becoming more credible. I’ll have more on this working theory in another letter.

For now, make sure that you get your FBAR’s filed in time. The Treasury Department changed its language in the instructions this year, spelling out that they expect to receive the report by June 30th, which is this coming Thursday.

The form only takes a few minutes to fill out (assuming you have the information), and the instructions are self-explanatory. Consult your tax advisor with any questions.

If you don’t have a foreign bank account yet, you really ought to consider it for four key reasons:

1) A foreign bank account often makes it much easier to diversify out of the dollar. If you believe that, excluding some short-term rallies, the dollar’s long-term trend is lower, you can easily hold foreign currencies in a foreign account.

2) Foreign banks are often much stronger, not these quasi-zombie banks propped up with deceptive accounting rules and public funds we see in the west. Singapore, for example, has never had a banking failure, ever. I’ve even recommended one bank in SMC that keeps 100% of deposits in cash equivalents.

3) Banks overseas are typically much more innovative. In the west, banks think they’re being innovative when they get a Twitter account. In Asia, you can sign up for the next big IPO from an ATM. You can send a worldwide wire transfer from your mobile. You can denominate accounts in different currencies and precious metals.

4) Foreign banks are not controlled by your government. Get sideways with a bureaucrat in your home country and see what happens to your assets; there are dozens of agencies and courts out there, whether at the state, local, or federal level, that can freeze you out of your own money with a single phone call.

They can’t do that if your money is offshore. Capital controls, fear and intimidation tactics, frivolous lawsuits, etc. have limited impact on offshore accounts. It’s often possible to apply through the mail, and I’ve seen some banks with account minimums as low as $0.

If you have any savings at all, I strongly urge you to consider moving at least a portion of it overseas for the reasons I outlined above.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

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