U.S. Law Still May Authorize Seizure of Gold And Silver; GATA Queries Treasury
January 27, 2005
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MANCHESTER, Conn.(BUSINESS WIRE) --Despite recent assurances to the contrary from the U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. law still appears to empower the president to seize gold and silver coins, bullion, and shares in mining companies from private citizens, the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee says.
While GATA believes that the law may violate the U.S. Constitution's prohibition against the government's taking private property for public use without paying fair compensation, precious metals investors may still be in some jeopardy here. So GATA has written to the Treasury Department seeking clarification and a meeting with department officials.
The text of GATA's letter is appended.
Protecting precious metals investors and the mining industry against threats like this would seem to come within the province of gold industry organizations. But since such organizations do no advocacy of precious metals when governments may get in the way, and little advocacy in any case, this work has fallen to GATA.
The Treasury Department is not likely to respond to GATA's letter without some prodding from the congressmen who represent metals investors and mining companies, so U.S. citizens are asked to share the letter with their congressmen and the mining companies in which they are invested and to ask the congressmen and mining companies to get involved with the issues the letter raises.
GATA LETTER TO TREASURY DEPARTMENT
January 20, 2005
Roberta K. McInerney
Assistant General Counsel/Banking and Finance
Department of the Treasury
Washington, D.C. 20220
Dear Ms. McInerney:
Michael Kirk of U.S. Rep. John B. Larson's office has forwarded to me your letter to him of December 17, which answered my e-mailed inquiry to him about forcible redemption by the Treasury Department of gold and silver coins held by private citizens. You replied that a statute empowering the Treasury Department to do that, 12 U.S.C. Section 248(n), had been repealed.
But since reading your letter I have learned of a similar statute: Title 12, Chapter 2, Subchapter IV, Section 95a, which provides in part:
"During the time of war, the president may, through any agency that he may designate, and under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of instructions, licenses, or otherwise -- (A) investigate, regulate, or prohibit, any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit or payments between, by, through, or to any banking institution, and the importing, exporting, hoarding, melting, or earmarking of gold or silver coin or bullion, currency or securities. ..."
Section 95a further authorizes the president to "prevent" the "use" by U.S. citizens of any property "in which a foreign country or a national thereof has any interest."
These provisions are of the greatest concern to investors in gold and silver bullion, coins, and shares of gold and silver mining companies, and to those companies themselves. So the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee urgently requests that the Treasury Department explain how it construes these provisions. Particularly, we'd like to know:
-- How does the Treasury Department construe "the time of war"? How can gold and silver investors know when the powers described in Section 95a are in operation or likely to come into operation? Are formal declarations of war by Congress required here, or lesser declarations, or none at all, but rather declarations made only by the president?
-- How does the Treasury Department construe "hoarding"? Does it include the ordinary collection of gold and silver coins, numismatic or not, and bullion by U.S. citizens, businesses, and corporations, absent any collaboration with enemies of the United States?
-- Does the Treasury Department construe Section 95a to empower the president to interfere with the ownership of shares in gold and silver mining companies merely because shares of such companies also might be owned by foreign nationals or foreign governments, at war with the United States or not? Under what circumstances would the president be so empowered?
In essence, we need to know whether Section 95a contemplates the instant destruction of gold and silver investors and the precious metals mining industry in the United States. So the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee asks the Treasury Department for a meeting with the officials who might become responsible for implementing Section 95a, at which we might discuss the concerns of precious metals investors and mining companies. Would you kindly forward our request to the appropriate people?
Thanks for your help.
Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer (860-646-0500)
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was organized in January 1999 as a Delaware corporation to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of certain financial securities, particularly securities involving gold. The committee arose from essays by Bill Murphy, a financial commentator, and by Chris Powell, a newspaper editor in Connecticut, published at Murphy's Internet site, www.lemetropolecafe.com.
Murphy's essays reported evidence of collusion among financial institutions to control the price of gold. Powell, whose newspaper had been involved in antitrust litigation, replied with an essay proposing that gold interests should act on Murphy's essays by bringing suit against the financial institutions involved in the collusion against gold.
The response to these essays from gold interests throughout the world was so favorable that the committee was formed. Murphy is Chairman and Powell is Secretary/Treasurer.
The committee has retained a prominent anti-trust law firm, Berger & Montague of Philadelphia, and is raising money for advocacy and litigation.
Additionally, GATA seeks to disclose and publicize the huge speculative short positions in gold taken by financial institutions and bullion banks. GATA believes that 10,000 tons of gold or more have been sold short by these speculators, even as yearly mine supply of gold in 1998 was only 2,529 tons. When, through our lawsuit and otherwise, we are able to show how short in gold even one major financial institution really is, other institutions will buy gold in quantity, knowing the short position in gold is too large to close without causing a substantial rise in the price of gold. Then the gold collusion game will be over.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee seeks financial and moral support from gold mining companies, investors in gold mining companies and physical gold, and people who seek to preserve gold's vital role in the world's economy.
Contributions are used to expose and stop collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities.
GATA is a civil rights and educational organization incorporated in Delaware, U.S.A., and contributions to it are federally tax-deductible in the United States.
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
c/o Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer
7 Villa Louisa Road,
Manchester, Conn. 06043-7541 USA
By bank wire:
for bank routing number and account information
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