The Libertarian Rising: Things Are Changing Faster Than You Think

I was around before the Internet.  I was always on computers but they had 48k of RAM (not 48mb, not 48gb… 48 kilobytes), had modems that sounded like a fax machine and only one person could get on at a time and our computer monitors were about the size of a Galaxy Note and comachrome.  What’s comachrome, you ask? Well, basically you had one color you could choose from.  The most popular were green and orange.  I was excited to get my first green-only monitor because before that I had a 1970s tube black & white television as a monitor.

When <sarcasm alert> Al Gore finally invented the internet around 1994</end sarcasm>, I told anyone who would listen that the Internet would change everything.   Their response, mostly, was, “What’s the Internet?”.

It wasn’t until around 2003 that I realized people weren’t catching on quite as fast I thought they would.  But, in the last five years, almost all of the expectations I had for the Internet, and technology, have come true.

Things are now changing at speeds faster than we can even recognize.

I pondered that on Sunday, as I try to take Sundays off for the most part.  It’s hard, as a go-getting entrepreneur and passionate activist to make a better world by ending government and central banks, to take a day off every week.  And I never fully can.  But I try.

I was sitting there in my underwear in my home office doing a number of things that would have seemed impossible even 20 years ago.  First, I decided, I missed playing poker.  I used to play worldwide in some of the biggest tournaments including the WSOP, LAPT and winning the secondary main event in Seoul, South Korea at the Asian Poker Tour (after having shown up late for the main event) and won it totally drunk in record time.  Well, not totally drunk the entire time.

What happened was that I had a two-day stopover in Seoul on my way to where I was living in Bangkok, at the time, and I just Googled, “Poker Korea” wondering if there was any casinos that had poker in Seoul.  Up came the Asian Poker Tour and, it just so happened, it started that day.  It took me about three hours to get through that monstrous city in a taxi and I showed up late and missed the main event.  A bit disappointed I asked, “Is there any other event?” and they said, “Yes, we have a smaller buy-in secondary event starting in a few hours”.

So I hung around until it started.  If memory serves it was only about 150 players and started in the mid-afternoon.  By 11pm it was down to 15 players, including me, and I voiced my unhappiness.

“Hey, I am only in Seoul for two days, one night, and I really wanted to go out tonight so I suggest if we don’t have it down to a final table by midnight that we call it for the night and resume tomorrow.”

Somehow I got them to agree and at midnight it just got down to the final table, including me.

I then said, “Listen, I love Korean girls, they are f***ing beautiful and this is my only night here so can we call it for the night and resume for the final table tomorrow?”

Again, somehow, I got everyone to agree.  Maybe they were like me and thinking it is Saturday night, let’s call it.

I ended up going to one of the better bars in Seoul at the time, at the Park Hyatt hotel, and ended up picking up three girls (this is when I was a world roaming bachelor), ended up taking them out to a strip club out by a U.S. Naval base, trying to fight with some of the Navy boys from the “Home Of The Brave”, getting totally hammered and before I knew it it was 10 a.m. and we were all in my hotel room, still not having slept, and having a great time.

As the final table was about to start I decided to down some more drinks, put on some sunglasses and play the final table completely drunk out of my mind.

It was the fastest final table I’ve ever been involved in.  I even still remember a hero call I made with AQ suited versus AJ suited who had gone all in, representing a big hand.  He had been playing super-tight and I had been playing very loose… very, very loose and I thought he might be on AA, KK or AK.  I squinted, looked him over and decided I had the best of it.  I called and won and the other 8 people just went down like bowling pins about a total of 20 hands later.

I ended up winning top spot and they actually had to get me a bag for the money I won.  Not because it was a massive amount of money but because the largest demonination South Korean Wan bill is worth about $10 U.S.  I asked them, “Why don’t you have bigger denomination bills in Korea?” and they replied, “It is part of our culture not to think too highly of money so we have very low denomination bills.”

I slung a duffle bag of $10 bills over my shoulder as I said, “Oh, yeah, great idea,” and lugged it to the waiting taxi, wondering how I was going to exchange it all for Thai Baht somewhere along the way.

Anyway, I got sidetracked…. way sidetracked.

Getting back to this Sunday I felt like playing poker so I loaded up an Internet site and was playing with people from all over the world on about 4 different tables at once.  NL Holdem, PL Omaha H/L, even Courchevel just because it looked interesting… and was Googling how to play it as I played.

In the meantime, it was the NHL playoffs.  So in my browser I had every game playing, streaming, in real time and in HD throughout the day.

As I was playing 4 tables of poker with people from around the world and watching hockey from various parts of the USSA or Kanada I received a Skype video call from a client in Cambodia.

Meanwhile, in 20 different browser tabs, I was researching news and information from around the world on finance and economics.

As I was doing that, my wife What’s App’ed me and asked if I wanted her to order some tacos for the kids and myself  (as she was at some beach bar/salon here in Paradise for her day off as mama) that she could do through text message to the taco place.

It was then that I sat back and realized, wow, technology is really getting amazing!  My second question was, “How could NASA, a government agency, have gotten to the moon within five years of starting a space agency with the technology of 1969 during a time when the U.S. was pulling out of Vietnam in disgrace and the U.S. dollar was about to collapse and was forced to go bankrupt or unhinge from any last remnants of the gold standard, given that the greatest computational technology at that time was less than what fits in a calculator today and yet, somehow go to the moon numerous times with go-carts, play golf, film themselves from impossible camera angles, plant flags and transmit it all back to Earth in real time and then lose every single reel of film they filmed there, on the moon, in the late 60s and early 70s”.

But I digress.  Ahem.  Getting back to trying to imagine doing what I did on Sunday twenty years ago…

First of all, it’d be impossible.  But, even if you told someone in 1995 that, within twenty years, all information will be freely available on the internet, all in real time high speed instantaneous communication, that you could play poker with people from around the world while live-streaming hockey in HD, doing a video conference call in HD and receiving wireless communications via a smartphone as you were doing it wondering if you wanted to electronically order tacos…. that person would think you were crazy.

If he didn’t think you were crazy and was curious, he would ask, “So, in the future, what will people do with this kind of technology and empowerment where you can almost do anything or access anything instantaneously?”

The answer would be, “Well, most people will use it to watch kitten videos and play Candy Crush.”

However, even that is now changing.  People are starting to wake up to the systems that control them.


If you think back to the last century the Marxists/Communists/Socialists/Collectivists/Fascists (MCSCF) were not a big group.  They were a small group that began to grow in the early 1900s.

But, by the end of the 20th century the entire world was MCSCF.

It was just a small idea spread by people like Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, John Maynard Keynes, Donald Rumsfeld, George Soros, Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and the Bush Crime Family.  But it caught on like wildfire throughout the 20th century.

Murray Rothbard, the pioneer of the anarcho-capitalist movement, and as repeated by Walter Block, said, in the 1970s, “there are only six anarchists in the world”… and he further said that there were, maybe, “even 25 libertarians in the world”.

Murray probably couldn’t even have imagined how quickly that has grown.  The Ron Paul Revolution brought libertarianism to the fore in the last decade.  If you asked people 15 years ago if they knew what the word “libertarianism” meant, 98 percent would probably say they hadn’t heard of the word before.  The other 2 percent would be wrong.

Now, in the USSA, one of the most MCSCF countries on Earth, I’d say that number is closer to 50 percent.  Of course, half the population of the USSA is so dumbed down, fluoridated, publicly edumacated and mainstream media mind controlled that the other 50 percent is a lost cause anyway.

But the fact that 50 percent have some inkling of what libertarianism is (even though they probably don’t understand it) is a massive change that happened in record time.

In fact, it is happening so fast that a person like Walter Block, also known as Mr. Libertarian, is being confronted by numerous people for not being libertarian enough!  In fact, the biggest insult many of them can think of is, “You aren’t an anarcho-capitalist!”

Fifteen years ago no one knew what libertarianism was.  Now if you even say something that sounds somewhat un-libertarian you can be shunned by millions of people.

Rand Paul is being shunned by millions just because he isn’t perfectly libertarian in his actions and words.  This is a major development.

You can see my conversation with Walter Block on all these subjects here:

Things are happening fast.  What used to take a millennia or a century to develop can now happen, and is happening, in a matter of years or even months.

Want even more proof?  Watch this video of Barack O’Bomber that recently came out where he questions the grand majority of what the U.S. government is doing and even brings up the word “libertarian” in pointing it out:

O’Bomber certainly has never been known for being honest about his intentions.  And you may question why he is now saying that the entire War On Drugs is a disaster (even though he helped perpetuate it throughout his entire term)… and you can speculate on the reasons why he would do this.

But, what you can’t speculate on is the rise of libertarianism.  This movement that was once confined to Murray Rothbard, Wendy McElroy, Walter Block, Jeffrey Tucker, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, Ayn Rand and Alan “Sellout” Greenspan and a few other people in a Manhattan apartment is going global and fast.

Does this mean life will soon be nearly perfect, peaceful and prosperous?  Yes and no.  We still have to get through the collapse of the old MCSCF systems.  And it will be what I call The Great Transition.  It will be remembered by whoever survives as a time of great turmoil and change.

However, once we have gotten through that there is the potential for real hope and change.

One day soon, hopefully, married gay people will protect their medicinal cannabis crops with guns if they so choose… all without permission from the state.  Hopefully, instead of riots in Baltimore over the killing by armed, costumed thugs (police), an entrepreneur like Freddy Gray can get his flower products from the producers to the voluntary consumers in peace and build a respectable life around it rather than being deemed a criminal for it while the criminals who killed him go free and are lauded by a dumbed-down society.

Hopefully, one day soon, people treat each other as they would like to be treated.  An anarchist said something like that once a few thousand years ago, I think.  Although he was killed by the government… perhaps his time was too soon.  Or maybe it was not soon enough.

In the meantime, keep safe, prepare, spread the word and remember… Libertarianism is rising!

Jeff Berwick

The college education bubble is coming to its logical end

This past weekend, a grown, 30-year-old man shot his father over unhappiness with his allowance, according to reports from The Associated Press as reported at Zero Hedge.

While we rarely believe what we hear in the media, if this report is even slightly close to the truth, it is a sad commentary on how so many from the Millennial generation have been warped, indebted and destroyed by the very systems their fathers’ generation have been part of creating.

Tom Gilbert Jr., the son who reportedly shot his hedge fund-managing father over his allowance, had an economics degree from Princeton where he graduated in 2009.

According to the reports, he has since been jobless. This makes sense because he wasted four years of his life, and likely went into a large amount of debt, to “learn” useless communist style Keynesian economics.

There really aren’t all that many jobs out there for a person who knows less-than-nothing about economics. There are just a few jobs that require this level of ignorance of economics, and those include chairman of the Federal Reserve and lead economics writer of The New York Times. Both of those positions, as point of interest, are or were held by Princeton-“trained” economists. Ben Bernanke was the chairman of the Princeton economics department prior to selling his soul to the devil, and Paul Krugman is the most well-known “economist” currently at Princeton.

As a point of interest, even Bernanke admitted to Congress in 2012 that his own son will graduate from college with $400,000 in student loan debt. Luckily, his son didn’t take Keynesian economics but a much more valuable line of study in medicine (although many occupations in medicine are as fascist drug dealers of toxic pharmaceuticals including dangerous antidepressants, which Gilbert Jr. was reported to be on). And so there may be some job opportunities for him, and he may eventually crawl out from under his debt.

The student loan debt bubble that has dragged millions of the younger generation into unabsolvable (it cannot be negated in bankruptcy) debt in order to get mostly worthless pieces of paper was largely funded and championed by people like Bernanke and Krugman.

Krugman, in 2002, called for a housing bubble when he said, “To fight this recession the Fed needs… soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. [So] Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.”

Of course, that happened. And since the housing bubble collapsed, the focus has been on the college bubble to get people to spend four years of their lives getting mostly useless pieces of paper and going deeply into debt to “save the economy.” This has resulted in an explosion in student loan debt.


In fact, student loan debt — of which almost all of it, at now over $1.2 trillion — is held by the U.S. federal government has far surpassed the mortgage debt held by the government.


Student loan debt has now surpassed mortgage debt at the peak of the housing bubble in 2008.

Scarier is that only 56 percent of student loan debtors are currently making payments. Compare that to less than 10 percent of mortgagees who were delinquent when the housing bubble collapsed, and you can see this is a ticking time bomb.

Get out of school

It is bad enough that most people today waste 12 years of their youth in public indoctrination camps. But then to go and actually pay and go into debt for four more years is the height of ludicrousness for all but a small percentage of people who desire to work in certain specific and scientific fields (and even that is highly debatable as even places like MIT offer all their courses online for free).

In today’s age of the Internet, with all human knowledge literally in your pocket and freely accessible, there is absolutely no need for these anachronistic, multi-year schools where 90 percent of what most people “learn” (or, better, memorize) is quickly forgotten, as it is mostly useless.

Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that many things learned in school will be outdated by the time you graduate. Take, for example, journalism. There is simply no need to go for years of college to learn to be a journalist, and many of the things learned won’t be applicable by the time you finish. I spoke with Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change and Dan Dicks of Press for Truth on these very topics. They will be conducting a one-day seminar of Change Media University at Anarchapulco in February that costs $145 and will give you everything you need to know about being an investigative journalist and reporter in today’s digital age.

The entire concept of school is outdated. Dayna Martin, a leading expert in unschooling, will also be hosting a one-day seminar on how to raise creative, entrepreneurial and vibrant children by keeping them out of the school system altogether.

And also, recently, I spoke with Skinner Layne of Exosphere about how you never learn about being an entrepreneur in traditional schools. We spoke about why getting an MBA is a complete waste of time and won’t teach you anything about business.

Skinner and I will be holding a two-day Exobase workshop on entrepreneurialism at Anarchapulco, where you can get more in two days than you would in two years of “business school” and for just a few hundred dollars.

Most of the great thinkers and minds of our time never went to traditional school, and this is no accident — people like Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and Steve Jobs, just to name a few.

Perhaps 50 years ago going to a university and getting an MBA or a degree in economics had some value. But it simply does not anymore in today’s day and age — especially after people like Bernanke and Krugman have been a part of destroying the economy through central bank money printing and fasco-communism.

Don’t end up like Bernanke’s son with $400,000 in student loan debt or like 30-year-old Tom Gilbert Jr., who wasted his time getting a degree in economics at Princeton and ended up killing his father over an allowance that he felt entitled to.

Government intervention in the “higher education” sector has, like all government intervention, destroyed any value that it may have once had. Don’t fall for the trap and educate yourself. All information is now free. Who would have thought that all information in the world would be free and people would still be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars and going into massive debt to get it?

To reverse paraphrase Mr. T: Don’t be a fool, get out of traditional school.

–Jeff Berwick

Capital Controls And 200 Percent Price Rises in Ukraine — And Ukraine Is In Better Shape Than The U.S.!

In a TV address to a torn nation, Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, first implied heating prices would rise incrementally, and then later confirmed a plan to increase prices 100 percent in the next two years (and nearly 200 percent by 2017), as the cost of imported Russian gas is expected to rise to $500 from the current $84.

Not only did Ukrainians have the hard rug of the consequences of statism pulled out from underneath them, but the move was followed with tougher capital controls, which restricted cash purchases to $1,300 per person per day after the Central Bank said “amid a tense situation in money markets” it is now broke. (We covered a reported shipment of gold out of Ukraine a couple of weeks ago.)

The Ukraine Central Bank implements capital controls:

  • Sets limits on foreign currency purchases.
  • Limits purchasees to 15,000 Hryvnia per person per day ($1,300).
  • Ukraine central bank limit purchases to 150,000 Hryvnia per person per month ($13,000).

Oh, yeah, and they’re broke.

In a joint European Union/United States statement, the two powers said Ukraine “requires consolidation of all reform efforts.” The austerity measures came the day before it was announced Ukraine had “won” a $27 billion international financial credit line. From Reuters:

The International Monetary Fund announced a $14-18 billion standby credit for Kiev in return for tough economic reforms that will unlock further aid from the European Union, the United States and other lenders over two years, effectively pulling Kiev closer to Europe.

Russian gas prices are expected to increase for Ukraine, as Russia has grown less interested in providing Ukraine with gas subsidies. The International Monetary Fund stated one of its first goals would be “cleaning up Ukraine’s opaque energy giant Naftogaz, which imports gas from Russia’s Gazprom.” Naftogaz’s chief executive was arrested last week in the United States in a corruption probe.

A Comparison Of The Ukraine To The U.S.

Many Americans may think that tremendously rising prices and overt capital controls cannot happen in the United States. Let’s compare the total debt to gross domestic product of Ukraine, a country considered to be bankrupt, with the United States.

Dollar Vigilante graphic

That’s right. The U.S. has more than double the debt to GDP that Ukraine has.

How is it that there aren’t riots in the streets and a government in the U.S. on the verge of a collapse? Mostly, media and institutionalized brainwashing have, so far, limited the riots. As for a collapse of the U.S. government, the only thing keeping its entire evil empire functioning is a still widely accepted U.S. dollar.

And that is all changing dramatically now, too. Russia and China have made very vocal statements about their desire to stop using the U.S. dollar. Of course, many oil-producing countries such as Iraq and Libya wanted to also move off the petro dollar. We all know what happened there. And, the prince of peace, Barack O’Bomber, is currently in Saudi Arabia likely making threats and bribes to ensure they stay onside with the dollar.

In any case, the end of this gargantuan U.S. government and the U.S. dollar is nigh. With a debt of more than $17 trillion, all it would take is for interest rates to rise to 10 percent, and almost every penny of extorted money (taxes) that the U.S. government collects would go to interest payments on the debt alone.

During the 1970s, a similar time in history, interest rates were allowed to actually go to their market levels and topped out at 18 percent.

Dollar Vigilante graphic

That is why Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen must manipulate interest rates as low as possible for as long as possible. There is a massive amount of debt in the United States now, and even an interest rate of 5 percent would likely implode the entire financial system and the government itself.

Keeping rates near 0 percent and printing money via Quantitative Easing in order to fund the government will eventually lead to hyperinflation.

The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI)

All of the actions pertaining to the Ukraine today are all symptomatic of the end stages of TEOTMSAWKI.

The West has implemented numerous sanctions on Russia. Visa and MasterCard stopped providing services for payment transactions for clients at Bank Rossiya, due to U.S. sanctions; and Putin said last Thursday that Russia would develop its own credit card system.

It is all just rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, however, as far as the U.S. government and the U.S. dollar are concerned. The U.S. government is in much worse shape than Ukraine fiscally. And as the rest of the world begins to move away from the dollar, it will be game over for the current financial and monetary system in the United States.

Many Ukrainians with assets are probably wishing now that they had moved some assets into bitcoin, had purchased some precious metals and had them outside of their home country (see The Dollar Vigilante’s “Getting Your Gold Out Of Dodge”) and had opened a foreign bank account in a much less indebted and taxed region (as you can get from TDV Offshore).

Americans still have an opportunity to do all those things, but the doors are closing rapidly. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), coming into effect on July 1, will be the first major door to close. For that reason, if you still have a sizable amount of assets inside the United States or in any Western country, you should consider attending the Crisis Conference to find out how not to get Cyprused… or, now, Ukrained.

–Jeff Berwick

8 Real-World Events That Prove Your Money Isn’t Safe In Europe (Or Anywhere)

As I write this, the European Union has just announced a possible $15 billion aid package to Ukraine (including 8 billion euros in fresh credit). Everybody has read the headlines about Europe: record unemployment, no end in sight and so on. So you might be wondering just where the European Union, and its constituent nations, scrapped together the money to propose aid for the Ukraine. Well, wonder no more, because the following eight events might give you an idea of where governments go to get a little extra cash:

  1. In March 2009, Ireland seized 4 billion euros from its Pension Reserve fund in order to rescue its banks. In November 2010, the remaining savings of 2.5 billion euros was seized to support the bailout of the rest of the country.
  2. In December 2010, Hungary told its citizens that they could either remit their private pension money to the state or lose their state pension funds (but still have to pay for it nonetheless).
  3. In November 2010, the French parliament decided to earmark 33 billion euros from the national reserve pension fund FRR to reduce the short-term pension scheme deficit.
  4. In early January 2011, $60 million in private retirement funds were transferred to the state’s pension scheme in Bulgaria. They wanted to transfer $300 million, but were denied on their first attempt.
  5. In the spring of 2013, Cyprus took it a step further and outright confiscated up to 50 percent of the funds from bank account holders in that country.
  6. In the fall of 2013, the Polish government announced it would transfer to the state (a.k.a. confiscate) the bulk of assets owned by the country’s private pension funds (many of them owned by such foreign firms as PIMCO parent Allianz, AXA, Generali, ING and Aviva), without offering any compensation.
  7. In February, Italian banks were ordered by the Italian government to withhold a 20 percent tax on all inbound wire transfers. Il Sole 24 ORE reported (Google translated): “The deductions will be automatic (unless prior request for exclusion), and then it will be up to the taxpayer to prove that the money is not in the nature of compensation ‘income.’”
  8. The savings of all 500 million Europeans can be stolen by the European Union. Why? Because the financial crisis is not over, according to an EU document. The Commission is looking to ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of 2014 for advice on how to draft a law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing,” the document said.

So you see, European governments and institutions have already begun seizing private pension funds, slapping 20 percent taxes on all incoming wire transfers, confiscating up to 50 percent from private bank accounts and even stating all the savings of Europe are fair game. As Dollar Vigilante has said before, this phenomenon of wealth confiscation won’t stay confined to Europe. The United States has also taken measures to ensure ease of access to the funds of everyday Americans. 

Note from the Editor: Hyperinflation is becoming more visible every day—just notice the next time you shop for groceries. All signs say America’s economic recovery is expected to take a nose dive and before it gets any worse you should read The Uncensored Survivalist. This book contains sensible advice on how to avoid total financial devastation and how to survive on your own if necessary. Click here for your free copy.

Dollar Vigilante has said for many years now that the U.S. government and almost all Western governments are bankrupt. This means they will try to confiscate as much wealth as possible from people who don’t carefully save before the collapse. Mark our words: U.S. 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts will be nationalized in the next four years as well — maybe as soon as the next one or two years. If you’ve stayed in tune with the Dollar Vigilante blog, you probably already understood this. If you haven’t already, be sure to check into Dollar Vigilante’s subscription services to gain access to the intelligence you need to stay ahead of the pack.

–Jeff Berwick

The Coming Eastern Bailout And What Tensions In Ukraine Mean For You

The geopolitical stakes in Ukraine have brought us to a quasi Cold War redux, as Western powers the European Union and the United States have made it clear their intention to “support” (read: meddle in) Ukraine. In the meantime, Russia has sent troops to the border of Ukraine in what are being called exercises.

Turkey is experiencing protests and violence due to corruption by the government, and Venezuela is also experiencing protests and violence. The “global political awakening” has gone hot on multiple continents.

Although one week ago mainstream press worldwide spoke about Ukraine as if it were in the midst of a popular uprising, a different picture has become clearer, as communist and fascist sympathizers seem poised to gain the most out of the chaos. “Conspiracy” aside, it is a no-brainer that major powers can have the most influence in these sorts of situations, and we are seeing this develop. Already, European-style bank policies are being implemented in the unstable region.

Seven percent of deposits were drained from Ukrainian banks last week amid bloody clashes between diverse protesters and the state. Now, in a bid to “protect savings,” Ukraine is mulling restricting cash withdrawals as reports of pending default loom.

Withdrawals peaked at 30 billion hrynias ($3.1 billion) from Feb. 18-30 as police and anti-government demonstrators fought in the center of Kiev. The interim government has told the world Ukraine is bankrupt and seeks $35 billion in financial aid.

In other words, Ukraine is going to the highest bidder, and the European Union, United States and Russia will guarantee the funds. The EU won’t be able to match Russia’s standing offers, but an alliance between the United States and European Union could certainly bring Ukraine further under EU influence. On the year, the hryvnia is down 16 percent.

The International Monetary Fund is already ready to move in. Managing Director Christine LaGarde told Stanford University students in California: “We are ready to engage… We will probably shortly send some technical assistance support to the country because this is our duty to a member, if that member asks,” which is “clearly what is likely to happen.”

Ukraine remains on the brink of default without “significantly favorable changes” in its political crisis, according to Standard & Poor’s on Feb. 21. It cut the nation’s credit rating to CCC — eight levels short of investment grade.

As Ukraine picks its new government, Russia has apparently ordered tests of its combat readiness in the central and western parts of Russia. Protests in Ukraine ultimately led to the disposal of Russian-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych. Russia has pledged to protect “the health and life of [its] compatriots.” The Russia foreign minister has warned the United States and European Union to stay out of Ukrainian affairs, as media the world over highlights U.S. and EU interference in Ukraine and their potential support of far-right, neo-Nazi groups. “It is dangerous and counterproductive to try to force upon the Ukraine a choice on the principle ‘you are either with us or against us,” Lavrov told a Moscow news conference.

Moscow has already stopped a bailout package he reached with Yanukovych for refusing closer ties to Europe.

The United States and the European Union have been quick to pledge support. U.S. taxpayers are in the dark about what’s going on, so they won’t get the chance to approve or disapprove. Plus, they are used to funding brooding totalitarian states the world over. In fact, it might just be so that the hardworking people of Detroit, recently bankrupted, are chomping at the bit to send money to Russia’s borders and invest in infrastructure, education and science (read: bribe corrupt politicians).

On the ground in Ukraine, this will appear as a devaluation of the country’s currency and privatization by EU and U.S. interests of Ukrainian agricultural land. A push to bring Ukraine into the beleaguered EU will recommence, and Germans eventually will be the direct lifeline to Ukraine. As the second-largest nation on the continent, Ukraine will be tall order for Western nations to prop up. And with Russian troops amassing on the border, tensions akin to the Cold War have reared their ugly head. Talks have already swelled regarding Ukraine joining NATO, which would bring a U.S.-steered world organization to Russia’s border. What’s likely is Western nations will now prepare to aid Ukraine. Some combination of Americans, Europeans and Russians will pay for it.

If Ukraine moves closer to the European Union, this will result in a power shift in the EU, favoring nations like Poland and the Czech Republic. Partly for this reason, I am currently en route to the Czech Republic, looking into new opportunities during the turbulence. The events unfolding in Ukraine now just go to show the importance of having a second passport when the SHTF. If you want to stay up to date on global economic change, read The Dollar Vigilante.

–Jeff Berwick

European Endgame: All Italians ‘Money Launderers Until Proven Innocent’

The news is pouring in: After .1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, Italy’s recovery has begun. (That 2012 $600 billion bailout clearly worked for Italy.)

But this .1 percent growth might not be enough to put the minds of politicians at ease. Another less reported Italian-based event has taken place in the shadows.

The European Union and its constituent nation-states are scrambling to get all of the pieces in place before collapse. Cyprus made headlines nearly one year ago when it enacted a bail-in against savers. I reported last week’s revelation of savings confiscation in Europe. One main point of each article was that this is not the end. This will only continue, and what’s likely is it is coming to your nation soon.

The most recent revelation of eurozone wealth confiscation: Italian banks have been ordered by the Italian government to withhold a 20 percent tax on all inbound wire transfers. This is retroactive to Feb. 1. Il Sole 24 ORE reports (Google translated): “The deductions will be automatic (unless prior request for exclusion), and then it will be up to the taxpayer to prove that the money is not in the nature of compensation ‘income.’”

As Zero Hedge puts it, “[A]ll Italians are money launderers unless proven innocent.”

Some more details from Zero Hedge:

… the collection is the result of the decision to consider any transfer from abroad and directed to an individual Italian, as a component of taxable income, subject to proof to the contrary, which must be date the taxpayer receives the sum on your account. However, the first payments to the Treasury by intermediaries (mainly banks) will be performed July 16, so that the deemed payment accrued from February 1 until June 30 (and therefore set aside and with interest). Next, you will pay the withholding every 16th of the month following the effective perception of the sum. In fact, all taxpayers who receive a transfer from abroad on their personal account — and not professional or business — will be applied to the deduction, as an advance which will then be computed in the annual tax return.

But does any of this even matter? We see government after government imposing impossible taxation on its people. What is happening all over the world, including in Italy, is that more and more people — in particular, the wealthy ones — are moving their bank accounts into friendlier jurisdictions (Italian businesses are fleeing like refugees), eurozone or not. Some will cease accepting wire transfers, and others will accept payment in bitcoin and/or precious metals.

All that will happen is that the Italian government will receive less money over time because less money will flow into Italy. But it is essential that people look into offshoring their savings. You don’t want to be caught up in the government dragnet.

Italy’s main concern seems to be income payments in the form of bank transfers. Since the tax comes first, the Italians will face quite a battle explaining the origin of every inbound money transfer and whether it is in accordance with the law. The Italian government is now viewing all money an individual receives from outside the country as income. As anyone with an iota of business experience knows, this is rarely the case.

Europe has chosen a financial nuclear bomb for its continent: the overt confiscation of savings, debilitating taxes, a government-induced depression. Other continents will follow. Are you going to be burned by the fallout? That decision, for now, is yours to make. But not for long.

Knowing full well the trajectory on which the European Union finds itself, I started not only TDV Spain, but also TDV Germany. At these websites you can receive cutting edge information on The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) from European perspectives. Also, in our coming subscription newsletter, we will include the inside perspective of someone who lived in Italy but saw the writing on the wall and moved to Acapulco, Mexico.

Not only can these publications help you prepare, but so can TDV Offshore. Time is running out. We’ve been brought to beyond the pale at the barrel of a gun.

If Europeans don’t get their assets into hard assets (and other alternative assets) and outside the eurozone in the next few months, they risk losing everything.

–Jeff Berwick

Are You Prepared For A U.S. Bank Bail-In?

If you have cash in a U.S. bank, you can expect to have the Federal government take it all the next time U.S. banks find themselves in trouble.

The days of the Federal government’s stealing money from taxpayers or borrowing it from the Federal Reserve to save troubled banks — as in it did in the 2008 crisis — may be over. Congress is considering imitating the theft in Cyprus and letting troubled banks “bail in” depositor money in order to make themselves solvent.

Jim Sinclair, chairman and CEO of Tanzania Royalty Exploration Corp., and whose family started Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers, and others, has been warning of this for a while:

Bail-ins are coming to North America without any doubt, and will be remembered as the “Great Leveling,” of the “Great Flushing.” Not only can it happen here, but it will happen here… It stands on legal grounds by legal precedent both (sic) in the U.S., Canada and the UK.”

Financial expert Michael Snyder said: “When major banks fail, they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the Western world.”

This news isn’t exactly new, but the story is still developing. The monetary system is much closer to collapse, and the bail-in is imminent. In fact, U.S. banks presented the Federal Reserve with a bail-in plan to pay for large banks’ restructuring in the event of a future crisis, The Wall Street Journal reports. The plan was presented to the Federal Reserve in an attempt to preempt tougher rules from the regulators.

The private meeting was reportedly attended by officials from Wells Fargo & Company, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and several other banks. The bail-in mechanism would be designed to place a greater burden on creditors, as opposed to the taxpayers (theft victims), in the event of a bank’s collapse. In addition to the fleecing of depositors in Cyprus, the burden keeping a bank afloat was put on bondholders already this year when the U.K.’s Co-operative bank unveiled a rescue package that forced the bank’s bondholders to take a  £1.5 billion hit to plug the  £1.5 billion hole in the bank’s balance sheet.

The proposal presented to Federal Reserve officials would involve the largest financial services holding companies holding a certain amount of debt and equity, which would be used to prop up any failed bank subsidiary seized by regulators. But the regulators will likely stick to their own plan, which involves more aggressive measures, including capping bank size, breaking up institutions or forcing banks to take on more long-term debt.

In the end, however, it’s not just creditors who will be on the hook but depositors as well. Sinclair pointed out that banks legally own depositors’ funds as soon as the depositors hand those funds over to the banks. The money becomes the banks’, and the “depositors” actually become unsecured creditors holding promises to pay. Previously, the banks were obligated to pay back this loan on demand with cash. Under the new Federal Deposit Insurance Company – Bank of England (FDIC-BOE) plan revealed this year, however, these promises to pay become equity in the bank, which won’t be able to be used as payments for bills, which is why most people have money in the bank in the first place.

The point is that your money is not yours while it is “deposited” with a bank. And bail-ins are coming to shatter any illusion that it is for U.S. depositors. Notice that banks are already setting up deposits for seizure. Despite the excuses of the likes of JPMorgan, the banks are indeed clamping down on outgoing international wire transfers and now putting in limits for withdrawal. If you don’t get your money out now, possibly by end of this year or sooner, you may not be able ever to get it out. Once doors are closed, the Federal government might do a bank holiday and bail in to make the banks “solvent” again. At best, you may get some “bank equity” that is both illiquid and which will ultimately be worth a tiny fraction of the deposit it replaces.

And when the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) comes into effect in July, it will be nearly impossible for an American to get a bank account outside the United States. (It already is, but it will be even worse.) Now is the time to get your assets in an offshore account and The Dollar Vigilante can help. Click here to learn more about how with TDV Offshore.

–Jeff Berwick

The Top 10 Ways The U.S. Government Shutdown Will Affect You Today

The stroke of midnight passed, and the U.S. government turned into a pumpkin. Well, we wish. In fact, the U.S. government, like some eternal zombie, continues to walk the Earth even without the souls of taxpayers upon which to feast. And even that isn’t totally true. Like any zombie, it still collects the blood of its victims (taxes) even while most of its zombie army (Federal government employees) sit at home on a paid vacation; and most of its oppressive “services” continue on, like the CIA; the National Security Agency; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Agency; the executive branch, the police and more.

But just for our pleasure, let’s imagine that all government in the United States really shut down (which it will in the coming years as the U.S. dollar collapses).

Here, then, is our top 10 list of ways a theoretical shutdown of the U.S. government would affect you in that event. And we include a few ways the current pseudo-shutdown will also affect you. (Hint: It’s better.)

1. No more taxes! One of the things that have most shocked me in my life is hearing someone like Ron Paul, who ran in the last Presidential election, saying, “Shut down the IRS” and knowing most American sheeple actually think he is crazy. Through decades of public school indoctrination and mainstream media, propaganda slaves in the United States actually think taxation is just a part of life. Of course, one of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States (which was actually just a political coup) is famous for saying: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except for death and taxes.” In reality, taxes aren’t a fact of life and are solely extortion. Imagine how much your life would change if your government did shut down and you were free to spend your own money as you choose.

2. No more democracy!  If the U.S. government were to truly shut down, it would mean an end to the vile scourge of democracy which is purely mob rule and, at its core, anti-freedom. To see the absurdity of democracy, imagine if a restaurant were democratic. Someone already has.

3. No more regulation! Imagine if a child could open a lemonade stand again in the United States without being arrested.

4. No more drug war! All of a sudden, all items could be freely tradable. (Well, they already are –especially on Silk Road.) But without government prohibition, all gangs in the United States and the rest of the world would evaporate and just become real businesses with real recourse in disputes besides shootouts. Crime would be reduced around the world by more than 70 percent and millions of nonviolent people convicted of victimless crimes would be freed from dungeons (jail). The biggest victims would be shows like “Breaking Bad” and “The Wire,” which wouldn’t be necessary anymore.

5. No more borders! Labor could finally go to where it is wanted and needed without being held hostage. The economy could once again function normally without coercion and violence. And things like minimum wage would also fall by the wayside, thus reducing the unemployment rate to at or near 0 percent into eternity.

6. No more Federal Reserve! Without a violence-backed system, the Federal Reserve would have to compete with other currency providers. Quickly, the market would decide on much better currencies than Federal Reserve notes (like gold, silver, bitcoin and others). There would be no more recessions or depressions, and the living standards of all people would rise dramatically.

7. No more violence-backed U.S. Postal Service!  People throughout the geographic region known as the United States would not have to pay at gunpoint to receive junk mail in an age where sending parcels with private companies and sending information electronically has made it obsolete to rely on government union employees, who often go insane and shoot their co-workers.

8. No visitation to places of state worship! The first seven items in this list were obviously just hopes and not reality. None of that will happen. The final three items on this list are actually happening, though, including this one. As of Tuesday, state-loving people will not be able to visit their places of worship, including the Washington Phallic Monument and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (where now-caged Adam Kokesh tried dancing last year to celebrate Jefferson’s message of freedom and was arrested). As for national parks, they are “closed,” but that is just a sign you see on your way into the park. The park isn’t closed; this shutdown just means you are given a reprieve from being harassed by national parks goons who will accost you for drinking a beer in nature.

9. No more gun permission! This, unfortunately, is also true as of Tuesday. The U.S. government will not be selectively giving out permission (permits) to own a gun. And when we say “unfortunately,” we mean that it is unfortunate that you are required to get permission from the U.S. government to own a gun.

10. No more permission to travel! This, also, is true. You will not be able to get permission to travel from your overlords (called a passport — or, as we call it, a slave card) while the government is shut down. Again, like in No. 9, we see this as being sad because individuals have devolved to the point that they need permission to even move. Notice that two of the three real things that affect you today in this list are an inability to purchase self-protection devices and to travel. (And they are the reasons why we admonish those who can to get a foreign passport before they close the gates on the U.S. tax farm for good.)

Still worried about a government closure? Sign up to The Dollar Vigilante’s daily blog in order to be updated on why you should not only not be worried about a true shuttering of the Federal government but should be hoping and preparing for it.

–Jeff Berwick

Do Not Buy The Obama iPhone 5nSa

Since I’ve upgraded to the new Samsung Galaxy S4, I have never understood why anyone would want an iPhone, but that is beside the point. And I do realize many people are Apple fanatics. But here is a very urgent warning about why you should not buy the iPhone 5S or even upgrade to iOS 7.

I have been shocked that people are waiting in line for what is essentially barely an upgrade with no major benefits. The biggest change is cosmetic; instead of white, it is now the color gold. That brings to mind the disconnect most modern minds have between the color gold and the real thing. Today, Olympic gold medals have almost no gold in them and people proudly show off their “gold” credit cards as a prestige symbol when all it is is a fiat currency debt card colored gold.

Of course, most of those waiting in line are actually homeless people who were paid by someone to stand in line. But it is still strange to see.

An excellent video of the actual prospective purchasers (as far as we can tell) waiting in line for days or weeks for this new phone can be seen here, including a man sleeping with his head in a plastic bag.

It does smell mostly of marketing (possibly even paid for in part by Apple and the U.S. government), as many of the people waiting in line are the aforementioned homeless people being paid to wait in line — along with a smattering of apparently insane people.

That Apple and the U.S. government are in cahoots has already been proven by Edward Snowden and the proof has been published in The Guardian:

The first — and best known — is Prism, a system allowing the NSA easy access to the personal information of non-US persons from the databases of some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Later, it emerged Microsoft had worked to circumvent its own encryption to enable NSA access to customer records.

So it is not out of the realm of possibilities that this is a National Security Agency-sponsored event.

There are only two other changes that I can see in the iPhone 5S, aside from the new gold color. This version has a faster processor and it has a fingerprint scanner that can and most likely will send your details directly to the NSA, CIA and U.S. government.

A faster processor is always nice, but that’s literally the only real improvement. The scanner that’s being touted as an improvement is actually just a way for a crony corporatist organization to pass along your online activities and whereabouts to a fascistic government. You have to love these slaves, lining up to be fingerprinted.

The best video we’ve seen on the new iPhone 5N(S)A is here:

And then we saw this. Outside of many Apple stores, New York’s best and finest (ahem), the New York Police Department, were handing out this flyer.


We hope this is not real, but the fact that “avaialble” was misspelled does seem to add credence to it being real — especially with U.S. police departments actually having a policy of hiring people with low IQs.

The Top Information Post reports that numerous people have received this brochure from NYPD.


If it is true, it is amazing that the new iPhone, which for all intents and purposes just takes your fingerprints and uploads them to government databases, has the New York police handing out brochures saying to upgrade to iOS 7.

If you ever needed a wake-up call to the fasco-communist police state of America, this should be one. If you insist on sticking around within U.S. borders as the surveillance state puts on the finishing touches, then at least arm yourselves with the actionable advice to help you cope with it and live as free as possible by signing up for TDV Homegrown. Click here to learn more about that.

If you’ve had enough and are ready to get out, make sure to take that vital extra step in diversifying your geopolitical risks by getting a citizenship and passport with a nation-state that isn’t obsessed with tracking you and your activities and taxing you no matter where go.

–Jeff Berwick

The Re-Education Of Lauryn Hill

Ready or not, Lauryn Hill of Fugees fame has found herself sentenced to three months in a cage for extortion evasion. The extortionists call it “tax evasion,” but calling it by another name doesn’t change what it really is.

This sort of harassment and kidnapping is fairly par for the course in the USSA, of course. Just ask Wesley Snipes or Willie Nelson. But there is a new twist this time around. The tax-funded judge ordered that Hill undergo psychiatric care in what amounts to brainwashing and re-education. Why? Apparently, it’s simply for publicly proclaiming the fact that the music industry is designed to strangle true talent while promoting mindless drivel.

Let’s just take a look at some of Hill’s lyrics and compare them to some of the top Illuminati symbol-flashing pop stars in her genre today to see if perhaps she has a point. From “Mystery of Iniquity”:

Ya’ll can’t handle the truth in a courtroom of lies
Perjures the jurors
Witness despised
Crooked lawyers
False Indictments publicized
It’s entertainment…the arraignments
The subpoenas
High profile gladiators in bloodthirsty arenas
Enter the Dragon
Black-robe crooked-balance
Souls bought and sold and paroled for thirty talents
Court reporter catch the surface on the paper
File it in the system not acknowledged by the Maker
Swearing by the Bible blatantly blasphemous
Publicly perpetrating that “In God We Trust”
Cross-examined by a master manipulator
The faster intimidator
Receiving the judge’s favor
Deceiving sabers doing injury to they neighbors
For status, gratis, apparatus and legal waivers
See the bailiff
Representing security
Holding the word of God soliciting perjury
The prosecution
Political prostitution
The more money you pay… the further away solution

Now, let’s look at some of her modern-day peer group. Here are some lyrics to “I’m the Best” by Nicki Minaj:

I hear they coming for me.
Because the top is lonely.
What the fuck they gon say?
What the fuck they gon say?
I’m the best bitch doing it,
I’m the best bitch doing it.
I’m the be be best.
I am the Best!
Eh, Eh, it’s okay.
It’s okay.
Long as you know,
Long as you know,
Long as you mothafuckin know, I am the best best best best. I’m the best best best best…

OK. Maybe that is just one small example. Let’s look at one of Beyoncé’s latest hits, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”:

I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips
Hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans
Acting up, drink in my cup
I could care less what you think
I need no permission, did I mention
Don’t pay him any attention
‘Cause you had your turn
And now you gonna learn
What it really feels like to miss me

‘Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
‘Cause if you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it
Wuh uh oh uh uh oh oh uh oh uh uh oh
Wuh uh oh uh uh oh oh uh oh uh uh oh

‘Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
‘Cause if you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it
Wuh uh oh uh uh oh oh uh oh uh uh oh
Wuh uh oh uh uh oh oh uh oh uh uh oh

I think Hill might have a point.

The Re-Education Of Lauryn Hill

Ironically, Hill released her album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1998. Today, in the United States, Hill is about to be forcibly re-educated.

Her crime? Believing in “conspiracy theories” that the music industry pushes out people like her who try to speak about the truth in favor of those like Minaj and Beyoncé above. Whether she is correct isn’t the point, however.

The point is that the United States has begun “re-educating” countless people for any belief that doesn’t jibe with what is pushed out by the mainstream presstitute propaganda machine. Brandon Raub was kidnapped for doing just that and sent to be re-educated.

The term “re-education camp” was the official title given to the prison camps operated by the government of Vietnam following the end of the Vietnam War. In such re-education camps, the government imprisoned several hundred thousand former military officers and government workers from the former regime of South Vietnam. Re-education, as it was implemented in Vietnam, was seen as both a means of revenge and a sophisticated technique of repression and indoctrination.

We’ll have to see how outspoken Hill is after her internment. If she tones down her lyrics and contempt for the fascistic music industry, then it will be clear she has been repressed, broken and — to take play on a line from her most famous cover song — she has been killed softly because of her songs.

Get Out

The chorus one of Hill’s 2002 songs, “I Get Out,” states:

I get out, I get out of all your boxes
I get out, you can’t hold me in these chains

Unfortunately for Hill, she didn’t realize she should literally get out long ago. Artists, more than most, have the ability to easily escape slavery in the United States. If she had been a The Dollar Vigilante reader years ago, she would have realized that she should have become a citizen of another country like St. Kitts, the Dominican Republic or Paraguay without re-education camps and with no taxes that apply to her work and lived the Permanent Traveller/Prior Taxpayer (PT) lifestyle that we promote. As an artist who is regularly touring, it would have been incredibly easy to do.

She would have saved millions of dollars in extortion payments. And no matter what she said about the U.S. music industry, it is quite doubtful that the governments of places like the Dominican Republic or Paraguay would find her statements cause for psychiatric internment.

Unfortunately, Hill is learning all of this too late. She probably never heard of options like this from her financial adviser or manager. It’s too bad. But you don’t have to make the same mistake.

If you have the capability, we suggest you look at your options to get out now from one of the most dangerous and oppressive countries on Earth, the United States.