HOW MUCH GOLD DOES THE U.S. REALLY OWN AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST US?

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Two weeks ago we published an interesting article regarding the situation where the U.S. may or may not have enough gold to back our new U.S. currency when it debuts on the international financial marketplace. The United States Federal Reserve Note is soon to be history and it’s only a matter of time before it is replaced with a new U.S. currency that will have to be gold backed.

We received many positive responses regarding the article one of which was from a former client who works in the international institutional banking industry, which is completely different than the commercial banking industry we have become used to here in the U.S. These are the organizations that deal in assets with banking institutions that fund national central banks all around the world. These are the entities that own the real assets of the world, not the green backed paper with the ink that’s printed on it that we trade here in the West and call value.

Rita and I hadn’t spoken with each other for some time but she said she liked my article and it felt like old times. A mutual friend had sent the link of my blog to her. Back in the good ol’ days I used to tease Rita and call her “Lovely Rita meter maid” because she was a very lovely lady. She still is and very bright, a well educated woman who has always been very supportive of my writing. But this time she said there was “a problem” with some of the information I had provided. She zeroed in on the amount of gold I claimed the United States government claimed it owned. I thought the focus of her response to be odd since I had researched my information impeccably, but it was right at the center of what my article was about and I had to respect it. She was very succinct in what she said.

Regarding the actual amounts of gold in the United States I wrote that, “America claims to hold 8,133.5 tons of physical gold in its official reserves.” The disagreement my former client has with this figure is that she believes it is actually much lower. “I think the total amount is not the massive amount quoted with the real figure being far below the quoted figure,” Rita writes.

It is a fair response and I know Rita knows exactly of what she speaks. She’s been working the international financial industry game a long time, much of her time these days spent dealing with computers, financial documents, attorneys, banking officials, and members of international law enforcement. She’s precise with her work and provides specific statistics.

The problem is there is one factor that no one appears to have caught on to, Rita writes. “That is that the World Gold Council has stated that there have only been about 165,000 MT (metric tons) of the precious metal ever produced.”

That “official” figure had oddly grown since 2010 in amounts that make no historical sense. “Back in 2010 the figure was 135,000 MT (metric tons), so there is a 30,000 MT addition in 8 years which practically is just not possible because all the gold mines in the world cannot produce that much gold in 8 years, which is 3,750 MT per year,” Rita writes.

Rita is an international banking and precious metals expert and I trust her experience and reasoning for the steep increase in physical gold in U.S. possession. She’s saying that somehow Uncle Sam obtained it illegally. “Therefore I can only assume that the US is adding in some of the gold that they have stolen,” she writes. “In which case the real figure for the U.S. gold holdings is likely to be somewhere between 1,000 MT and 1,500 MT, if that.”

There are several disturbing prospects raised by Rita the first of which is that if she is correct, and the U.S. does in fact only have 1,000 MT to 1,500 MT of gold, then how does that figure suddenly rise to the 8,133.5 tons of gold I cited in my article? That’s the official figure. Or is the officially stated 8,133.5 MT figure a lie?

Rita writes that, “Russia and China are snapping up everything sold by the global legal bullion Markets, so the big question is, ‘Where has the United States suddenly got their gold from?????'”

DO WE HAVE THE GOLD OR DON’T WE?

If it’s true, that America has dramatically increased our amounts of gold assets, beyond the gold industry production capabilities, then how did we do that?

Rita says it’s obvious that we stole it from her clients. She sites specific U.S. military assets as being used in the transporting process. “We have calculated a loss of 1.2 million MT of gold from my clients’ banks,” Rita writes, “which we have traced as having been stolen by American interests, and shipped out … by U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Air Force C17 and C130 aircraft.”

Rita sites specific instances of United States government agents in the U.S. military as being responsible for stealing American gold from other countries around the world, particularly Asia and Europe, and bringing it back to American soil (or elsewhere). She also says we steal gold out of South America, The Middle East, and Africa. She says it’s been going on for a long time.

Which of course brings us back to: How much gold does America really have? Do we have enough gold to back a new currency to replace the Federal Reserve Note? If not, where are we going to get it from since the U.S. dollar is being replaced globally, and other countries aren’t going to sell us valuable assets like gold for worthless paper?

And if we do have enough gold to back a new U.S. currency, how did we get it? How much did we pay for it? Do we have receipts? Or did we steal it? And if so, wouldn’t we have to pay it back?

WHO’S GOING TO PAY WHOM FOR WHAT GOLD?

The number repeatedly stated by the government and media for the U.S. national debt is $21 trillion. Who is going to pay that off when the U.S. dollar crashes?

Michigan State University economist Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), claim that another $21 trillion has come up missing from audits of HUD and the Department of Defense (DOD). That’s another $21 trillion in debt our children and our children’s children are never going to be able to repay.

That’s $42 trillion of debt that we know America owes and then if we have to pay for the gold that Rita says was stolen by our government, how much would that cost us? How much would the interest alone be? To whom would we have to pay it back? And does that mean our families are going to be indentured servants in perpetuity?

 

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TIL DIVORCE DO US PART: AMERICANS BORROW RECORD $3.5 BILLION FOR WEDDINGS IN 2017

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Alright the stats are in, and they’re mind-boggling. American adults never cease to amaze me in this kind of stuff. Here, more than one million borrowed money last year to pull off their dream wedding. The average amount borrowed to cover the costs was $3,082. To put this into greater perspective, out of 126 million American adults, last year more than one million (1.13 million to be exact) got married. And they borrowed a lot of debt to do it.

U.S. couples borrowed $3.48 billion for weddings in 2017. Most of the couples turned to credit cards or personal loans to finance their nuptials, an article on Finder.com says. Additionally, one in five (21.4%) U.S. adults borrowed cash from family and friends over the past year in order to see their wedding dreams fulfilled.

DON’T BORROW MONEY TO GET DIVORCED

Why bother? is what I ask. Family and friends are cash strapped as well. You don’t need to create the personal stress on a good relationship. Odds are you’re going to end up coming to see us for a divorce sooner or later anyway, so save your friends, your family, and your money for a rainy day. Invest in gold coins. Don’t go into debt over something unless there’s a greater return and a positive cash flow.

I’ve been telling clients for years that all marriages end up in either divorce or death, so what was your rush in this down-turning economy? “Fifty percent of those who get married end up in divorce,” I would say.

Well, I was told I was wrong on that one. I did the research, and okay, maybe I was a off by a few percentage points. It appears the divorce rate may actually be on the decline, but there could be many factors attributable to that like maybe the fact that the marriage rate is declining as well. However, considering all factors, I believe what Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., author, and expert on single people, says regarding the chances that a marriage will end in divorce. According to DePaulo, the divorce expectation rate for those of us who are presently married is probably somewhere between 42 and 45 percent.

In PsychologyToday.com DePaulo cites a 2014 New York Times article reviewing the national divorce rate. “It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce,” Claire Cain Miller wrote in that article. “It has not been for some time.”

BUT AGAIN, WHY BORROW AT A 55% TO 58% CHANCE OF SUCCESS?

Might as well just flip a coin then. Will we stay married … or won’t we? Heads you win, tails I lose. Do the math. Is it worth getting yourself in deeper debt to contractually bind you to a legal relationship that will end at some point anyway? Death or divorce, choose your weapon.

Right now the financial experts are telling us that the financial system is reaching crisis proportion. We’re being told to save as best as we can and to invest in real assets. We’re being told that the U.S. dollar as a paper currency is going to disappear; that we’re turning into a digital currency society. Experts predict, and financial trends indicate, we’re going to experience a severe credit freeze with banks. On top of all that, some of us are thinking of borrowing money to get married? Are we crazy? Are we American?

Good luck.

For those who must do it now, before it’s too late, there are sympathetic ears and advice. Blair Donovan writes for brides.com, giving some ideas about borrowing money for your wedding.

“First, assess the average loan period you are capable of in order to repay your debt on time,” Donovan writes. “Next, evaluate what the most reasonable interest rate might be. A higher interest rate may seem less daunting if your payoff period is short, as in the case of payday loans. However, if you need several months or years to pay back what you owe then a lesser interest rate may be the most sensible option to cover your wedding day expenses.” Or….

You can get married without borrowing. Have the wedding in a national forest with three witnesses, a minister, and a portable hot tub. Much less expensive without the bar tab and no room for in-laws in the tub. Or …

Forget about getting married, save the money, invest it wisely in undervalued assets, and just be friends. Dutch Treat worked great in the 90s, and it’d work just fine for the two of you heading into the Roaring 20s.

PROPERTY DIVISION IN DIVORCE IS ABOUT ASSET PRESERVATION

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One of the primary issues a family law specialist deals with in divorce is helping his or her clients resolve their financial issues.  An experienced family law attorney can help you not only divide your property and assets, but your debt and liabilities as well.  A divorce attorney will utilize the best methods to put your entire family in the best financial position possible as you move forward into unfamiliar post-divorce territory.

Sometimes the community possesses complicated financial assets, like investment and retirement accounts or stock options, and a forensic accountant might be brought in to help analyze, value, and divide your property.  A forensic accountant can help unravel the essential financial formulas that might affect not only the division of community assets, but also child support and spousal support.  Forensic accountants can be expensive, however, and they’re not right for all divorces.  In a divorce case, a little common sense can go a long way when it comes to dividing community property.  The key is to think about how you’re going to preserve what you have in this dramatically volatile economic environment we live in.

My belief is that we are in the middle of the greatest economic free fall that we’ve ever experienced in this country during my lifetime.  The United States Congress says that the U.S. dollar has lost 96% percent of its value since its inception in 1913.  Some economists say that we are in the middle of witnessing 90% percent of the global wealth changing hands of ownership.  Whose hands are your wealth going into?  Will you and your family have anything left?

The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, which is what we live and eat on, is down to an all time low, so low, in fact, that the U.S. Congress is contemplating bringing back the gold standard to back it.  At this time, more than ever, income, expenses, assets, debts, savings, and investments, should all be at the forefront of the minds of family law attorneys helping you divide your community assets in a divorce.  If you as a divorcing spouse aren’t considering your personal state of financial affairs, as it relates to your family’s future financial reality, and the value of the assets that you can take with you in your split, you could be in for some major surprises and disappointment.

TRUE INVESTMENT CAPITAL ONLY COMES FROM SAVINGS

Unemployment in this country is at an all time high.  Even if you have a job, inflation affecting everything you buy probably keeps you from being able to actually save money.  One of the greatest issues for family law attorneys in dealing with divorce is financial disagreement between the spouses, which is compounded by the fact spouses just aren’t saving enough in real value, so they end up fighting each other tooth-and-nail to squeeze every ounce of wealth they can out of whatever community asset they have left.  So be it for inflated assets.  Sets of silverware are being split down the middle because divorcing spouses have not been saving.  They’ve barely considered the true valuation of their assets up to this point in their lives.

Savings are important because they form the cash cushion that gets us through difficult economic times.  We get the best value out of our assets by saving for them first.  A lack of savings is one of the major problems we face not only as individuals but as a country during these economically challenging times.  Economic researcher Chris Martenson, PhD, MBA, says that savings are important nationally because they are utilized for the formation of investment capital; that is, the property, plant and equipment that create actual future wealth.

Same thing applies to spouses in a marriage.  If you are going to want to be able to invest in the “property, plant and equipment” of your future, so you  have some future wealth to be able to preserve for your family, without having a giant debt load attached to it, you’re going to have to save for it first.  True investment capital can only come from savings.

INDIVIDUAL’S SAVINGS RATES AT ALL TIME LOW

According to Martenson, savings rates have plunged to historic lows, “levels last associated with the Great Depression.”  Martenson says the personal American savings rate has steadily declined in America since 1985 to the present.  The decline we have experienced as a country and as individuals has resulted from “a culmination of a multi-decade erosion of savings as a cultural attribute of American citizens,” Martenson says.  Now, many of you are realizing this in your own lives, where you’re having problems making ends meet on a week-to-week basis, with nary the time nor thought given toward investing in yours or your children’s futures.  The truth is, you can barely deal with financing the now.  And you’ve probably got a lot of debt to go with it.

Martenson, a futurist and co-founder at PeakProsperity.com, believes that what a history of persistently declining savings tells us is that there is an “implicit assumption” by the majority of people in this country that unlimited credit will be available in the future, and so we don’t need to save now.  We have assumed a lifestyle where we have largely substituted a “save and spend” mentality, with “a buy it now on credit” mentality.

All debt across all sectors in this country, and personal savings of individuals, shifted in opposite directions in 1985, with the gap widening dramatically ever since.  “Our national tolerance of debt shifted drastically upwards beginning in 1985 right as our national approach to savings was beginning its long decline towards zero,” Martenson says.

The marketing of our financial system has created in us a belief that in order to have a grander and brighter future, we are going to need more money, which equates to greater debt, so we can buy things.  We have become a country of mass consumers fueled by credit availability.  Everything is about beating the Joneses, now, the future be damned, and the Joneses have a lot of credit at their disposal.  The idea has been ingrained in us that low savings plus high debt equals prosperity, or what Chris Martenson calls, “at least a perpetual feature of our future economic landscape.”

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR DIVORCING COUPLES

The bottom line for most Americans has become that of low savings rate and high debt, which is a major problem because it means that most divorcing spouses have a very thin safety cushion to ride out the economic hardship we are experiencing at this time.  This equates to the fact that most people have failed to invest in their families’ futures.  Dealing with the present while preparing for the future has posed a difficult task for most Americans, and, as a result, divorcing spouses have little left to divide.  They’re not alone in this.  A lack of savings is a nationwide problem.

Our bottom financial line to get through these difficult times has to be pretty straight forward from here.  Save as much as possible, now, and get out of debt.  Many financial forecasters predict that a credit freeze is imminent.  Prepare for it.  Know the truth of what’s really going on in the world, and with our banks.  When possible, move those hard-earned savings into assets that will hold or increase in value during this time of the declining U.S. dollar.  The theory behind hard earned savings, and the investment thereof, should include a ‘smart plan’ on how to preserve those assets for future family needs.

 

 

DIVIDING ASSETS AND DEBTS UPON DIVORCE

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In a dissolution of marriage, California family law courts are empowered to allocate assets of comparable value to the former husband and wife to make the overall division of the gross marital estate substantially equal.  It need not divide each asset.  For example, when dividing a business might impair its value, the court will generally preserve the ongoing business interests if the court can still make an overall equal division of the marital estate.

If you and your spouse own a home together and one spouse continues to reside in the home after separation, that spouse could owe “rent” to the community, subject to an offset for payment of the costs of the home.  If one spouse pays on community debts after separation, he or she will generally be reimbursed for those payments.  An exception might apply if the debt payments are made in lieu of support.

DIVIDING DEBTS DURING DIVORCE

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In California, when dividing property during a divorce, both parties need to be aware of the fact that all debts that were incurred during the marriage are presumed to be community property.  The only debts which would normally not be considered community property are debts which are deemed completely unrelated to the community.  This might include:

  • a debt related to one person’s separate property
  • support obligations
  • gifts or expenses related to a romantic relationship other than the marriage, or
  • criminal acts which did not have financial benefit to the community.

This means that a spouse could incur a debt for a purpose the other spouse does not approve and it would still be considered a community debt.

Debts that have been incurred before the marriage remain the responsibility of the person who originally incurred them.  If community funds are used to pay these debts, sometimes there is a right of reimbursement for the community and sometimes not.  Special rules apply depending upon the type of debt and other assets/income which were available to pay it.

DEBT INCURRED DURING MARRIAGE IS COMMUNITY DEBT

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In California, when a debt is incurred during a marriage it is considered to be community debt.  Even if the credit account is not joint, if the debt is undertaken on the personal credit of one spouse, or if the debt is acquired during the marriage, it would normally be considered part of the community Family Code § 2581 and Family Code § 2625.  In a divorce, debt would be divided as a part of the marital estate if used to acquire property during the marriage.

Additionally, any loan proceeds that might be acquired by a spouse during a marriage are presumed to be community property.  Per Family Code §2581 and Gagan v. Gouyd (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th835, 843, any party claiming that the loan proceeds are separate property must establish their claim by “clear and convincing” evidence.