To many people around the world, the concept of geographically diversifying your assets is – no pun intended – a foreign concept. While many investors are comfortable with the idea of having some money in stocks and some in bonds, few talk about geographical diversity. Even those who understand the disintegration of fiat currency often overlook the escape hatches outside of their own patch of dirt.
Just recently, an article in the Winnipeg Free Press asked if it’s “too late” to diversify your assets outside of Canada. After all, Canada has been on a run in the last ten years, driven by resources and a perception of stronger banks and a strengthening currency.
No matter how good of a streak your home country is on, it’s never too late to diversify. In fact, your country being on a hot streak is the best reason to diversify. While government is inherently arrogant, that arrogance balloons to massive proportions once said government can claim responsibility for the economy being on a roll.
And that’s just what’s played out in Canada. Their most recent budget includes a provision by which depositors of banks can be forced to contribute to bail-ins should those institutions fail. Basically, it’s Cyprus all over again, only the government is giving you a warning sign from miles away. They’re all but telling you to watch out for massive asset seizures down the road.
Why else would they codify it into law?
In the United States, it’s been a bad month for economic freedom. It started with government intimidation when word got out that a couple dozen conservative groups had been targeted by the tax goons at the IRS for some unwanted special treatment.
Groups associated with the right-leaning Tea Party were denied tax-exempt status in what the government called “coincidence”. Soon, several HUNDRED groups were found to have been targeted. Where else but in government is that a “coincidence”?
Going back a century, The Land of the Free has been telling its citizens just how “free” they are – if only they fall in line with the government’s cause du jour. Buy war bonds or you’re not patriotic. Drive to work alone and you stand with Hitler. Go shopping too often and you’ll counteract the “Jap Trap”. Way to stay classy, ‘merica.
But just as another propaganda poster said, “It can happen here”. You might think listening in on reporters’ phone calls or using the tax authority to shut down your political opponents was the domain of the Soviet Union (or Piers Morgan). Certainly the propaganda would have led you to believe that. But once your compatriots feel secure that their government would never do such things to them, you should realize that’s the time to start planting flags.
The government will, predictably, do what it can to stop you. Beyond wiretapping reporters’ phones and harassing their opponents, the androgynous Janet Napolitano’s Department of “Homeland Security” issued a seizure order against US-based payment processor Dwolla. The goal: stop Dwolla from transferring money to Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Why? No one will say.
But I’m sure Big Sis has a good reason. After all, this is the woman stockpiling millions of cases of ammunition while parading for greater gun control. The woman whose agency played a role in running guns over the border from Mexico. Who has her guys put their hands down your children’s pants. When she seized Dwolla without so much as a warning and stomped on your monetary freedom, she must have had a reason.
There must be terrorism at play. Or at least someone selling drugs. Or maybe, just maybe, the government doesn’t like Bitcoin competing with it’s disintegrating currency. Otherwise, they’d make a big deal out of the seizure and look like heroes, right?
Unfortunately, the government can’t pin Dwolla as being some roguish outfit conspiring with the wrong people. After all, the Iowa Department of Revenue teamed up with Dwolla as a method to collect cigarette taxes in its state. Doesn’t sound like a bunch of pirates wandering the high seas to me. But who am I to question the authority of the modern day Georges Couthon?
Whether it’s listening to your phone calls, steal your money when you try to buy Bitcoins, or harass political opponents for fun and profit, government will do what it wants to do. Especially once it has reached The Point of Maximum Freedom – the point at which things won’t get any better, but will get worse.
For places like The Land of the Free, that time has passed. The United States has made it to the summit and is on its way down. Unfortunately, for the small improvements places like Canada have made, they’re likely descending right alongside Uncle Sam and any number of other western countries that have decided they’re good enough to break their own rules.
Is it too late to diversify your assets? It’s never too late until they shut the door with you stuck inside. That door is inching shut with each passing day.