Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

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Finance

Portugal’s retirement account confiscation is bad news for you

Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The issue of retirement account theft has been in the news lately.

In one instance, a Louisiana television station cracked one particular example of this fraud wide open. The victim literally had money taken right out of her IRA.

In fact, if it weren’t for the television station, Denise Scott Gordon might not have been able to allegedly pilfer a grand total of $9,570.90 from her former roommate’s retirement account.

That’s right, less than ten grand. Talk about ignoring what really matters.

The western news media isn’t just busy telling you that last year’s Air Asia plane crash must have been caused due to the metric system. They’re busy reporting on such petty crime while private retirement accounts continue to be looted and mismanaged to the tune of billions of dollars by the global elite.

There is perhaps no better example of this than the recent news from New Zealand that its sovereign wealth fund was essentially looted for $200 million.

The story goes like this: New Zealand’s Superfund loaned $150 million to one of Portugal’s largest banks, Banco Espirito Santo. The loan was made along with Goldman Sachs as well as other partners.

The guys in charge of the bank turned out to be a fraud and have been arrested. The bank ended up in ruins, with a “good bank” and a “bad bank” being created out of the two.

Superfund and other investors figured their loan would be repaid from the “good bank”, as was the ruling during insolvency proceedings.

However, the central bank of Portugal decided that, thanks to a changing set of rules, the investors would not be paid back and could take their chances chasing after the bad bank… the part of the bank with nothing but toxic liabilities.

In one fell swoop, a couple of central bankers stiffed foreign investors for almost $1 billion. And in what should have been a routine loan transaction, New Zealand’s government pension fund lost a large chunk of change.

This is just the latest symptom in an ongoing crisis of changing rules in the western financial system. Small groups of politicians and bankers have now been empowered to make unilateral decisions that effect the investments and retirement accounts of millions of people around the world.

It just goes to show how unstable the western financial system is, no matter who is backing it. Individual countries… the European Union… anyone.

We see one of the first large shockwaves in this crisis two years ago in Cyprus, when European officials decided business owners could take it on the chin to “bail in” the banks. EU bureaucrats thought nothing of the six- and seven-figure balances these Cypriot small business owners would lose through this action.

Meanwhile, governments around the world are outright stealing money from workers’ retirement accounts and raiding public pension funds. The United States government has raided just about every pot of gold it can get its hands on, including the six times it has “borrowed” from federal retirement workers’ retirement funds.

Western governments are broke and they realize the writing on the wall is becoming more and more visible to anyone willing to look.

Not only are the world’s largest retirement accounts falling victim to flagrant mismanagement; they are falling victim to outright theft.

It’s a total failure of the system allegedly designed to protect citizens’ money for their retirement years.

And on top of that, it shows that one or two guys with a lofty title – never elected and accountable to no one – can re-write the entire rules of how global finance is carried out.

Yet this is where your money for retirement goes. It doesn’t matter if you hold money in a private retirement account like an IRA, 401(k), RSP, or other plan, or if you still believe some public pension fund like New Zealand’s superannuation fund will pay you in your golden years.

All of these funds are subject to plunder by people who are not only too stupid to manage money, but too fraudulent to make sure you get what you’ve been promised.

It’s why I recommend never putting money in a government-sponsored retirement account. Who cares if you get some silly little tax deduction if your money can merely vanish at the drop of a hat?

If you’re a US person and already have such an account, there are strategies such as the Offshore IRA LLC you can use to free your retirement account from government stupidity.

You can also own gold in an IRA, even though it can only be stored in “approved” government vaults, and not offshore with any of the services I recommend.

Whether you’re in New Zealand, the Land of the Free, or elsewhere, your retirement is not safe.

What’s more, the very institutions you trust to protect your bank deposits have proven to be as morally bankrupt as they are fiscally bankrupt.

The central bank’s move to screw investors in Portugal could easily happen in the United States if a large bank were to fail and depositors were left with limited access to FDIC funds. Considering that the FDIC is practically an empty piggy bank, it’s not hard to imagine.

Even guys who frequently complain of financial “conspiracy theories” will tell you that countries like the US are trying to force private retirement savings into low-yield government debt. Your government wants you to trade the freedom to invest in the market for the forced discipline of paying off their bills in exchange for 2-3% that they can take away at any time.

The “unholy alliance” I talk about is working to make sure that western citizens that have taken a safe retirement for granted can be left with nothing if it serves the interest of insolvent banks and their central banking pals.

It’s happened in Hungary. It’s happened in Ireland. It’s happened in Poland. And similar proposals have been given the green light in Canada, much of Europe, and even the United States.

Keeping total control of your own money is as important as ever. Moving a portion of your savings into an offshore bank account in a safe haven country – the type I talk about at our live events and elsewhere – is a prudent first step.

You can do it with as little as $500.

Similarly, moving your retirement account away from bankrupt hands is a prudent move considering the people in charge have shown they are willing to change the rules to suit their own interests.

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