Not-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes; 70% of Mexicans don’t even use Banks
"I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said..."
"With those mealy words, America's Depression-era president ventured from bad luck into treachery. The Executive Order he issued on the 5th of April 1933 confiscated Americans' private holdings of gold, then valued at $20.67 per ounce. Then, in January, 1934, the U.S. president fixed the price of gold at $35. All of sudden, Americans' dollars had been devalued by 69.3%.
Whether this act of nationwide larceny did the economy any good or not, we cannot say. It was not until after World War II that the economy fully recovered the spring in its step. And U.S. stock prices didn't return to their '29 highs until 1950.
FDR reneged on America's historic obligation to its own citizens; after 1933, they could no longer redeem their paper money for gold. Richard Nixon stiffed the foreigners in 1971; henceforth, if the French wanted to trade their dollars for gold they were out of luck."
- Bill Bonner
Mish Shedlock and Gary North both recently wrote about safety deposit boxes being raided by govenment agencies.
You should read both posts. Minyan Mailbag: How Safe Is My Gold?
Safety deposit box raids yield £1bn of drugs, cash and guns.
From ABC News 17 May 08. Bank of America?Et tu, Brute?Not-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes: States Seize Citizens' Property to Balance Their Budgets
Carla Ruff's safe-deposit box was drilled, seized, and turned over to the state of California, marked "owner unknown."
"I was appalled," Ruff said. "I felt violated."
Unknown? Carla's name was right on documents in the box at the Noe Valley Bank of America location. So was her address -- a house about six blocks from the bank. Carla had a checking account at the bank, too -- still does -- and receives regular statements. Plus, she has receipts showing she's the kind of person who paid her box rental fee. And yet, she says nobody ever notified her.
"They are zealously uncovering accounts that are not unclaimed," Ruff said.
To make matters worse, Ruff discovered the loss when she went to her box to retrieve important paperwork she needed because her husband was dying. Those papers had been shredded.
And that's not all. Her great-grandmother's precious natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off. They were sold for just $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.
"These things were things that she gave to me," Ruff said. "I valued them because I loved her."
Bank of America told ABC News it deeply regrets the situation and appreciates the difficulty of what Mrs. Ruff was going through. The bank has reached a settlement with Ruff and continues to update its unclaimed property procedures as laws change.
While looking for an apartment in Sicilly, I found almost all had safes. Some aparments had a couple of safes built into walls etc. In addition, the front doors, usually backed by steel would bolt into the ground and walls in MOST apartments. This was the standard, in Italy if something is stolen it is gone forever, the police will not likely get it back to you. So you must protect yourself.
There is a lesson here you Amercians if the economy deteriorates further.
Of interest, the Big Picture has an incredible story here:
The Best Central Banker in the World Today Posted by Barry Ritholtz on Thursday, August 28, 2008 | 07:15 AM
Mexico where rates are 8.25% and "consider that 70% of Mexicans don’t even use banks"!
Compare that to the US and you can get an idea, of how insane the US FED rates are.
Can you see where this might reverse between the US and Mexico? ie Americans don't use banks and the rates climb to 8.25%?
How do you think this will work for your stock portfolio if there is a reversal? Or rates go to +8%
Let me tell you, the US market will sell off.