Friday, March 26, 2010

Signpost 1 -- Restrictions on Taking Money out of the U.S. and on Foreign Bank Accounts

Last week I introduced the topic for my next several blog posts -- 14 Signposts to Slavery, or signs that any given society might be slipping towards tyranny.

Where does the United States stand with these 14 issues?

In this post, I will examine Signpost 1.  I am not an expert on financial and travel law, but I am a concerned citizen doing my best to gain a more complete understanding of the landscape of liberty vs. tyranny in our nation.  I welcome comments from anyone reading this who has expertise in this area.

Signpost 1 -- Restrictions on taking money out of the country and on the establishment or retention of a foreign bank account by an American citizen. 
Part A of Signpost 1 -- Restrictions on taking money out of the country.

What I Found -- Though I wasn't able to find any specific law (not even on the custom's website), I found several references online to a $10,000 limit on the amount of money one can take with them without having to declare it to customs.  Apparently this restriction was imposed by Nixon in the early 1970's.  I was unable to find a reference to what the punishment is for infringing upon this rule.

Part B of Signpost 1 -- Restrictions on the establishment or retention of a foreign bank account by an American citizen.

Fact -- 
  • Here is what Wikipedia says about the U.S. PATRIOT Act restricting foreign bank account holdings (done in the name of preventing money laundering -- emphasis added) -- 
"Restrictions were placed on accounts and foreign banks. It prohibited shell banks that are not an affiliate of a bank that has a physical presence in the U.S. or that are not subject to supervision by a banking authority in a non-U.S. country. It also prohibits or restricts the use of certain accounts held at financial institutions.[70] Financial institutions must now undertake steps to identify the owners of any privately owned bank outside the U.S. who have a correspondent account with them, along with the interests of each of the owners in the bank. It is expected that additional scrutiny will be applied by the U.S. institution to such banks to make sure they are not engaging in money laundering. Banks must identify all the nominal and beneficial owners of any private bank account opened and maintained in the U.S. by non-U.S. citizens. There is also an expectation that they must undertake enhanced scrutiny of the account if it is owned by, or is being maintained on behalf of, any senior political figure where there is reasonable suspicion of corruption.[71] Any deposits made from within the U.S. into foreign banks are now deemed to have been deposited into any interbank account the foreign bank may have in the U.S. Thus any restraining order, seizure warrant or arrest warrant may be made against the funds in the interbank account held at a U.S. financial institution, up to the amount deposited in the account at the foreign bank.[72] Restrictions were placed on the use of internal bank concentration accounts because such accounts do not provide an effective audit trail for transactions, and this may be used to facilitate money laundering. Financial institutions are prohibited from allowing clients to specifically direct them to move funds into, out of, or through a concentration account, and they are also prohibited from informing their clients about the existence of such accounts. Financial institutions are not allowed to provide any information to clients that may identify such internal accounts.[73] Financial institutions are required to document and follow methods of identifying where the funds are for each customer in a concentration account that co-mingles funds belonging to one or more customers." 

Here is a link to the IRS website regarding foreign bank accounts --,,id=148849,00.html 

In other words, the U.S. government must be privy to all financial transactions of U.S. citizens via foreign banks, as well as be aware if anyone is taking over $10,000 in cash out of the country.

The restrictions imposed on financial transactions abroad may seem reasonable in light of threats of terrorism, and drug and arms trafficking.  But remember the saying -- The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Lastly, I would have a lot easier time swallowing these restrictions and the requirement of transparency in American citizens' finances if the government (and Federal Reserve) were required to be equally transparent in their expenditures and investments.

Signpost 1 -- CHECK

1 Signpost down, 13 more to go . . .


  1. Julie,

    Don't believe everything you think!

  2. Mike -- should I not believe my understanding of totalitarian regimes gained from my graduate studies, 2 years of which I spent swimming in a pile of primary source material, and now I see many of those same patterns taking place here in America?

    Should I not believe my understanding of the shortcomings of Western medicine and the nature of true healing gained after 6 years with an uncurable illness that went away after I changed a bunch of things in my life?

    What should I believe, then? The mainstream media propaganda? Our government leaders who have repeatedly shown themselves to be untrustworthy? Should I trust you? I don't even know who you are!

    What evidence do you have that I am off track in my arguments on things? Do the research and show me the evidence, then I'll take a look.

  3. well put , unfortunately there are to many simple minded people like mike who are Incapable of Critical Thinking . how sad for him . here are some things he should look at.Bob Schulz - We The People Go After The Banksters · We Are Change NY covers We The People's Bob Schulz going to court on the constitutionality of the bankers bailouts. We are still waiting for the courts decision. Original Video Link:
    Length: 7:38 courtesy of & ~ Matt P.S. my 1st time writing in here , hope i didnt break any rules ! you have incredible knowledge in these subjects & this country needs more peeps like you

  4. Funny I make a comment and suddenly you know me and can make comments about me being simple minded. I guess since you are all so insecure and need to throw out your useless degrees to get recognition here are mine: Bachelor's in political science and History, MBA, and working on my PHD. Sorry to be so simple minded.

    Matt, just ask her out dude,that was pretty desperate.

    Another funny thing is that Julie demands evidence, funny because it comes from someone that denies all evidence that does not agree with her beliefs.

    Let me answer you without degrading myself to your level of logic.

    Your causal mind only sees the patterns that your myopic understanding allows you to see. Therefore if all you obsess about is communism, that is the only pattern you will see. That is why your math is wrong: political correctness=gulags.

    Expanding an already socialized medical program? = communism!

    my shampoo has fake scents- commies!

    my car wont start- Putin!

    cant get a man to date my crazy self- concentration camps!

    For example, you laid around your house for 6 years depressed and perhaps sick, now because you use placebos, which by the way work wonders on people with your type of mentality, then you are a medical expert.

    you should believe the truth, Julie. Which by now you could not recognize outside of a conspiracy theory.

    I could prove you wrong, which i see others and science already have, i wont waste my time with someone as lost as you are, however, I will leave you with a bit of advice: get off your computer, stop pretending to be a doctor (careful someone could turn you in!). You laid around for six years focusing on yourself, don't waste the rest of your life (and i am taking the wild guess that you are utterly alone)living in the tin foil hat world. No one is out to get you, you expect too much from the government, you compliant too much, you exaggerate your health and wealth claims. There is more research to be done, outside one sided websites, outside your fear and hate filled world.

    I read through you rubbish and it is always that pattern, fear and innuendo with very little or one sided "proof". This in your mind is proof that since western medicine let your bitter little heart down, therefore it is all evil and lies and going only to destroy and kill people, with the exceptions that you have to conceded, that it works, and then you tolerate it. No thought is given to the fact that you are comparing two totally different things, that are regulated produced, sold and reported in different ways, no its all if-thens with you. You want to know what the problem with this country is? look in the mirror, it is useless, self-obsessed clowns that give people bad information and make them feel powerless and persecuted, you are the problem with your life. go out and get one. There are your personal signposts, moron.

    Who am I? I will tell you, I am one of those people you see out there with a real job and a real life, enjoying reality, not watching the internet 24-7.

    The commies and rich doctors are not going to get you Julie, stop your damn belly aching lady.

  5. Mike,

    All I can say is be blessed!

    - Julie

  6. Wow.

    I have to say that I agree 100% with Mike's first post, that one should not believe everything one thinks. Beautiful and accurate. I have many thoughts come into my head on a daily basis that I am happy to not have to believe. So reading Mike's post literally, I don't really see anything to disagree with, and I don't see anything to get defensive about. It just seems like good advice, for all of us. Question our thoughts, find which ones are true for each of us, and be content in the knowledge that we've performed inquiry on our thoughts. A healthy way to live, I think.

    Were we get into trouble here is when we project meaning and defend. Julie projects meaning into that sentence, and then with hurt feelings, defends against the projected meanings. Mike's response is the same - project and defend.

    Julie, I agree with you quite often, but in this case, I have to say that in my opinion, you would have been better off to thank Mike for the advice and leave it at that.

    Mike, I find your second post fairly offensive, and based on the poor grammar, spelling and name-calling, I find it hard to believe that you have any of the degrees and education you claim to have. Anger and hatred do not change minds, in fact, they usually serve to harden the position of the person receiving the anger and hate. I would suggest empathy and mutual problem solving rather than attacks.

  7. I find this part interesting.

    "Lastly, I would have a lot easier time swallowing these restrictions and the requirement of transparency in American citizens' finances if the government (and Federal Reserve) were required to be equally transparent in their expenditures and investments."

    What types of expenditures and investments aren't available? I can kind of seeing them keeping aspects of our espionage and military budgets secret - that seems like good sense - but what else would you like to know and can't find out?

  8. Wow, that was some nasty put down answer you got. I hope you are OK!

    I am also very concerned about the totalitarianism that I see. As someone preparing to move overseas I have been watching the laws effecting my ability to move money. There has been talk of restricting that ability. What have you heard?