Why U.S. Gov’t Confiscated Gold in 1933. Can it Happen Again? Part 2
March 7, 2012 by Gold Editor
Author: Julian D. W. Phillips
Posted: March 7, 2012
We previously stated that gold ownership was made illegal on 1st May 1933. What we did not tell you was that U.S. citizens, under Order 6102, were allowed to own up to $100 in gold coin [+5 ounces]. Today that would be worth under $8,400, a mere token gesture to real gold owners. It acted as a tiny escape valve to the general body of citizens and did not detract from the fact that effective gold ownership was abolished. So that we fully understand the attitude of governments to gold, which remains real money in times of crisis, we add this paragraph:
Congress could easily revoke the privilege again. In fact, at no time during this century has the U.S. government recognized the right of private gold ownership. The Trading with the Enemy Act, which President Roosevelt invoked in 1933 to restrict private gold transactions, remains law. Although private ownership of gold in the United States was legalized on August 15, 1974, the power to confiscate gold remains in the hands of the President. The President still retains the right, under the Emergency Banking Relief Act, to "investigate, regulate or prohibit...the importing, exporting, hoarding, melting or earmarking of gold" in times of a declared national emergency. It is highly unlikely that either the Courts or Congress would successfully argue that confiscatory powers are not implicit in the Emergency Banking Relief Act if a currency crisis or other fiscal emergency prompted the President to, once again, nationalize gold.
The privilege, not right, to own gold was restored to U.S. citizens on the 15th August 1974 (not 1971, when Nixon floated the USD against gold and stopped foreign central banks from converting USD to gold). It is pertinent to the thinking behind this series, to understand the importance to government of gold and that the right to confiscate may not be restricted to individuals or institutions but could embrace a nation or two.