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Forbidden Knowledge Information They Don't Want You To Know Edited by Robert E. Bauman, JD Forbidden Knowledge: Information T h e y Don't W a n t Y o u t o K n o w Robert E. Bauman and T h e Sovereign Society, Ltd. 2 0 0 4 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording or by an information storage or retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2 0 0 4 © All international and domestic rights reserved. T h e Sovereign Society 5 Catherine Street Waterford

Ireland 5 t h edition July 2 0 0 4 ISBN 0 - 9 5 4 7 7 5 4 4 - 4 Printed by: Victor Graphics • 1 2 1 1 Bernard Drive • Baltimore, MD 2 1 2 2 3 This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold and distributed with the understanding that the authors, publisher and seller are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. If legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional advisor should be sought.

Forbidden Knowledge Information They Don't Want You To Know Edited by Robert E. Bauman, JD

T h e Sovereign Society 5 C a t h e r i n e Street Waterford

Ireland Table of Contents

Preface C H A P T E R 1 The Meaning of Natural Liberty 1 C H A P T E R 2 Second Passports & Dual Nationality 35 C H A P T E R 3 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection 85 C H A P T E R 4 The Matter of Cash 1 4 9 C H A P T E R 5 Investments 1 6 9 C H A P T E R 6 Your Finances & Estate Planning 2 3 1 C H A P T E R 7 Taxes & How to Avoid Them Legally 2 7 1 C H A P T E R 8 Offshore Tax Havens 3 1 5 C H A P T E R 9 Very Special Places 3 5 1 C H A P T E R 10

Personal Privacy 4 1 9 C H A P T E R 11 Personal Security 4 5 5 C H A P T E R 12 Technology 4 6 9 APPENDIX I Author Biographical Sketches 4 8 5 APPENDIX II Offshore Web Sites 4 8 9 APPENDIX III Glossary 4 9 1

Preface "... just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and equivalent depletion of social power." -Albert]. Nock (1935) "Knowledge itself is power." -Francis Bacon, Meditationes Sacrae (1597) In the age-old struggle for individual liberty against the power of the state, there can be no question which side has triumphed throughout most of the twentieth century. T h e one interest the state willingly sacrifices to the "common good" is personal liberty "the freedom to produce and create, to buy and sell, to speak and publish, to travel, to live freely. By diminishing liberty, government systematically subverts people's responsibility for their own lives. It robs those who produce in order to placate those who only consume. T h e result is economic stagna-tion, retrogression and political corruption. Since the seventeenth century, in England, France and America, and more recently in Russia and eastern Europe, revolutions against this tyranny of the state were fought on behalf of an alternative we can call "natural liberty." At first successful, over time these revolutions cooled to com-placency and hard-won freedom came to mean guaranteed entitlement to government largess. True natural liberty means that each of us is the sole legitimate owner of our own life and destiny, free to act as we wish so long as we use no violence, fraud or other aggression against others.

That same freedom dictates a free-market economy enjoying peaceful production and trade. It opposes government control by self-serving politicians. No activity of statist government has diminished personal liberty more than the unchecked power to tax. In the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany the effective rate of personal taxes far exceeds 50 percent of earnings. In some nations, such as France and Sweden, it is higher still. Business is taxed at even greater levels. And everyone pays the ultimate price. When government takes wealth from some and gives it to others, this forced redistribution diminishes the rights and well-being of the former, and often destroys the independence of the latter. T h e issue of taxation involves nothing less than the human and natural right to own, use and enjoy private property, a "civil right" of the most basic kind. Property and wealth determine personal power to control our own lives, to make decisions, to raise a family, to live free. As Albert Jay Nock noted, every additional tax imposed diminishes our freedom. In an economic history of the Middle Ages, Paul Craig Roberts, the economist and columnist, showed that medieval serfs bound to the land and their masters rarely paid more then one-third of the value of their labors in taxes. For good reason: with very low productivity, serfs could not survive if forced to pay more taxes. With nothing to lose, they would revolt and kill the tax collectors. Yet a half-millennium later, with capitalism's enormously increased productivity, we have even less right to our earnings than did those enslaved serfs. Says Roberts: "You are not free when you do not own the product of your own labor." This book, Forbidden Knowledge, is a compendium of the acts and ideas of dynamic men and women who have exalted natural liberty in their own lives— and many who do so to this day. Albert Camus said, "Revolutionaries are men who say no!" These authors have said an emphatic "NO" to Big Brother government. These practical people refuse to bow down to government, to submit to bureaucratic demands for ever higher taxes, greater controls and increased regulation.

In some cases this has meant leaving the nation of their birth and moving to countries that still believe in and practice natural liberty. There are such places, as you will see. Some individuals you will meet in these pages call no single nation "home," spending the changing seasons of each year in many places where they do business, and enjoy the new experiences and the pleasures life has to give. Drawing on their experience, you too can have a life of natural liberty. You too can live, work, invest and do business without having to pay taxes to any government anywhere. And you can do this legally and with maximum personal security and financial privacy. To knowledgeable people, true financial security means: • the maximum possible tax avoidance • the strongest possible financial privacy • the greatest degree of asset protection • the most profitable investments These goals, and how to achieve them, are spelled out in Forbidden Knowledge.

The Meaning of Natural Liberty C H A P T E R ONE

The Meaning of Natural Liberty On Becoming a Sovereign Individual 2 T h e Evolution of Freedom 3 The "PT" Life... Is It For YOU? 4 PT: What's It All About? 6 Follow Your Heart 8 Big Brother's Tyranny 9

Written in the Whirlwind 11 Adopt a New Country 12 T h e Growing Sovereign Individual Movement . . 12 Are You a Libertarian? 15 Ayn Rand: A Very Special Person 17 T h e New Cold War: Wealth Is the Target 19 Should You Become a Tax Exile? 20 Violence in Our Time 22 It All Starts With Property Rights 23 A Declaration of Independence for Sovereign Individuals 25 Security? What Security? 26 In the Name of Security 27 T h e War on Terror; Surrender of Civil Liberties? 28 T h e Roots of Terrorism 30 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Where's the Freest Land of All? 31 We are living in one of those times when civilization has become "a thin crust over a volcano of revolution." Unrecognized by most, the Old Order is dying, replaced by a new world economic structure built on free markets, massive technological change, instant communications, interlinked databases, electronic commerce and digital cash. These emerging systems weaken the power of traditional governments, even as they increase individual freedom, financial choice and personal privacy.

Today's politicians see what is coming and are clawing desperately to stay ahead of the inevitable tide. They'll fail, as did the corrupt leaders of a dying Soviet Union, brazenly trying to stop the spread of free ideas by outlawing fax and copying machines. As myopic nineteenth century Luddite workers failed to thwart the Industrial Revolution by destroying new laborsaving machinery. As evidence, consider how shared, instantaneous information contributed to the collapse of Asian economies a few years ago, nations widely touted as world leaders of an unending boom. T h e resulting economic "correction" wasn't confined to Wall Street and the City. Nervous waves rippled daily through time zones and stock markets as C N N covered it live and Internet trading went wild, another example of irresistible techno-advances forcing a totally new financial and banking reality. Consider too, the recent technology boom and bust on Wall Street and in other markets. Stock of corporations whose wealth existed only on paper or as future concepts rocketed up in price, and just as quickly, they disappeared. A select few people long ago anticipated the revolution now at hand. These are the Sovereign Individuals, voluntary citizens of the world-at-large seeking freedom and fortune wherever they judge best. 1

The Meaning of Natural Liberty Weary of oppressive governments and onerous taxes, they search the globe for personal liberty, for safe havens for their families, themselves and their wealth. Now the rest of the world is coming to realize the successful strategies that the Sovereign Individual has known all along. This first chapter highlights the basic principles of the freedom philosophy. This begins your guide to natural liberty.

On Becoming a Sovereign Individual by John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, June 1999

The chairman of the Sovereign Society traces the evolution of freedom from serfdom into democracy, and now to a modem slavery by government in the name of democracy. Since emerging from the caves and jungles of antiquity, mankind has been engaged in an epic struggle to discover the ultimate design for social organization, one that would allow civilization to progress in peace and ever increasing prosperity. For thousands of years, the idea of monarchy reigned. T h e overwhelming majority accepted rule by an all-powerful government headed by a king appointed by God. Then, about 200 years ago, an idea emerged that was to change the nature of government ... the idea that all men were born with equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In short, all individuals were sovereign, and had both the right and the responsibility to rule themselves. T h e concept of the divine right of kings was cast aside and in its place democracy was born: citizens were free to elect their rulers. It was believed the era of oppressive government was over. When democracy was embryonic, it seemed to work. Individual freedom from oppression led to a nourishing new world. Over the past few decades, however, there has been a steady growth of government as the masses of voters have learned that they can manipulate government to their advantage. They have found they can enrich themselves at the expense of the successful and thrifty. This attack on the more affluent and productive individuals in countries like the United States, Canada, Germany and Great Britain has had the same effect as the repressive policies of King George had in the eighteenth century. It has led to a rising exodus of society's most productive people as they migrate to political environments that offer greater asset protection, privacy and lower taxation. Many are moving only their assets offshore to countries that offer more financial privacy and low or no taxation. A smaller but rising number are electing to move themselves and their families offshore as well. While a few officially disconnect from their nation of birth by renouncing their citizenship, others merely reside offshore while retaining their original

citizenship. Still others acquire dual nationality by ancestral right or through financial citizenship programs offered by many countries. A few adopt the so-called " P T " lifestyle and become nomads, never staying long enough in one place to become subject to its taxes, thus becoming Permanent Tourists or Prior Taxpayers. But all are united in seeking privacy, freedom of movement, low or no taxes, safety of capital and minimal connection with big government. And in being Prepared Thoroughly for the unexpected.

T h e Sovereign Society Over the years my study and writings on the subjects of political coercion, freedom and free markets has led to correspondence, affiliations and friendships with like-minded individuals from many disciplines and many countries. In the past few months a group of us have formed T h e Sovereign Society, a group of the most 2

The Meaning of Natural Liberty creative thinkers on the subjects of personal and financial freedom, as well as individuals who are motivated to achieve personal independence for themselves. The aim of the Society is to create a network for developing strategies that individuals can use to wrest control of their lives and assets away from the menace of Big Brother. I don't think of the Society as a club or organization but as a virtual society, an extranational community existing all over the world in the hearts and minds of its citizen members. Essentially, it will offer members a new "passport," a whole new concept of citizenship in a country that takes its shape not on the basis of geography, but on the basis of ideology. Through borderless cyberspace and with the security of encryption, members will be taught to carry on intellectual and financial commerce worldwide, 24 hours a day. Most important, citizen members will work with one another in their quest to find sanctuary from private and state snoops, bugs, swat teams, property seizures and other incursions on civil and economic liberties.

Our aim is to find free market alternatives to the services that governments today promise but fail to provide: security from crime and violence, education, old age security, health care, just enforcement of contracts. We welcome all who share our views. For further information, contact T h e Sovereign Society, 5 Catherine Street, Waterford, Ireland, telephone +353 51 844 0 6 8 , fax +353 51 3 0 4 5 6 1 , U . S . Representative Service telephone +1 888 358 8 1 2 5 , U . S . Representative Service fax +1 410 230 1269, e-mail: [emailprotected], web:

The Evolution of Freedom by John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, May 1999 If personal liberty is a natural choice, why do so many people surrender to tyranny? I have long struggled to unravel the mystery of why the majority of intelligent, educated, successful people accept even the most irrational social customs of the society into which they are bom. Why do people buy into the concept that government should solve their problems when history clearly demonstrates that the State worsens every problem that it is assigned to solve? Most individuals go to great lengths to become model citizens. They dutifully follow the established religion of the group, the current economic system and the current political system. T h e majority experiences no urge to deviate from the customs, mores and taboos of the group and strives to be politically and socially correct. Only a small minority views convention as a curious and irrational way to make choices. We question authority, ask for logical explanations of why particular rules should be followed, and, lacking a suitable explanation, do things our own way.

Why do most individuals march with the masses, while only a few of us march to our own drummers? One close friend and colleague jokingly suspects a "socialism" gene that blinds people to the logic of the free market. He may be looking in the right area. Recently I've been reading a book by Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland titled Living with Our Genes that sheds breakthrough insights into the roots of individual behavior. T h e book is a fascinating investigation of the link between genes and social behavior. Using D N A samples from a variety of sources in conjunction with psychological personality-typing questionnaires, Hamer and other scientists have isolated specific genes that regulate a variety of individual behaviors. Some of these bear heavily on an individual's propensity to follow social rules versus exploring on his or her own initiative. Perhaps the slice of DNA most linked to the rule-following behavior in question is what psy-3

The Meaning of Natural Liberty chiatrist Robert Cloninger has dubbed the "novelty-seeking" gene. T h e gene triggers the release of pleasure-creating chemicals in the brain when the individual is exposed to a new experience. Individuals carrying this gene tend to become bored with orderliness, precision and routine and have a higher-than-average propensity to be exploratory, seeking out new situations, new ideas, adventure, dangerous sports and unconventional pursuits. For individuals without the gene, new situations hold little reward and following routine and tradition would be more natural. Other genes also influence social behavior. Hamer and other gene sleuths suspect a "harm-avoidance" gene causing feelings of increased anxiety when danger threatens. T h e presence of the harm-avoidance gene would thus ameliorate the effects of a gene that urges one to take risks. Of course, genes influence our feelings but feelings alone don't determine behavior. Our feelings are tempered by our experiences and our accumulated experiences determine how our genetic propensities are played out.

How does the novelty-seeking gene help explain the mystery of why people support the idea of government control? Most people aren't drawn to experimentation and change, and follow the dictates of custom and tradition. I would wager that this majority doesn't carry the gene. T h e minority that do carry it become the engines of change in society. As I interpret the evidence, those with a high novelty-seeking score feel compelled to experiment outside the boundaries of tradition. Does this indicate that those of us who struggle to live as sovereign individuals are doomed to remain in the minority, and that the growing trend toward big government is the fate of mankind? Although the majority will always support the status quo, history also teaches us that the novelty-seekers, with their experimentation, do influence the course of history. Explorers like Columbus do discover new worlds, and intellectual adventurers like Thomas Paine do alter the course of society. In social evolution, just as in biological evolution, more efficient ideas eventually win the evolutionary contest. There are two systems evolving, biological and social. Over millions of years, biological evolution has programmed each of us to be self-interested. This biological programming seduces individuals entrusted with political power to abuse that power. But social technology is the product of an evolutionary process, as well. In their quest for safety and security in societies, individuals have experimented with various forms of governments. All forms that have evolved to date grant power to some individual or small group of individuals. Our biological nature guarantees that individuals given political power will tend to be corrupted by that power, yet social evolution has not become sufficiently advanced to create systems of government that don't hand power to individuals. Fortunately, evolution has also created the novelty-seeking gene, and the novelty-seekers, scat-tered throughout the human population, will continue to resist the status quo. We are also individually programmed to act in our own selfinterest, so we resist being subjugated by the State. I believe our experimentation will eventually lead to the evolution of a new social system in which the concept of government will change and a new status quo will be created. T h e majority will still accept the customs and traditions of the society into which they are born. However, those customs and traditions will

no longer be that governments should have arbitrary powers over individuals. Rather, all individuals will be sovereign unto themselves. The " P T " Life... Is It For YOU? By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, February 2002 More than a decade ago, an interesting character with the nom de plume of "Bill Hill" penned a popular escape manual for freedom advocates titled P T — T h e Perpetual Traveler. Hill had spent much of his life traveling the world, visiting the continents, regions, countries, and cities that interested him, while carefully avoiding staying in each place long enough to be considered a permanent 4

The Meaning of Natural Liberty resident and therefore subject to such unpleasantries as taxes, military service, and other local rules and regulations. Hill argued that in a world in which every spot on the globe is under the forcible control of one gang of politicians or another, the answer for individual sovereignty is to avoid their control by becoming a "PT," an acronym for a Perpetual Traveler, Prior Taxpayer, or Permanent Tourist. T h e ability to become a full-fledged Bill Hill style PT—i.e., living a life absolutely free of taxation, restrictions and obligations imposed by most governments—depends a great extent on your citizenship. U . S . citizens, for example, are liable for taxes on their worldwide income, wherever they travel or live. I've spent many years living outside the United States. But, because I haven't relinquished my U . S . citizenship (yet), living an expat lifestyle has provided very minimal tax advantages. Most countries, however, impose tax on the basis of residency, not citizenship. Move abroad for at least a year or two and thereafter, the mother country ignores you, at least in reference to income tax. Therefore, for citizens of most countries, the PT lifestyle could legally eliminate income (and with proper planning, estate) taxes, along with along with achieving many other goals of individual sovereignty. A dozen years ago I became friends with Paul and Vicki Terhorst, who could be

considered a poster couple for the PT concept. Paul began his career as an accountant. After working his way up to a partnership in Peat Marwick, he and Vicki decided that what they really wanted in life was freedom from routine, and the opportunity to travel. Paul tetired at age 35, and for the past 18 years Paul and Vicki have made do on a modest income from their investments, while leisurely wandering the world. After retirement they spent eight years in Argentina, then lived in Mexico, London, Thailand, Bali, Australia, Paris, and even had a couple short stints in the United States. Often they just hit the road for several months, revisiting their favorite countries or exploring new ones. Right now, they're spending a few months in my current hometown of Carlsbad, California. Since they've chosen to remain U . S . citizens, there are no significant tax advantages to their PT lifestyle. They file tax returns every year and meticulously declare all investment income, in spite of the fact that their investment accounts are offshore. And they are careful not to do anything that would constitute legal residence in any state with a personal income tax. Thus, they carry Nevada driver's licenses, and keep their financial records and mailing address in the state of Washington (several states including Nevada, Texas, Florida and Washington do not tax personal incomes). To Paul and Vicki, the allure of the PT life has less to do with keeping out from under the scrutiny of Big Brother and minimizing taxes than with being free of the routines. Travel and exploration is their idea of the sovereign life. If the PT life sounds attractive, it's probably more achievable than you might imagine. T h e communications revolution has dissolved the chains that bound many professions to urban offices. However, Paul and Vicki have demonstrated that if you're willing to trade the security of roots and possessions for travel and leisure, it can be done on a very modest income. They've written about their own strategies to show the way. Paul's book, Cashing In on The American Dream: How to Retire at 35 is presently out of print, but you can learn about their techniques and follow them in their travels through their Web site, Shores/5315.

While not everyone will find being a perpetual traveler fulfilling, it still makes sense to increase our personal sovereignty by adopting any of the elements of the PT concept that fit. T h e full PT plan includes holding citizenship in one country; maintaining official residence in a second; if not retired, domiciling your business in a third; and keeping investment accounts in one or more others. In each case, the country chosen should provide the best and most advanced laws for minimizing 5

The Meaning of Natural Liberty taxes, optimizing business and investment opportunities, and providing maximum privacy and legal protection from lawsuits. Then, if your business permits and you enjoy travel, you can live the PT life by spending your time in the most interesting places around the world in their prime seasons—London or Aspen in July and August, January and February in the Bahamas or New Zealand, April and May in Paris, and so on. The goal of every sovereign individual is to maintain control of his or her life and property, which coincide nicely with the PT concept. These are goals for which members of T h e Sovereign Society can strive to achieve. PT: What's It All About? PT, 1996 A p/vilosoplry and a way of life for those willing to roam the world seeking maximum freedom and personal liberty. Do you want to escape the control over your life and property now held by modern Big Brother government? T h e PT concept could be called "individual sovereignty," because PTs look after themselves. We do not want or need authorities to dominate every aspect of our existence. T h e PT concept is to break free. It is a coherent philosophy, a plan for a stressfree, healthy, prosperous life unlimited by government interference, threats of

war, environmental contamination, litigation, domestic conflicts, taxation, persecution or harassment. PT offers escape. It is a way out of any negative situation. Many individuals choose to vent their frustrations with acts of violence. T h e PT merely avoids conflict by refusing to play where the rules are unfair. W h a t Does P T Mean? PT stands for many things, Perpetual Traveler or Permanent Tourist, for instance. However, a PT need not always travel. T h e PT merely arranges his paperwork so that all governments consider him a tourist, a person just Passing Through. In the eyes of government officials, the PT is merely on a temporary sojourn, and as such is not subject to taxes, military service, lawsuits or persecution. Unlike most citizens or subjects, the PT will not be persecuted for his beliefs or lack of them. PT is a concept, a way of life, a way of perceiving the universe and finding your place in it. One can be a dedicated PT all the time or part-time. PT is elegant, simple and requires no accountants, attorneys, offshore corporations or other complex arrangements. It's the Perfect Thing. Governments, under the guise of protecting us, intrude into every area of life, taking our earnings in taxes and rewarding us with restrictions and harassment. Modern government has virtually eliminated individual privacy and continues to limit freedom of choice in many areas of human activity. T h e constitutions of most nations give lip-service to the absolute freedom to travel, but in practice governments severely limit travel with passport, visa and other requirements. Personal finances, currency controls, domestic situations and job requirements make the freedom to go anywhere at anytime just a dream for most people. T h e properly equipped PT operates outside the usual rules, gaining perfect mobility and full human rights. PT is the logical and natural path to freedom from political whims and destructive buteaucracy.

Perpetual Traveler PTs, People of Talent, can, at a few strokes of the pen, be truly free of Big

Brother. Since oppressors and exploiters in the modern world exercise control with paperwork and computers, your prime objective is to disappear from all lists and registers of any kind. Once that is accomplished, your present government will lose interest in you. You have ceased to be a citizen or subject. It is the goal of the PT to achieve this invisibility by acquiring a new nationality and an offshore address. 6

The Meaning of Natural Liberty PT freedom extends beyond monetary concerns. Neither the PT nor his family need be inconvenienced by government-instigated wars or military service. T h e flexibility and mobility of being a PT means you will never be an unwilling draftee, victim, inmate, casualty or refugee. PTs pick their fights and choose their surroundings. They are not swept along in torrents caused by forces beyond their control. T h e PT remains comfortably beyond the reach of Big Brother's grasp. Governments cannot easily attack or wipe out an amorphous group with no consistent behavior patterns. Government officials see PTs as the most desirable kind of tourist, respectful of local authority, low profile and prosperous. Thus, unlike publicity-seeking tax rebels, a PT courts no danger and invites no confrontations. Avoid T a x e s Legally By merely moving abroad and establishing a legally recognized residence and domicile in a tax haven, an investor can legally avoid handing over half of his income to the bureaucrats. He is free to roam the world, provided he does not remain anywhere long enough to be considered a resident for tax purposes. Thus, the PT avoids most income taxes without resorting to fraud, because fraud is unnecessary. In most cases a theoretically perfect PT need never file tax returns, government-required disclosure forms or other needless paperwork. If you don't enjoy forcible extractions from your bank account or restrictions on your basic human rights, then you can easily move and declare yourself to be a legal resident of any place you please. No government has the legal right or ability to tax a PT who neither lives within its borders permanently nor has any

assets there. T h e PT is free to enrich the world with his talent, skills, invention, industry or artistry and then enjoy 100 percent of the fruits of his enterprise. Unlimited, untaxed wealth and the power to dispose of it as you please are two of the major benefits of becoming a PT. PTs can produce good things, be paid in full without withholdings or deductions and then spend their earnings as they please.

P T Possibilities As PTs, only self-imposed restrictions can keep us from experiencing the wonders of the world. T h e PT can and will drive, fly or sail across international frontiers, moving freely without need of exit permits or entry visas. T h e PT is able to move fast and decisively, to disappear and resurface anywhere, anytime. PTs believe one must raise self-consciousness about the nature of freedom and rid one's self of limitations. P T M e a n s T r u e F r e e d o m PTs can study any philosophy, raise and educate our children in our beliefs and opinions without contradiction from government-controlled school curriculum. We can pass on our knowledge according to our inner lights. We need not follow the dictates of an obtuse school commissar who bans books and forbids truths we find self-evident. As PTs we are able to invent, reject or follow any religion, personal morality or way of life we choose. For those with unconventional thoughts, habits or beliefs, PT is the answer. PTs need not abide by regulations or laws they find offensive, inconvenient or immoral. PT is all about options. T h e more options, the greater the freedom. This freedom does not mean a PT can be irresponsible, causing problems, injury or pain to others. As PTs we can vote with our feet, but the trip doesn't have to be irrevocable or permanent. The PT can leave until things get better, then return. T h e PT gains the world, while giving up nothing except the treadmill that is life as most people know it.

7 The Meaning of Natural Liberty

Follow Your Heart by Gary Scott, The Sovereign Individual, July 1999 How two world travelers found just the right home simply by following the dictates of their hearts. Those who choose to change residence to regain control over their lives often jump from the frying pan into the fire. Recently, I received a call from a reader who told me he was moving out of the United States to get away from Big Brother and reduce taxes. "Have you ever lived abroad?" I asked. "Never have," he replied. "Visit first," was all I could add, knowing that it's usually cheaper to live in the United States and pay tax. I have found there is a better process than checking tax regimes to figure out where to live. To start this process, look within, rather than without. Look for ways to do more of what you want and should do with people you like. T h e action you take in life is more important than money. If you follow your heart (intuition) and invest and live in places that interest and attract you, your life gets better and your financial success will grow. W h e n you are no longer consumed by money, it comes more easily. W h e n you are on your own unique and correct path, synchronicity takes over and resolves issues that may formerly have appeared to be unresolvable. Intuition W o r k s ! To show how this works, allow me to share what happened to my wife, Merri, and me when we left the United States and began investing in and moving toward our dreams.

I have been concerned with the Y2K millennium bug for years. But what can one do? This computer problem is so complex no one knows what will really happen. How much should one do to prepare ? I was grappling with this problem when our hearts became enthralled with the people who are Inca descendants and live in Ecuador. We became so involved in the Andes that I forgot about Y2K and started an Ecuadorian business. We followed our intuition and the monetary rewards became better than we could have ever imagined. Exactly the right people, land, ideas and information popped up exactly when they were needed. Call it synchronicity, felicity or just good luck, but an extra financial power came along when we let go of our monetary motives and began to follow our dreams. T h e magic worked in every way. For example, we had been trying for years to find a farm in North Carolina and nothing had seemed to work. Yet, when we decided with our Ecuadorian partners that we needed such a place in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a farm that the owners had previously refused to sell suddenly became available. But the deal was even better. Along with the 179 acres we expected and had tried to buy (without success) an extra 28 acres were thrown in free. Suddenly the perfect plantation we needed in Ecuador also appeared at just the perfect altitude, the perfect location, perfect pure volcanic water and natural organic food supply and of course, the perfect price. But the benefits of this approach reached into all levels. For example, Merri and I had no thought about the Y2K benefits when we started planning our Ecuadorian move, yet we ended up with a Y2K solution better than we could ever have conceived. We'll begin the new millennium living on land where we are self-sufficient in food, water and energy. Our Ecuadorian friends who live there with us are almost Y2K proof as their culture has lived beautifully without much technology for the last 500 years! We started the venture because of our interest and not money or the need to protect ourselves from Y2K. Yet, we expect this venture to be very profitable and our Y2K needs have been resolved.

Apparent T a x Benefits

T h e benefits don't end there. My tax attorney told me that 1 had stumbled into one of the The Meaning of Natural Liberty greatest tax benefits around. On the land, we are developing a center for longevity in a 50 percent partnership with local villagers. T h e center will offet ancient purification techniques that the Andeans have never before shared. Because this is half owned by non-Americans, the centet can defer U . S . taxes on its business income. All we had to worry about was Ecuadotian tax. We did not start this business as a tax shelter. Our goal was to help protect and preserve the wonderful valley where the center is situated, to help employ Ecuadorians, and to help share the wondrous Ecuadorian knowledge. But the synchronicity didn't end there. A second incredible tax benefit appeated. Just as we began moving, Ecuador abolished all income and corporate tax. We'll live in Ecuador tax free! W h e n you follow your heart and not just your tax advisor you become more independent, self-sufficient, altruistic, connected, revitalized and respected, and gain a greater self-worth. You automatically become a better investor too! You don't have to abandon your investing disciplines either. Quite the opposite. By narrowing your participation into areas you really enjoy, you'll have more time to apply greater economic sense and thought to your endeavors. Plus, you'll gain help from the universe you can't acquire in any other way. This can quickly put you on the path to personal sovereignty and wealth. Big Brother's Tyranny PT, 1996 There is not an adult alive who has not had unpleasant or annoying encounters with government bureaucrats. These experiences should serve as warnings of what to expect in more important matters. Serious, life-threatening troubles with government are like cancer. They strike unexpected-ly. You could be lucky, but it is not always the guy next door who will be the victim, crushed by the gtinding wheels of bureaucracy. Government actions, not cancer, A I D S or heart attacks, have been the greatest killers throughout histoty. They are the primary cause of human injuries and

premature death. Governments, not natutal disasters, bear most of the blame for the suffering in the world. Vast numbers of good patriotic citizens are murdered in needless wars, displaced by government engineered relocations or starved by famines caused by government intentions or stupidity. We do not have to look far to find examples of good, innocent people whose lives have been needlessly destroyed by oppressive systems. T h e former Soviet Union used to drug dissidents and confine them to mental wards. They were not alone. Consider the case of the German-Jewish teenager whose biography I recently read. He was shipped to boarding school in England during the Hitler era. In England, he was not permitted to finish the schooling that had been ptepaid fot him, but instead was interned as an enemy alien for the duration of the war. No matter which way he turned, government, those seen by historians as both good and bad, sought only to take away his freedom or his life. All extreme right-and left-wing governments are ruthless, inhuman and wellorganized oppressors. They don't let civilized concepts of human rights stand in their way. Governments are, always have been and always will be dangerous, warlike and immoral institutions. No government is innocent of such proclivities, unless it is totally inept, powerless and inefficient. Belize, Portugal and Costa Rica come close to our ideal. After all, anarchy does permit the most individual freedom. In war and in peace, in democracies or in dictatorships, under capitalists or under communists, strong centralized governments can make original thinking or succeeding visibly in any endeavor dangerous to your health. Governments are like fires, they can be useful. A fire can warm, if you can control it. A fire can also cook your goose. Sooner or later you will surely be involved in a con-9

The Meaning of Natural Liberty frontation with Big Brother. For those who have not read George Orwell's classic satire 1984, in which the expression "Big Brother" was coined for the first time, get a copy and do so at once. Thus prepared, you will gain a better understanding of what I perceive as a clear and present danger: rampant government and big bureaucracy. In most democratic countries, there is the illusion that citizens

control government, but the reality is that Big Brother is here today and will not be gone tomorrow. Western man in our present day Big Brother world is nothing more than a dog on a leash. And that leash is getting shorter, due to the ridiculous and destructive laws that have been passed. T h e laws in most countries are so pervasive that one cannot get out of bed and engage in any economic activity for even a single day without breaking enough laws to go to prison. Everyone who is or has been in an executive position or who has owned his own business knows exactly what I am talking about. Record-keeping requirements alone are almost impossible to maintain. Individuals of every occupation and profession, even those on the dole, are required to file a multitude of documents and papets, all within testricted time limits. A seemingly infinite number of worthless rules, laws, regulations and legal precedents can get even the most honest person into hot water. Furthermore, many activities previously considered to be purely civil matters have been reclassified as criminal offenses. T h e difference between civil and ctiminal penalties is enormous. If you lose a civil case, you pay damages. If government is involved, civil damages usually take the form of back taxes or relatively reasonable fines. However, if criminal charges have been brought against you, jail may well be your next stop. No, you will not be allowed to pass go, but all of your assets will probably be confiscated. Also, as criminal cases are easier to win and offer more opportunities of career advancement for prosecutors, few civil cases remain purely civil these days. There are, unfortunately, few areas of human activity remaining that cannot in some way land you in jail when things go wrong. Working in combination with this increase in senseless legislation is an alarming decline in personal privacy in most parts of the world. Nameless, faceless petty government officials can press a few buttons to find out what magazines you read, what videos you rent, where you travel, whom you call or who calls you. In the modern electronic world, it is a simple matter for government investigators to uncover every financial transaction you have ever made, or at least those that appear in your proper name with yout proper taxpayer identification number. Armed with such information, a skilled team of investigators can, if they wish, apply pressure or build a legal case against you for many victimless crimes from

adultery to tax evasion, or for having failed to meet one of a myriad of technical requirements. Government or private investigators can and will quickly find out how much money you earn and where it is deposited or invested. They can also dig up quite a few damaging "facts" that are completely incorrect as a great deal of the information is culled from other people's files, intercepted mail and a mish-mash of unreliable sources and misinterpreted material. Unfortunately, you can never know for certain what they have in theit mound of manure. Although this proliferation of new and senseless laws and the accompanying decline in personal freedom may look accidental, there is method to the madness. As almost no one is in full 100 percent compliance with the various laws and regulations now in existence, we all become criminals by definition. Government prosecutors like a situation in which everyone is a potential criminal and thus a potential victim. T h e fact that we are not all prosecuted is due to luck and selective enforcement. T h e government cannot go after all law breakers. Big Brother can only shoot down those who provoke confrontations or otherwise stand out from the crowd. 10 The Meaning of Natural Liberty

Written in the Whirlwind by Robert E. Bauman, JD, September 1998 There's an old saying about "straws in the wind" indicating future events. If true, the international monsoon directed against legal tax avoidance should tell us something about the future. What we're seeing is an official hurricane headed directly at legitimate offshore tax, business and banking haven nations. And if the tax-hungry bureaucrats have their way, national sovereignty and independence will top the casualty disaster list. It's all part of a concerted battle Big Brother government is waging against personal liberty on many fronts. T h e Brussels bureaucrats running the European

Union, under the hypoctitical banner of "tax harmonization" (meaning "high taxes for all"), demand an EU-wide withholding tax on interest income earned by foreigners. Alternately they want a snitch-reporting system that informs a non-resident interest earner's home government of any and all offshore income. In London, the Labour government demands "reform" of financial laws in the Channel Islands and on the Isle of Man. Never mind that these constitutionally independent territories have had the right to enact such laws as they see fit since the Norman Conquest. Whitehall bluntly has informed Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man they must write foreign tax evasion into local law as a criminal offense. Similarly, U.K. pressure is mounting on offshore dependencies such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands to enact "all crimes" money laundering laws (including tax evasion) that go far beyond anything ever envisioned as anti-drug measures. In defiance, the Caymans and the British Virgin Islands, bless them, have adopted statutes specifically excluding "fiscal crimes." What should worry freedom lovers everywhere is that "tax avoidance" is now being rewritten to mean "tax evasion" both wrapped neatly into the all-purpose indictment of "money laundering." Throw in police forfeiture powers and you have a tax collectors' nirvana. Instant, self-financing government tax grabs. At a June 1998 conference in New York, the United Nations sought to impose this expansive redefinition on the world at large. T h e draft UN report argues the common theme in financial crimes is the "enabling machinery" that exists in haven nations. T h e UN sees these haven nations (18 in the Caribbean, 16 in Europe, 11 in Asia and 6 in the Middle East and Africa) as "an enormous hole in the international legal and financial system" that must be plugged firmly and fast. In effect, the UN wants to end and/or control the "proliferation" of offshore trusts and international business corporations, attorney-client privilege, use of free trade zones and the operation of gambling casinos. For good measure, they demand an enforceable international financial reporting system in which all nations will be forced to participate. Goodbye national sovereignty! T h e UN minces few words in demanding that the world must "face the issue of the use of sovereignty by some countries to give citizens of other countries a

way around the laws of their own society." Can we now expect to see multinational tax-collecting expeditions dispatched to Panama or the British Virgin Islands? Will CNN flash scenes of legions of armed accountants flooding ashore in the Cook Islands under the UN banner? T h e Wall Street Journal editorially questioned Europe's lack of concerted action in foreign policy matters. "The EU's most obvious deficiency is that it lacks the military muscle to back up its declarations." It also needs political unanimity, which Switzerland and Luxembourg are unlikely to grant on most financial restriction issues. But who knows what will happen? After years of talk, diplomats meeting in Rome on July 17, 1998 created an international court to punish those who commit "war crimes and atrocities." One-hundred twenty nations, including all those in Europe, voted for it; six (including the U.S., Istael, India and China) opposed; and 21 abstained. T h e coutt, destined for location in the Hague, the World Court's long-time hang out, will step in when a nation's justice system is deemed by othet 11

The Meaning of Natural Liberty nations as being unable or unwilling to act. T h e day may come when a gradual redefinition (as with money laundering) will expand the scope of "war crimes" to include the "war" against tax avoidance. T h e Nuremberg Trials will be child's play by comparison. [Ed. Note: In 2003 the world criminal court came into existence at The Hague, with the United States government refusing to participate or recognize its claimed jurisdiction over U.S. diplomats or members of the U.S. military.] Speaking of freedom, in 1976 the late U . S . Supreme Court justice, William O. Douglas, warned, "As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air 'however slight,' lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."

Adopt a New Country by Marshall J. Langer, The Tax Exile Report, 1997 A noted international tax expert shares with you his ideas about how to reduce your taxes to an absolute minimum—if you are willing to make a new home for yourself. I personally believe you would be much better off moving to another country than you would be trying to roam the world just a step ahead of those who may pursue you. Some advisers suggest that the best way to escape from Big Brother's tax clutches is to become a low-profile world traveler. I disagree. That may have worked well in the pre-computer days when people could simply disappear from the system never to surface again. Today, if you are a significant taxpayer in any high-tax country, the government's computers should quickly notice your absence. T h e tax authorities may simply monitor your situation on an ongoing basis, waiting for the right time to pounce. It is very difficult to become a true world traveler in today's computerized world. If you move from a high-tax country to a tax haven such as the Cayman Islands everyone will know exactly what you have done. If, on the other hand, you move from one high-tax country to another high-tax country you may not be watched nearly as closely. In fact, some high-tax countries treat newcomers rather well. I suggest that you consider establishing a new homeland in a hospitable high-tax country rather than moving to a notorious tax haven or wandering from place to place forever.

The Growing Sovereign Individual Movement by Nicholas Pullen, 1998 Globalization of the world economy and the advent of immensely improved telecommunications have for many made it possible to live where we "want" to live rather than whete we "have" to live. So says Roger Gallo in his excellent book, Escape From America.

Though the title of the book suggests a work exclusively for U.S. citizens it is, in fact, an indispensable resource for any individual seeking to escape the negative impositions of any government. And every day more individuals are seeking to do just that. Everywhere, people are choosing to escape restrictions, limitations and complications at "home" by physically relocating themselves and their affairs to countries where they can enjoy greater freedom. F r e e d o m Desired T h e freedoms these people desire take many forms and depend as much on individual consider-12

The Meaning of Natural Liberty ations as anything else. I have spoken to numerous individuals who have waved goodbye to their "home" government in order to enjoy their own particular brand of freedom. Their motivations were many and varied. Some were sick and tired of paying high taxes. No longer prepared to be milked like cattle, they chose to relocate to countries where they get to keep more of their hard-earned wealth. Some were tired of relentless government infringement and intfusion at home. So they relocated to countries where personal and financial privacy are still respected. Some felt unsafe at home. They wanted to be free of high crime levels, avaricious litigants, malevolent bureaucrats and corrupt politicians. So they moved to countries offering security, political stability and social harmony. Some felt they could secute bettet opportunities and a better future for their childten than were available at home by telocating to younger, emerging countries with healthier economies.

Many people left their home shores to go in seatch of places whete they could enjoy a significantly lower cost of living, cut-price real estate and setvice charges considerably less inflated than their equivalent at home. Othets left home to enjoy a more attractive climate, a better environment, a more relaxed pace of life and, in one case I know about, bettet skiing and a thriving social scene. Every expatriate I spoke to had cast off the shackles imposed by their home government for different reasons. But they all agree on one fundamental point: increased mobility and sophisticated technology make it perfectly practicable to live and conduct business, financial and personal affairs from almost anywhete in the world. A computer, a modem and a telephone line make it perfectly feasible for anybody to stay in touch with friends and family, run a business, work and remain in contact with financial advisors, bankers and professionals worldwide at the touch of a button. And the rest of the world is never more than a flight away. This is the gospel of the Sovereign Individual. And the word is spreading. Flight from t h e U . S . We only have to take a look at U.S. State Department figures issued toward the end of 1997. These illustrate how the principles of the Sovereign Individual are catching on in the U . S . Thete are now 3.3 million Americans living abroad (excluding government and military personnel). Over the last 30 years the numbet of Ameticans going offshote to seek out lower living costs, better lifestyles and more freedoms has quadrupled. And the rate of exit continues to accelerate. Evety year, mote and more Americans are waving farewell to Uncle Sam and relocating to every corner of the globe where freedoms remain available and intact. T h e U.S. State Department used to publish annual statistics on the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship, but this infotmation is no longet being made public. It isn't hatd to figure out why. High tax bracket Ameticans must renounce their citizenship to escape from the U.S. tax net, which is imposed on all citizens regardless of residence. With countless thousands of Americans

paying seven-digit tax bills while teceiving little in the way of benefits to show for it, it isn't hard to undetstand why an exodus of the best and btightest has begun. Flight from E u r o p e And it isn't just Americans turning their backs on their countries of origin. Every week I speak to Germans, Britons, Dutch, French, Scandinavians and individuals of every conceivable nationality who are unhappy with the services and rights theit taxes buy at home. These people ate looking for alternative governments, alternative service providers who offer cheaper services, less restrictions, more freedom and an improved quality of life. Simply flipping through the papers on the desk in front of me and reading some of the reports and bulletins sent in by contacts, it becomes blatantly evident why so many people ate disillusioned 13

The Meaning of Natural Liberty by life at "home." T h e German government has been particularly busy attacking privacy lately. German police officers were awarded the right to bug private homes and eavesdrop on private conversations. Federal agencies in the U . S . have 15,000 "wild, out of control" informants on their payrolls. Now the Germans want to play follow-my-leader. T h e German tax department is eagerly awaiting the outcome of a Finance Ministry meeting which will consider awarding cash rewards to informants who squeal on tax evaders. It is easy to foresee the abuses to which such activities could lead. In Switzerland, the police have been secretly following mobile phone users through a telephone computer company. In Britain, mobile phone companies are understood to have come to an arrangement with law enforcement agencies to provide coding information on individual phones used by suspected criminals. This will mean the police can track anybody who has their mobile phone switched on. All ovet Europe, bank employees are being used as unpaid government

informers, and cameras and surveillance equipment are springing up at seaports, airports, on roads, in the streets and in public buildings. We are told this development is to fight crime. But all too often in the past we have seen technology originally introduced to fight ctime subsequently directed at private, non-criminal citizens. If you live in the U.K., on any average day you are caught on camera up to 14 times. Many Western governments are working on and introducing technology capable of scanning individual faces and recording them. Pretty soon it will be difficult for Westerners to move without their government's surveillance network knowing about it and recording it. And you won't need reminding that every day that ever dawns in the U.S. sees possibly innocent, unsuspecting individuals embroiled in the latest deployment of draconian civil asset forfeiture laws or predatoty litigation. Every day sees fresh civil liberties violations. Every day sees the death of another freedom. E x o d u s N o Surprise We shouldn't be surprised that people have had a gut full. We shouldn't be surprised that more and more individuals are voting with their feet. On the evidence of the above we should only be surprised that more Americans and Europeans aren't following the example. Inevitably more will. This is the age of the Sovereign Individual. Increasing mobility and sophisticated telecommunications technology has made it possible to find freedom offshore without sactificing eatning potential, personal relationships or convenience. When you relocate offshore the only things you sactifice are your relationships with a government that doesn't respect your freedom and a tax authority that only has eyes fot your personal wealth. I don't think the termination of either of these relationships is a sactifice. I think of the end of such nightmarish associations as a blessing. Y o u r O w n E s c a p e Plan? You may alteady be numbered among these sovereign individuals enjoying your new-found freedom. It may be that you are already considering escaping your government yourself.

If you fall into the latter category you may want to consider the findings of a study published by the Swiss-based Corporate Resource Group rating the best cities worldwide for expatriates to live in. The survey focuses on "quality of living issues" and rates cities fot political and economic stability, ctime, pollution, health, environment and schooling. T h e top ten ranked cities for expattiates were, in descending order: Vancouver, Auckland, Toronto, Zurich, Geneva, Melbourne, Sydney, Helsinki, Vienna and Brussels. If you're considering looking for a suitable destination to escape to or even weighing up the options just in case you need to move fast in the future, you might focus your initial research on these cities. 14

The Meaning of Natural Liberty Are You a Libertarian? by Vincent H. Miller, 1998 One of its American leaders recalls the history and growth of the Libertarian movement—and asks you to examine your own political conscience. What is a libertarian? T h e catch phrase, "Fiscally conservative; socially liberal," explains it— sort of. But simplifications often lose the essence of what they describe. Basically a libertarian is a person who believes in individual liberty, an unregulated market economy and social tolerance for diverse lifestyles. It's a "live and let live" philosophy. T h e foundation of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle, which states that no one may initiate force or fraud against others. This is sometimes stated as, "First, do no harm," or in the biblical turn of phrase, "Thou shalt not aggress." Many libertarians trace their roots back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century

classical free trade liberals to England's Adam Smith, John Locke, John Cobden, Richard Bright, French philosopher Frederic Bastiat and others. Others look to nineteenth-century American individualist anar-chists such as William Lloyd Gatrison, Lysander Spooner, and Henry David Thoreau. Modern G r o w t h T h e modern libertarian movement, however, has been most strongly influenced by the late Austrian economist Ludwig Von Mises, Mises' protege and Nobel Laureate, F. A. Hayek, and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago. Perhaps the most influential of all was the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, whose novels, plays, and essays strongly influenced the new wave of libettarians. T h e message of her epic novel Atlas Shrugged has been so powerful that a joint survey by the Book of the Month Club and the Library of Congress ranked Atlas Shrugged second only to the Bible as the book that had most influenced people's lives. Although there have been pockets of libertarian influence throughout history, the modern movement began to gain momentum in the 1940s. With the founding of Leonard Read's Foundation for Economic Education at Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, and the near-simultaneous publication of Rand's The Fountainhead, Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, Isabel Paterson's The God of the Machine, Rose Wilder Lane's The Discovery of Freedom and Mises' Human Action, the modern libertarian movement took its first steps. It wasn't until the publication of Atlas Shrugged in 1957 that the Libertarian movement as we know it today regained its stride. During those earliest years, a whole generation was inspired by Rand's libertarian message of individualism and uncompromising free-market capitalism. It was all the more amazing given that libertarianism began evolving during the era of President Roosevelt's socialist/fascist New Deal. Libertarian pioneers such as author Rose Wilder Lane and H. L. Mencken, columnist for the Baltimore Evening Sun, vigorously attacked the socialism and collectivism of the New Deal and paved the way for a much larger and more influential movement which later developed.

A seminal moment of the modern libertarian movement was the 1969 convention of the pioneer young conservative group, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) in St Louis, Missouri. Since the founding in 1960 of this association of young Barry Goldwater conservatives, there had been an uneasy peace between YAF's traditionalist conservative wing and the libertarian-Randian wing. Libertarian opposition to the Vietnam War, the military draft and other human rights issues finally erupted into full-scale political war. This confrontation resulted in a purge of the libertarians, who left en masse and met under St. Louis Gateway Arch to found a new movement. Luminaries such as Karl Hess, author of the 1960 Republican platfotm and a fotmet Goldwater-Nixon-Ford speech writer, Leonard Liggio, who would later become president of the Institute for 15

The Meaning of Natural Liberty Humane Studies, and most of the International Society for Individual Liberty's (ISIL) current board members were thete. At this time ISIL's sister organization the Society fot Individual Liberty (SIL) was formed as an umbrella group for disenfranchised libertarians. From this new beginning the movement grew. SIL produced a comprehensive series of educational pamphlets which sold in the millions. They organized tax protest days, and created a network of activist student chapters in colleges and universities across the nation. In 1971, SIL member David F. Nolan founded the Libertarian Party in his Denver, Colorado, living room. In the years following the historic 1969 conservative/libertarian split, many of the movement's intellectual institutions formed: Laissez Faire Books, Reason magazine and the Reason Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Ludwig von Mises Institute and more. A n Intellectual F o r c e Today libertarianism in America, if not a major success at the ballot box, is an intellectual force to be reckoned with.

One of the key contributions of the libertarian movement has been its critical examination and analysis of the proper role of government. This is a subject libettarians take very seriously. For many years the standard line was that since governments enjoy a monopoly on the use of force, its proper role should be limited to those agencies in which such powers seem appropriate, i.e., police, military and courts. Nothing else. An impressive body of litetatute has arisen from the pens of libertarian scholars challenging the role of government in today's society. They have observed that it is difficult to find anything that governments touch that is not eventually turned into a cesspool of corruption, patronage and mind-boggling waste. Competitive markets in a free economy, they assert, can provide most if not all the essential services currently provided by government. Many in the movement, including David Friedman, son of Milton Friedman and authot of a seminal book entitled The Machinery of Freedom, explain that virtually evety function currently provided by governments can be provided better and more inexpensively—not to mention more compassionately—by competitive market institutions. There are interesting arguments of great merit from both sides of this debate. How much better would it be, for example, if organizations like the United Way, churches or other charitable organizations handled welfare instead of government? For example, in America the government wastes over 80 percent of its welfare dollars on mam-moth bureaucracies and their palatial offices, whereas private charities reverse these figures. T h e Social Security system is bankrupt and inflicts a terrible tax burden on the younget genetation. Why not take it out of the hands of corrupt politicians and privatize it? There is a vast library of literature on the privatization of most governmental functions by the world's leading scholars. For those interested, Laissez Faire Books can provide the proper research material. Their book service and informative catalogue is one of the treasures of the libertarian movement. In 1980, I founded the Libertarian International in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with the assistance of Bruce Evoy of Toronto (founder of the Canadian Libertarian Party). In 1982, the first world conference of libertarians was held in Zurich,

Switzerland. This event brought together widely diverse groups of classical liberals, libertarians and Ayn Rand Objectivists from all over Europe and the world (few of whom had been aware of their brothers and sisters in neighboring countries). A world network was established which attracted an amazingly powerful group of activists and intellectuals. Former industrialist Hubert Jongen of Holland rapidly organized a network of European libertarians, which to this day meets quarterly in Amsterdam. He also organized the 1983 ISIL World Conference in Brussels. In 1989 the Libertarian International and the original SIL merged to form the International 16

The Meaning of Natural Liberty Society for Individual Liberty. T h e original founders of both of these pioneering organizations fotmed the board of the new educational foundation. Since then, world conferences have been held in most European countries and, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in many of the former Eastern Bloc countries— the Czech and Slovak Republics, Estonia and Russia. Economics and human rights conferences were held in Swaziland, Southeast Africa, Mexico's Yucatan —even one in San Francisco. Our members became major figures in their home countries. South African advisory board members Leon Louw and Frances Kendall were nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to defuse the explosive environment in their country by installing a Swiss-styled cantonal system—and for setting up a law review project to repeal hundreds of the oppressive apattheid laws. They also had significant input into the drafting of a new Bill of Rights for South Africa. In recent years, we have sponsored hundreds of struggling activists in the developing world, as well as the former countries of the Soviet Eastern Bloc. Today, we are providing support for courageous individuals who are setting up free-market organizations in Belarus, Albania, Serbia and Croatia to name a few countries. We have sponsored translations of Rand's books into Russian and Romanian.

We believe that the world is in for a rough ride over the next decade, but that the twenty-first century holds the promise of a renaissance of freedom. Libertarians will remain on the front lines of the battle for free markets and free minds. We invite you to join us. Ayn Rand: A Very Special Person PT, 1996 An examination of the origins and theories put forth by the noted author and influential founder of the Objectivist philosophy. Governments like the idea that innocent people suffer at the hands of new legislation. They know that in our modern world, anyone who achieves any degree of success also inherently becomes a lawbreaker along the way. As a tesult of this arrangement, they can prosecute almost anyone at almost any time. T h e fact that the laws broken are silly, if not uttetly ridiculous, does not in any way miti-gate the severity of a conviction. Again, it seems that those responsible for shaping the movements of government have done their homework. Just as George Orwell demonstrated the need to have a fictitious enemy, Ayn Rand showed the benefits that a government can enjoy by ttansforming its entire population into ipso facto criminals. A Russian expatriate who fled to the United States from Soviet Russia in the 1920s, Ayn Rand went on to become one of the leading authors of this century. Her success is based largely on the public acclaim she received for both her novels and philosophical volumes, but also comes from her general outlook on life. In her view, life belongs exclusively to the individual who shall, in turn, be absolutely free to do with it whatever he pleases, as long as the rights of others are not transgressed. In 1957, Rand published her stunning and immensely significant novel Atlas Shrugged (out of print in Britain, it is still available from Signet Books, New York). In her work, Rand explains exactly how things work in the real world and what may happen if too many people lose sight of the facts. More terrifying still is the realization that much of what Rand predicted has alteady begun to happen in almost every western country.

Set in the U.S. (without mentioning any specific year), the backdrop for Atlas Shrugged is 17

The Meaning of Natural Liberty industry and the people who make it work. The heroes, according to Rand, are not unionized workers who alternate between whining for shorter hours and demanding more pay for less work, but lather a few, tate capitalists, without whose constant quest for efficiency and profit the engine of the world would stop. In the novel, a number of senseless laws are introduced by government. All are, officially, passed for the common good and public welfare. Competition is testticted by law, lest old and inefficient companies with bloated payrolls lose ground to new, ambitious upstarts. Plans are introduced to spread profits around, lest a few attain "excessive" riches. An industrialist, Hank Rearden, invents a revolutionary metal, Rearden Metal. Suspicious, at first, over this new product, the wotld soon realizes that the invention holds supreme advantages over steel and will tevolutionize just about every sector of industry. To make sure that Rearden does not discriminate against those customets who initially refused to buy his product, laws are passed that require him to put a quota-system into operation that ensures everyone will enjoy his state-guaranteed right to buy his "fair share" of the output. Even so, Reatden profits mightily due to his years of research and hard work. Soon rival mills, unable to compete against him with theit old-fashioned steel, are driven to the brink of bankruptcy. Making no excuses for his success, Rearden is in due course blackmailed by the government into giving up his patent tights so that all may shate in the benefits of his invention. T h e following excerpt from the book is a verbal exchange between Rearden and Ferris, the emissary of Big Brother who visits the mills to announce the government blackmail. "You honest men are such a headache, but we knew you'd slip up sooner or later —and this is just what we wanted." "You seem to be pleased about it." "Don't I have good reason to be?"

"But, aftet all, I did break one of your laws." "Well, what do you think they'te thete for?" Dr. Ferris did not notice the sudden look on Rearden's face, the look of a man hit by the first vision of that which he had sought to see. Dt. Fetris was past the stage of seeing; he was intent upon delivering the last blows to an animal caught in a trap. "Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. T h e only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough ctiminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. W h o wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of lawbreakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." Translate this to modern-day politics and you quickly see that the so-called "war on drugs" is, in fact, nothing but an elaborate scare to make it legal for the state to invade everyone's privacy. A multitude of legislation introduced creates a situation where prosecutots can select and convict almost anyone of a drugrelated crime. If nothing else, Adas Shrugged will open your eyes to what happens in both Europe and the U.S. once politicians, scheming intellectuals and over-ambitious bureaucrats are given too much of a say in your life. I S

The Meaning of Natural Liberty The New Cold War: Wealth Is the Target

by Robert E. Bauman, JD, 1998 Knowledgeable U . S . lawyers, accountants and tax consultants will admit that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ( I R S ) has declared war on Americans engaged in ttaditional offshore financial activity of nearly every kind. It's a favorite IRS public relations tactic to issue dire "crack down" warnings and enforcement threats to keep taxpayers honest. In 1997, the IRS theme was stop "abusive trusts," both domestic and foreign, and those who sell them. T h e IRS believes there is a host of alleged tax evaders and money launderers whom they presume guilty based on the financial tools the accused taxpayer uses. High on the prime IRS target list: those who set up and use international business corporations ( I B C s ) , offshore trusts, and bank accounts in known "tax haven" nations, especially where financial privacy laws are strict. This anti-wealth attack is cootdinated with other federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice ( D O J ) , the Federal Reserve Board, the U . S . Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other appropriate police agencies, and sympathetic foreign governments like the U.K. J. Richard Duke, Esq., a leading U . S . asset protection attorney from Birmingham, Alabama, sees the IRS agenda as "an indiscriminate attack on anyone who dates to shield wealth in ways that until now have been considered entirely legitimate." Mr. Duke's view was echoed by Charles A. Cain of the U.K., editor of Offshore Investment, in a February 1998 editorial ("The New Cold Wat") in which he charged "the line between tax avoidance and tax evasion" is purposely being blurred by governments, with honest people (and theit tax advisots) being jailed for "failed attempts at tax avoidance" while "tax evasion is put down on a moral level with heroine and cocaine pushing." Among current programs IRS officials boast of: • A computerized I R S "wire transfer project" that matches outbound and inbound wire transfers with individual income tax teturns, or lack theteof. (Keep

in mind the U.S. government has the ability to monitot virtually every electtonic communication that occurs anywhete in the world.); • A continuing review of suspicious IBCs, especially Panamanian IBCs using "bearer" shares; • T h e "Offshore Internet Wagering Project" looking for unreported income from cyberspace gambling. Scores of people in the U . S . have been arrested for running Internet gambling operations; • T h e auditing of tax returns of offshore trusts with U.S. offices primarily located in the Miami and Los Angeles areas; and • A special effort by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) to search out "promoters" of alleged tax-evading legal structutes, with the goal of indictment, as well as hitting their clients with back taxes due, penalties, interest and possible criminal charges. IRS C I D officials also revealed they now systematically train agents of the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency ( C I A ) and the U . S . Secret Setvice in tax aspects of international crime. They also train police agents from Russia, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, several Central American and Caribbean nations and have established formal "working relationships" with Canada, Germany and other nations. Cold W a r Against W e a l t h This is all part of a new international "Cold War," waged by government bureaucrats against 19

The Meaning of Natural Liberty anyone who seeks lower taxes and less financial tegulation, especially those who choose to go offshore. The IRS battle plan is a despetate gtasp by Big Brother aimed at stopping those who rebel against heavy taxation and the transfer of wealth from productive citizens to unworthy tax consumers. The tax collectors know the most talented citizens of the U.S., U.K. and other

welfare states are deserting, setting up financial shop whete they and their capital are treated best. This trend is intensified by the developing wotldwide "cybereconomy" based on Internet technology and free communications unmediated by governments. What has been called the "permeability of financial frontiers" now empowers investors instantly to shift vast sums of money from one nation to another and from one currency to another. T h e 1998-99 "Asian crisis" demonsttated this heretofore unparalleled economic force. Myopic liberals welcome these trends as the potential "collapse of nationhood," the chance to establish one-world government and control by institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. Lovers of liberty with an acute sense of history see instead the potential for liberation of "the sovereign individual," the courageous person who declares independence from "decrepit and debili-tating welfare states" as the Wall Street Journal described them. (For more on this debate, read The Sovereign Individual, by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg, Simon & Schuster, U S $ 2 5 , 1997, an excellent book that explains the coming mass exodus of wealthy people from high tax nations.) No wondet the U.K. Inland Revenue, the IRS and other tax hounds are worried. T h e Economist notes that "undeclared" (untaxed) work now exceeds 15 percent of Europe's combined gross domestic product ( G D P ) , up from five percent in the 1970s. In the somewhat freer U.S., the underground "black market" economy accounts for nearly 10 percent of GDP. That means billions of dollars slipping through the eager hands of the tax man. Why the growing black market? Confiscatory taxes, exorbitant labor costs, over regulation - all failures of big government. All things bureaucrats love. This coordinated assault on wealth has a strong international dimension as well. T h e U.S., using its considerable powers, and the U.K., using old colonial ties, are turning the screws on national governments who fail or refuse to go along with the conceited anti-offshote wealth attack. Even greater pressure is being applied to international banks who do business in the U.S. or U.K., as well as in known tax and wealth "haven nations"—which means nearly every international bank. As that firebrand of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry of Virginia said, "I

am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to prepare for it. You have been forewarned and should act accordingly." Should You Become A Tax Exile? by Marshall J. Langer, The Tax Exile Report, 1997 Most people are not likely to become tax exiles. Most Ameticans and some British are insular; they tend not to invest abroad and wouldn't think of moving to another country. This section is intended fot those individuals who would consider obtaining a new citizenship and moving abroad. A surprisingly large percentage of wealthy individuals seem to like the idea of being shorn like sheep. They live and work in high-tax countries and they allow their governments to take from them a substantial portion of everything they earn. They tolerate wealth taxes and transfer taxes that take away much of what they own, not only yeat-by-yeat but also when they try to transfet it to their loved ones by gift or inheritance. They sheepishly acquiesce as their governments use the 20

The Meaning of Natural Liberty power to tax to redistribute their wealth within the society. They tolerate an everincreasing expansion of the Robin Hood theory of taxation, under which governments take from the middle class and the rich and give to the bureaucrats and some of the poor. T a x e s , T a x e s , M o r e T a x e s People generally understand that they have to pay some taxes if they expect to receive any services from their government. Most of us accept that taxes ate the price we pay for a civilized society. T h e problem is that many of us now feel—rightly I think—that we are being gouged by taxes, taxes on taxes, and more taxes. We pay federal taxes, state or provincial taxes and local taxes. We pay two levels of tax on corporate income— first at the corporate level and again at the shareholder level when dividends are paid. Salaries are subject to both a gross income tax (called social security) and a net income tax on the same earnings. Investment income is subject to two

different forms of taxes—an income tax and inflation that strips away the value of the investment. Capital gains tax must often be paid not only on the real gain but also on the appreciation in value that is actually due to inflation. Insular A m e r i c a n s I have represented non-American clients for more than three decades. Many of my clients were either Europeans or former Europeans who had fled to Latin America just before the second World War. These people left nearly everything behind and struggled to build a new life in a new land. Most went to Latin America only because they couldn't get into the U . S . or Canada. Using their European know-how in third-world countries, some of them became immensely wealthy. One of their primary investment objectives was and still is international diversification. They keep perhaps one-third of their money in their new homeland and they divide the rest of it between Europe (mostly in Swiss banks) and North America. More recently, some of them have begun investing a small part of theit wealth in the booming Pacific Basin. Contrast this picture with Americans who typically invest all of their funds in the U.S. Until very recently, most Americans hesitated to put even a small percentage of their assets in as foreign a place as Canada. Anything more foreign than that was unthinkable. Only duting the past two or three years have some Americans begun to buy U.S.-based mutual funds investing in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America. An article by Anatole Kaletsky in the Times of London discussed and tried to explain the insularity of Americans. Based on a study by Philip Turner entitled Capital Flows in the 1980s, published by the Bank for International Settlements ( B I S ) , Basel, Switzerland, the article asked: If Japanese, German and British investors have been diversifying theit pottfolios into dollars, why has this not been offset by American investors buying up assets in yen, marks and pounds? Financial analysts rarely stop to ask this obvious question. Perhaps it is because the answer, suggested in the BIS study, is too alarming, or simply too damaging to the financial markets' self-esteem. T h e fact is that despite the apparently sophisticated and overdeveloped financial industry operating on Wall Street, American investors are among the most primitive and insulat in the world. In 1990, American pension funds and

life insurers each held only four percent of their portfolios in foteign assets. Among individual investors, international diversification is almost unheard of. One reason for this is that, despite Washington's free-market rhetoric, America has some of the fiercest and most effective capital controls anywhere in the world. American banks make it almost impossible for individuals to hold foreign currencies, pension fund trustees frequently insist on "buy America" investment policies, and matketing restrictions imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission make it illegal for American citizens to invest in most offshore equities, bonds and investment funds. And, he didn't even discuss the nasty tax problems that arise when Americans acquire foreign 21

The Meaning of Natural Liberty shares or mutual funds. A m e r i c a n s Stay and P a y T h e U.S. Congress and the IRS both know that they have a captive market of taxpayers. Most Americans don't even think in terms of investing outside the U.S. They are incapable of moving abroad ot becoming perpetual tourists. They are horrified at the thought that anyone would give up American citizenship either to avoid taxes or for any other reason. Congress could double present tax rates and most Americans would simply grumble. Most of them would not even consider leaving. They would stay and pay. Many Britons are like that too. During the last Labour government, investment income over about £20,000 a year was taxable at a whopping 98 percent. In the late 1970s, I was asked to advise an elderly British woman how she could reduce her taxes. I suggested that she move to a tax haven such as Bermuda. Her response was: "Oh, but I wouldn't think of leaving London." She stayed and paid. She eventually got a reprieve in the form of lower taxes from Margaret Thatcher's Tory government.

Violence in Our Time by John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, June 1999 April 1999 was the cruelest month, bringing unbearable heartbreak in Kosovo as well as in Littleton, Colorado. Both events unnerve and confound us. How can our civilization be so breathtakingly advanced, yet so frighteningly primitive? There is a tendency to believe that we live in a more enlightened age, one in which advancing civilization has risen above the mutderous behavior that charactetized more primitive cultures. Yet, the facts destroy this illusion. T h e dark, violent side of human culture has not been subdued as civilization has aged. T h e twentieth century regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and now Milosevic are proof that our "advanced" civilization has not advanced in thousands of years. Throughout history people in every nation have searched in vain for solutions to mass slaughter, but they have utterly failed. T h e historians debate past wars, pontificating on how each could have been avoided by better diplomacy or faster response. They place the blame on evil leaders, or they blame some genetic defect of the people, like the militarism of the Germans or the belligerent nature of the Serbs. Occasionally, they blame the meekness of the population for failing to stand up to the rising bullying of a dictator. Sometimes they flail themselves for failing to intervene in time. All these ideas are "sound and fury signifying nothing." In truth, wellintentioned people have failed to stop wars because, in their anguish and frustration, they have not bored deep enough into the chain of causality to discover the ultimate root of war. T h e root of these murderous conflicts is not to be found in the evil nature of the leaders or the perpetrators, a flaw in the race, or strategic errors in responding to tyranny. I'm convinced that the cause of these conflicts lies in a fundamental defect in the concept of government. The core premise of all governmental systems is that to satisfy the needs of the people for defense, protection or property, and securing of rights, power must be relinquished by the many and placed in the hands of a few. Those few, be they kings, dictators or elected representatives, are then expected to exercise that power on behalf of the governed. However, history proves that government inevitably grows corrupt, and that corruption leads to an increasing use of police

and military force, both against foreign "enemies" and against its own citizens. Rising taxes, regulations, restrictions, conscriptions and war are built into the nature of government. Why is this inevitable? T h e survival of the human species required the evolution of selfishness. To survive, individuals must be "hard-wired" to act first on behalf of their offspring and themselves, 22

The Meaning of Natural Liberty then on behalf of their close kin. Any system of social organization that expects individuals to act altruistically toward distant and unknown membets of the tribe or nation, rather than considering their own immediate needs and wants, is certain to fail. Yet, that is exactly what is expected of those in government. It is only a matter of time in any nation until the power to tax, regulate and conscript is twisted and used to the personal gain of those in power. Eventually, the lure of power attracts those with the least integrity and greatest lust for personal gain. How can the tragedy in Littleton be rooted in government? It is rooted in the existence of government power. W h e n our youth are indoctrinated on a diet of propaganda glorifying violence and justifying the use of deadly force by the police or the armed forces against enemies of the State, then those few who feel oppressed and who simultaneously tend toward violence, will justify the use of force against their perceived oppressors. T h e violence presented in the media is a symptom of our cultute's fascination with power, not a cause of the existence of either the powet or the violence. T h e endless wars and the mass murders will cease only when individuals learn that it is not necessary for them to seek safety and security through handing power to government. When there is no longer a belief that the group must hand power to someone, then there will no longer be the opportunity for a Milosevic or a Bill Clinton to use that power for his own benefit. When such power is no longer available, thete will no longer be long lines of power-seekers waiting for their turn to grab it. History and the study of human nature lead me unswervingly to the conclusion that the peaceful society will be one in which all individuals are sovereign unto

themselves. It will be one in which both the tight to self-regulation and the tesponsibility for personal survival and self-defense rest with each individual. As mote and more people elect to become Sovereign Individuals, the world grows closer to the ultimate solution to events like Kosovo and Littleton. It All Starts With Property Rights By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, January 2003 "To be controlled in our economic pursuits, means to be., .controlled in everything." — F . A. Hayek T h e feelings that dtive us to defend ourselves against government oppression are an expression of our innate compulsion to conttol our own property. Each of us shares the feeling that it is unjust and an outrage for our hard-earned wealth to be taken from us without our consent. T h e drive to control our own property is not unique to modern man. Studies of animal species, observations of hunter-gatherer groups still in existence, and the written history of civilization leave no question that territorialism is a biological imperative. As socio-biologist E. O. Wilson argues, "The biological formula of territorialism translates easily into the ritual of modern property ownership." By the time our early hominid ancestors were wandering the African savannah millions of years ago, the genes that expressed the "property" instinct were firmly wired into mammalian DNA. T h e Declaration of Independence suggests that the Founding Fathers sensed this aspect of human nature. It atgued that all men "are endowed by their Creatot with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, of course, are all aspects of property. T h e long train of abuses and usurpations that drove the founding fathets to rebel were triggered by the same genes that give rise to your rage when someone burglarizes your home, steals your car or defrauds you. Those genes are equally activated when that attack comes from government.

Most would agree that the function of government is to safeguard the property and freedom of citizens. Yet, it must be clear by now that the single greatest threat to any citizen's property is its own government. In the United States, the combined burden of local, state and federal tax immedi-23

The Meaning of Natural Liberty ately confiscates between 3 0 % and 6 0 % of our annual incomes, and hits anything a person saves again at the point of death. And that's just the beginning. Governments also hold monopolies on licenses and permits which, in many countries, prohibit rather than encourage business enterprise and wealth creation. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto in his brilliant book Tfie Mystery of Capital provides numerous examples of how governments around the world discourage private ownership and enterprise. "An Egyptian who wants to acquire and legally register a lot on state-owned desert land (which means, most land) must wend his way through at least 77 bureaucratic procedures at 31 public and private agencies," which can take from 5 to 14 years. "To build a legal dwelling on former agricultural land would require 6 to 11 years of bureaucratic wrangling." "In Haiti," writes De Soto, "one way an ordinary person can settle legally on government land is first to lease it from the government for five years and then buy it. Working with associates in Haiti, our researchers found that to obtain such a lease took 65 bureaucratic steps requiring, on average, a little more than two years. All for the privilege of merely leasing the land for five years." Of course such government resttictions have given rise to tremendous amounts of underground activity, but people are seldom able to do as well as they could if the activity was legal. "Extra legal businesses," De Soto explains, "are taxed by the lack of good property law and continually have to hide their operations ftom the authorities. Because they are not incorporated, extralegal entrepreneurs cannot lure investors by selling shares; they cannot get low-interest fotmal credit because they do not have legal addresses. They cannot reduce risks by declaring limited liability or obtaining insurance coverage...moreover, because extralegal entrepreneurs live in constant fear of government detection and extortion from corrupt officials, they are forced to split and compartmentalize theit production facilities between many locations, thereby rarely achieving economies of scale."

Moreover, because illegal businesses are always on the lookout for police, they can forget about openly advertising to build their customer base or making less costly bulk deliveries. Underground businesses are also easy prey for local Mafias who know they don't have to feat official police protection of the illegal operation. Failute to comply with the myriad laws, regulations, rules, codes and policies levies an additional cost. Fail to pay your taxes, allow a permit or license to expire, find your property in the way of a new public project, have any illegal drug found on your premises, violate a building code, deposit an unusual amount of cash into your bank account, have inadequate toilet facilities fot handicapped employees, or paint your building a shocking color, and you may be fined, arrested, and have your property taken away by city, county, state, or federal authorities. Attempt to resist and they'll take your "primordial property" (you). They will throw you in prison or even kill you. Ultimately, protection of your property rests on protecting yourself from all threats, the biggest of which is government itself. T h e United States is consideted by many the freest nation on earth and one in which private property is held in the highest regard. In fact, thete are many nations in the Western wotld, the Pacific Basin, and elsewhere that recognize and respect ptivate property to a much higher degree than the United States. Prudent individuals diversify their financial portfolios to protect against market fluctuations, inflation, deflation, recession, depression, currency devaluation and even war. In the same way, they divetsify internationally to protect against the abuses of government. T h e function of T h e Sovereign Society is to help identify those political jurisdictions that offer the most effective and cost-efficient methods of property protection. Using offshore bank accounts, trusts, and teal estate, as well as spreading business holdings among different countries, are practical ways to accomplish your primal need to defend and protect your property. 24

The Meaning of Natural Liberty

A Declaration of Independence for Sovereign Individuals By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, July 2002 For Americans, July 4, 2002, will be a particularly emotion-filled Independence Day. T h e first one since last September's terrorist attack, it strums an intensely patriotic chord in most citizens. That makes this an especially appropriate time to reflect on the principles of independence. Revolts against despotic governments are a familiar motif of history. Almost all modern nations from Mexico to the Philippines and from Zaire to the Ukraine have their own national "independence" days, marking their emergence from under one group of tyrants and usually into the grip of another. Throughout history, independence and subjugation have chased each other around a revolving door. In light of the destruction of freedom in America since 9/11, it seems assured that the hopes of the founding fathers that their sacrifices could end this cyclical process are being dashed. Understanding why the struggle for independence must be waged again and again requires us to step back and examine the social contract in the light of human nature. T h e rising spectet of devastation from weapons of mass destruction make it clear that man had bettet solve this conundrum, and quickly, or risk annihilation. hom*o sapiens is a mewling infant on the evolutionary scene, arriving a mere 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. Our species is not physically imposing and would have been at a serious disadvantage in the struggle for survival except for a single evolutionary difference that catapulted it to dominance: a powerful forebrain. A single species was equipped with cognitive powers immensely greater than those available to all other life forms. With this formidable weapon, our forebears quickly spread around the globe, reproducing and expanding until we colonized every continent, adapted to every climate, and overwhelmed every physical and biological obstacle. They did it by using their new cognitive powers for discovery and invention. Somewhere in the prehistoric dawn early humans invented language, captured fire, learned to make spears, fabricated the wheel, conceived agricultute, developed metallurgy, domesticated animals, and originated writing. Progress

accelerated as they recorded instructions fot making gunpowdet, the catapult, the steam engine, electromagnetism, atomic energy, and the computet. Human "progress" has been built upon science and technology. We are the inheritots. But we are also faced with a terrible obstacle. Our species has overcome all but one threat to long-term survival. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us!" T h e urgent problem is to discover the social contract that will end the perpetual cycle of subjugation followed by independence once again leading to subjugation. Man is, by nature, a social animal. Each individual is bound to his community, but is simultaneously bound by his genes to pursue individual survival and the well-being of his immediate kin. In the hunter-gatherer environment in which our ancestors evolved, the social contract was much simpler. In a tribal village of a few dozen members, everyone was kin, and although there were disputes over food and mates and other property, the resolution was simple. Everyone understood fairness. Everyone participated in the decisions. In modern nations with millions of inhabitants, kin altruism does not extend even to the other side of the town, let alone to strangers across the country and certainly not to "foreigners." At the primal level of our brains, and in spite of all indoctrination to the contrary, strangers are non-kin, and are thus viewed either as potentially dangerous or to be exploited. When political power is handed to distant persons, those individuals instinctively tend to use it to benefit themselves, their immediate kin, and those who support their power. Simply declaring independence from a distant tyrant, however, does not solve the problem of despotism if the political system remains intact. It merely leaves the seat of political power open to be grabbed by a new despot. Thus, man's natural bias toward self-interest, programmed into his 25

The Meaning of Natural Liberty brain by eons of natural selection, eliminates the possibility of creating a workable, enduring social contract that is founded on investing powet in unrelated individuals or groups.

All individuals, by the authority of the nature of man, should sign a personal Declaration of Independence. It should state that they are, and of right ought to be free, independent individuals, absolved from all allegiance to any of the arbitrary rules and restrictions forcefully imposed on them by politicians and bureaucrats who claim to be working selflessly in the public interest. Certainly, this is the right of Americans under the Declaration of Independence, although in the cycle of subjugation in which the United States is now mired, exercising our rights as "sovereign individuals" may bring rettibution from an increasingly despotic government. While nations will continue to pass in and out of the revolving door of independence and subjugation, the personal declaration of independence is fot all time. It is the statement that you consider yourself a sovereign individual. T h e day you sign your personal Declaration of Independence should become the most important holiday in your life. By adhering to the principle. Security? What Security? By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, January 2003 "If the government always knows where you are, what job you are seeking, what doctor you're seeing, where you travel, how you spend your money, how you defend yourself, and what arguably unhealthy behavior you engage in, what do the rest of your rights really mean!" — Former U . S . Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga. What civil liberties restrictions are you willing to accept to curtail "terrorism" and achieve "security?" T h e question has more than an academic importance as governments in supposedly "free" countries enact measures that are unprecedented in peacetime: In the United States, the newly enacted Homeland Security Act gives the government authority to collect and analyze data on individuals and groups, including databases that combine personal, governmental, and corporate records, including e-mails and web sites viewed.

In the European Union, a proposal that would require Internet service providers and phone companies to save the records of all phone calls and e-mails for a year or more seems almost certain to become law in 2003. Do you want to live in a wotld where, to quote commentator William Safire, "...every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend...will go into what the Defense Department describes as 'a virtual, centralized grand database?'" Fortunately, this hellish vision is nowhere near fruition. Indeed, experts we have polled tell us it will take an effort compatable to the development of an antiballistic missile system to make surveillance this intensive a reality. But this vision does show the shape of "things to come." It also makes the stakes for persons seeking greater freedom and sovereignty higher than ever as we enter 2003. In this environment, the international wealth building, wealth preservation and privacy preservation techniques outlined by T h e Sovereign Society have never been more important. Pay them heed, while you still can. 26 The Meaning of Natural Liberty

In the Name of Security By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, December 2003 "Far from having their rights to life, liberty, and property upheld by the federal government, Americans have been routinely deprived of such rights under declarations of emergency.. .Step by step, a ratcheting loss of rights will attend each episode of national emergency." —Robert Higgs, Reason Magazine ,1987 History shows that if you do not act to preserve your personal liberty, the

government will take it from you piece by piece. This is a trend that has only gotten stronger in the past century, with each new "emergency." In the 1930s the emergency was the Great Depression. In the 1940s, World War Two. In the 1950s, it was Korea; in the '60s Vietnam, and the '70s brought the Oil Crisis, followed by the War on Drugs. Today, of course, the emergency du jour is the War on Terrorism. One thing has changed. T h e buzzword on which the politicians and bureaucrats hang their justification for government's usurping your liberties is no longer "emergency," it's "security." What hasn't changed is the justification for reduced freedoms. Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) recited it for this emergency: "We're in a new world where we have to rebalance freedom and security." More accurately, we live in a world where, for the last 70 years, the government has infringed on our rights, supposedly in exchange for greater security. Security? What security? Flying out of San Diego last month, I was relieved of my nail clippers, then watched a 4-year-old boy as he was instructed to take off his shoes so the federal inspector could check them for bombs. Two more potential terrorists foiled. In the meantime, a 20-year-old student recently smuggled box-cutters and other tools that could be used as weapons onto an airplane and hid them in a lavatory. He left a note telling authorities how he did it. Rather than thanking him for highlighting a real vulnerability, they arrested him. If these government-mandated procedures seem absurd, consider the "identity check," a critical strategy to thwart terrorists. Perhaps the politicians failed to note that terrorists don't use their own IDs when boarding planes. T h e September 11, 2 0 0 1 , hijackers obtained government-issued drivers licenses in fake names, by paying a corrupt state employee U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 for each one. Counterfeit or stolen passports are also easy to obtain, for a price. Better yet, get the government to issue you an official one in an assumed name. In the 1972 book T h e Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth, an assassin wanders around graveyards in Britain looking for a headstone belonging to a male born about the same time he was. After finding a suitable headstone, he applies for a birth certificate and, pretending to be that individual, gets a British passport in his name.

Apparently, 32 years after Forsyth first publicized this loophole, the Brits ate about to close it. But for the moment, it's still available, and, according to a recent B B C report, easier to exploit than Forsyth described. British birth and death records are open to everyone at the Public Records office in London. Find the birth record of your choice, then apply for a birth certificate, no questions asked. A couple of relatively easy (but illegal) steps, and a month or so later your British passport will arrive in the mail, complete with your own picture! T h e bottom line is that ID checks are worthless as security against terrorism. Nevertheless, government relentlessly expands the requirement for citizens to show identification. T h e U.S. Postal Service now wants to design a postage system in which you'll have to identify yourself every time you send a letter. "Most users of the Postal Service," a report on this initiative concludes, "would consider such a requirement a relatively modest concession to ensure their safety." Enough modest concessions, of course, and all freedoms are surrendered. If security isn't really behind ID checks, why are they being pushed on us? Governments are composed of individuals, and 27

The Meaning of Natural Liberty individuals crave power. One of the best ways to exercise power is to control people, by tracking them, and their assets, continuously. T h e government uses emergencies and the promise of security to achieve its goals. But it gets help. Often, the ideas originate or are lobbied for by the private sector. Take airline ID checks. Complex fare schedules in the airline industry result in vastly different fares being paid by travelers for identical seats. To prevent clever customers from buying and selling tickets to obtain cheapet seats, airlines lobbied the government to "require" positive ID for all flyers. What's ahead? More "emergencies" and even more cries that we must surrender liberty for safety. Robert Higgs pinpointed the problem years ago, and nothing has changed since: "...citizens in the United States today, with only a few notable

exceptions, have neithet an appreciation of this ratchet process nor a strong commitment to individual rights to life, liberty, and property." Among the "few notable exceptions" are people like you who have joined T h e Sovereign Society. You have committed yourself to improving your own personal and financial security. It's an ongoing task, but by following the principles of individual sovereignty, the payoff is real security, not the bogus kind mythologized by governments. The "War on Terror"—Surrender of Civil Liberties? By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, September 2002 Terrorism has been part of daily life in many parts of the world for decades. On September 11, 2001, Americans discovered that they are not immune to such attacks, which are virtually certain to recur. It is only prudent to adjust your portfolio and the way you live to deal with their anticipated effects. "Freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people and the West in general into an unbearable hell and a choking life." —Osama bin Laden Did Osama bin Laden win the "war" against the United States? If "victory" means achieving his oft-voiced objective of removing foreign troops from the Mideast and ending U . S . support for Israel, the answer is no. But if "victory" instead means ending the "American way of life," with its support for free markets, property rights and limited governmental powers, then terrorism has indeed triumphed. In the wake of September 11: • Hundreds of foreigners suspected of being terrorists or to have terrorist sympathies have been detained without being charged with any crime. T h e U . S . Department of Justice now asserts that U . S . citizens can also be held

incommunicado as "enemy combatants." • Military tribunals, operating in secret may be set up to try foreigners charged with terrorism. Millions of dollars in property has been confiscated from persons alleged to be terrorists, or to support terrorism. Most of the owners have not been charged with any crime. • T h e FBI is eavesdropping on lawyers' conversations with clients, including people who have been not charged with any crime, when deemed necessary to prevent violence or terrorism. • Restrictions on the FBI's ability to spy on religious and political organizations have also been relaxed. • T h e FBI can monitor e-mail message "header" information (i.e., obtain source, destination and subject line information) and web browsing patterns merely by declaring that such spying "relevant" to an ongoing investigation. T h e same authority applies to materials checked out of libraries. 28

The Meaning of Natural Liberty • Police can conduct secret searches of homes and businesses and implant electronic surveillance devices without informing the occupants. • Restrictions on data sharing between federal agencies have been significantly relaxed. • Immigration controls have been tightened, and issuance of visas restricted. Othet initiatives appear to have little televance to terrorism, but are being justified as having an anti-terrorist purpose: • T h e Treasury Secretary has the authority to unilaterally terminate all U . S .

financial transactions with any country. • T h e IRS is publishing the names of persons suspected of being engaged in aggressive tax avoidance strategies, smearing their reputations. • A nationwide financial transaction-tracking network is under construction. • Millions more businesses now must report "suspicious transactions" by their customers to law enforcement. • Any person engaged in a trade or business must file the U . S . Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network if a customer makes one or more "related" currency transactions that exceed U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . • Carrying large amounts of cash has now become "bulk smuggling" and made a criminal offense. • Persons living in low-tax jurisdictions who previously enjoyed visa-free travel to the United States now find it necessary to obtain a visa to do so. One of the most disturbing aspects of these initiatives is the loose definition of "terrorism." Both the Declaration of National Emergency declared by President Bush in Septembet 2001 and the U S A PATRIOT Act (the primary legal authorities under which these initiatives have occurred) define "terrorism" as: " activity that—(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and (ii) appears to be intended—(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; ( B ) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or ( C ) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, ot hostage-taking." This inctedibly expansive definition allows the U . S . government to label practically all forms of domestic protest as "terrorism." One could certainly conclude that the wotds "intimidate" and "coerce" could apply to any group or organization that actively disapproves of official U . S . policy. Indeed, it could be argued that many fotms of organized protest are designed to "intimidate or coerce" a change in government policy.

But these erosions in civil liberties aren't sufficient to fight the Wat on Terrorism, we are told. T h e Bush Administration now proposes: • Issuing all Americans a "tamper p r o o f driver's license from their state—a defacto national ID card. Without the federal ID, you likely will not be able to obtain health care, get a job, conduct bank transactions, board an airplane, purchase insurance, or obtain a passport. • Asking millions of American workers who in the course of their job visit homes or businesses to report any suspicion of illegal activities there to police. • Petmitting any mail crossing a U . S . border to be seatched fot any teason. • Using the military for domestic law enforcement purposes. • Making the penalties for "attempting" to violate any federal law the same as actually violating it. Not is the United States acting alone: • Throughout the European Union, Internet Service Providers must now install equipment that permits governments to monitor theit client's e-mails and web browsing patterns. 29

The Meaning of Natural Liberty • In Hong Kong, the government may now confiscate assets it believes are linked to tetrorists. Anyone who has been wrongly accused must prove their innocence in court to reclaim theit property. • Citing terrorism as the cause, the United Kingdom has opted out of Atticle 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which bans detention without trial. • T h e United Nations has proposed that every person in the world be

fingerprinted and registered under a universal identification scheme to fight illegal immigration and terrorism. A B e t t e r W a y to Fight the " W a r on T e r r o r i s m " In short, the "War on Terrorism" has been co-opted into a war against civil liberties. Is there a better way to fight this war? Yes. We have observed previously that it is the U . S . propensity to intervene in ethnic and religious struggles worldwide that makes it a terrorist target. Ending U.S. foreign intetvention would dramatically reduce the tetrorist threat against the United States and its allies. Equally important is to narrow the focus of the fight against terrorism so that it does not require the wholesale destruction of civil liberties. Programs designed to collect information to administer taxes, for instance, should not come disguised in an anti-tetrorist wtappet. Obtaining the information about the financial activities of terrorists should have a higher priority than obtaining information for tax purposes.

The Roots of Terrorism By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, June 2002 June marks the beginning of the tenth month in the War on Terrorism, or as Doug Casey calls it, "the Forever War." Forever seems to be an accurate description of war in general, as inter-tribal aggression has been a characteristic of hom*o sapiens from the beginning. Anthropologists classify it as a general characteristic of hunter-gatherer social behavior. Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson calls the practice of war "...a straightforward example of a hypertrophied biological predisposition [emphasis added]. With the tise of chiefdoms and states, this tendency became institutionalized, war was adopted as an instrument of policy of some of the new

societies, and those that employed it best became, tragically, the most successful." As a result, 6,000 years of recorded history appears as an endless series of wars interspersed with brief periods of recuperation and rearmament. Terrorism is the easiest if not the only strategy of war left open to a group that cannot directly attack or defend against a superior armed force. T h e U . S . colonists who were confronted with the superior army of King George saw the futility of following the accepted rules of war. They fired from behind trees and walls, engaged in sabotage, tarred and feathered innocent Tories, and thus were denigrated as rabble terrorists by the Btitish. In out day, the Israeli commandos who blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 were called terrorists. But the actors change costumes as power shifts. W h e n 'terrorist' tactics succeed in ovetthrowing the incumbent power structure, terrorists are reclassified in the history books. Today Sam Adams and John Hanco*ck are remembered not as terrorists but as heroic freedom fighters. Menachem Begin, who ordered the destruction of the King David Hotel, subsequently became Israel's Prime Minister and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. T h e chameleon nature of "terrorists" and "freedom fightets" leaves politicians struggling to dis-30

The Meaning of Natural Liberty tinguish terrorism from their own strategies of aggression. T h e U.S. Department of Defense, for example, defines "terrorism" as "the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological." It seems a perfect description of the U.S. military, or the armed forces of any major power.

Considering mankind's innate aggressive tendencies, can the War on Terrorism ever be won? Can we end the Forever War? Yes. But it will never be accomplished through military victory. T h e solution to all forms of war, including terrorism, will be found in a deeper understanding of man's biological programming. We are each endowed with powerful primal instincts that natural selection perfected as survival mechanisms long before hom*o sapiens was a twinkle in evolution's eye. All life forms require two things: an instinct for self-preservation and for procreation. Two powerful primal instincts that support self-preservation and procreation are territoriality and hierarchy. Today, these instincts are permanently hardwired into all mammals. They dominate human behaviot, and therefore hold the key to the solution of inter-tribal aggression. T h e territorial instinct is the internal, subconscious program that urges almost all animals to mark the boundaries of their chosen habitats, defend against intrusions, and battle for food, lairs and mates. In humans, the territorial instinct pushes us to acquire property, and defend it against threats, theft, and trespassing. We "mark" our land with deeds, our bank accounts with name and number, and our mates with rings and contracts. We are angered and enraged when our property is taken. T h e hierarchical instinct pushes us to seek approval, climb the social laddet, and achieve dominance among our peers. In the non-human animal world it is documented everywhere from the sttuggle for the position of alpha male in primate groups to the pecking order of chickens. In human culture, the drive for status creates the endless battle for political power and the insatiable desire for property. Viewed through the lens of these two primal instincts, the root of all conflict is the innate, subconscious drive in all humans to acquire and defend resources. When individuals feel their territory has been attacked, they instinctively feel rage and seek vengeance. As Wilson notes, under the sway of our primal instincts we are "...strongly predisposed to slide into deep, irrational hostility." Contrary to the nonsense perpetrated in the media, suicide bombers don't

sacrifice their lives in hopes of a sexual paradise in the aftetlife. Their irrational hostility boils up from deep within the limbic system of their brains. Their primal instincts take control. Such instincts are not devils that can be exorcized through fear or punishment. As long as people feel their property has been stolen from them, their primal instincts will urge them to seek revenge at any cost. T h e answer to minimizing human conflict, and particularly war, will be the design of a social contract that protects every individual's property. Out innate human nature leads directly to the conclusion that the Forever War will end when all of us are sovereign individuals, and we feel securely in control of our individual lives and property. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Where's the Freest Land of All? By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, January 2003 Each November, T h e Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal release their annual "Index of Economic Freedom." Backed by voluminous comparative data on taxes, regulations, labor laws, property rights, judicial independence, sound money, international trade barriers, capital controls, etc., this index proposes to rank the world's nations in a descending order from most free to least free. 31

The Meaning of Natural Liberty As has been the case in the past few years, Hong Kong received top billing as the world's freest nation; Singapore was second. T h e United States, usually rated around third or fourth, dropped to eighth. Heritage and the Journal are not alone in passing out freedom "Oscars." T h e Fraser Institute, a Canadian publicpolicy organization, cooperates with free-market research institutes in 56 countries to publish "The Economic Freedom Network Index," and the Cato Institute competes with its "Economic Freedom of the World" index. It's a commendable effort, but unfortunately, as Pierre Lemieux, a member of T h

e Sovereign Society Council of Experts, noted in a recent article in the Financial Post, " trying to measure it with simplistic index numbers, our friends unwittingly betray their cause...They give us a false sense of contentment...they provide our politicians and bureaucrats with another tool to persuade us that we live in 'the best of all worlds.'" T h e concept of indexing freedom has many flaws. First, if polled, the hundreds of economists and other social "scientists" who compile these indexes wouldn't even agree on an exact definition of "freedom" let alone the way to measure it. As an example, at the recent Freedom Summit conference in Phoenix, Arizona, every speaker addressing the topic had a different definition for freedom. No science can progress without precise definitions of terms. If each auto manufacturer could make up its own definition of what constituted a gallon, or what length constituted a mile, every one would claim its vehicles got the best fuel mileage. Nor does the principle of measurement apply to a condition such as freedom. One is either free or not free. T h e late physicist Andrew Galambos provided the best and most ptecise definition of the word. He defined freedom as: "The societal condition that exists when every individual has 100% control of his own property." There is no such thing as partial freedom. It's 1 0 0 % or 0 % . Nor are indexes or averages even useful to us in our quest for freedom. As Chris Mayer pointed out in a recent essay for T h e Mises Institute on price indexes, "To speak about average prices is like talking about average precipitation to a golfer. It either rains during a specific time period or it doesn't. There is no average that is in anyway useful fot an acting human being on a golf coutse. T h e only information that counts is what it is doing right now while he is teeing off." T h e same fallacy attaches to the idea of indexing freedom. Over and over I hear that the United States is among the freest nations on earth. Perhaps that's true, but it's tragic that after 10,000 years of civilization that "free"

citizens have almost half of all their earnings confiscated, almost all of their exchanges scrutinized and regulated, and let those in power control what they're allowed to put into their bodies, whether, where and what they're allowed to inhale, and what they are allowed to say. There are no free countries, only competing political enclaves where authorities with guns use differing degrees of coercion against their populations. T h e organizations that purport to monitot the level of government control over private action would serve their purpose much better if they changed the names of their reports to "Coercion Indexes" so as not to give the impression that people are enjoying something akin to real freedom. A general freedom index has no meaning for someone who is facing the decision about where to live, invest, or start a business. Such decisions are based on specific levels of coercion—what is the income or capital gains tax rate, what tariffs are levied on goods, what licenses are required, etc. At best, such indexes serve only the purpose of gaining publicity fot non-profit otganizations that seek to demonstrate to their contributors that they are doing something worthwhile in the promotion of freedom. It's doubtful that they even have any effect on the public policies they are meant to affect. T h e rational individual understands that the quest is, as Harry Browne put it in his classic book, How to Find Freedom in an Unfree World. Freedom will not be found in any single nation, 32

The Meaning of Natural Liberty regardless of how high that country may rise in any index of the freest places on earth. Finding freedom in this unfree world is a never-ending search for places and legal structures that provide the highest degree of privacy, asset protection, business and investment opportunity, and personal safety. This quest is the real challenge to each individual who seeks sovereignty over his or her life, and is the purpose and mission of T h e Sovereign Society. 33

Second Passports and Dual Nationality C H A P T E R T W O Second Passports &

Dual Nationality Passports Explained 35 Citizenship and Tax Obligations 45 Things to Think About 45 Relinquishing American Citizenship 49

Expatriation: The Ultimate Estate Plan 50 Questions for Aspiring Expatriates 54 A Tax Exile's Wish List 56 Canada-Non-Resident Citizens Pay Zero Taxes 58 The Best Places for Second Passports 6t Offshore Residency 61 What Is "Economic Citizenship"? 64 Economic Citizenship—Programs in Transition 65 Tax-Advantaged Residence in Switzerland 66 EU Citizenship via a Latin American Back Door 68 Become a Citizen of Spain 70 An Automatic Ancestral Passport . 71 Why 1 Gave Up My U.S. Citizenship 73 Know Your MLATs! 76 Extradition: Could It Happen to You? 78 Almost anyone with determination and the financial means can become an international citizen. This is accomplished by acquiting a legal second citizenship, and with that enhanced status comes an official second passport. This new passport can expand your legal rights, allowing world travel unmolested by curious border guards and nosy customs and tax officials. It can open doors that otherwise would forever remain closed to you. Best of all, a second citizenship/passport can serve as the key to reducing your taxes and protecting yout assets—or even your life. In Chapter 2 we explain how this second passport "magic" can work for you.

Passports Explained by Robert E. Bauman, JD, Complete Guide to Offshore Residency, Dual Citizenship and Second Passports, 2003 ("The Passport Book") Foreign travel in the modern world means having to deal with all the inconveniences imposed by national sovereignty—international holders, customs officials, passports, visas and identity documents. It means having to put up with officious customs officers, bribe-seeking border guards and unreasonable, unexplained delays. Passports, a M o d e r n Invention It may seem difficult to believe, but until shortly before the First World War ( 1 9 1 4 - 1 9 1 9 ) , official passports were almost never required by most countries. In those slower times, document-free international travel was the general rule. Passports were usually special travel documents used to protect official emissaries of nation states at war with each other, allowing safe conduct for surrender or peace negotiations. 35

Second Passports and Dual Nationality T h e first modern travel document, known as the "Nansen Passport," was issued to White Russian refugees in the prolonged civil war that followed the 1918 antit*arist Russian Revolution led by the Bolsheviks. That document took its name from Fritzjof Nansen, a Notwegian explorer, later a delegate to the ill-fated League of Nations in Geneva, who first proposed the passport concept. This passport, administered by the League, successfully served hundreds of thousands of refugees as a travel and identity document until the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. T h e International Refugee Organization ( I R O ) replaced the defunct League's Nansen Passport Office from 1930 to 1945, but had no authority to issue refugee documents. In a 1951 treaty, the "Convention on the Status of Refugees", the United Nations attempted to defined the rights of international refugees. T h e C S R authorized

signatory countries to issue travel documents for those they determine eligible for refugee status, applying the Convention's criteria. Since each nation interpreted the C S R in its own fashion, the world soon became cluttered with thousands of refugees fleeing from wars, ethnic conflicts, famine and pestilence. These unfortunates were admitted by some countries, rejected by others, and the result was misery on a grand scale in places as diverse as the Balkans, Israel and Palestine, Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Rwanda. On the subject of the right of persons to travel freely, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13 states: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Article 15 states: Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. It goes without saying these so-called "rights" of free movement, travel and residence have been, and are, systematically violated by almost every nation, including dictatorships and democracies. T h e United States and the United Kingdom are among the worst violators when it suits the political convenience of the government in power at the moment. Politics dominates the tecent history of world refugee problems. In 1956 the U.S. government under President Dwight Eisenhowet welcomed thousands of refugees from the failed Hungarian revolt against the Russianbacked Communists who then dominated that eastern European nation. During four decades of the Castro regime in Cuba, the U . S . has repeatedly admitted tens of thousands of Cuban refugees who, with their offspring, now constitute a majority of U . S . citizens in south Florida. In contrast, in what has been called a racist policy, during the early 1990s the U . S . turned away thousands of Haitian "boat people" trying to escape dictatorship

and poverty. In a shameful act, the British refused to give citizens of Hong Kong full U.K. citizenship when Communist China took over the colonial government in 1997, mainly because of a feared U.K. voter backlash against admitting more immigrants "of color." More recently the Balkan wars involving Serbia, Bosnia, Albania and Kossovo have produced hundreds of thousands of refugees whose fate seemed the least concern of many national leaders, including theit own. W h o N e e d s a Second Passport? T h e English political philosopher Edmund Burke ( 1 7 2 9 - 9 7 ) observed in another time: "Eatly and provident feat is the mothet of safety." That is still good advice for any potential world traveler. Having to be "politically correct" $6

Second Passports and Dual Nationality often means travel using a national passport that keeps the bearer as far away as possible from international controversy. It may be a fact of your political life that while your home nation's passport provides you little or no safety margin, another nation's passport will. Some countries are more popular and accepted in the world than others. Some countries are respected in some parts of the world, reviled in others. Some countries are universally condemned and ostracized. Whichever categories your nation happens to fall into at the moment can determine when you present your passport. Travel in the Middle East or the Balkans, parts of Russia or Asia using a U . S . passport can make you an instant target for terrorist groups. If your government is out of world favor at the moment, your passport could be confiscated, revoked or suspended at will, as happened to citizens of the Republic of South Africa during the apartheid years. It's a fact of international political life that citizens of certain countries, the U . S

. among them, find travel abroad difficult. For many reasons some countries impose strict visa requirements each time a foreign national wants to entet their country. It's their way of keeping out trouble makers and other supposed "undesirables." W h e n I served as a member of the United States Congress I was asked by a personal friend, a Catholic priest, to intercede with the South African embassy in Washington, D.C. so that he could obtain a visa to visit that nation. He wished to spend several months there working with members of his religious order, but the apartheid regime diplomats apparently suspected he might engage in antiapartheid political activities. It required a personal phone call and my assurances in writing to the South African ambassador a personal friend of mine, to obtain the visa. Similar troubles can be expected by Americans who want to visit Cuba. For decades it has been illegal for U . S . citizens to visit Cuba because of the official U . S . embargo aimed at toppling Fidel Castro's Communist dictatorship. This is now easing however. Even a national whose passport usually allows easy international access can find a visa denied due to temporary travel restrictions during trade sanctions or political disturbances. And even if you finally do obtain a desired visa, it can take weeks of procedural delays. Holding second citizenship and a passport issued by a small, peaceful, noncontroversial country can save your life when traveling in times of political unrest, civil war and in other delicate situations abroad. For good reasons, thousands of international businessmen and other travelers consider an alternative passport as their best life insurance. In an unsettled world, acquiring a second citizenship can be an investment in your futute. Your second citizenship is a choice for life and that protective shield can be extended to your spouse and children as well. And there is usually no need to surrender or change your present nationality while you enjoy the benefits of your second passport. H o m e G o v e r n m e n t C o e r c i o n There is another disturbing trend that makes a second passport a great value. In various ways governments increasingly use issuance of a passport to their own

citizens as a means of coercion. In the United States, for example, a citizen can be denied a passport simply for being in debt to the Internal Revenue Service or because of problems with other federal government agencies. Since 1986 the U.S. State Department has informed the IRS of all persons who renew their U . S . passports using a foreign address. Since passport renewals require an applicant's Social Security number, this is also used by the I R S to see if applicants have filed income tax returns. In 1998 an IRS official speaking in Zurich said a special effort was being made by the agency to track all U.S. citizens who renewed U . S . passports while living in Switzerland, for reason we can easily guess. There is a growing tendency in important countries to follow the lead of the United States in taxing nonresident citizens. Alternative citizenship is thetefore increasingly important as a powerful tool for truly international tax planning. As a national of two different countries you also can 37

Second Passports and Dual Nationality enjoy extra privacy in your banking and investment activities. An even more immediate thteat can arise from your own government. Depending on your nation's policies, your government may use your passport to restrict your right to travel, tathet than to guarantee it. Use of your passport can be made contingent on payment of your taxes, however unreasonable, and on reporting of worldwide income and assets. Issuance of your passport allows your government to control, restrict, monitor and record your travels. Now you can begin to see why a second passport may be highly useful. Your qualification for a second nation's passport, one that comes with no restrictive strings attached, can serve as your passport to freedom. It can be your key to a whole new world of free movement, expanded international investment, greater flexibility and adventute. And it can mean safe passage as compared to delay or even worse.

Dual Nationality

There is little doubt that government bureaucrats and tax collectors see dual nationality as a serious threat to their control over the citizenry they pretend to serve. As more U.S. citizens acquire dual nationality the debate is intensifying. Eager to work abroad free of red tape and restrictions, or to strengthen ties with their ancestral lands, record numbers are obtaining a second, foreign passport. Dual nationality simply means that a person legally is a citizen of two countries at the same time, qualified as such under each nations law. This status may result automatically, as when a child born in a foreign country to U . S . citizen parents is both a U . S . citizen and a citizen of the country where he or she is born. Or it may result from operation of law, as when a U.S. citizen acquires foreign citizenship by marriage to a spouse from another nation, or a foreign person naturalized as a U.S. citizen retains the citizenship of his or her countty of birth. Under U.S. law, a second passport does not jeopardize American citizenship. U . S . citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U . S . passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave it. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U . S . citizenship. Many countries won't permit theit citizens to hold a passport from another nation. This was the case in the U.S. until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of U.S. citizens to hold a second, foreign passport. Before that time the official tule was that a person acquiring second nationality automatically lost U.S. citizenship. Since 1967 the government generally presumes a U.S. citizen does not wish to surrender citizenship. Proof of that intention is tequited before expatriation is officially recognized. T h e burden of proof is on the government to show intentional abandonment of U . S . citizenship. This presumption is set forth in a U . S . Department of State publication, "Advice About Possible Loss of U . S . Citizenship and Dual Nationality" ( 1 9 9 0 ) . As a matter of policy the U.S. government tecognizes dual nationality but does not encoutage it because of what it views as problems and conflicts that may result. No doubt legal tax avoidance is at the top of the U.S. government's list of major "problems" it sees resulting from Americans enjoying dual nationality. T h e law of most countries holds that the exercise and acquisition of dual citizenship need not affect a petson's original national legal status. Many people

are automatically entitled to dual citizenship under the various nations' laws, as in case of American grandchildren of Irish grandparents. In addition, a growing number of countries now issue "economic citizenship" based on investment by a foreign national in the issuing country. This may confer limited or full citizenship status on the recipient, but it does not usually affect that person's original citizenship. In the final analysis, it is the law of the nation which is seeking to impose its control over a dual national that determines whethet expatriation, or loss of citizenship, occurs. Dual nationals owe allegiance and obedience to the laws of both countties of which they ate citizens. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, especially when the person is physically within that country.

58 Second Passports and Dual Nationality Some countries demand that a foreign national seeking citizenship formally renounce his or her original national allegiance. That in theory is the rule of the U.S. Although all naturalized U . S . citizens must take an oath which requires them to "renounce allegiance" to any other nation, in fact new U . S . citizens do not have to surrender their previous nationality or passports. But in varying degrees the renunciation rule is followed in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Other countries, notably Japan and the People's Republic of China, automatically exclude from citizenship any child born from the matrimonial union of one of their citizens and a parent from a foreign nation. T h e trend toward multiple nationalities has the potential to turn upside down traditional notions of how people think of themselves, theit careers and their communities. It's drawn a flurry of attention from scholars, many of whom believe nationalities are artificial and, thus, interchangeable. "Most academics are happy to declare the end of the nation-state," says T. Alexander Aleinikoff, who studied international migration trends for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Dual citizenship is seen as a part of that." Some critics worry that the trend has dangerous implications for a unified society. "If people can become dual citizens, why not have allegiances to three,

four or even eight countries?"asks Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. Mr. Krikorian worries that native-born Americans will be harmed by a loosening of the traditional notion of "us" and "them." Fueling the soul-searching over identity and nationality is the rapid spread of capital and culture around the world. Fast transportation and instant communication links have redefined "home" for many people as anywhere they can plug in a modem or get a dial tone. "Whether you're a migrant or a hi-tech worker, you can move around the globe and you're not boxed in to any one single notion of belonging or 'identity,'" said Noah Pickus, a professor of public policy at Duke University who edited a book on migration and citizenship in the twenty-first century. "This is an emotional issue that has far-reaching implications we can only begin to imagine at this point." In recent years, Americans with dual nationality have served as officials in the governments of Yugoslavia, Armenia and Estonia. A retired U . S . government employee, Valdas Adanikus, was elected president of his native Lithuania, and a former New York City attorney served a term as president of the Dominican Republic. France and the United Kingdom are among the major powers allowing dual nationality. In tecent years, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and the Dominican Republic have allowed their citizens to hold a second passport. South Korea and the Philippines are considering it. And in a move expected to substantially boost the numbet of the world's dual citizens, Mexico on March 21, 1998 began allowing its nationals to hold a U . S . passport. Naturalized Mexican Americans are allowed to reclaim their Mexican passport, though they can only vote in Mexico in person. Scholars say increasingly U.S. immigrants are maintaining theit ties to their homelands, just as native-born Americans are reconnecting to toots overseas. "The old model of nationality is out-moded in this globalizing world," says Aiwa Ong, an anthropologist at the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Ong, who wrote a book on the trend, calls the new way of living "flexible citizenship." Other scholars prefer the term "transnationals."

In the U . S . , one of the questions most hotly debated by scholars is whether the oath of allegiance, tequited for all naturalized citizens, should be alteted. T h e oath requires new citizens to swear off fidelity to other countries, but has little practical effect since the Immigration and the Naturalization Service doesn't even ask new citizens whether they tetain the passport of theit country of origin. In fact, no one knows just how many citizens claim a second nationality. But millions of Americans are eligible to become dual citizens based on their family ties to foreign lands that themselves allow dual citizenship. T h e requirement for gaining citizenship in many countries is being born there, or the birth there of a parent or grandparent. Relying on U.S. Census 39

Second Passports and Dual Nationality data, some estimates say the pool of eligible American dual nationals grows by at least 500,000 each year, based on the number of U . S . children born to foreign-born parents. In supporting dual citizenship, some governments have an economic incentive: to maintain, or even strengthen, ties with emigrants who settled in the U.S. or other wealthy countries. An estimated 30 percent of all Latino immigrants to the U . S . send money back to native countries, and governments fear these remittances may decline ovet time. Do A m e r i c a n s N e e d a Second Passport? People of means living in places where it seems civil war never ends, like the Balkans, home to the shattered pieces of the former Yugoslavia, or people facing continued political uncertainty, such as Hong Kong since the 1997 hand-over to Communist Beijing, obviously can use a safe refuge for escape. If besieged people enjoy the legal status afforded by a second nationality, their chance of safety is far more certain. In a time when threats turn into physical menace they simply head to their "other" country. But what about American citizens? T h e "good old U S A " has been the favorite destination of millions of refugees throughout its history, and remains so. T h e Statue of Liberty in New York harbor still welcomes those "huddled masses" from other shores who want to become Americans.

So why would any U . S . citizen need a second nationality, and the additional passport that goes with it? One very good reason: the growing restrictions imposed by the U . S . government on the freedoms the nation's Founders set down in the U.S. Constitution. For people of wealth in particular, there is now a wide web cast to catch petsons the government decides may be doing something wrong. And the current definition of "wrong" is so expansive as to be allinclusive in the bureaucratic mind. Example: the mete fact that one has an offshore bank account, cteates an offshore trust or owns shares in an international business corporation can suggest potential tax evasion to jaundiced IRS eyes. W h a t A b o u t the British? T h e same holds true in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that in recent years 6 0 0 , 0 0 0 or more U.K. citizens have been driven into exile by high taxes. Once domiciled abroad, in Italy, Portugal, Singapore, or Bermuda, many Brits used to return home like migratory birds to spend six months annually "vacationing" in England. Stay one day more and under the law they would be liable to pay U.K. income taxes. Realizing this, the tax collector Het Majesty's Inland Revenue Service, adopted rules making long stays by fotmer Brits more difficult. Today if a Brit maintains a home or apartment within the U.K., even a single day's visit results in full income taxes on all worldwide income. Without a U.K. home, the allowable non-taxable visit is 90 days per year, but only after an initial three-year continuous absence. But consider the alternative using a second passport. If former residents enter and leave the U.K. using a legitimate, non-British passport, entry and departure records produce no tax demands. T h e person comes and goes free from Inland Revenue's counting of days. That's because U.K. law allows unrestricted dual citizenship and does not dictate which passport you must use if you ate lucky enough to have dual citizen status. A similar "days-in, days-out" rule applies in the U . S . A foreigner who

establishes residence in the U . S . for more than 122 days annually, and engages in what could be called "business activity," can be held liable for U . S . income taxes on all worldwide income. T h e IRS may decide he is a "U.S. person," as this legal status is called, for tax purposes. He may have to submit to an unpleasant grilling to get tax cleatance before being permitted to leave. Any legal resident alien in the U.S. is also counted as a "U.S. person" for tax purposes by the I R S . 40

Second Passports and Dual Nationality Multinational C o r p o r a t i o n s D o I t There is an apt analogy between multinational corporations doing business around the world, and individuals who legally hold dual or multiple citizenship, using theit passports for world travel and business. By registering and qualifying under local laws in more than one political jurisdiction, a corporation has the right to do business in each country where it qualifies. Or a corporation in one nation may choose to set up a subsidiary company in a foreign nation where it does business. T h e subsidiary may be owned by a foreign parent, but the local government treats it as a domestic corporation, i.e., as a local citizen. In fact, to induce a foteign company to set up shop, many governments offet special concessions, tax holidays, discounts on enetgy and taw materials, free land, subsidized local labor, cash grants and othet attractions. Why? Because ruling powers want to stay in office and that's easier to do when the local populace is employed and prosperous. T h e major impetus to form multinational businesses, however, is not because of exttavagant foreign inducements. This international movement didn't gtow ptimatily to exploit profitable opportunities in foreign lands. Instead, explosive growth of the multinationals came about in part to evade undue business restrictions and confiscatory high taxes in the company's home nation.

Now the same pressures are forcing individual citizens to look elsewhere for protection from high taxes and excessive government control. Until relatively recently many countries did not petmit their citizens to have foreign bank accounts, own foreign currencies or hold foreign investments. Those that did allow these financial activities abroad still imposed strict reporting requirements, currency controls, costly exit permits and special transactions taxes. But "dual nationals," as dual citizens are also known, like multinational corporations, can move about the world in such a way as to minimize or avoid currency and other controls. Dual nationality is not without its inhetent contradictions. Members of the Rolling Stones rock group moved to France to escape high British income taxes. Yet many wealthy (and not so wealthy) Frenchmen have moved to the U.K. in order to avoid high French taxes. This anomaly exists because most high tax countries often exempt foreigners who reside within their borders less than six months a year. A foreign citizen who winters in California for four months, travels or lives outside the U . S . fot three months, then spends the remaining five months in his own country, may be able to avoid paying taxes anywhete! More importantly, this roaming individual can escape currency controls, investment restrictions and the burdensome paperwork that comes with permanent attachment to one place on the map. In order to enter a foreign country and live there for six months as a tourist, one generally needs a passport. Some countries also require foreign tourists to obtain a "visa," a prior written pet-mission to enter that country, which is attached to your passport. And in order to remain longer, to work or to purchase a home, a "residence permit" is needed. "Non-work residence permits" are typically granted to entrepreneurs and others who do not compete in the local job market. Citizenship and P a s s p o r t s Before going further, let's examine the elements of citizenship and the meaning of passpotts. Citizenship can be loosely defined as the legal relationship between a person and the sovereign nation in which he lives, a status defined by the law of that nation, conferring or limiting the person's duties and rights. Only through the fotmal

process of citizenship acquisition, called naturalization, can one legally acquire the right to a second passport. A passport is a personal identification and travel document for international use issued by a sovereign nation, usually to its own citizens, but to others as well. 41

Second Passports and Dual Nationality Most familiat ate government-issued passpotts based on a person's national citizenship. However "official" they may appear to be, passports sold or "issued" by some commercial sellers may be illegal and therefore useless. Many governments designate attorneys and othets to act as theit official agents on second citizenship matters. Also there are special travel documents such as diplomatic passports and other temporary travel documents issued by international otganizations or individual countries. Diplomatic passports are only legal if issued by the proper authorities of the nation or international organization and only if the passport holder is properly accredited in the receiving nation. Dual or A l t e r n a t i v e Citizenship Undet the laws of most countries it is legal and proper for some qualified persons to enjoy what is called "dual citizenship," sometime also called "alternative citizenship." This dual status also may confer the right to have and use a second passpott. Legal grounds that can allow a person to have or acquire dual citizenship status are: 1. Being born within the borders of a nation's territory; the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to any child born within American tetritory, regardless of the citizenship of the parents. Other countries conferring automatic citizenship on those born within theit jutisdiction include Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cost Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon,

Malta, Mautitius, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. 2. Descent from a foreign citizen parent or grandparent, making ancestry a basis, as in Ireland, Germany, Spain or Greece; 3. Marriage to a foreign citizen; 4-Religion, as in Israel; or 5. Formal naturalization, meaning applying and qualifying for citizenship status. T h e process for receiving the privilege of naturalization varies among countries. Usually a certain period of residence is required (in the U . S . it is five years); good character and an absence of any criminal record may be among othet tequirements. Some countries demand that a foreign national seeking naturalized citizenship formally renounce his or her original national allegiance. That is the U . S . law, but as we explained, it simply is not being enforced, even though the citizenship oath includes such a statement. T h e same rule is followed in varying degrees in Italy, Fiance, Spain and Pottugal. Othet countries, notably Japan and the Peoples Republic of China, automatically exclude from citizenship any child born from the mattimonial union of one of their citizens and a parent from a foreign nation. Second P a s s p o r t s : I m p o r t a n t Considerations T h e single most important consideration when evaluating the usefulness of an alternative citizenship is that it be legal in every respect. That fact may seem obvious, but the proliferation of fly-by-night passpott fraud operations requires not only this reminder but strict adherence to it when making second passpott plans and decisions. If you are going to expend a considerable sum of money to acquire a second citizenship and then use a second passport as your basis of personal international movement, you should demand that these documents and your status be in sttict accord with the constitution and laws of the issuing nation. A few countties actually do have provisions in law that give the head of government or other government ministers discretion regarding the granting of citizenship to foreign nationals in exceptional cases. But even then, if criminal

bribery is involved, the petson acquiting the passport may face revocation of this pteviously granted citizenship after a subsequent political change in govern-4 :

Second Passports and Dual Nationality ment. Persons with such documents frequently are subject to blackmail by being forced to pay fut-thet "fees" later on. That is why it is imperative that second citizenship be based upon cleat provisions in the existing law of the issuing nation. T h e prospective second passpott client most at risk is one lured into an "instant" or "immediate" passport deal that promises to waive residency requirements and grant quick citizenship. Immediate passports are a favorite lure for attracting unsuspecting and illinfotmed would be buyets who need and want a quick passport but haven't done sufficient investigative groundwork. And even legal passport programs can come and go swiftly, so a candidate must always detetmine what actually is current. Ireland had an immediate citizenship program for wealthy investors, but ended it in 1996. A similar Cape Verde economic citizenship program ended in 1997. T h e same year the Seychelles canceled their program in the face of Eutopean Union complaints about its questionable operation. Belize ended its ptogram in January 2002. A casual recent Internet search using the terms "second passport" and "economic citizenship program" produced scores of web sites offering allegedly "instant" passports from Argentina, Guatemala, Honduras, Tonga, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Greece, Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay and Chile. None of these countties has such an official ptogram. T h e reasonable implication is that what these sites offer is either fraudulent and/ot illegal. All this may also reflect the fact that the black market in forged and faked passports is both large and lucrative. In Octobet 1997, forged Canadian passports were carried by two Istaelis who took part in an unsuccessful assassination attempt in Jordan. And even legal passports can go astray. In 1998 the Western Samoan government announced 150 of its official passpotts

simply had been "lost." Belgium admitted to losing thousands of its official passports duting recent years. Passport F r a u d In late 1999, had you read the classified advertisem*nts in such respectable journals as the Internationa/ Herald Tribune and The Economist, you would have seen an ad that promised to provide a "European Union passport, fully registered and renewable" for only U S $ 1 9 , 5 0 0 . A contact phone number in Ireland was listed. When we made inquiries of this advertiser, the person who answered the phone said, yes, for a price his company could arrange "official citizenship" in the Netherlands and/or Switzetland. When we asked fot citations to specific Dutch and Swiss laws authotizing the sale of such passports, the spokesperson gave several answers; a) the company had a special deal with seniot Dutch and Swiss officials; b) they had atranged an accelerated naturalization process; c) their legal counsel who could explain more fully how all this worked was away at the moment. Consular officers at both the Swiss and Dutch embassies were astonished when told about the company and their claims. T h e officials confirmed what we alteady knew. Neither nation has ever had an economic citizenship/passpott program at any price. They assured us their national police authorities would be immediately alerted about this passport fraud and action taken to end it. This example is typical of the passport frauds that abound in offshore publication ads, even in so well-respected publications as these. As mentioned, the Internet is loaded with hundteds of passport ftaud web sites masquerading as legitimate passport services, many claiming to have official sanction from the countries whose "passports" they hawk.

International Recognition Before you acquire it, be certain that the passport is one that commands widespread acceptance and prestige in the international community. If it is not likely to be recognized by all other countries, it is worthless from the start.

And in this age of instant communications, it takes only hours, certainly no more than a few days, before customs and immigration officials worldwide know when a passport is called into question. This happened in 1992 with official, but illegally issued Dominican Republic passpotts, men-4 5

Second Passports and Dual Nationality All services and contacts are completely confidential and strict ptivacy is assured. Inquiries should be directed to: Mr Chtistian H. Kalin, at Henley & Partners A G , Haus zum Engel, Kirchgasse 24, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland. Tel: +41-1-267 60 90. Fax: +41-1-267 60 9 1 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Website: R e c o m m e n d e d A t t o r n e y Marshal! J. Langer, JD, Shutts & Bowen, 43 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W 1 X 9PG U.K. Tel: +(44) 171 493 4840. Fax: +(44) 171 493 4299. E-mail: [emailprotected]. R e c o m m e n d e d Visa Publication Since 1963, the Travel Information Manual ( T I M ) has supplied the ait travel industty with reliable and comprehensive up-to-date countty destination infotmation on entry and health tequirements as well as visa, customs and currency regulations. T h e T I M booklet, issued monthly, offers a complete package to help travelers save time and avoid fines and delays. T h e T I M service costs U S $ 1 6 6 annually. Contact: Tel: +31 ( 0 ) 20 316 3714. Fax: +31 ( 0 ) 20 316 3 8 0 1 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Citizenship & Tax Obligations by Marshall J. Langer, The Tax Exile Report, 1997 Only a few countries impose taxes based on nationality. If you want to escape taxes in one of these countries, you may have to change your nationality. If you

don't alteady have another nationality you must first acquire a second one. Then you can abandon yout otiginal nationality. Unless you ate a citizen of the United States, the Philippines, Erittea, Finland, Greece, the Nethetlands or Sweden, retaining yout present citizenship should not cause tax problems after you move to another country or accept a second citizenship. These seem to be the only countries that try to impose any tax butden based on citizenship. And among these nations, the U . S . is the only country that makes a serious effort to collect taxes from its citizens that live abroad. Not content with that, the U.S. also tries to collect taxes from some of its former citizens. D u a l N a t i o n a l i t y — A First Step An American cannot become a "tax exile" if he remains an American citizen. If you think you might ever want to abandon your American citizenship, you will need to acquire another nationality as well as a passport on which to ttavel. T h e U . S . State Department now concedes an American citizen's right to have dual nationality and to acquite the other nationality voluntarily without automatically losing American citizenship. T h e first step is to acquire anothet nationality. Do it now while it is clear under U . S . law and policies that you can do so without problems. There are many fine reasons for becoming a dual national if you can do so. For example, if you are fortunate enough to acquire citizenship in one of the 15 countries that is presently a member of the European Union ( E U ) , you will have the tight to live and work in any of those EU countries. You may be entitled to such a citizenship if yout parents ot any of your grandparents were born in an EU country. T h e rules are not uniform. They vary from one EU countty to anothet.

Things to Think About by Marshall J. Langer, The Tax Exile Report, 1997 The noted Internationa! tax and citizenship expert explains, step by step, just how you can obtain the very best arrangement to avoid maximum taxes—but that may entail some political sacrifices.

Now that you know expattiation may be required to lower your tax burden, you must determine 45

Second Passports and Dual Nationality whether it makes sense for you to become a tax exile. Only you can decide whether it is worthwhile for you to develop your own ultimate estate plan. Examine your present will and estate plan. How much will you and your spouse pay in taxes when you pass your estate to your heirs? How much would these taxes be reduced if you became a tax exile? How much of your present income now goes to pay income taxes? How much would that income tax be reduced if you became a tax exile? T h e Decision I s Y o u r s After you carefully analyze these questions and the answers you are likely to reach one of thtee conclusions: 1. You enjoyed learning about the possibilities, but becoming a tax exile would be too distuptive to your present and future lifestyle. You will stay and pay. Yout children and grandchildren will have to make do with whatevet is left after taxes. 2. You feel that the savings during your lifetime and to your heirs would be great but you can't afford to move now. You will begin to take steps that will make it possible fot you to move when you can. 3. You are ready, willing and able to become a tax exile now. The aftet-tax savings will improve your lifestyle for the test of yout life, and the eventual savings to yout family will be substantial. If you have chosen either 2 or 3, you have furthet work to do. Sit down with your legal and tax advisets and wotk out your plan. This is an area where no two plans can ever be the same. You already have a genetal idea of the steps you must take to leave your present home country.

Residency Questions

At a minimum you must terminate your existing residency. You will want to detetmine whethet you must sell or lease your home or whether you can keep it for visits. Must you establish one specific home base ot can you be a perpetual tourist with homes in several different places? W h i c h country or countries will be best for you to move to? Have you already visited or lived in them or in similar foreign countries? Have you gathered all the information you possibly can concerning living conditions there? Are you satisfied that your new base has adequate facilities fot health care and your other needs? Should you tetminate your present residence at or near the end of a tax yeat, or can you do it when it is most convenient for you? Are you subject to a departure tax if you leave? How many days a yeat can you spend visiting yout friends and family in your present home country after you leave? Must you stay at a hotel or can you rent an apartment or home for your visits? Can you keep a car or should you rent one during your visits? Will it be safe for you to keep any bank accounts or investments in your present home country after you leave?

Domicile Questions Must you also change your domicile? If so, how will you and your heirs be able to prove that you have made the change? What is your domicile of origin? What is yout present domicile? What happens if you leave your present domicile without establishing a new one? Do you retain your present domicile? Do you revert to your domicile of origin? Must you change both your residency and your domicile at the same time ot can you change your residency now and your domicile latet?

Citizenship Questions Can you retain your present citizenship? Even if you can, would you feel safer or more comfortable if you had a second nationality and anothet passport? Does your present passport make it difficult for you to travel to certain parts of the world that you would like to visit? Trace your family history and that of your spouse. Does your ancestry entitle you to obtain citizenship somewhere? Does

yout present countty petmit dual nationality? Does it make sense for you to obtain another nationality now so that you can tetminate your present nationality when and if you consider it necessary 46

Second Passports and Dual Nationality to do so? Do you know whete and how you can obtain another suitable nationality? If you keep your ptesent nationality and passport must you use that passport to enter and leave your present country? Do you know how to terminate your present nationality when and if you decide to do so? Are you subject to a departure tax or ongoing taxation if you give up your citizenship? O t h e r K e y Issues Are you married and, if so, are your assets subject to community property tules? Ate those tules consistent with your own wishes? Will your spouse take the same steps you do to become a tax exile? If you are not married, do you have an ongoing relationship with someone to whom you plan to leave part of yout estate? Will that person be treated as unrelated for gift or inheritance tax putposes in your present or proposed future home country? How much of your present income comes from sources in your present home countty? Will you still be taxed on that income if you leave ? If so, can you change the source of that income so as to reduce ot eliminate such taxes? Can you use your new home country's tax treaties to reduce the tax at source on any of your income? How much of your assets are located in your present home country? Will you still be taxed on gifts or other transfers of those assets after you leave? If so, can you change the location of those assets to reduce or eliminate gift and death taxes? Do you know when to take each of the steps required to achieve the most beneficial tesults? Will most of your beneficiaries move with you or will some or all of them remain in your present home country? If they remain behind are there special

steps you need to take to ensure that they ate not pounced on fot taxes on your estate after you are gone? Your own personal circ*mstances may require you to take steps that are different than those that might be suitable for someone else. Check each step carefully. Develop your own ultimate estate plan. If you want to become a tax exile, do it right or don't do it. T h e H y p o t h e t i c a l Family To help you get started, let us take a look at Latry and Laura Latout. They are American citizens, resident and domiciled in California. Her estimated estate is $25 million and his is about $1 million. Since this is a second marriage for both of them and each has grown children from a prior marriage, they signed a premarital agreement under which their existing assets at the time of marriage remain separate property rather than community property. Their combined income averages about $2 million a year before taxes and they spend about $ 4 0 0 , 0 0 0 a year to live. If they temain in California, their federal and state income taxes will take at least $ 9 0 0 , 0 0 0 a yeat. Other taxes, including property taxes, may cost them another $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 a year. Thus, by leaving, they could save an extra $1 million a year. If Laura dies first, she plans to leave Larry enough income to enable him to maintain his present lifestyle, but she expects to leave the bulk of her estate to her grown children from a prior marriage. Little, if any, of her estate would qualify fot the estate tax marital deduction since she will not leave het estate to Larry outfight not will she give him the absolute power to choose who will teceive it when he dies. If she remains a U . S . citizen or retains her California domicile, her $25 million estate will pay a federal estate tax of around $13.75 million when she dies. If she tries to leave substantial sums to her grandchildren rather than her children, a further generation-skipping transfer tax will eat up most of the rest of the estate. If Larry dies first, he plans to leave his entire estate to his children since Laura has no need for either capital or income from his estate. His estate will get the equivalent of a $ 6 0 0 , 0 0 0 exemption. Thus, if his taxable estate is $1 million, the estate tax would be $ 1 5 3 , 0 0 0 . If

his estate increases to $2 million, the estate tax would jump to $ 5 8 7 , 2 0 0 . If it increases to $3 million, the estate tax would be $1,098,000. 47

Second Passports and Dual Nationality Laura Latour has decided that she definitely wants to become a tax exile. She is prepared to terminate her residency, domicile and citizenship if that is what it takes. She has selected Betmuda as the best place for them to move to. Larry plans to move with her, and he is willing to change his domicile from California to Bermuda so there is no risk that Lauta temains stuck with his California domicile despite her wish to change. He is also willing to obtain a second nationality, but he would prefer to tetain his American citizenship even if Laura gives up hers. They are investigating various ways to acquire anothet nationality and passports from that countty. They plan to acquire a condominium apartment in Betmuda and to establish residency there before the end of the current year They will also take whatever steps ate needed to change theit domicile at that time. They realize that it may take them some time to acquite a suitable new nationality. As soon as they can do so, Laura will relinquish her U.S. citizenship. Latry will decide whether to do so later Laura Latout and her advisers feel that she can convett a large part of her income into foteign-source income on which she will no longer be subject to U . S . income tax even if she is tteated as a tax-motivated expatriate. Her remaining U.S.-source income may still be subject to U . S . federal income tax for ten years. Larry will remain taxable on his separate income from all sources if he remains a U . S . citizen. Laura had planned to set up a British Virgin Islands ( B V I ) company shortly after she moved and relinquished her citizenship. She was going to transfer most of her U . S . securities into that company, Magnum Limited, in exchange for Magnum's shares. She had received preliminary advice from her advisers some time ago that she would not be taxed on the transfet but that she would be taxable if she sold the Magnum shares or liquidated the company within ten years aftet her expatriation. She had planned to keep the Magnum shares

indefinitely. Magnum, howevet, was going to sell its U.S. securities and replace them with comparable foreign securities. That would not have resulted in any U.S. tax on either Magnum or Laura Latour since none of these securities was in real estate holding companies. Unfortunately, she did not leave in time to carry out this plan. Laura and Larry estimate that it will cost them $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 a year more to live in Betmuda than it does now in California. This should cover theit extra living expenses and the additional cost of travel for their visits to the children and the family's visits to Bermuda. They feel that this will be more than made up by the annual income tax saving. If Laura dies within ten years after her expattiation owning the shares of Magnum, het estate may be taxable on any U . S . securities or property owned by Magnum at the time of her death, so she plans to keep these to a minimum. Laura would like to make some gifts to her children after she leaves the U.S., but she will confine these to foreign-situs assets. Laura is concerned that if Larry does not relinquish his citizenship, she may face residual tax problems to the extent that any of their assets are considered to be community property. She is also concerned that Larry's continued citizenship may require him to file all kinds of information returns with the IRS and the Treasury Department including, for example, forms concerning bank accounts and securities accounts outside the U . S . on which he can sign and information returns concerning her foreign corporations. She has been told that a U . S . citizen married to a nonresident alien must theoretically file detailed information returns concerning foreign corporations owned by the alien spouse even if the citizen spouse doesn't actually own any of the shares of the foreign company. She asked whether Jackie Onassis ever filed such returns concerning all of the companies owned by her husband when Aristotle Onassis was still alive. Het advisers said they didn't know, but that undei the law such returns may have been required. Because of these complications, Laura would prefer that Larry joins her in expattiating. He has promised to think about it. What if someday they decide they have made a mistake and they want to move back to the U.S.? T h e easiest way would be for one of their adult children (over 2 1 ) to sponsor them for green cards. There is no quota and no wait for adult children who obtain green cards for their parents. If 48

Second Passports and Dual Nationality that were to present a problem, there are other possibilities such as obtaining a treaty investor visa or qualifying under an investor program. Laura has made up her mind. She is going to proceed with her ultimate estate plan.

Relinquishing American Citizenship by Marshall ]. Langer, The Tax Exile Report, 1997 T h e world is full of dual nationals because each country has its own archaic and peculiar rules for determining citizenship. Most countries recognize dual nationality acquired at birth at least until a child becomes an adult. Then he may be required to make a choice of nationality. Such a petson might lose one of his nationalities if he fails to meet that nation's requirements fot compulsory military service. U . S . law does not require a U.S. citizen born with dual nationality to choose one nationality or the other at adulthood. U . S . law states that a citizen loses his U.S. nationality by voluntarily being naturalized by a foteign country if he made application with the intention of relinquishing U . S . nationality. T h e key is the U . S . State Department's factual determination of that intent. In a typical situation, State btings a case to adjudicate loss of nationality when it learns a U.S. citizen has obtained a second citizenship. State must prove the person's intent to relinquishing U . S . citizenship. T h e U.S. State Department current standards of evidence governing such cases presumes that a U.S. citizen wants to retain his U . S . citizenship. In the 1990 State Department publication, "Advice About Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality," these were the highlights: • Any of sevetal different acts can result in loss of U . S . citizenship if done voluntarily and with the intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. • It is presumed a U . S . citizen intends to retain U . S . citizenship when naturalized in a foreign country, takes a routine oath of allegiance to a foreign country, or accepts non-policy level employment with a foreign government. • W h e n a U . S . consulate officer learns of such acts he may ask the U . S .

citizen to complete a questionnaire. Unless the citizen affirmatively asserts intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship, the consul must certify the citizen's intention to retain his U . S . citizenship. • T h e new premise does not apply when a U . S . citizen formally renounces U.S. citizenship before a consul, takes a policy-level position in a foreign government, or is convicted of trea-son. • II a citizen performs any of the acts and wishes to relinquish his U . S . citizenship, he may affirm in wtiting to a consul that the act was done with the intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. • Individuals who previously lost U.S. citizenship may be able to have their cases reconsidered under the 1990 rules. • T h e U . S . does not favot dual nationality, but it recognizes its existence in individual cases. T h e State Department did not explain what is meant by a routine oath of allegiance, but apparently it is an oath that does not tequire renunciation of other nationalities. If you ate considering signing an oath of allegiance to any country, check with the legal experts before you do sign. Relinquishing U . S . Citizenship If you wish to surrender U . S . citizenship you must make a formal renunciation before a U.S. Consulate officer in a foreign nation. T h e same result is achieved by giving the consul your completed questionnaire that concedes your intent to relinquish U . S . nationality. 49

Second Passports and Dual Nationality With few exceptions, an American citizen who is a dual national must use his U.S. passpott when entering or leaving the U . S . In all other countries, a U.S. dual national can use either passport he possesses.

Expatriation: The Ultimate Estate Plan Robert E. Bauman, JD, from an Oxford Club special report, 2001 T h e legal dictionary definition of "expatriate" reads: "to voluntarily withdraw oneself from allegiance to one's native country: to renounce allegiance to one's country and abandon one's nationality voluntarily." Admittedly, that sounds like fairly drastic action, especially to the ears of patriotic citizens of the United States or, for that matter, any nation. Marshall Langer, a distinguished author and advisor to the Sovereign Society on asset protection issues, is an American lawyer who practices in London. In explaining why "expatriation" is so attractive to wealthy Ameticans, Mr. Langer argues from his practical experience: "Expatriation is the ultimate estate plan." What Dr. Langer means is that, after taking well planned, prudent steps to rearrange his or her personal and business finances, a high net worth American could voluntarily surrender U . S . citizenship as a legal means to avoid all, or nearly all, U . S . taxes on personal and business income, including capital gains and estate taxes. Yes, we mean "zero taxes"—as in not having evet again to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. But how does this work? Wealthy American citizens and permanent resident aliens can cut their income, capital gains and estate taxes to zero if they follow a planned, long-term expattiation sttategy. But U.S. laws admittedly could make the price to accomplish that fat too steep for all but heartiest of souls. A 1996 U . S . law (Title 26, Section 877 of the Internal Revenue Code) imposed punitive higher taxes on individuals who relinquish U . S . citizenship "with the principal purpose of avoiding" taxes. For the purposes of this law tax avoidance is presumed to be the true purpose if, at the time of expatriation, an expatriate's net worth exceeds $ 5 5 2 , 0 0 0 or he or she pays an annual tax bill exceeding $ 1 1 0 , 0 0 0 . (These figures are indexed for inflation annually.) T h e U . S . also asserts tax jurisdiction ovet an expatriate and his or her assets for ten years after American citizenship ends. Petmanent resident aliens ("gteen card" holders) are also

covered by this law's provisions. As a measure of just how "serious" a problem this may be, fewer than a thousand Americans, rich or poor, formally gave up citizenship in each of the last five years. In the first quarter 1999, for example, exactly 128 people quit U.S. citizenship, including J. Paul Getty's 31-year old grandson, Tara Getty (now an Irish citizen), who will enjoy his $ 4 0 0 million inheritance tax free as a result of abandoning American citizenship. W h y Expatriate? Here's the compelling arithmetic: a vety rich citizen of T h e Bahamas, for example, pays zero estate taxes; rich Americans, anyone with an estate worth $3 million or more, can pay 55 percent and up. A fairly stiff 37 percent marginal rate kicks in for Americans leaving as little as $ 6 7 5 , 0 0 0 to their childten and heits. T h e Bahamas has no capital gains taxes or income taxes on most offshore income and no estate taxes either. And the weather, golf, sailing, swimming and fishing usually are excellent year round, bar an occasional hurricane or two. Now you can understand why expatriation to avoid U . S . taxes has been an intetmittent hot button issue in American politics since 1994-All those rich folks getting away with tax avoidance 50

Second Passports and Dual Nationality murder! T h e very idea! Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, when in office during the Clinton teign, even went so fat as to call such tax expatriates "traitors" to America. He later was forced to apologize. Political H i s t o r y It all began on November 24, 1994 when Forbes magazine published what turned out to be a sensational article entitled "The New Refugees," a supposed expose of wealthy Ameticans who had surrendered their citizenship to escape U.S. taxes. Filled with juicy details (famous names, luxury offshore addresses, huge tax savings in the millions), the story described how clever ex-Americans who became citizens of cettain foreign nations henceforth paid few or no U . S .

fedetal and state income, estate and capital gains taxes. To the average uninfotmed U.S. taxpayer, this unfamiliar expattiation gimmick seemed like just another tich man's tax loophole and/or rip off while the "little guys" left behind had to pay. Before Forbes raised the issue of expatriation, few people had even heard of the concept of formal surrender or loss of U . S . citizenship. Since that Forbes article, "expatriation" has remained a favorite issue kicked atound when convenient by the American news media and "soak-therich" politicians. Less than two years aftet the article, Public Law 104-191 was signed by then President Bill Clinton on August 2 1 , 1996, imposing special taxes, penalties and claiming a continuing 10-year tax jurisdiction on persons who renounce U . S . citizenship with the intent to avoid U . S . taxes. T h e law covers both U.S. citizens and certain foreign aliens legally resident in the U.S. who permanently leave the U . S . Fot most of the law's ptovisions, the effective date was Febtuary 6, 1995. As a national political issue, expatriation is hatdly new in America. In the bittet aftermath of the War Between the States ( 1 8 6 0 - 6 5 ) , Congress hotly debated the status of people in the southern states that fotmed the Confederacy. Ultimately, Congtess decided "rebels" who swore allegiance could again become U . S . citizens. T h e "Expatriation Act of 1868" formally recognized that all Americans do have a right to give up theit citizenship, if they so choose. Almost a century later, in the Foreign Investors Tax Act of 1966, Congress again decided to make an issue of expatriation. In that A c t lawmakets tried to impose onetous taxes on exiting wealthy Americans, but the law was so ambiguous it proved unenforceable. How could the IRS prove such "intent"? They couldn't and they didn't even tty.

Expatriate E n v y

The media and political furor following the 1994 Forbes article may have teflected collective envy as much as patriotic opposition to expatriation by American citizens. Aftet all, expatriation is hardly a serious a problem, with fewet than 800 Americans, rich or poor, formally giving up their citizenship in recent years. Most expatriates give up their U . S . citizenship due to family circ*mstances, such as marrying a foreign national, or moving abroad, rather than avoiding taxes. In the 1996 anti-expatriation frenzy, some in the U . S . Congress wanted to fotbid ex-Americans who renounce their U.S. citizenship by deed or formal act, from ever again legally entering the United States, if the government could prove they left to avoid paying taxes. And under the spon-sorship of Senator Jack Reed ( D - R I ) , this "no return" provision became law, slipped into a major appropriation bill with no debate houts before Congress adjourned for the year. Section 352 of the 1996 Immigration Refotm Act adds expatriation to avoid tax as grounds for excluding former U.S. citizens from re-entty into the United States. Weeks latet when he discoveted what the Senate had unknowingly done, then U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) angrily denounced the provision supposedly exiling American tax expatriates noting that, Congress had without justification added such persons to a list that had until then included only "tetrorists, convicted criminals, [and] those with communicable diseases..." 51

Second Passports and Dual Nationality But as we said, the law has never been enforced and not one person has been excluded from U.S. re-entry under its onerous provisions. It is worth noting that the expatriate tax punching bag is hauled out by demagogic U . S . politicians whenevet it becomes politically convenient. In 2000 a new "soak the rich who run" gimmick was introduced in Congress by

ultta leftist Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) as H.R.3099. It would have imposed a new, one-time capital gains tax on the assets of expatriates when they left the U.S., regardless of the taxpayer's motive for relinquishing U . S . citizenship. Gifts by offshore expatriates to relatives back home in the U . S . would also have been subject to new taxes. T h e bill died, but Rep. Rangel has promised to keep pushing his punitive proposal.

Save Millions Legally In spite of possible punishment, for some high net worth U . S . individuals and theit family members there are definite advantages in pursuing expatriation. In 1962, John Templeton, respected international investor, businessman and philanthropist, surrendered his U.S. citizenship to become a citizen of T h e Bahamas. This move saved him more than $100 million when Templeton sold the well-known international investment fund that still bears his name. Twentythree years after surrendering his U . S . citizenship, Templeton, a well-known philanthtopist, told the Wall Street Journal the political ftenzy over expatriation could happen "only in America." Other wealthy ex-Americans who have taken their formal leave include billionaire Campbell Soup heir John (Ippy) Dorrance III (Ireland); Michael Dingman (The Bahamas), chairman of Abex and a Ford Motor directot; J. Mark Mobious (Germany), one of the leading emerging market investment fund managers; Kenneth Dart (Belize), heit to the billion dollar Dart container fortune; Ted Atison (Israel), head of Carnival Cruise Lines; and millionaire head of Locktite Corp., Fred Kreible (Turks and Caicos Islands). In truth, citizens of almost evety other nation see maximum tax avoidance as a positive means for self-survival. In some countries, such as France and Italy, taxdodging is said to be as much a patt of the tespective national character as a taste for vin rouge ordinaire or pasta. Public L a w 1 0 4 - 1 9 1 ( 2 6 U S C 8 7 7 ) T h e original 1966 U . S . anti-expatriation law, conceded to be unenforceable, was the first attempt by Congress to impose special, higher taxes on individuals who relinquished their U . S . citizenship "with the principal purpose of

avoiding" U.S. taxes. That highly subjective intention was virtually impossible to prove. There are no known cases of it being enforced. T h e later 1996 law imposed what might be called a "wealth means test." It assumes that an individual has a principal expatriation purpose to avoid tax if the individual's avetage net income tax liability for the five tax yeats ending before expatriation is greater than $110,000; or if the individual's net worth on the date of expatriation is $ 5 5 2 , 0 0 0 or more. T h e 1996 law is so potentially punitive that thoughtful migration expetts criticize what they see as the setting of a much broader and very dangerous U . S . precedent. They point out the law not only involves retaliatory government acts against resistance to high taxes, but poses possible human tights violations by limiting the right to international travel and migtation, both guaranteed by traditional international law and the United Nations Charter. T h e underlying punitive motive behind the 1996 law can be seen in its crass reversal of the normal burden of legal proof. Whereas the old 1966 law required the government to prove the expatriating U.S. citizen was renouncing citizenship to avoid taxes, the later law shifted the butden of proof to the taxpayer, who must prove he is not trying to avoid taxes. On the broader issue of other, non-tax specific acts that might cause a loss of citizenship, as I have noted, U.S. government policy presumes an American citizen does not wish to surrender citizenship; therefore proof of that specific intention is required before expatriation is officially recognized. 52

Second Passports and Dual Nationality T h e 1996 expatriation tax law does allow a few exceptions to this reversal of the ttaditional proof requirement described above. T h e law exempts: • Persons born with dual citizenship, including U . S . citizenship; • Cases in which a person acquires the nationality of his or her spouse, or that of the nation in which either of the person's parents were born;

• Persons who expatriate before reaching the age of 18; • Persons who have been present in the U . S . less than 30 days in each of the last 10 years; and • Persons to be exempted by as yet unwritten IRS regulations as the law requires. On a related point, it worth noting that even for U.S. citizens there are still legal opportunities for substantial U . S . estate tax avoidance offshore not available within the U.S. Virtually every form of estate planning that can be done within the U . S . can be accomplished with an offshore structure, but with the added benefit that after the taxpayet's demise, the offshore estate moves outside the U.S. tax system and can then prosper free of U . S . income taxes. F o r m a l Expatriation While the 1996 law applies only to those who voluntarily surrender their citizenship to avoid taxes, it is worth considering the acts by which Americans may jeopardize their legal standing as U.S. citizens. In its irrevocable form, "expatriation" per se is caused by an individual's deliberate act of sutten-dering the native or acquired legal citizenship of theit home country. T h e person must fotmally surrender U . S . citizenship befote a diplomatic or consular officer of the U.S. undet the Immigration and Nationality Act, sec. 3 4 9 ( a ) ( 5 ) , who then furnishes to the State Department a signed statement of voluntary relinquishment of U.S. citizenship confirming the performance of an act of expatriation undet the Immigration and Nationality Act, sec. 3 4 9 ( a ) ( l ) - ( 4 ) . Practically, in the case of an American citizen, this means visiting a U . S . embassy or consulate abroad, filing out a standard questionnaire and signing a formal document under oath requesting an end to U . S . citizenship. Subsequent U.S. State Department approval usually is granted as a matter of routine and it issues a "Certificate of Loss of Nationality." Since 1997 by law the IRS publishes quarterly lists of those who abandon U . S . citizenship fot any teason. For names and interesting articles on this subject on the Internet see, It goes without saying that surrender of U . S . citizenship should never be attempted unless, and until, a new national citizenship is formally, legally and

securely in place. No one wants to replicate the perpetual agony described in Edward Everett Hale's classic short story, The Man Without a Country. A c t s Jeopardizing U . S . Citizenship In addition to the formal renunciation described above, most nations, including the U.S., also have a developed body of statutory and judicial law describing various specific acts that may cause involuntary expatriation or possible loss of citizenship by their citizens. Depending on the facts of each case, undet U . S . law as formerly interpreted, these acts might include voluntary military service in the armed forces of a foreign nation, voting in foteign elections, swearing allegiance to, or accepting an official office in a foreign government. As we noted earlier, the U.S. legal presumption now is always in favor of an American citizen retaining citizenship in the absence of some definitive act of surrender. In Nishikawa v. Dulles, 356 U . S . 129 ( 1 9 5 8 ) , the U . S . Supreme Court held the government must offer clear and convincing proof that a potentially expatriating act was done voluntarily before citizenship can be lost. In Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U . S . 253 ( 1 9 6 7 ) , the Court said an Ametican has a constitutional fight to remain a citizen until voluntary relinquishment and that intent to relinquish must be proven by the government. In Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 ( 1 9 8 0 ) , the Court said such 53

Second Passports and Dual Nationality intention to relinquish citizenship must be proven by conduct or reasonable inferences. Mere long-term residence abroad does not cause loss of U . S . citizenship, Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U . S . 163 ( 1 9 6 4 ) . Even leaving the U . S . to evade the dtaft in time of wat cannot end citizenship. Kennedy v. Uendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 ( 1 9 6 3 ) . At various stages in U . S . history, reflecting the prejudice of the moment, U.S. law has stated that a non-native, naturalized U . S . citizen could lose acquited citizenship for re-establishing a permanent legal residence in his or her country

of origin within one year after U.S. naturalization; by marriage to a Hindu or Chinese spouse; or by becoming a dues-paying member of the Communist Party ( U S A ) ! Plan A h e a d Lost in the furor over expatriation stirred by politicians and the ptess are the ptactical aspects of expattiation. Long before, even many years before, a wealthy American formally surrenders his or her citizenship, that person already will have reordered completely his or her financial affairs in such a way as to remove from possible government control and taxation most, if not all, of their assets. Here are some of the steps a U . S . citizen who desires to avoid U . S . (and foreign) taxes to the maximum extent should consider: • Move abroad and make your home in a no-tax foteign nation so you are no longer a "resident" for U.S. income taxes; • Change your legal domicile (your intended home), to a no-tax foteign nation to avoid U . S . estate taxes; • Arrange your affairs so that most or all of your income is derived from foreign sources; and • Title your property ownership so that all or most of your assets ate foteign-situs properties exempt from U . S . estate and gift taxes. Any property, including real estate, remaining within the U . S . is subject to potential judicial control by American courts and the IRS. C o n c l u s i o n It's wotth considering the advice of a recognized expert, Dr. Marshall Langer, on the decisions one must make if one is seriously considering adopting "the ultimate estate plan," expattiation. Before making any move, consider all applicable Internal Revenue Code

provisions and IRS rules, with expert technical and professional assistance at every step, giving special thought to the timing of each action, the impact on your beneficiaries and theit tax status. Pay close attention to the legal status of your spouse, since that will affect the tax outcome, especially if jointly owned property is involved. Considet infotmal expatriation as a last resort, but always make certain exactly what the law and regulations mean as they might apply to you specifically. Obviously, at every step, you should seek and obtain the assistance of the very best legal and tax advisors.

Questions for Aspiring Expatriates by John Sturgeon, 1998 Here's a practical "how to" and "what to expect" test for those considering expatriation to a new country. It's not a course for the faint of heart. I recently spoke with a colleague who resides in a continental European nation. T h e economy there is in a shambles and many young people have decamped to other parts of the world to seek better ptospects. My colleague said he too would leave but he noted that an expatriate needs three things: 54

Second Passports and Dual Nationality 1. T h e ability to speak the language of his intended country; 2. To be able to work or have another source of income there; and 3. To have full family support for the move. For my friend, these were all reasons not to leave. In my own experience, these petceived problems are easily overcome. T h e Language B a r r i e r

Life is easier when you're fluent in the tongue of yout future home country. But that should not present an insurmountable barrier. A great many people have managed to learn the rudiments of a new language relatively quickly. Younget people, particularly children, are capable of learning a language very quickly if motivated. They don't suffet from the "I can't do it" syndrome, a condition that generally afflicts adults. Instead of seeing a new language as a barrier, take it as a chance to enhance options and opportunities available to you. Colleges in most countries hold night classes in a variety of languages. Aftet a few weeks, you will be surprised how quickly you have acquired a working knowledge of a language that seemed impenetrable. Alternatively, there are numerous language courses on the market—cassettes and supplemen-tary materials enabling you to study at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home, office or car. Shop around and find a course you like. For starters try Berlitz, telephone +44 171 915 0 9 0 9 . But the best way to familiarize yourself with a new language is to immerse yourself in it on a daily basis. You can do that when you're in the country where the language is spoken. T h e Means B a r r i e r Employment or an alternative source of income is obviously important. A move overseas doesn't stop the bills coming in even if the cost of living may be cheaper in your intended destination. This needn't present the creative and flexible individual with a problem. I've been impressed by how many expatriates, regardless of their origin, live in every country of the world. More than likely a group of expatriates from your current country already resides where you are going. This might be an ideal matket for your skills, products or services or a source of leads for new work. Alternatively, it may be possible to work at your current profession on a longdistance basis. Modern communications, transport systems and sophisticated computer software make it possible to live in one country, retain clients and contacts in your old country, while developing new customers all over the world. With a portable office consisting of a laptop, a modem and a telephone, you are ready. Consequently, expatriation needn't advetsely affect earnings potential and

with organization and effort it can be enhanced. T h e Family B a r r i e r It is true that if your family is not supportive, finding happiness in your new home is unlikely. Too many guides on expatriation fail to acknowledge family problems. They wrongly assume that expats seek a better place on their own or for their sole benefit. Many of those who move overseas do so because they want a better place for theit family to grow and thrive. Obviously, you should include the whole family in the decision-making process. T h e prospect of leaving friends, family and present lives behind induces a certain amount of hesitation regardless of where you plan to live. Advantages and disadvantages should be weighed up by the whole family. A Million Dollar Q u e s t i o n Perhaps the most important question you must ask yourself is what you are seeking by moving to another nation. Naturally, personal preferences play a role in deciding where and how you wish to live. If you want to get away from "civilization" (i.e., crowds) there is no point considering large cities that offet little elbow room. 55 Second Passports and Dual Nationality 1 recommend you commit your thoughts to writing, as a means of clarifying your goals. Never assume that people and things function in another country in same way they do at home. Local customs and attitudes develop over a long period. Make sure your religious views are toletated in the new country. Remember you are the foreigner. Once you are there you will be expected to abide by local customs. Go On A Fact-Finding Mission

Having narrowed your selection, you and your family should travel to your prospective country before you actually move there. You will soon learn whether that country is acceptable to you, or whether alternatives should be considered. When you visit, don't stay in a big hotel that is part of an international chain. Tbiat won't provide an accurate picture of the countty, its people or customs. Instead, stay in a small local hotel or bed and bteakfast to learn about the locals, their food and habits. While there, things you should investigate include: • Availability of housing. Are there any restrictions on property ownership ? Speak to lawyers experienced in real estate. They know the pitfalls and the best ways of getting things done. • T h e infrastructure. How does it affect the way you intend to make a living? • Schools fot the childten. Do they meet your expectations? Is alternative schooling available? Most schools are happy to allow an inspection. • Medical and dentistry services. How do they measure up? As an expatriate will you get free care? Be sure you and your family will be adequately served. • Are shopping and recreational facilities suitable and sufficient to your anticipated needs? • Does the country really look and feel as you thought it would? Or has it engaged in clever self-promotion that fails to reflect reality? • How do local people receive you? Do you feel comfortable around them? • Are you free to practice your chosen religion or engage in activities you considet important? • What level of government testtiction will you have to overcome? • How do you obtain a residence permit? What do you need to do? How long will the process take? What will it cost? Will you be able to obtain a wotk petmit

(restrictions will apply for your employment by othets as well as for selfemployment)? • Will you be able to bring your household goods, cars, pets, etc. with you and, if so, under what conditions? • Cost of living issues. How much will a tank of gas, food, local taxes, television licenses, postal stamps, telephone calls cost? Will you save as much as you anticipated or will moving overseas result in additional household expense? Armed with this information you will be able to base your eventual decision on cold, hard facts. It is not bad to be overly critical about what you find in your chosen country, but realize no place on earth is perfect in every detail. Are you willing or able to overlook imperfections in light of what the country has to offer? Moving abroad is difficult but worth pursuing to obtain the lifestyle and standard of living you want. A Tax Exile's Wish List by Marshall J. Langer, The Tax Exile Report, 1997 A tax exile must generally establish a new country of residence and a new domicile, and may also need a new citizenship and passport. 56 Second Passports and Dual Nationality T h e hypothetical Latry and Laura Latout have made a preliminary decision to become tax exiles. Where will they go? Before looking at individual countries, they must detetmine what they will require. How will they choose one country over another? What do they need and where will they find it? M o r e T h a n O n e H o m e C o u n t r y Until now, the Latouts have been U . S . citizens, and they have been tesident

and domiciled in the U.S. Thete may not be any one other country that will immediately meet all of their needs. Their first choice of a country in which to reside may not petmit them to become citizens for many years. Moreover, it may not be suitable as their permanent domicile. They may have to choose more than one new home country—one, or perhaps several, for residency, one for their permanent home or domicile, and still another for citizenship and passports with which to travel. A H o m e C o u n t r y for R e s i d e n c y T h e Latours need at least one country in which they can actually live. Eventually, they may want one place whete they can spend most of the year. Initially, however, they may choose to divide the yeat, spending a few months in each of several countries. This will give them the opportunity to try out sevetal places. If they like some of them bettet than others they can spend more time there. Any new home country for residency should be a safe place in which to live and it should have a good quality of life. It should also have a fair and reasonable tax system. They may consider any of the following: • An island in the Caribbean or Atlantic with low or no taxes and an easy lifestyle. They should look at T h e Bahamas, Betmuda, Cayman, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos. They might also look at Anguilla, Antigua, Costa Rica and either Curacao or St Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles. • An English-speaking base in or near Europe from which they can easily travel. They should look at Britain, the Channel Islands, Cyprus, Gibraltar Ireland, the Isle of Man, Israel and Malta. • A "real country" in which they can establish roots and eventually obtain citizenship. They should consider Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. • A toehold on the European continent from which they can readily ttavel around Europe by car or train. They should look at Britain (now that the Channel tunnel is open), Gibraltar, Monaco and Switzerland. They may also look at Andotra or

Campione. A H o m e C o u n t r y for Domicile T h e Latours need to choose one country that will be their new domicile. For practical purposes, it must be one of the countries that they have chosen for residency. It should be the one place that they will call theit permanent home. They should be comfortable with its laws concerning the eventual descent and distribution of theit assets. They will want to know whether it has community property and forced heirship rules and whether they can live with those rules. They will also want a place that does not have excessive taxes on lifetime gifts or at death. They will begin the process by eliminating those countries that impose excessive death taxes on persons domiciled thete. This will probably eliminate Btitain and Ireland. Surprisingly perhaps, they can probably cope with the gift and death tax structures of any of the othet countries. Some, like Canada or Switzerland, may require careful estate planning. A H o m e C o u n t r y for Citizenship and a P a s s p o r t T h e Latouts will need a new citizenship and passports on which they can freely travel without undue hassle. Their new passports should give them visa-free travel to as many as possible of the places they like to visit. 57 Second Passports and Dual Nationality Most of the countries whose citizenship and passports they would like will not give them immediate citizenship or passports. Some of the countries that they may consider for residency or domicile will never allow them to become citizens. Othets will grant them citizenship only after several years of residency. Their biggest problem is the time factot. They need citizenship and passports now. They may be lucky. One of them may have a patent or grandparent who was born in Ireland. If so, he or she would be entitled to Irish citizenship with its

first-class passport. T h e other spouse would also be entitled to Irish citizenship based on the first spouse's citizenship. Similar, less publicized rights, may exist if their parents were born in other countries within the European Union ( E U ) or the larger European Economic Area ( E E A ) . If either of them is Jewish, he or she may be entitled to Israeli citizenship under that country's law of return. This comes with immediate citizenship and a laissez-passer; a full passport is issued after one year. An Israeli passport is a very good travel document for visa-free travel. If none of these options applies, they will almost certainly have to considet one of the few countties with economic citizenship programs. Those countries with legal ptograms recently available include: • Dominica. This is probably the best legal program at this time. Both spouses and one or two young children can qualify for full citizenship for a total outlay of U S $ 7 5 , 0 0 0 . T h e applicant donates U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 to the Dominica government. T h e othet U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 covers all government fees, professional fees and miscellaneous expenses. Each eligible family member receives a British Commonwealth passport good for visa-free travel to more than 90 countties, including Canada, Switzetland, Britain and most othet British Commonwealth countries. Estimated time: about two months after papers are filed. • St. Kitts and Nevis. Both spouses can qualify for non-voting citizenship by purchasing a condominium costing at least U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 or by investing U S $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 in 10-year government bonds that pay no intetest. Government registration fees and professional fees for the two of them would add about U S $ 7 0 , 0 0 0 to the cost. Both spouses would receive Commonwealth passports good for visa-free travel to about 90 countries. Estimated time: about two months after papers are filed. At this writing Nevis is considering declaring its independence from St. Kitts as the national constitution permits. This should not affect the citizenship ptogram, except a choice as to which island you prefer will have to be made. T h e more developed financial structure is located in Charles Town on Nevis. T h e Latouts must determine how much they need to invest to get a passport that will satisfy their travel requirements. This may depend on how much traveling

they plan to do. If they expect to travel extensively, they may need one tequiring a larger investment, such as Ireland (if available), Dominica, or St. Kitts and Nevis. Canada-Non-Resident Citizens Pay Zero Taxes An interview with David Melnik, Q.C., The Sovereign Individual, June 2002 (Ed. Note: Canada offers first-world amenities and one of the world's most desirable passports after only three years of residency. The Canadian government also has an official policy encouraging immigration. Taxes are high, but in this interview, tax attorney David Melnik outlines a strategy that immigrants can use to avoid tax on their non-Canadian income for five years after they arrive. Nor does Canada impose income taxes on nonresident citizens, as does the United States.) TSI: You're a lifelong resident of Canada. Can you give us a snapshot of life in Canada? Melnik. Canada is one of the world's largest countries. It's spatsely populated, except fot the southern regions close to the U . S . border and in our cities. T h e services and amenities in Canada are very similar to the United States. On the downside, Canada is essentially a socialist country. 58 Second Passports and Dual Nationality Taxes are high and the quality of some of the "free" or low cost services provided hy the government is not always the best. Education is free through the secondary level (grade 12). A university education isn't cheap, but is much less expensive than in most U . S . schools. Typically tuition fees, excluding living costs, are around C $ 1 , 1 0 0 ( U S $ 7 0 0 ) per year. However, a professional school will have higher fees. Health care is also "free," via a socialized medical system funded by the federal government. However, a de facto tationing system has developed and the quality of care is not

always high. If you can wait to see the doctor, fine, but in an emergency, you may not be treated immediately. In addition, you can't purchase medical care privately, although thete is increasing pressure to legalize private care. Many Canadians travel to the United States to receive medical tteatment if they fall through the cracks of the system. TSI: Is immigration to Canada encouraged by law? Melnik. T h e Canadian government encourages immigration, especially from persons who have capital to bring into the countty and who wish to employ Canadians in a business. If you have substantial assets and are in relatively good health, you stand an excellent chance of qualifying for "landed immigrant" status leading to permanent residency and eventual citizenship. A points system applies to all prospective immigrants. T h e system takes into account your health, age, net worth, education, business experience and whether you're likely to go on welfare. Of these, the most important factor is whether or not you're likely to become a burden to the government. You must come from outside Canada to achieve landed immigrant status. Unless you'te a refugee, you can't live in Canada while your application is being processed. Immigration is tun by the federal government, with the exception of the province of Quebec, which has its own immigration ministry. TSI: What immigration programs are available? Melnik. Quebec has the only investment ptogram. If you buy C $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 1 6 0 , 0 0 0 ) of Canadian government bonds, and are in good health, you will almost certainly receive landed immigrant status. Immigrant entrepreneurs are encouraged in all provinces. If you invest in an existing business, as long you have reasonably good health and have no ctiminal tecord, you should receive landed immigrant status in any ptovince. If you have family members in Canada, extra points are awarded. However, if you can't support youtself, you won't qualify unless your family in Canada agrees to support you.

There are also quotas from various countries. Quotas from wealthier and more populous countries-the United States, for instance-ate much higher than for less wealthy countries. Certain occupations and skills are also in high demand. For instance, we have a serious shortage of doctors and nurses, especially in smaller communities. This is because salaties fot medical professionals are very low by U . S . standards. Anyone who speaks French as theit first language will receive special consideration in Quebec. Retirees are welcome to immigrate to Canada if they can demonstrate that they will not be a burden to the state and ate in good health. TSI: What documents are needed to obtain landed immigrant status? Melnik. You need a current passport, extra passport photos, a medical examination supervised through a Canadian consulate, a letter from the local police stating that you don't have a criminal record and a letter from broker or banker attesting to your net worth. You must also have a personal interview with a government official. TSI: What family membets can you bring with you? Melnik: A husband, wife and their dependent children can all apply together. Children over 59

Second Passports and Dual Nationality the age of 18 must make their own application, although applications from adult childten of landed immigrants ate viewed favorably. You can also bring parents and grandparents but you must genetally guarantee financial responsibility for them unless they have their own assets. There is no official policy on same sex partners. In one case I handled, two female partners each made a separate application. Both achieved landed immigrant status since each of them worked in a high demand occupation. TSI: Ate thete any restrictions on where you settle once you entet Canada?

Melnik. T h e only restrictions are if you qualify under Quebec immigration law. In that case, you're required by Quebec law to live in Quebec. However, this provision is difficult to enforce and, in practice, people settle wherever they wish. TSI: What is the process for obtaining citizenship and passport? Melnik. After you have lived in Canada for thtee yeats, you apply for citizenship thtough a citizenship court. Instant "economic citizenship" is not available. You must take a course in "Canadian civics" and pass a test, but I have never heard of anyone failing it. You subsequently apply for a Canadian passport. You can keep yout old passport—dual nationality is permitted. TSI: Could you compare the Canadian and U . S . passports? Melnik. Canada has one of the world's best passports, on a par with Swiss, Austrian and U.S. passports. There are more places you can travel without a visa on a Canadian passport than on a U . S . passport. In addition, there are no travel prohibitions as with a U.S. passport-you can travel to Cuba, North Korea, Iran, etc. on a Canadian passpott without violating any Canadian law. TSI: Could you summarize the Canadian tax system? Melnik. There are several layers of taxation in Canada. First, there are provincial and federal income taxes. T h e maximum combined rates are between 4 6 % and 4 9 . 5 % . You reach the top rate for an annual income exceeding C $ 6 0 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 4 0 , 0 0 0 ) . If you have a taxable income of C $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 6 3 , 0 0 0 ) , after various deductions, yout total income tax would be about C $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 2 3 , 0 0 0 ) . Howevet, there are fewer deductions for income tax available in Canada than in the United States. For instance, interest on home mottgages is not tax-deductible. While income taxes generally cover the cost of medical care, if you are selfemployed, you will pay as much as C$l,500/year in government medical insurance premiums. Employers and employees must also pay into the Canada Pension Plan ( C P P ) , our form of social security, in the amount of

approximately C $ 1 , 8 0 0 ( U S $ 1 , 1 0 0 ) each per year. T h e application of capital gains tax is best illustrated through example. Let's say you had C $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 6 3 , 0 0 0 ) of capital gains in 2002. Of the total gain, 5 0 % is added to your 2002 tax return as ordinary income. S o , if you're in the 5 0 % combined tax bracket, then C $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 1 6 , 0 0 0 ) would be paid in tax. T h e effective rate would be about 2 5 % . Each province also has a Provincial Sales Tax ( P S T ) of 8% on most goods but not on services. Alberta is the only province without a PST. Finally, there is a Goods and Services Tax ( G S T ) that is a federal government tax on most goods and services and the tate is 7%. Canada has no estate taxes at the federal level. However, several provinces do impose death taxes. TSI: Is it possible for an immigrant to shekel some of theit assets from Canadian taxation? Melnik. This requires the formation of an offshore trust—a trust set up outside Canada—before you entet Canada. T h e income oi capital gains in the trust is not taxable for your first five years in Canada. But U . S . citizens would still have to file tax returns on such a trust. Since you can obtain Canadian citizenship aftet thtee years of residency, this means you have two additional years where the assets in this trust are not subject to Canadian tax. Some wealthy persons who immigrate to Canada become Canadian nonresidents after receiving their Canadian passport, but befote the five-year period elapses. If you wait longer than five years, your worldwide assets become subject to a "deemed sale" provision when you become nonresident. 60 Second Passports and Dual Nationality You add up the purchase price and current value of all your property, including the assets in your immigration trust, and calculate the capital gain. You then have

to pay the capital gains tax due on the increase in value of those assets. Alternatively, you may post a secutity bond with the tax authorities equal to the tax liability. Becoming a nonresident citizen involves more than simply living abroad. You must make a "clean" break from Canada by taking steps such as selling your home and personal effects in Canada, ending national health insurance coverage, etc. TSI: Are thete any proposals that would end this tax-favored status? Or that would penalize naturalized Canadian citizens who leave Canada? Melnik. No, nothing like this has been proposed. Canada requires a large number of skilled immigrants to counter a severe and continuing "brain drain" to the United States where salaries are generally higher and taxes generally lower. Nor have their been any proposals to testrict the ability of naturalized Canadian citizens to become nonresident. TSI: Many Americans who might be considering immigrating to Canada to operate a business ate concerned about lawsuits. Are lawsuits common in Canada? Are punitive damages often awarded? Melnik. Lawsuits in Canada are not nearly so common as in the United States and punitive damages are rarely awarded. One thing that limits lawsuits is that the provinces, other than British Colombia, don't petmit contingency fees. Liability insurance premiums are lower as well. TSI: What services do you offer for persons considering immigration to Canada? Melnik. I wotk with another attorney who specializes in immigration wotk. He knows the point system and knows the people in the government who handle immigration. Our applicants tend to be processed quickly because of this, although they don't receive any favoritism from officials. My job is to insute the assets are protected and that they don't run afoul of the tax provisions. We try to create a package that takes advantage of whatever fiscal incentives

exist plus stteamline the application process without skating on to any "thin ice." Due to the new Canadian money laundering legislation, I require that all new clients meet with me personally before beginning the application procedure. The Best Places for Second Passports & Offshore Residency by Robert Bauman, The Sovereign Individual, February 2004 Someone once wrote of "the kind of patriotism which consists of hating all other nations." Here at T h e Sovereign Society, our friendly international outlook is wellestablished. We feel just as at home "offshore" as we do in our native lands. Sometimes even more so. We know from experience that offshore quite often offers more personal freedom, economic liberty and financial success than we can now obtain in the country of our birth. I often write about obtaining a second passport or dual citizenship as a means to hedge one's bets against future events. T h e last century (and already this one) has witnessed horrors when individuals or entite groups have been forced to flee theit homelands. Millions of citizens each year choose to change theit tesidence to anothet nation for a variety of reasons. T h e English political philosopher Edmund Burke ( 1 7 2 9 - 1 7 9 7 ) observed in another time: "Early and provident fear is the mothet of safety." That's still good advice for world travelers or those who choose to make their home abroad. Safety means using a national passport that keeps the bearer as far away as possible from controversy. Travel in many parts of the world using a U . S . passport may mean you'te a target for terrorism. With a passport from any of the European Union countries you gain the aluable right to live, wotk and do business in every one of these nations. Second passpotts can be obtained as a matter of 61

Second Passports and Dual Nationality right based on your ancestors born in nations such as Ireland, Italy or even the United Kingdom.

If you're a U . S . citizen, there's no need to surrender your U.S. passport if you do acquire a second nationality. U . S . law fully supports the right of Americans to enjoy dual citizenship. W h a t A b o u t " E c o n o m i c Citizenship"? If you don't qualify for alternative citizenship based on your ancestry, "economic citizenship" can be obtained from the two nations that still make it available; Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis. In 2002, Dominica sharply increased both the fees and administtative hutdles applicants for economic citizenship must overcome, making St. Kitts & Nevis the most viable program. While costs are still slightly lower in Dominica, the St. Kitts & Nevis passport is now a far more attractive travel document. To qualify for citizenship in St. Kitts & Nevis, you must make a teal estate investment of at least U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 . There are also government fees of U S $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 for a single applicant plus U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 for each dependent. Finally, there are application fees of U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 and due diligence fees, which vary depending on the number of persons included in an application. T h e Government recently increased these due diligence fees to U S $ 2,500 per adult applicant. These requirements make the program relatively expensive but also mote exclusive. However, St. Kitts & Nevis is an attractive place to own real estate, and there are some excellent teal estate developments approved under the citizenship program. Further, relatively few passpotts have been issued undet the program. As a result, St. Kitts & Nevis passports have and passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to more than 90 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzetland, Sweden, and many others. St. Kitts & Nevis passport holders, unlike Dominica passport holders, still have visa-free access to Canada. As a citizen of St. Kitts & Nevis you can live and work in St. Kitts & Nevis anytime, and as a Commonwealth citizen you enjoy special rights and privileges in the United Kingdom. You are not liable to taxation in St. Kitts & Nevis as there are no income taxes there at all.

Finally, owning real estate in St. Kitts & Nevis, two of the most attractive islands in the Caribbean, is a good investment that you can use for your vacation, as a pied-a-terre, for future retirement or to generate rental income. For more information, please visit Sovereign Society members are eligible for a U S $ 2 , 5 0 0 discount on the application fee for this ptogram. Eliminate State T a x , P a y Z e r o E s t a t e T a x and Slash Y o u r I n c o m e T a x t o 1 0 % Short of becoming a citizen of a foreign nation, one might well consider the possibility of trying out a foreign homeland by first moving there and experiencing life as lived by the locals. Several nations have residency programs especially designed to attract foreign citizens who may want to make their home abroad. These attractions include many special tax exemptions, some even total, reduced ptices on many goods and services, plus home buying and building programs, also tax exempt. Undet a unique federal income tax arrangement applying only to the U . S . Territory of the Virgin Islands, it is possible for U.S. nationals and foreigners who make the islands their main residence to enjoy substantial personal and business tax benefits. These lower taxes make the islands an offshore tax haven option for wealthy U.S. citizens and for foreign nationals seeking U.S. citizenship. And fot Americans, moving to the U S V I is little mote trouble than moving from one mainland state to another. Like anyone else in the United States, U S V I residents and corporations pay federal taxes on their worldwide income. However, they make their payments to the Virgin Islands Internal Revenue Bureau ( I R B ) , not the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This distinction has important legal consequences for those who are legal residents of the U S V I or those who immigrate from outside the United States and become natutalized U . S . citizens while USVI-resident. For purposes of U.S. 62

Second Passports and Dual Nationality federal gift and estate taxes, such individuals are treated as non-U.S. residents. Since the U S V I has no estate or gift taxes, this means that upon death their estates owe zero federal or state estate or gift taxes. That's just the beginning. To attract investment, the U S V I government grants generous tax relief packages including a 9 0 % exemption on cotporate fedetal income taxes. This package usually is offered for 10-15 years (with possible five year extensions), and is available to USVI-charteted corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies on their worldwide income. This allows investors to live in their second home anywhere in United States for the spring, summer and fall, then come home to the U S V I for the wintet, to play golf, tennis, sail and swim. You too may be able to enjoy the unique legal privilege of paying 10% of your federal income taxes and no state ot local taxes. To find out more, contact: U.S.V.I. Government Web site. Link: Attorney: Marjorie Rawls Roberts, PC, LLB, J D , AB P.O. Box 8809, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 0 0 8 0 1 . Tel.: +1 (340) 776-7235. Fax: +1 (340) 776-7496. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: P a n a m a : Leading R e t i r e m e n t H a v e n Despite its telatively advanced industrial and financial infrastructute, Panama remains an affordable place in which to live. A live-in maid earns about U S $ 1 2 0 a month; first-run movies cost U S $ 1 . 5 0 . Unlike much of Central America, Panama boasts a first class health care system with low costs compared to the United State - a doctor's office visit costs about $15. T h e government makes retirement in Panama easy, and laws provide important tax advantages for foreigners who wish to become residents under its pensionado program. T h e only significant requirements are good health and a verifiable monthly income of at least U S $ 5 0 0 . There ate no local taxes on foreign

income and you can import your household goods tax-free. Because of Panama's geographical diversity, there is considerable climatic variation. Panama City, the historical and financial center, has a year-round tropical climate. Yet only a few hundted miles away is a sub-tropical forest, with cascading waterfalls, mountainsides covered with flowers, and spring-like weather year-round. There are also many low-priced buys on condos and othet real estate, particulatly in Panama City and the surrounding areas. This is in part a byproduct of the U.S. government exodus aftet the Panamanian takeover of the Panama Canal in 1999. For more information, contact: Greg Geurin, International Living (Panama), 17 Avenida Jose Gabriel Duque, La Cresta, Panama, Republic of Panama. Tel.: + ( 5 0 7 ) 2 6 4 - 2 2 0 4 . T a x F r e e Residency in Belize Since 2000, this Central American nation has welcomed offshore persons with its Retired Persons Incentive Act. T h e ptogtam, which tesembles the populat pensionado program in Panama, is designed to attract foreign retirees and foreign capital. Known as the "qualified retired persons" ( Q R P ) program, the law offers significant tax incentives to those willing to become permanent residents (but not full citizens). T h e program is aimed primarily at residents of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, but is open to all.

As with Panama, a "qualified retired person" is exempted from all taxes on income from sources outside Belize. Import duties are waived for personal effects, household goods and fot a motor vehicle or other transport, such as an airplane or boat. There is no minimum time that must be spent in Belize and you can maintain your Q R P status so long as you maintain a permanent local residence, such as a small apartment or condo. QRPs can also own and operate an international business based in Belize exempt from all local taxes. Local income earned within Belize is taxed at a graduated rate of 1 5 % - 4 5 % . Howevet, you will need a work permit to engage in putely domestic business activities. 63 Second Passports and Dual Nationality To qualify for the Q R P program, you must be 45 yeats of age or older and prove personal financial ability to suppott yourself and any dependants. Initial fees for the program are U S $ 7 0 0 , plus U S $ 1 0 0 for an ID card upon application approval. A spouse and dependents (18 and younger) qualify along with the head of household at no extra cost. Minimum financial requirements include an annual income of at least U S $ 2 4 , 0 0 0 (or equivalent) from a pension, annuity or from other sources outside Belize. For more information on the Q R P Program, contact: * Belize Tourist Boatd, New Central Bank Building, Level 2, Gabourel Lane, P.O. Box 325, Belize City, Belize. Tel.: + ( 5 0 1 ) 231-913. Fax: + ( 5 0 1 ) 231943. E-mail: [emailprotected] * Ministry of Tourism, Constitution Drive, Belmopan, Belize. Tel.: + ( 5 0 1 ) 8 2 3 - 3 9 3 . Fax: +(501) 8 2 3 - 8 1 5 . E-mail: [emailprotected] F o r M o r e Information

In an unsettled world, acquiring a second citizenship is a wise decision, an investment in your future. It can be a choice for life and a protective shield for your spouse and children as well. But offshore tesidency also opens doois to, not only new wotlds, but to a new life as well. Besides the contacts already mentioned, we recommend: Henley & Partnets, A G . T h e Soveteign Society has a formal association with this fitm. We highly recommend Mr. Chris Kalin, a member of T h e Sovereign Society Council of Experts, as a source of information and expert planning fot alternative citizenship and residency. Contact Henley & Partners A G , Kirchgasse 24, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland. Tel.: + ( 4 1 ) 1 267 60 90. Fax: + ( 4 1 ) 1 267 60 9 1 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: T h e Complete Guide to Offshote Residency, Dual Citizenship and Second Passports. If you want to know more about second passports and offshore residency, visit to obtain my latest book on these important subjects. What is "Economic Citizenship?" By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, November 2002 Economic citizenship is the gtanting of citizenship by a sovereign government in exchange for a financial contribution to that government. T h e Soveteign Society recommends economic citizenship only from countties where a statute clearly authorizes it to be granted. "Unofficial" documents purchased from corrupt government officials can lead to the atrest and incarceration of the purchaser. Why seek economic citizenship? A second nationality is a hedge investment against the unknown events of tomorrow. If you are a citizen of a currently or potentially politically unstable country, your physical survival and selfpreservation may require you to leave, quickly.

In addition, any numbet of unanticipated events could make it necessary for you to leave your home country, including divorce, government corruption, violence, etc. Your passport is the property of your government and a local court could order you to relinquish it. And in many countries, a court is the last place to expect justice! A second nationality gives you the right to reside in the country granting it. T h e concept of residence is ctitical in international tax planning, and in most cases, permanent tesidency in that country is sufficient to eliminate income and capital gains tax liabilities at "home." (U.S. citizens, no mattet where they live, must take the additional step of relinquishing their citizenship to avoid future liability for U . S . taxes.) 64

Second Passports and Dual Nationality You may be able to acquire a second citizenship based on yout ancestry, your marriage to a citizen of that country or your religious affiliation. If you qualify under any of these grounds, you should take advantage of them. If you don't qualify on any of these grounds, your options are limited to obtaining citizenship through prolonged residency (anywhere from 2-10 years) or purchasing economic citizenship. In tecent years, economic citizenship programs have come under heavy criticism. Thete have been allegations that documents ate being sold to international organized crime figures and terrorists. These allegations are false. In the surviving programs (Dominica and St. KittsNevis), applicants must pass through a rigorous screening process involving checks with Interpol and othet agencies before citizenship is gtanted. Economic Citizenship—Programs in Transition By Christian Kalin, The Sovereign Individual, November 2002 Only two countries now offer a legal and verifiable economic citizenship program: Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis.

In just the last two years, Belize, Grenada and St. Vincent have eithet tetminated or suspended their economic citizenship programs. Now, the government of Dominica has sharply increased both the fees and administrative hurdles that applicants for economic citizenship must overcome. In my opinion, this makes St. Kitts & Nevis the only viable program currently in existence. In proposals that were to become effective July 1, 2002, the current (Labour) government of Dominica tripled the required government contribution as well as other fees under its economic citizenship program. T h e business community and the political opposition have criticized these new policies. It is currently uncleat if and when the government will amend them. No new applications are being processed under the new requirements, as the costs are excessive and the procedural requirements too onerous. It appears that the Dominica citizenship program will in the futute be more costly, depending on the effective inctease of costs in Dominica, than other programs, in particulat the ptogtam of St. Kitts & Nevis. In the Dominica government's new proposals, there are now two options for obtaining citizenship: a Family Option and a Single Option. T h e Family Option costs U S $ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 and qualifies the applicant, his ot her spouse and two children under 18 for citizenship. An additional U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 pet child is requited for each child under 25 years old. Under the Single Option, a single applicant pays U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 . In addition to the above substantially increased government contributions, additional application, agent and tegistration fees have been inttoduced. Besides these substantially increased costs, the government has also proposed more onerous procedural requirements, which would make the program less attractive compared to St. KittsNevis. To qualify for citizenship of St. Kitts & Nevis, the government requires a real estate investment of at least U S $ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 . Because there are very few qualifying properties left in this price range, the required minimum investment in most cases is U S $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 . There are also government fees of U S $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 for a single applicant plus U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 for each dependent. Finally, thete are application fees of U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 (same as with Dominica) and a U S $ 2 , 0 0 0 due diligence fee per adult applicant.

These requirements make the program relatively expensive but more exclusive. However, St. Kitts & Nevis is an attractive place to own real estate, and there are some excellent real estate developments approved under the citizenship program. Further, relatively few passports have been issued undet the program. As a result, St. Kitts & Nevis passports have and passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to more than 90 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, and many others. St. Kitts & Nevis passport holders, unlike Belize, 65

Second Passports and Dual Nationality Dominica and Grenada passport holders, still have visa-free access to Canada. As a citizen of St. Kitts & Nevis you can live and wotk in St. Kitts & Nevis anytime, and as Commonwealth citizen you enjoy special rights and privileges in the United Kingdom. You ate not liable to taxation in St. Kitts & Nevis on any income earned outside of the country. Finally, owning real estate in St. Kitts &. Nevis, two of the most attractive islands in the Caribbean, is a good investment that you can use for your vacation, as a pied-a-terre, for future retirement or to generate rental income. For more information, please visit our web site at Sovereign Society members are eligible for a U S $ 2 , 5 0 0 discount on the application fee for this program. Tax-Advantaged Residence in Switzerland By Christian H. Kalin, The Sovereign Individual, July 2002 Switzerland is one of the most atttactive countries in the world in which to live. Politically stable, wealthy, clean and safe, Switzerland offers excellent communication and transport, efficient public sendees, schools of international teputation, low tax rates, and many othet advantages. Switzerland also offers a unique opportunity for low-tax residency by virtue of a lump-sum taxation tegime available to foreigners who are not gainfully employed in Switzerland.

Recent changes in Swiss immigration law based on the bilatetal agreements signed between Switzerland and the European Union will make Switzetland an even more attractive residential alternative for wealthy EU citizens. Foreigners who fulfill certain requirements can take advantage of a special tax arrangement whereby Swiss taxes are levied on the basis of expenditures and standard of living in Switzerland rather than on the usual worldwide income and assets. This arrangement is called "lump-sum taxation." Previously only known in certain cantons, it is now available throughout Switzetland, thanks to a federal tax hatmonization law enacted in 1990. To benefit from this special tax regime, you must not have been resident in Switzetland during the last ten years. Nor are you permitted to carry out a gainful occupation. These provisions are specifically aimed at financially independent petsons who do not seek employment in Switzerland. T h e tax regulations specify no age requirements or similar restrictions to qualify for lump-sum taxation. However, you must obtain a residence permit under one of the categories provided for by Swiss immigration law. T h e category of persons who do not intend to carry on a gainful occupation in Switzetland includes students, persons visiting Switzetland for medical treatment, and retired persons over 55 years old. Foreigners younger than 55 may still obtain a residence permit and benefit from the lump-sum taxation arrangements in some cantons. Other cantons, such as Zutich, do not permit this arrangement. If you agree to pay a certain minimum in annual taxes, you may teceive a tesidence permit under the annual cantonal residence permit quota after establishing a company in that canton. T h e annual payment varies from canton to canton, but is generally higher than that imposed on persons over 55. Again, you may not pursue a gainful occupation and must show that you can support yourself without working. Immediate A c c e s s t o Switzerland for Financially Independent E U Citizens Recent changes in Swiss immigration law and regulations resulting from a series of seven agreements signed with the EU will expand the availability of residence permits for financially independent EU citizens. As the lump-sum taxation regime is unaffected by these changes, it will hencefotth be possible for all EU citizens who can show sufficient financial means to become

resident and benefit from lump-sum taxation in all cantons. Residence permits became available as soon as the 66

Second Passports and Dual Nationality agreements came into force June 1, 2002. T h e categories of Swiss residence permits available to EU citizens have now changed. Basically, apart from cross-border commuter permits (to be gtadually phased-out), there will be only two main categories of permits for EU citizens: short-term permits fot up to one year, and long-tetm petmits generally issued for five years. Residence permits will be issued to persons with a gainful occupation, and to persons who are not economically active but who have sufficient financial means to support themselves. Essentially, all EU citizens who can show sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents and have adequate medical insurance will be permitted to live in Switzerland. Indeed, EU citizens who meet these conditions will have a right to move to Switzerland and will be entitled to obtain a five-yeat tesidence permit regardless of the canton in which they wish to settle. In principle, any EU citizen will be granted a permanent residence permit aftet five yeats residence in Switzerland. N o N e e d t o A c c o u n t for Foreign A s s e t s Under the lump-sum taxation regime, the Swiss tax authorities generally require the assessment of a minimum taxable income of at least five times the annual rental payments fot your residence in Switzerland. If you own your residence, the annual rental value is the basis for this calculation. If you are taxed on this basis, you will not be required to declare yout worldwide income or assets. This offers wealthy individuals considerable privacy in their financial affairs. In addition, the lump-sum taxable income agreed upon with the tax authorities normally remains the same from year to year unless your personal circ*mstances change and warrant a re-negotiation of the agreement.

Suppose the annual tental value of yout residence in Switzerland is S F R 50,000 ( U S $ 3 2 , 0 0 0 ) . T h e taxable income is then calculated as five times this sum, or S F R 250,000. This amount serves as the hypothetical annual income on which the normal tax rates apply. Although income tax rates diffet widely between cantons and even between individual communes, for an income of S F R 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 , you may expect to pay approximately 4 0 % in income tax, or about S F R 100,000 annually, plus social security conttibutions amounting to approximately S F R 12,000. In addition, five times the annual rental value will be capitalized to calculate a taxable hypothetical net wealth on which cantonal net wealth tax is applied, which fot out example would amount to a total of about S F R 20,000. These payments added together will yield the lump-sum tax payable to the tax authotities and represent your total tax liability, regardless of your worldwide income and assets. If you tent or own a large property in Switzerland, its tental value, and your total annual tax bill will consequently be higher. T h e amount of tax effectively payable, however, must exceed the income tax that would be due on certain expenses in Switzerland. It is assumed that income was generated to meet these expenses, and tax must be paid on such income. T h e tax payable must also exceed the tax due on any Swiss source income as well as income for which a partial ot total reduction of foreign taxes is requested by virtue of an international tax treaty. A comparative calculation must therefore be made on an annual basis for the most effective tax planning. Other elements must be considered when calculating your total tax liability, namely whether assets or sources of income are located in Switzerland or if you claim tax treaty relief under one of the double tax treaties concluded by Switzerland. If the tax on such income exceeds the tax on the lump-sum amount agreed with the tax authotities, then the income tax for the tespective year will be levied on the higher amount. Income from all other sources is not relevant and therefore does not have to be disclosed to the Swiss tax authorities. In sevetal double taxation agreements concluded by Switzerland, including the treaties with Belgium, France and Germany, treaty benefits are limited to foreign source income 67

Second Passports and Dual Nationality taxed at Switzerland's regular tax rates. Because these provisions would normally exclude persons taxed under a lump-sum arrangement, a modified lump-sum taxation regime has been introduced. Limited o r N o Gift and I n h e r i t a n c e T a x e s Besides offering a unique lump-sum taxation regime that effectively caps the income and net wealth tax for qualifying foreigners, Switzerland has no federal inheritance ot gift taxes. Each canton levies its own inheritance and gift taxes, which means that thete are 26 different tax regimes. In addition, Swiss law allows foreigners living in Switzerland to choose whethet to apply the inheritance law of Switzerland or of their country of origin. T h e ability to select an inhetitance and gift tax regime among 26 choices permits gteat flexibility. T h e Canton of Schwyz (adjacent to Zurich) dispenses entirely with such taxes, and many cantons do not levy inheritance taxes between spouses or between patents and children, or levy only a very modest tax of below 10% fot descendants. Cantons that levy these taxes do so on a progressive basis on real estate situated in the canton and on the wotldwide estate of deceased persons or donors who had their last domicile in that canton. The highest tax rates apply to gifts and inhetitances between unrelated persons and in such cases tax rates may reach approximately 5 0 % in certain cantons. Depending on the circ*mstances, it may also be necessary to take international tax issues into consideration. Fot example, while in many cantons there is no tax liability for spouses and close relatives, it may still be desirable to pay a very small percentage of gift ot inhetitance taxes to prevent the country of origin of the deceased, donor, heirs or recipients from taxing the estate or gift. Moreover, some Swiss treaties provide for important exceptions to the genetal rule that Switzerland may levy inheritance and gift taxes on the worldwide estate of deceased petsons or donors who had their last domicile in Switzerland. Germany is an example.

Swiss Residents C a n P u r c h a s e a H o m e W i t h o u t R e s t r i c t i o n s For decades, Switzerland has restricted the tight of foreigners to purchase real estate. In principle, foreigners who wish to acquire Swiss residential real estate must obtain approval prior to their purchase. Such approval is difficult to obtain. However, since 1997, foreigners holding a Swiss residence permit have been allowed to purchase a reasonably sized house or apartment for their personal use with no need to seek prior approval. Even foreigners who subsequently leave the country can keep their property. Further, the acquisition and holding of purely commercial real estate by foteigners or foreign entities is no longer restricted in Switzerland. As a result, there is ample scope for tax planning by foreigners and foreign entities wishing to invest in Swiss commercial real estate. T h e possibility of lump-sum taxation, low or even zero gift and inheritance taxes and the high degree of privacy and personal security, already make Switzetland the residence of choice of many wealthy retirees and international celebrities. T h e liberalization of the Swiss immigration regulations will make Switzetland an even more attractive residence for financially independent EU persons who wish to relocate to a milder tax climate. EU Citizenship via a Latin American Back Door The Passport Book, 2002 Everyone wants a passport from one of the European Union member nations. With that document in hand, you are free to roam, live and do business in any of the EU countries, no questions asked. EU member states don't give out citizenship and passports easily—but their ex-colonies often do! Few know it, but the quickest backdoor route to EU citizenship is through several South 6 8

Second Passports and Dual Nationality American nations, long ago colonies of Spain and Portugal. And some of these poor nations literally sell passports to those who can pay the price. Suppose you want to obtain the right to live, work or run a business in the

European Union. All European Union countties, including Spain and Portugal, issue the new matoon colored EU passport. Qualify for one, and you can live and work in any EU country. You could go there directly and apply for residence in one of the various EU countries, meaning that unless you qualify for either immediate citizenship or a reduced period of residence due to marriage or your ancestry, you would not become an EU citizen for anywhere from five to ten years. Another option, which can greatly reduce this waiting period, is to approach the EU via a little-known back door. Two EU countries offer such an option, Spain and Portugal. Spain will grant citizenship within two yeats after application to persons of Spanish blood or descendants of the Sephardic Jews. Spanish blood is normally taken for granted whenever an applicant is a citizen of a former Spanish colony, meaning most Central and South American nations, or has a Spanish surname and speaks Spanish. Spain also has a special tteaty with Honduras and Guatemala that further reduces the Spanish tesidency period for their nation's citizens to just one year. Following the ditect application route for Spanish citizenship, one must endute 10 full years on a Costa del Sol beach before being allowed to become officially Spanish. T h e obvious fast-track, back door to Spain and, through it, to the EU, is the acquisition of instant citizenship available for a price from many Central and South Ametican countties. A little bargaining goes a long way in that part of the world. Latin American passport in hand, the next step is acquisition of a house or apartment in Spain and a Spanish residence permit. Aftet the special reduced period of residence based on your Latin American second citizenship, you can apply for a Spanish passport. Obviously, learning Spanish somewhere along the line is desirable. This is a valid back door for the time being. However, in the passport wotld things change quickly, so act now while you still can get in this legal and quick route. T h e othet direct Spanish option is of the teligious sort. To become a Sephardic

Jew is not impossible, but it takes time and requires that you join a Sephardic congregation. This wotks much like the standatd path to Israeli citizenship, which requires spending approximately one year in Israel. To later obtain Spanish nationality, you must also prove a Spanish connection. Sephardic Jews speak a language known as "Aladdin," a sort of Spanish wtitten with Hebrew letters. It might work.

T r y Portugal Portugal also offers special considerations to members of its former colonies. Brazilian citizens qualify for Portuguese nationality after only three years of official residence; no visa is required to enter ot take up residence in Portugal. Citizens of former Portuguese colonial enclaves in India (Goa, Daman and Diu), and parts of Asia, Timot (a former Indonesian colony) Macau and Africa (Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique and Sao Tome-Principe) may also qualify fot Portuguese citizenship. T h e same goes for Brazil, the biggest Portuguese ex-colony on the wotld map. But Brazilian citizenship is not cheap. Any one of these fotmet colonies could be yout short route into the EU. Argentina's E U Loophole An Argentinean passport is valid fot five years, although a pending proposal would extend it to 10 yeats. As a travel document, the Argentinean passport allows visa-ftee travel to 33 countries, including most of Eutope and nearly all of South and Centtal America. T h e Argentinean passpott is also the first in South America that entitles its holder to visa-free entry into the U.S. Atgentineans also qualify for a reduced, two-yeat residence period when seeking Spanish nationality. "Hola, EU!" O r G u a t e m a l a A Guatemalan passport is good for travel to most countties in Eutope without a visa, and dual 69 Second Passports and Dual Nationality

citizenship is common in the nation. Most upper-class Guatemalans hold U.S. and Spanish passports. Spain gives special consideration to Guatemalans, who by treaty need only two years of residence in Spain to acquire Spanish citizenship ot vice vetsa. O r H o n d u r a s A Honduran passport would probably be best for someone who wanted to live far away from Central America, yet was willing to learn Spanish. It is a good back door for Spain because, being from a former colony, Hondurans can easily get Spanish residency. After two years of residency, a Spanish passport may be obtained. And Honduras has a reputation as one of the top choices for instant passports.

Become a Citizen of Spain International Living, February 1998 T h e idea of becoming a citizen of the European Union appeals to many of us. Holders of this valuable passport enjoy the freedom of living and working in any member country, as well as the ability to move assets and holdings between countties with ease. It is not a difficult process to become an EU citizen. You must simply become a citizen of one of the EU countries. Spain is one of the most attractive options. It offers year-round sunshine, one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, and many cultural and entertainment possibilities, making its residency requirements extremely easy to bear. Post-Franco Spain is more popular than ever. T h e song goes the sun is always shining in Spain, but there's more than just good weather to be happy about hete. T h e integration of Spain into the European Union has cteated another gateway to European citizenship. It used to be that marriage provided the easiest means to citizenship in Spain. Under the old law, foteigners were able to apply if they wete ot had evet been married to a Spaniard, even if the marriage had been dissolved. Now, the rules have been tightened and a foreigner must be married to a Spaniard at the time of application and the marriage must have been in existence for at least one year.

Alternatively, you can still acquire Spanish citizenship if you were born in Spain or in certain Spanish territories at certain times. Or if one of your parents was born in Spain you can claim citizenship. To find out whether you might qualify, consult a respected Spanish lawyer. We recommend Malaret & Associates, 104 Pasedo de Gracia, 0 8 0 0 8 Barcelona, telephone +34 32 17 1999, fax +34 32 15 1546. They have ptactical experience in nationality issues. Your embassy or consulate can provide you with a list of legal offices in different cities. Ordinarily, you must first be a resident in Spain for a staggeting 10 years before you can be naturalized. Refugees are granted citizenship aftet only five years residence. And citizens of some of Spain's former colonies can apply for a Spanish passport after a period of only two years of residence. As there is no shortage of citizenships available from the former Spanish colonies, this can prove an easy path into the EU. Former Spanish colonies include most of Central and South America, except Brazil, which was a colony of Portugal. It is worth noting also that those of Spanish-Jewish descent can also apply for a Spanish passport after two years of residence. Purchasing a home is not a requirement for obtaining citizenship. And with or without citizenship you'll likely have the legal right to work, though you may have to prove six months of residence. To become a citizen, you will be expected to become a reasonable Spanish speaker and to maintain a real presence in the country. However, during your period of residence, which will be between two and 10 yeats depending on which category you fall under, your travel will be totally unrestricted. No one will count the days you are away, and, because you will be living in the EU, 70 Second Passports and Dual Nationality yout movements through member countties will be entirely painless. While there are no restrictions on travel during the required residence period, token residence is not acceptable. T h e Spanish police keep close tabs on foreigners and will actually visit your home and interview neighbors to make sure you really live there and are behaving yourself. It is worth remembering that

the authorities will not hesitate to expel any tesident alien they consider undesirable. But there's no need to worry. It's telatively easy to prove that you are living in the country through a renta, a permanent residence income tax form. All permanent residents also have an ID called an NIF that identifies them as Spanish taxpayets to EU tax officials. T a x a t i o n in Spain If you're a permanent resident of Spain, you'll be taxed on your worldwide income at rates in excess of 50 percent. Income is established by authorities based upon your home, car and lifestyle. It's not surprising then that many wealthy Spanish passport holders establish legal residence in a tax haven. Spain has tax treaties with many non-EU countries, including the U . S . and Switzerland. These treaties tend to allow individuals to pay taxes in the countty where the tate is lower Wealthy foreigners are therefore advised to consider Spain as a fine place to spend some leisure time but not as a place to live tax-free after acquiring a passport. Taxation on income and capital gains for nonresidents extends from 20 percent to 50 percent. Tax laws effective since 1992 state that individuals will be considered resident if they stay in the countty for longer than 183 days annually or if their main center of professional or business activities for economic intetest is in Spain. If your spouse ot dependents temain resident, you will be considered a resident unless you can ptove you wete a resident for more than 183 days in another country. Temporary absences will be included in the authorities' calculations. Income obtained by nonresidents is deemed to be earned on the date it became due or when it was effectively collected. Unless you have a petmanent establishment, you must appoint a fiscal representative in Spain and notify the tax authorities. Non-tesidents that own only one holiday home need not worry about this requirement. Tax-haven corporations that own villas are charged with a special tax of five percent of each villa's value per year. Despite these tax implications, a Spanish passport is a vety good one to hold. A

Spaniard can travel visa-free to a dozen more places than an American can. In addition, Spain has a supetb relationship with its fotmer colonies in the same way the U.K. does with the Commonwealth. And remember, Spain does not tax its nonresident citizens. EU nationals can remain in Spain for up to six months without a residency permit, non-EU nationals fot three months. Requitements for obtaining a permit are payment of a small fee, plus four passport photos, a tesidency visa from the Spanish consulate in your home nation, proof of income or pension, the Form El 11 endorsed by Spanish health authorities or proof of medical insurance, a certificate that you have registered with your nation's consulate in Spain, and an escrit-ura (rental contract).

An Automatic Ancestral Passport by Nicholas Pullen, The Sovereign Individual, December 1998 All it takes is a few phone calls, a bit of paper work, and one in every six Americans (and lots of others, too) is instantly eligible for a European passport, but most folks just don't know it. It's difficult to believe, but you may be able to acquire a second citizenship and a European passport at little cost and in a very short time. It all depends on whete your parents or grandparents come from. If any one of them is ot was a native of Ireland, you have the luck of the Irish on your 71 Second Passports and Dual Nationality side, for sure. Here's how it works. T h e Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts of 1956 and 1986 provide that any individual, regardless of current location or national status, who has Irish-born parents ot grandparents (alive or deceased) can qualify for Irish citizenship. That includes those born in Northern Ireland as well, even though it is technically part of the United Kingdom.

Along with Irish citizenship comes an official Irish passport that gives you free access to every nation within the European Union ( E U ) . That valuable passpott entitles you to the EU fast-track—the tight to live, travel, work and do business anywhere in the European Union without having to obtain visas or other permits. Irish citizenship is automatic if you qualify based on your ancestry. T h e current ( 1 9 9 9 ) tequired fee to cover the cost of registration is £ 8 8 / U S $ 1 4 5 . With proof of ancestry, it's just a mattet of completing the necessary application and supplying supporting documentation. This can be done at any Irish embassy or consulate anywhete in the world. Only Irish parents or grandparents can qualify you for Irish citizenship status. At one time an Irish citizenship claim could also be based on a great-gtandparent born in Ireland, but that was abolished in 1986. If you qualify for Irish status, register your application with the Irish authorities as soon as possible. Don't miss the boat. It won't be possible to back-date an application if or when these rules are rescinded. If they are changed, it's unlikely such an opportunity will exist again. Dual Nationality I s O K As do both the U.S. and UK, Ireland recognizes dual nationality, so you aren't required to relinquish your current national status if you wish to retain it. There is no residency requirement that you must live in Ireland. In fact, because of high Irish incomes taxes (a gtaduated 24 percent to 46 percent), you probably won't want to do more than visit. Besides, living outside of Ireland doesn't diminish your Irish citizen rights. And nonresidence means you are only liable for taxes on income actually earned within Ireland. S e c u r i t y and Mobility Acquisition of Irish nationality can turn out to be first-class insurance against future uncertainties. Pethaps you don't feel a need for alternative citizenship and a second passport now, but you may be very glad to have this option at some future time. You can hold your Irish citizenship in reserve until you need it. No mattet what threat or upheaval occurs elsewhere, your Irish citizenship guarantees you and your family a home (permanent ot temporary). And it gives you a safe haven in a modern nation with up-to-date infrastructure and

amenities, excellent communications and a high standard of living. With an Irish passport come other real benefits. It is an excellent stand-by document offering visa-free travel to an extensive range of countries, including most first world destinations. It is recognized internationally and causes minimal delay at botder crossings. As the travel document of a small country with a low international profile, the Irish passport also may provide more personal security than, fot example, its U.K. or U . S . equivalent. Terrorists, kidnappets and hostage takers are less likely to be interested in an Irishman, than an American or an Englishman. Application P r o c e s s T h e application process is known as the Foreign Birth Registration. Applications—and requests for detailed information regarding the rules and procedures—should be made through your local Irish Consulate or Embassy. T h e application forms will require the names, birth places, dates of birth, marriages, deaths and other details of your Irish forebears. Conclusive proof of your Irish lineage is required. That means you must supply original documents such as: • Yout own birth certificate showing your parent's names; 72

Second Passports and Dual Nationality • Your marriage certificate, if appropriate; • T h e birth certificate of the parent or grandparent through whom you claim your Irish citizenship; • Yout patent's or grandparent's death cettificate if appropriate, or alternatively, a copy of their passport, driving license, voting card, etc. • Your parents' or grandparents' civil marriage certificate showing the age of each one at the time of marriage and the name of at least one of their parents; and

• Your own present passport (which will be returned to you). Some documents may prove difficult to obtain. Many churches, public buildings and court records were destroyed during the Itish struggle for independence from Britain. If you encounter difficulty, before hiting an expert, look at the Genealogical Supplement published by the group Inside Ireland. This pamphlet gives detailed information on tracing your Irish roots and family history. Inside Ireland also offers consultations and introductions to qualified Irish genealogists. Once you submit the requisite information and documentation, it takes from six to eight weeks to process your citizenship application. With that in hand, you can next apply fot your Irish passport. An acquired Irish citizenship can be passed on by an adult to children born subsequently, but those born before obtaining yout Itish status must make theit own application via the Foteign Birth Registration process. These applications must be accompanied by the child's bitth certificate, their parent's birth and marriage certificates, and the original of your own Irish Foreign Birth Registration certificate. It is definitely worth the extra paperwork since an alternative citizenship status and passpott is a wondetfully protective gift for your child in these uncertain times. C o n t a c t s • U . S . citizens can obtain Foreign Birth Registration application forms from: Embassy of Ireland, 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, 1X2 20008, U S A . Tel.: +1 202 462 3939. Fax: + 1 202 232 5993. • U.K. citizens: Irish Embassy, 17 Grosvenor Place, London S W 1 X 7HR, UK. Tel: +44 171 235 2171. Fax: +44 171 245 6 9 6 1 .

For tax information

• Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Department of Justice, Immigration and Citizenship Division, 72/76 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland. Tel.: +353 1679 22777.

Resources • Inside Ireland, PO Box 1886, Dublin 16, Ireland, contact: Brenda Weir. • Irish Ancestral Research Association, This website links to useful resources for researching your Irish ancestry, including general information, national, local and regional resources, emigration and passenger lists, family and clan associations, databases and search engines, referrals to professional researchers and commercial services. Why I Gave Up My U.S. Citizenship By P. T. Freeman, The Sovereign Individual, March 2002 Have you ever been to Key West, Florida? A landmatk in Key West is a marker at the comet of Whitehead and South Streets that says in big letters: "Southernmost Point Continental United States." Above it reads in smaller lettets: "90 miles to Cuba." Visiting this concrete marker recently made me pause and teflect upon a major decision that I made a few years earlier: the choice to give up my U.S. citizenship. 73

Second Passports and Dual Nationality This process started when I found that because of my U . S . citizenship, thete were many restrictions on my ability to travel or do business outside the United States. For instance, I had a real desire to visit the Republic of Cuba, but because of my citizenship, I could not do so. Canadians, Mexicans, Europeans and every other nationality could travel and do business thete, but with limited exceptions, U.S. citizens have not been allowed to do so for more than 40 yeats.

As I thought about this prohibition and the many others established by statute or executive order, I became outraged. Finally, in 1994, 1 read a story that galvanized me to take action. T h e story was about a group called the "Freedom to Travel Campaign" that sought to end these travel resttictions and which challenged Treasury Department regulations prohibiting such travel. Business Opportunities Forbidden U . S . Citizens However, the U.S. Justice Department, apparently fearing that juries would side with these "tourist lawbreakers," declined to prosecute the cases. This emboldened me. I decided to go to Nassau, T h e Bahamas and secretly visit Cuba by using the daily direct flight on Cubana de Aviacion, Cuba's national air carrier. In reaction to the failure of the Justice Department to prosecute "tourist lawbreakers," the U . S . Treasury Department amended the regulations to make it possible to fine persons violating travel resttictions thtough an administrative process, without going to court. T h e U . S . Treasury Department administets these and other sanctions programs through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)— http://www.ustteas.eov/ofac. While in Cuba, I discoveted a wealth of business opportunities. This was the height of the "Special Petiod in Peace" when, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of Soviet aid, the Cuban economy was in a tailspin. Thete was a serious need for outside investment on favorable terms. I decided that I wanted to patticipate in those investments. Returning a few days later to Nassau, I passed through U . S . Customs pre-flight inspection without revealing that I had visited Cuba. (The Customs inspector did not ask me if I had done so, and the customs forms in those days did not ask, "countries visited on this trip prior to U . S . arrival," as they do now.) Upon my return to the United States, I began to read the U . S . Treasury regulations regarding Cuba. I learned that they prohibited virtually all contact with Cuba by any person "subject to U.S. jurisdiction." This included: "all U . S . citizens and petmanent residents wherevet they are located, all people and organizations physically in the United

States ot its territories, and all branches and subsidiaries of U . S . organizations throughout the world, corporations, whetever they are located throughout the world." In the case of Cuba, criminal penalties fot violating the sanctions range up to 10 years in prison, U S $ 1 million in corporate fines, and U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 in individual fines. Civil penalties up to U S $ 5 5 , 0 0 0 pet violation may also be imposed. T h e only way to legally ttavel to or do business with Cuba, or any other sanctioned country, was (and still is) to obtain a license issued by O F A C . For business, it was almost impossible to obtain a license, although journalists and a few othet classifica-tions of individuals are permitted to travel to sanctioned countries. T h e only other option was not to be a U . S . citizen. At that moment, I was not prepared to take that step. Instead, I decided to explore the possibility of living outside the United States. However, I quickly discovered that doing so did not exempt me from O F A C regulations. I also learned that there was no escape from the obligation of U . S . citizens to pay tax on their worldwide income, even if they physically resided outside the United States. I began to setiously wondet if my "little blue book" (my U.S. passport) was really worth keeping. Next, 1 began looking into ways of obtaining an alternative citizenship and passpott. 1 conducted some research on the Internet; but then, as now, many of the companies offering passports were thinly disguised scams offering unofficial or even stolen documents. However, there were, at that time, a few Caribbean countries that offered legitimate "economic citizenship" programs. With the aid of an attorney, I began to conduct tesearch into which program would best suit 74

Second Passports and Dual Nationality me. I looked at cost, the availability of visa free travel, credibility, and the desirability of that country as a residence. " E c o n o m i c Citizenship" Is N o t Second-Class Citizenship After considerable research, I chose a country (which shall remain nameless since it has discontinued its economic citizenship program) and visited it. I liked the country and decided to possibly settle there, or at least maintain a residence or

business presence. I paid the necessary fees to obtain economic citizenship and met with some government officials. Several weeks later, aftet an extensive background check, I swore an oath of allegiance to this countty, was granted citizenship and subsequently obtained my passport. A major concern was whether persons who had obtained economic citizenship from this country would be subject to discrimination, either from its residents or at border crossings. I found that there were no real problems in either case. Indeed, my passport was identical to those issued native-born citizens. While I ultimately made to decision to settle elsewhere, I still maintain a residence in my new country and also invest there. Later, based on other factors, I was able to obtain another passport that offered superior visa free travel than did the passpott obtained through economic citizenship. After obtaining this third passport, at the advice of my attorney, I decided to take the biggest step of all: giving up my U.S. citizenship. Walking up to the U . S . embassy, my heart was pounding. 1 feared that I was going to be called a traitor. I had also been advised that individuals who gave up their U . S . citizenship for tax reasons could be petmanently excluded from ever returning to the United States. (Ed. Note: This provision is part of the 1996 immigration bill, but has never been enforced due to questions about its constitutionality). However, the process went smoothly. I signed a form stating that I was not insane and that I was exercising my rights of citizenship. T h e embassy official took my U.S. passport, as well as the form. He also made a copy of one of my new passports to prove that I would not be a "stateless petson" upon giving up U . S . citizenship. This was necessaty because the United States has signed treaties obligating it not to permit its citizens to become "stateless persons." T h e entire process took about 20 minutes, about 17 of which were waiting for copies to be made and othet administrative processes. I was told that the U . S . Department of State reviews these copies and subsequently issues a "Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States" if it concludes that the person concerned did, in fact, lose his ot her nationality. Until then, I was still considered a U . S . citizen.

About two months after I visited the embassy, I received my "Certificate of Loss of Nationality" by mail. Attached was a lettet explaining that I could appeal my loss of nationality, if I chose to do so, directly to the Attorney General. I took this certificate back to the U.S. Embassy and applied for a visa to visit the United States. After convincing a consular officer that I did not intend to resettle in the United States, I was granted a multiple entry U . S . visa. This gave me the right to visit the United States, although not to live there. Of course, I had no intention of living in the United States and thus becoming subject to the jurisdiction of O F A C and the I R S ! While I completed these steps only a few years ago, I have already experienced enormous benefits both personally and in business. I can travel anywhere in the world with my new passpott. And I now have extensive business interests in Cuba and other countries subject to U . S . sanctions. As 1 stood at the marker in Key West, looking over the Straits of Florida, I turned around and saw a group of tourists who had disembatked from a trolley tour and were snapping pictures of the marker. None of those toutists who are U . S . citizens or residents can visit Cuba. I can. Those who are U . S . citizens or residents also have to file an annual tax return with the IRS. I don't. That's what you call true liberation—or if you prefer, being a "sovereign individual." (Ed. Note: "PT. Freeman" is a former U . S . citizen living in a Caribbean country and doing 75

Second Passports and Dual Nationality be dealt with by the ctiminal courts of the United States." [Emphasis added.) Virtually any offense, including running a stop sign, fits this definition. Nor is it reassuring to learn that the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has declared: "If judicial assistance is requested by the United States, it cannot be denied just on the basis of deficiencies in the American proceedings, because the tteaty does not contain any corresponding provision. Even alleged violations of human rights in the American proceedings form no basis for denying judicial assistance." [Emphasis added.]

Nor is it sufficient for a U . S . court to order the funds unfrozen. T h e Department of Justice itself must make the tequest to unfreeze the funds, something it has tefused to do even when faced with a court order to the contrary. U . S . M L A T N e t w o r k As of January 1999, the United States had MLATs in effect with Anguilla, Antigua-Batbuda, Argentina, Austria, Australia, T h e Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, the Czech Republic, Dominica, Estonia, Gtenada, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemboutg, Mexico, Montserrat, Motocco, the Nethetlands, Panama, Poland, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Gtenadines, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. MLATs ate pending with Colombia, Hungary, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Korea and Uruguay. Even lacking a MLAT, however, judicial assistance may be rendered in many countries. For instance, in response to an inquiry to the U.K.'s Judicial Cooperation Unit, located within the Organized and International Crime Directorate of the Home Office, we received the following reply: "The U.K. is able to provide a full range of legal assistance in criminal mattets to judicial and prosecuting authorities in other countries under Part I of the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act 1990, the U.K.'s principal mutual legal assistance legislation. T h e 1990 Act does not tequire any treaty or agreement to be in place befote assistance may be given in obtaining evidence in criminal proceedings or investigations. T h e U.K. can assist any country (or tetritory) in the world, whether or not that country is able to assist the U.K." M L A T Targets H a v e Limited Defense While the U . S . government has used MLATs for more than 20 years to gather evidence in foreign countries against criminal defendants, it systematically refuses to permit investigative tatgets to use these agreements to gather evidence for their defense, even after indictment. U.S. courts have concluded that individuals lack standing (i.e., the right to litigate) in asserting violations of treaties. Individuals may use treaties on their own behalf only if the agreement explicitly

or implicitly provides this right. This position appears to violate the U . S . Constitution, applicable foreign law and international treaties to which the United States is a party, but it nevertheless remains official U . S . policy. Doing Business i n M L A T Jurisdictions T h e best way to avoid the impact of MLATs is to do business or invest in jurisdictions that don't have MLATs with your home country. For instance, the Cook Islands, Cypress, Labuan, Liechtenstein, Madeira, Malta, Mauritius and the Seychelles lack MLATs with the U . S . Not do the U.K. Overseas Territories of Bermuda and Gibraltar have MLATs with the U.S., nor the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. However, U.K. Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies could conceivably come under the authority of the U.S.-U.K. "all-crimes" MLAT. And even countties without a MLAT will cooperate with foreign authorities to investigate allegations of serious crime. If you do business or invest in a jurisdiction with a MLAT that could apply to you, considet the following strategies to teduce your vulnerability: • Review the relevant MLAT ot MLATs to determine what "crimes" are covered, and whether 77

Second Passports and Dual Nationality the offenses covered must be an offense in both jurisdictions to apply (dual ctiminality). This determination should ideally be made in consultation with your attorney. • Review with yout attorney whether assets conveyed to a foteign trust or other structure may be frozen or forfeited in a MLAT proceeding. This must be a separate detetmination from the normal evaluation of potential vulnerability to civil judgments, fraudulent conveyance claims, etc. • Monitor changes in MLAT language or definitions of criminal activity when published.

• Prepare "flight clauses" in ttust documents and/or Articles of Incorporation that permit the domicile of the ttust ot corporation to be changed if the MLAT is amended or reinterpreted in any mannet that would threaten the existence of the entity, or its assets. Extradition: Could It Happen to You? by Robert E. Bauman, JD, The Sovereign Individual, 1999 Exttadition is the formal legal process, established in a bilateral treaty between nations, by which the government of one country (called the sanctuaty nation), at the request of another country (the requesting nation), decides whether or not to surrender a fugitive who is located within its tetritory. Usually the fugitive is either accused of, or already has been convicted of, a serious crime under the laws of the requesting country. This process differs from deportation, which usually is a matter of applying a nation's immigration laws. Unlike deportation, exttadition usually requires a court heating and judicial determination of the alleged fugitive's status. T h e Library of Congress estimates that ". . .the United States is patty to over 100 bilateral extradition treaties . . .[and] there are many countries with which we have no extradition treaty . . . those countries are not under any obligation to exttadite an individual to the U.S. under any circ*mstances." Among all nations, currently there are some 300 bilatetal extradition treaties. C o m m o n L a w vs. C i v i l L a w These treaties differ considerably in content and scope. T h e resulting confusion in applying treaties is worsened by a basic extradition policy split among nations. T h e international divide is between the common law countries and civil law countries with legal systems based on the Napoleonic Code. Common law countries as a general rule do not exempt their own nationals from extradition. T h e U . S . exttadition law expressly permits extradition of U . S . citizens. Civil law countries generally are more protective of their citizens when it comes

to exttadition, but differ greatly in their approach. Some flatly prohibit any extradition of theit nationals (Getmany, Fiance, the Netheilands, Switzetland, Denmatk and Colombia). Otheis allow the government to decide on a case by case basis (Spain). Still otheis peimit conditional ot limited extraditions of nationals. Some allow theit nationals who ate fugitives from justice in othet countties to be ttied locally in lieu of exttadition. Colombia included a provision to this effect in its 1991 Constitution, no doubt under heavy pressure from nervous drug lords. Extradition is firmly established in the Anglo-American legal systems. In former times an arrest warrant issued by any British Commonwealth country was valid in all other member nations. In theory this was a unitary legal system headed by the monarch, so Scotland Yard could nab theit man anywhere the sun hadn't yet set on the British Empire. Commonwealth countries still have these procedures, but mote often extradition is an informal process, handled much as it is between states of the U . S . 78 Second Passports and Dual Nationality T h e P i n o c h e t Affair Recently extradition has made headlines because of a highly unusual tequest made last November by a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon. He asked the United Kingdom to extradite 84-year-old General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, to be tried in Spain for crimes allegedly committed when he headed the Chilean government for 17 years from 1973 to 1990. Pinochet was in England on October 16, 1998 recuperating from back surgery at a London clinic when in a sutptise move, the Labour government honored the Spanish tequest and detained him. He now temains under house arrest until the issue of exttadition to Spain can be resolved by U.K. courts. Btitish law is generous in allowing appeals in the lengthy extradition process, and expetts say it could be another year before Pinochet finally might be released or ordered to stand trial in Madrid. [Ed. Note: As of this wtiting, the elderly Gen. Pinochet is back in Chile, released in late 2 0 0 0 by the U.K. due to ill health and petmitted to teturn home. T h e precarious state of his mental and physical health appears to bat any future Chilean

prosecution for his alleged crimes.] What is so unusual about the Pinochet case is the absence of any alleged crimes committed in the requesting nation, Spain. Exttadition is being sought on grounds that Spanish citizens wete killed, tortured and held hostage in Chile during the Pinochet regime by officials of his government. U.K. Home Secretary Jack Straw declined to sustain charges of genocide and murder because he said they did not fit the legal definitions of extraditable crimes under Britain's Extradition A c t of 1989. Howevet he matched accusations by the Spanish judge, with equivalent British criminal charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and torture and hostage-taking. Considet the international legal precedent if Genetal Pinochet is exttadited to Spain. Evety living fotmer U . S . president and ex-heads of state from most nations will be hatassed by zealots seeking exttadition on spurious grounds of alleged criminal activity. (Already another Spanish court has rejected a request from Cuban exiles to have Fidel Castro extradited to Spain for ttial on charges of 40 years of murder, genocide and criminal acts.) E x t r a d i t i o n U n t i l N o w As a general rule (until now), nations do not permit extradition for minor crimes or most non-criminal civil matters, such as unpaid taxes ot private debts, failure to pay alimony or child support or fiscal offenses such as currency control violation. Victimless crimes such as prohibited sexual relations, slandering the state or refusing to abide by restrictions imposed upon racial or religious minorities, are also not included among extraditable crimes. In theory, political offenses are not a basis fot extradition, but defining "political" can be difficult. Tax offenses also generally have not been extraditable. However, fraud per se is an extraditable offense, and so a government that wants to pursue a tax case claims "tax fraud."

Extradition Expanding Despite these past limitation, an ominous international trend is developing that, if successful, could broaden the scope of extradition beyond anything seen before. T h e U . S . and U.K. governments are frothing at the mouth in theit zeal to make legitimate tax avoidance (tax bureaucrats call it "tax evasion") a basis

for criminal proceedings in any nation where an accused citizen may be found. This campaign is aimed squarely at people who seek lower taxes and less financial regulation by choosing to go offshore. T h e tax collectors know the most talented citizens of the U.S., U.K. and other welfare states ate desetting, setting up financial shop where they and theit capital ate tteated best. This trend is intensified by the developing wotldwide cybeteconomy based on Internet technology and free communications unmediated by governments. Small wonder the U.K. Inland Revenue, the U . S . IRS and other tax hounds ate worried. In 1998, undeclared (untaxed) wotk exceeded 15 percent of Europe's combined gross domestic product ( G D P ) , up from only five percent in the 1970s. In the U . S . the underground "black market" econo-79 Second Passports and Dual Nationality my accounts fot nearly 10 percent of GDP. That means billions of dollars slipping through the eaget hands of the taxman. If the legal definition of an "extraditable" offense starts to expand, every world ttaveler must be fully awate of exactly what this means. And they must also know what nations are safe, and those that are not. For those who may scoff, I'm not and nevet will be in need of protection from extradition think again. In the U.S., the U.K. and other statist nations, a whole host of laws now impose ctiminal penalties for what used to be civil offenses, ranging from improper toxic waste disposal and water pollution to the everexpanding, catch-all crime of money laundering. Even without yout knowledge, some past corporate or personal transgression might be used as a basis for a criminal charge, followed by a warrant for arrest seeking extradition. A knock on the doot may be your first notice. Informal E x t r a d i t i o n In most cases extradition is carried out informally using unofficial methods. It happens at U.S.-

Mexican and Canadian border control points when immigration officers artest a fugitive working in one or the other country without a legal permit, then hand the accused over to police across the border. Without regard to formal extradition procedures, some fugitives have been abducted forcibly from a foreign country and taken to another nation for trial and/or punishment. A famous example of this kind of informal extradition occurred in 1960 when Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped from Argentina by Israeli agents. He was returned to stand trial in Israel for Nazi war atrocities committed during the Second Wotld Wat, was convicted and executed. U . S . Kidnapping R u l e d Legal T h e same kind of tactic was used by the U . S . Drug Enforcement Agency ( D E A ) in Mexico. On April 2, 1990, Dr. Humberto Alvarez Maccan was kidnapped from his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico, and forcibly brought to Los Angeles to stand ttial for the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique Coumarouna. A U . S . court found that Alvarez was abducted at gunpoint in Mexico by paid agents of the United States, physically and psychologically tortured by his abduc-tors and injected with mind altering drugs. He and his family were threatened and he feared for his life throughout his ordeal. In a highly embarrassing outcome, within months Dr. Alvarez Maccan returned to Mexico a free man. Presiding U . S . Disttict Judge Edward Rafeedie denounced the government's weak case and found his kidnapping violated the Extradition Treaty between the United States and Mexico. The judge accused U . S . prosecutors of irresponsible and unethical conduct in using six Mexican criminals who were allegedly paid by the U . S . to testify against Alvatez. Aftet acquittal, the Mexican attorney general demanded the extradition of two DEA agents on charges of kidnapping, but the U.S. ignored the demand. T h e fiasco outraged Mexican authotities and sparked international condemnation. In August 1990, Judge Rafeedie dismissed the case against Dt. Alvarez. In 1992, the Supreme Court reversed this decision, but by then the doctor was back home in Mexico. In this extraordinary decision the Court ruled, in effect, it is legal fot U . S . agents to carry out kidnapping anywhere in the world.

Shortly afterwards, President George Bush issued a presidential Executive Order specifically authorizing U . S . agents to do just that. Since then the Order has not been challenged successfully in coutt. In the same yeat U . S . armed forces took the deposed Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, prisoner during the short-lived military attack on Panama. He was transported to Miami, whete he was ttied and convicted of federal drug and othet criminal charges, in spite of defenses based in patt on extradition law and treaties between the two nations. T h e E x t r a d i t i o n P r o c e s s Formal extradition, by comparison, is a complex process governed by the terms of bilateral 80

Second Passports and Dual Nationality treaties between the nations involved. It begins when a diplomatic agent requests that a named individual be sutrendered by the nation in which the person is located. T h e government investigates the situation and, even if there is an extradition treaty between the two nations, the sanctuary nation does not necessatily surrender the individual. Their decision will depend on their interpretation of the treaties. In fotmal extradition the legal ptinciples of specialty and dual criminality apply. T h e principle of specialty means if extradition is granted, the requesting State has the right to put the fugitive on trial only for those specific offenses on which the extradition tequest was based. Of coutse once an accused is returned to his home country, there is little a foreign government can do, except protest, if the extradited person is tried for every offense under the sun. Dual ctiminality requires that exttadition be gtanted only when the acts of which the fugitive is accused are recognized as statutory crimes in both countties. Often an absence of this factot serves as the basis for refusal of an extradition request. C a n a d a as E x a m p l e T h e Canadian federal law on exttadition is typical of many nation's laws. It

requires that: 1. T h e requesting country must have jurisdiction over the offense charged. Where the crime is committed on the tetritory of the tequesting country, there's no problem. But where the case involves jurisdiction ovet nationals for crimes committed outside the tetritory of the requesting state, things get complicated, as in the Pinochet matter. 2. T h e offense must constitute a ctime in the requesting country. 3. T h e offense must constitute a ctime if committed in Canada. 4-T h e crime must be named specifically in the extradition treaty between Canada and the requesting country. U . S . M L A T s A r e Spreading Extradition of fugitives to the U.S. is governed by traditional treaties, but augmented by a newer series of so-called Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs). These agreements promote cooperation in the exchange of infotmation and evidence in criminal investigations. U.S. prosecutors have gained real power with MLATs in their arsenal. They can request search warrants be served in foreign jurisdictions, the freezing of foreign-owned assets before trial, and demand access to financial records located abroad. U.S. prosecutot's power is greatest undet MLATs with Argentina, Spain and Uruguay, and all governments willing to assist the U.S., even if their local laws do not consider the fugitive's offenses to be criminal. However, it is worth noting that T h e Bahamas, Panama, the U.K. and many of the U.K.'s foi-met Caribbean colonies and Uruguay are not obliged, under MLATs with the U.S., to assist U.S. ptosecutors who putsue an individual fot tax offenses. This policy is changing in the U.K., where the government now is insisting that its still dependent former colonies, including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Tutks and Caicos adopt "all crimes" laws that includes tax offenses as ctimes. One can assume these laws will eventually be used as a basis for exttadition requests. Only months ago the Cayman Islands caved into these demands. T h e U.K. is also a signatory to the European Convention on Extradition, which governs all European Union nations, as well as several that have voluntarily

agreed to participate. N a t i o n s with U . S . E x t r a d i t i o n Treaties Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, British Virgin Islands ( U . K . ) , Canada, Cayman Islands ( U . K . ) , Cyprus, Dominica, France, Grenada, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ttinidad-Tobago, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos Islands ( U . K . ) , United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

81 Second Passports and Dual Nationality Nations with U.S. Diplomatic Relations but NO Extradition Treaties Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People's Republic of China, the Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldavia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Philippines, Principe and San Tome, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam, Western Samoa, Yemen and Zaire. Nations with NO Diplomatic Relations and NO Extradition Treaties with the U . S . Andorra, Angola, Bhutan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Maldives, Serbia, Somalia, Taiwan and Vanuatu. Nations with U . K . Extradition Treaties Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama,

Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Salvador San Matino, Spain, Sweden, Switzetland, Thailand, U S A , Uruguay and Yugoslavia.

EU Extradition Convention Nations Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemboutg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Viewed in comparison with the long list of countties who have MLATs with the U.S., the U.K. list seems small. Until now the U.K. government has not been as zealous as its U . S . countetpatt when it comes to limiting the options of fleeing fugitives. Depending on the outcome of the Pinochet case, and the pressure on former U.K. colonies, this policy may change drastically. T h e U.K. has no extradition treaty of any kind with Costa Rica, Korea, Russia, Tanzania, Mongolia, Indonesia or Jordan. U . S . as Safe H a v e n For a foreign national considering the U . S . as a safe haven, chances ate mixed. Foteign governments requesting extradition of an individual from within the U . S . need demonstrate only "probable cause" that a ctime has been committed by the accused. Based on that showing, most U . S . courts will automatically issue an order for the arrest and detention of the accused while the issue of extradition is reviewed. In November 1995, a Federal Appeals Court in San Francisco threw up a major roadblock to America's quick and easy extradition of foreign citizens. T h e case was not appealed by the government and has weakened a decades-old quirk of American extradition law the U.S. government's power to arrest and detain a foreign citizen for exttadition without showing probable cause that the accused committed an alleged ctime abroad. Up until this ruling the government could jail a foreigner based on nothing mote than a request from a foreign government

alleging a crime. In October 1995, Giancarlo Paretti, a jet-set Italian financier, was arrested in his Los Angeles lawyer's office while attending a deposition concerning his highly leveraged purchase of M G M United Artists entertainment group. T h e French government wanted him for alleged bank fraud. When released on bond, he jumped bail and went home to Italy. But as a result of his case, in support of an extradition request, now the U.S. government must produce affidavits ot othet substantial proof from which a court can find probable cause to believe the person sought actually committed the crime alleged by a foreign government.

82 Second Passports and Dual Nationality W h a t A b o u t You? So how might this tangled web of extradition affect a foteign citizen living abroad? As we said, extradition procedures are covered by a network of bilateral treaties among nations, constantly under revision. In recent years the U . S . government has led demands for a broad definition of criminal acts warranting extradition. Newet U.S. tteaties and MLATs include mail fraud and money laundering as "exttaditable offenses." ( T h e American government always ptesses for mail fraud as an included offense since most nations will not extradite for what the U . S . claims is "tax evasion.") Thete's also an international movement to expand extradition law. In 1997, the then prime ministet of India, hosting the 66th annual meeting of the International Criminal Police Organization, better known as "Interpol," demanded the adoption of a universal extradition treaty and a common code of conduct "to check international crime and corruption and to prevent criminals from taking shelter in foreign countries and laundering wealth acquired through corrupt means." You can read between those lines and easily see tax mattets on such a

list. Such an agreement would fit nicely into United Nations demands that tax haven nations be forced to abrogate their financial privacy laws and turn over information about foreigners who have bank accounts, trusts and international business corporations offshore. T h e UN formally adopted that demand in May 1998.

Light in the Tunnel Thete still is some hope. A leading international tax consultant in Washington, D.C. told us (off the record, since he must deal with the IRS constantly), most nations just don't have stiff criminal tax penalties like the U.S. and ate teluctant to change. That's because "...foteign tax laws usually apply criminal penalties only to intentional fraud, such as false filings. Many treat failure to file as negligence, since theit systems require filing of an estimated income statement. On that statement the government bases tax bills that are sent later." Broadened tax law extradition became an issue in 1996 when the U.S. and Switzetland revised theit mutual tax treaty. Boastful "unnamed U . S . sources" claimed the new treaty made it easier for the IRS to get information on which to base requests fot extradition from the Swiss. T h e Swiss government quickly echoed a ruling of the nation's highest court holding that unless fraud was shown as defined by Swiss tax laws, the Swiss would continue to deny information and extradition based on broader U.S. tax laws. 8 3

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection C H A P T E R T H R E E Offshore Banking: Privacy &

Asset Protection Part One—Offshore Accounts T h e Advantages of Offshore Banking 86 Opening and Using an Offshore Bank Account. . 89 Profitable Investing in Your Offshore Bank Account 91 How Secret Is an Offshore Bank Account? 95

Uncle Sam Wants to Look Into Yout Bank Account 98 How to Achieve the Maximum Privacy in your Offshore Account 100 Seven Essential Strategies to Cope with U.S. Emergency Controls 102 Types of Accounts Available at Offshore Banks. 104 Safety Deposit Boxes Offshore 105 Safekeeping Precious Metals Offshore 106 Offshore Bank Deposit Insutance 108 There Are Ways 109 Part Two—The Law, Privacy and Asset Protection T h e End of Ordinary Money I l l T h e Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 114 Government Money Madness 117 T h e Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 . . 1 1 7 T h e Financial Crimes Enforcement Netwotk (FinCEN) 120 Watch Out for Cash Reporting Requirements. . 122 U . S . Government Grabs Offshore Cash in Secret 124

Unreported Offshore Accounts 126 IRS's Qualified Intermediary ( Q I ) Regulations . 129 MLATs Threaten Offshore Privacy 131 Canada's Anti-Laundeting Law Threatens Privacy and Property 132 Asset Protection in a Post 9/11 Environment: New Considerations and New Solutions 134 Part Three—Places T h e Top Four Banking Havens of the World . . . 137 Asset Protection: A Canadian View 140 Is Swiss Bank Secrecy Still Alive? 141 T h e Swiss Ftanc: End of an Era? 144 A Candid American View of Civil Forfeiture . . 146 T h e prime requirement for achieving iron-clad financial privacy and asset protection is to get your cash and property out of what the late admital of the U . S . Navy John Paul Jones correctly described in a military sense as "harm's way." This simply means you must move a large part of your financial activity "offshore"—out of, and away from, the high-tax nation you call home, whethet it be the U.S., U.K. or any other state bent upon confiscating your hard-earned wealth. Here we present articles and ideas that explain how to establish and use a bank account in a 85 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection

financial institution located in a foteign nation. Also explained are U.S. laws governing banking, money laundering and reporting of offshore cash transfers, a touchy matter under the current state of the law. Part One—Offshore Accounts

The Advantages of Offshore Banking Banking in Silence, 1998 T h e best first step in your quest for financial privacy is to move at least some of your cash away from the prying hands of Big Brother. In the modern world this does not mean burying gold coins in your backyard, then carefully guarding your secret stash. Instead, financial freedom flows from making use of one or more offshore banking facilities. (And not telling anyone where your hard-earned cash is stashed is still good advice, especially in this age of "cybet-banking.") What exactly is an offshore banking facility? Quite simply, any banking institution located outside of your home country. T h e process of opening an offshore bank account is neithet daunting or intimidating. It is often just as simple, if not easier, than opening a bank account in your home town. Don't think the offshore option is only viable for the incredibly wealthy with a jet-set lifestyle. Otdinary people from many countries have discovered the advantages of offshore banking. Even if you have only a few thousand to squirrel away, why not start up your international portfolio today? Once your money is liberated from home soil, it will be free to grow offshore unrestricted by yout home government's restraints. F r e e F r o m G o v e r n m e n t Interference T h e major advantage of offshore banking is the power to say goodbye to unwanted government interference, where banks ate subjected to a mytiad of resttictive regulations. These rules are designed to strip you of banking privacy and lay your affairs open to government scrutiny. T h e good news is that by making use of offshore bank accounts you need not surrender your financial privacy. Funneling assets offshore means at the very least yout government faces a complicated diplomatic hassle to get its hands on

your bank records. T h e average small investor will be passed over by bureaucrats who would rather chase after the big fish. Catching multimillionaire tax evadets means big revenue for government, but also ensures prestige and promotions for those underlings responsible. At the same time, those same buteaucrats tend to focus on easy targets. In othet words, if you combine the basic PT principle of low profile with banking privacy, your financial affairs will stay private even in out over-regulated world. Finally, remember that although the U.S. has had some success in prying the lid off of banking secrecy in wotld tax havens, it has also met with a great deal of resistance. T h e wat is not lost yet. Countties offeting banking secrecy understand they cannot appear too weak in the face of U.S. demands. It is in theit best interest to protect your banking privacy, for if they fail much of their business will quickly evaporate. Furthermore, if you use the right techniques, yout banking records can achieve a level of privacy considered by many to be all but lost in the modern world. [Ed. Note: Since this was written in 1996, many tax havens have weakened financial privacy protections, undet pressure from various sources. Elsewhere in these pages you will find described those havens (see Chapter 8) that still protect privacy to a high degree (Panama, Switzerland, Austria, Andorra, Liechtenstein) and those that have surrendered to Big Btothef's anti-sectecy demands (The Bahamas, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, among them.) 86 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection G r e a t e r Profitability Many who venture into the world of offshore banking seek greatet banking privacy. However, the benefits go much further Freedom from Big Brother snooping into yout affairs also means market forces are left to wotk freely. T h e myriad of laws imposed in many countries not only means extra hassles for you

and your banker, it renders banks far less profitable. In the U.S., between 10 and 20 percent of bank earnings now pay for regulatory compliance alone, a staggering U S $ 1 0 0 billion per year for the U . S . banking community. Of course, banks are not forced to pay this exorbitant bill. As any business would, your local bank does not hesitate to pass on such costs to you, whether in the form of increased fees or reduced intetest rates. In the end, you lose money by banking exclusively with the bank around the corner. Government interference costs you a whole lot more. T h e U.S. Federal Reserve System futther restricts banking activities, demanding banks hold back a certain amount of theit funds. W h o hangs on to these funds fot safekeeping? You guessed it, Big Brother Does he pay any interest on these deposits that he ties up and renders useless? Of course not. On the othet hand, offshore banks need not comply with these restrictions and can thetefore make use of a larger percentage of their holdings. With mote of their capital invested, they can in turn pass on greater profits to you. Offshore banks are not required to lend money to certain borrowers at belowmarket rates. They need not putchase cettain types of debts ot securities, such as government debt. They ate not affected by credit ceilings that prohibit onshore competitors from seeking certain types of profitable business. There are no limits on the rates at which they can borrow and lend money, meaning that the bank itself is free to decide the interest rates it offers. G r e a t e r Flexibility Offshore banks enjoy a degree of flexibility that is the envy of their onshore competitors. Fot example, although its repeal is now being considered, the Glass-Steagall A c t prohibits U.S. banks from brokering or dealing in securities or offering investment counsel. [Ed. Note: Recent changes in the U . S . banking laws now have removed many of these prohibitions]. Conversely, banking havens such as Switzerland and Panama have universal banking laws that allow banks to engage in many types of investment activity,

such as investment and trust management or precious metals brokering. By using an offshore bank you can develop a personal rapport with one individual who can oversee the bulk of yout financial affairs. Your bank is no longer merely a place to stash your cash, paying hefty fees for the privilege, then paying more to your stockbroker or portfolio manager. Offshore banks offer a multitude of investment services, including mutual funds, precious metal funds, currency funds, foreign government bonds and managed accounts. Furthermore, your bank is free to invest your money in a more varied portfolio with bettet returns. Many domestic banks are restricted from investing in cettain areas, such as real estate ot commodities. Your portfolio manager cannot move funds quickly, reaping rewards of investment savvy. But offshore, regulation-free banking allows your money to achieve its full potential. Finally, offshore banks are free to engage in business ventures that would make their more conservative onshore counterparts shy away. They can finance new businesses dealing in unexploted areas of opportunity. They can provide insurance services covering such "risky" areas of investment. Malpractice insurance premiums have skyrocketed. By using commissions to offset prices, offshore banks can offer such insurance to clients at a price often lower than theit domestic competition. Such gambles mean huge profits. L o w O r N o Taxes Ben Franklin said it first: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and 87 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection taxes." Ben may be right about death, but taxes are far from certain. Offshore banks can set up shop in whatever jurisdiction they please, and so they go where they can avoid the burden of taxation.

T h e figures speak for themselves. T h e industry as a whole pays a negative two percent in tax. Whereas most businesses are saddled with close to 50 percent tax rates, in many nations the offshore banking industry is on the receiving end of government subsidy and promotional programs. This means your offshore bank can pass on these tremendous savings to you. Even if you are legally required to declate interest that you earn on an offshore account and pay taxes on this income to your home government, you will still reduce your level of overall taxation by banking offshore. When invested offshore, the profit your money generates is not taxed twice as in the U.S., first on the bank's earned profits, then again on the interest you earn. With imaginative thinking all of your money earned offshore in a tax-free jurisdiction can remain in the possession of the person most entitled to it—you. By their nature, offshore banks are nimble. They can quickly move and set up shop wherever the sun happens to be shining the brightest. A few banking haven nations have been around for a long time, other new ones sprout up in fat flung places. They all understand the minute liberal banking policies are gone, the money will also go, fleeing to safer pastures. Higher Interest R a t e s Freedom enjoyed by offshore banks translates into more money for you. In some over-regulated nations it is five times more expensive to start an investment fund than it is offshore. In fact, the large number of offshore banks competing fot deposits means intetest tates offered are always going to be higher than domestic rates. F e w o r N o C u r r e n c y Restrictions Offshore banking opens up new windows of opportunity. Many countries prohibit citizens from holding any currency other than the national currency. Countries that do allow foreign currency accounts often impose heavy taxes that negate any advantage. By moving yout money offshore into stronger currencies you effectively liberate it from senseless national policies. No single currency is always best for all your cash assets. As in any good investment plan, diversity is the key. By opening at

least one offshore account in a friendly, no-tax jurisdiction, your eggs are no longer stuck in a single basket. An offshore bank account can be your safety valve if your government prohibits ot restricts taking cash out of yout homeland. T h e safety valve process uses what are known as back-to-back or parallel loans. You lend your controlled currency to a company in your home country, while its affiliate in a foteign land arranges a loan to you. If you want to liberate Brazilian cruzeiros from restrictive local policies, you lend them to Widgets of Rio de Janeiro. In turn, the London branch of Widgets lends a U.K. company you control a similar amount in pounds sterling. Presto, yout money is out of the currency control country, free to roost wherever you desire. True, many governments that impose currency restrictions are aware of such schemes and have laws prohibiting them. But countries that are so shaky as to need currency restrictions also need favotable relations with foreign banking entities. In short, the government has no choice but to look favorably on any loan you arrange with an offshore bank. Stash some of your money in a secure offshore banking environment and you escape senseless government restrictions. Political upheaval and consequent currency fluctuations no longer affect you. Currency restrictions or government cash confiscation stops at the water's edge. Banking offshore, your funds can be denominated in secure currencies in various havens around the globe, guaranteeing your financial futute whatever happens tomorrow.

88 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Opening and Using an Offshore Bank Account by Nicholas Pullen, 1997 To many people "offshore hanking" evokes images of criminals in dark glasses, funneling black cash through fraudulent accounts in countries with questionable banking laws. But these negative images are simply the product of government demonizing programs aided and abetted by sensation-alist media coverage.

Offshore banking is neithet unpatriotic or illegal. Moving cash offshore protects yout financial well-being and ensures your money works best for you, rather than for your government. Choosing a S e c u r e Banking H a v e n Before dispatching yout cash to the safekeeping of an offshore banking institution, you must considet which safe haven nation you are going to choose. Not all countries offering so-called "offshore financial services" are suitable. In some places your cash is at risk from corruption, mismanagement, and downright fraud. Fortunately, there are some well-established offshore banking havens with long histories of excellent service and maximum privacy. Evaluate each haven according to these simple criteria. Stability—Only select havens with a long history of political, financial and judicial stability. They should have no history of confiscations ot nationalization of foreign cash/bank accounts and should offer depositor insurance. T h e local economy should be dependent to a great extent on the continued presence of foreign cash and the ongoing development of an attractive environment fot foreign capital. Banana republics where dictators and governments change like the weather are definitely out. Secrecy—The best havens have non-intrusive governments prepared to impose stiff penalties on local professionals who dare to breach bank secrecy/confidentiality laws. Go for havens with solid banking privacy legislation and a reputation for upholding and defending it. Local Attitudes—Consider local attitudes toward high net worth individuals. If there is a high proportion of anti-wealth zealots, find another haven. You don't want to be the scapegoat fot tomorrow's domestic problems. Consider how the government behaves towatds the local population. If it treats them badly ot has a poor human rights records, it is not likely to treat you any better when push comes to shove. If you don't like what you find—look elsewhere. Low Profile—Pay special attention to haven nations you can enter without obtaining an entry visa. Visa stamps can betray your interest in a region and governments are particularly interested in those with regular business in a tax

haven. No visa stamp—no obvious evidence of your movements. Based on the above criteria and years of experience here are some of the best nations: Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, St. Kitts and Nevis, Panama, and the Cook Islands. For certain purposes we also recommend the British Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but keep in mind these jurisdictions have weakened their financial privacy even though they offer others useful services such as insurance, annuities and financial planning. Opening Y o u r A c c o u n t Never have information from offshore banks sent to yout home ot office. Mail snoops record details and tamper with mail deemed suspicious. Postmarks, stamps from offshore centers and foreign bank envelopes all figure highly on the suspect list. Overly conscientious postmen, nosy colleagues and curious family members can all compromise security. Use a mail dtop, preferably one outside your own country. For example, U.S. citizens should use Canadian mail drops, Europeans should use mail drops in a neighboring country. Collect mail in 89 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection person or have it sent on under plain cover to another mail drop where you can collect—why trust the mail drop operator with your home address? Use mail drops offering personal boxes and a key with 24-hour access. Collect mail at times when no one else is around to see you. Don't necessarily use your real name when first approaching offshore banking institutions to make inquiries. Why surrender personal information to an institution you may nevet use? An alias is legal unless you use it to defraud. But don't tty to open an account using a false name. Banks in most jurisdictions will want to see a copy of your passport for verification of ID at the very least. Havens with strong secrecy laws will not divulge this information to anybody. Don't open an account with a bank that is based in, ot has branches located in, your home country. Governments can put pressure on home countty branches to

force offshore counterparts to release account details ot initiate seizures. For example, a U.K. citizen wanting to bank in the Caribbean should use the Netherlands Antilles as opposed to the Cayman Islands, which is a British overseas territoty. A U.K. citizen should choose a Dutch/Danish/Swiss account. Nothing is better, in terms of the ability to leave no paper trail, than using cash. A few alternatives to cash ate legally allowable amounts of bank drafts, bank checks, postal money orders or traveler's checks, ptefetably purchased anonymously. Beware exceeding purchases of these insttuments in amounts that trigger reporting requirements—$10,000 or more in the U.S. Be sure the bank you choose does not perform its account data processing in your home country. Ask and make sure all banking records are kept and maintained offshore out of hatm's way. If you have an offshore account denominated in your home country currency, these funds usually will be stored or at least cleared by the offshore bank in a correspondent account located in your home country. It is better to hold offshore accounts denominated in currencies which can't be grabbed by the authorities at home. If possible move funds into your offshore account in a mannet that leaves no paper trail. Do not use any form of electronic transfer or checks drawn directly on already existing home country accounts. There are still a few ways to move assets abtoad both anonymously and legally. T h e most common is with cold, hard cash. Withdraw cash from your existing account then travel to yout haven to bank it. Make future deposits in a similar manner. By breaking the paper trail you leave no telltale links between home and offshore accounts. Keep in mind that U . S . laws require the reporting to Customs of the transport of more than $ 10,000 in ot out of the country. For a list of international bankers, consult the Polk World Bank Directory (International Edition), Polk's Bank Services, P.O. Box 3 0 5 1 0 0 , Nashville, TN 37230-5100, U S A . Fax: + 1 615 885 3 0 8 1 . On the net, lists almost every bank web site in the world. Sites are classified by country, banking services and additional information.

Maintaining P r i v a c y T h e precautions you take while investigating and opening offshore accounts count for nothing if that is where your low-profile techniques end. Once your account is opened you need to work constantly to maintain secrecy. Don't tell anybody about your offshore arrangements. Telling ex-spouses, family members, friends, colleagues and business partners about your offshore nest egg can have expensive consequences. Too often, the people closest to you are those most likely to play lead toles in separating you from your assets. Many tax inspections and seizure cases start as the result of a tip-off from a dis-gruntled acquaintance, family member or ex-friend. Keep contacts with your offshore bank to a minimum. Give government watchers and listeners as few chances as possible to intercept infotmation relating to offshore accounts you hold. If you need to receive mail from the bank use a mail drop. If at all possible, don't call your bank by telephone. By minimizing phone contact you ensure your voice, codes, account numbets ot transfer details cannot be recorded. If you must phone yout bank, use pre-paid disposable phone cards and 90 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection desttoy them after use. If you send/receive faxes use a copy shop. Don't leave evidence of offshore accounts lying around in your briefcase, at home or in the office—the first places to which investigators are drawn. Keep all such information in a safe place. Consider opening a safety deposit box outside your home country. Stay abreast of the political situation in your chosen haven country via newspapers, the media and subscriptions to specialty offshore financial newsletters. If using a credit card issued by your offshore bank, be careful where you use it. Never use it in your home country to avoid a paper trail traceable back to your offshore bank. Unusual cards can atttact the wrong type of interest. Remember if

using your bank or credit card at ATMs, surveillance cameras are always watching. Spend cash wisely at home. Preferably, you should try to spend it carefully abroad like a tourist. Extravagance at home attracts tax hounds. If your home accounts seem to contradict your observable lifestyle, the tax authorities will take an interest. Whatever else you may do, make certain none of your activities violates the laws of the country in which you are resident. You don't want to lose your home base. Profitable Investing in Your Offshore Bank Account By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, January 2004 An offshore bank account can give you almost unlimited access to offshore investments. But for many investors, the idea of an "offshore bank account" is shrouded in mystery. Here I'll help you clear up the mystery. I'll help you decide what type of offshore account is best for you, where you should open it, what information you'll need to disclose to get started, the best way to transfer money to and from your account and a few of the possible investments you can make with it. Plus, I'll show you some ways you can teduce the fees associated with an offshore account. H o w t o C h o o s e the Right Offshore B a n k Most offshore banks specialize in one of the following areas: 1. Taking money on deposit and lending it to businesses (commercial banks) 2. Taking money on deposit and lending it to private individuals (savings and loans) 3. Buying and holding investments fot private individuals (private banks). T h e type of account you need depends on your objectives. If you just want a small offshore nest egg, and don't plan to actively trade with your account, your best option is to use an offshore building society or savings and loan, or a commercial bank. Intetest tates ate usually higher and the fees are much lower. If you are doing business offshore, you will likely need an offshore commercial

bank that specializes in business financing, multiple cutrency dealings and merchant payment solutions. However, if you are like most members of T h e Soveteign Society, and are an active investor, you'll want to use a private bank. T h e Sovereign Society has established wotking relationships with private banks in Austria and Denmark. During the coming year, we anticipate establishing such relationships with private banks in othet offshore centers. Once you decide on a bank, here are the questions you must ask: What types of accounts are available for international investors? Are there any investments that nationals of yout country are not petmitted to purchase? What taxes will be withheld from my investments? What investments are considered part of the bank's balance sheet and thus available to the 91 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection bank's creditors (including depositors) in the event of the bank's insolvency? What ate the fees for securities transactions and custody? What other fees apply to the account? Is my account insured against losses in the event of the bank's insolvency ? How can 1 transact business with the bank? Are telephone, fax or e-mail orders accepted? Is Online banking available? If so, is this setvice available in English? You'll also want to check out the financial standing of the bank. A convenient service for this purpose is at

Opening and Funding t h e A c c o u n t Banks worldwide now require customers to identify both themselves fully and the source of their funds before opening an account. However, information you ptovide a bank outside your own country will not be easily available to someone in yout home jurisdiction. Indeed, in some countries, such as Austria, Panama and Switzerland, bank secrecy laws assure that information about your account will only be released in the event of a criminal investigation, and even then only with the otdet of a local court. For private banks, information you must provide will include: a detailed application, including your name and address; what type of account you wish to open; what currency in which you wish it to be denominated; and whether you wish to apply for a debit catd. To satisfy the "know your customer" regulations, you'll need to present a copy of yout passport and possibly a utility bill to confitm yout tesidential address. Investor profile. T h e bank will ask that you specify your investment objectives, investment experience and the investment risk approach you prefer. Source of funds. You will be asked to specify the source of your funds, and in some cases, obtain a reference letter from a bank in your home country stipulating that the funds have been earned legitimately. Choice of beneficiary. Without proper planning, it's possible that upon your death, your account assets will not be made available to yout loved ones without a complex and expensive legal proceeding. T h e best way to avoid this is to list your spouse, partnet or other person as an account beneficiary. This designation is revocable—you can always designate a new beneficiaty. Fot banks that don't have this option available, an alternative is to make your intended beneficiary a co-owner of the account. A wire transfer is the fastest way to fund your account. Your account is also credited much more quickly than with a check. Just ask yout domestic bank for wiring insttuctions. Most offshore banks also accept personal or business checks. T h e disadvantage is that it takes a considerable length of time for a check to clear. You can also fund your offshore account with pension assets. In most offshore jurisdictions funding accounts with cash is discouraged and in some cases prohibited

altogether. W h a t Kind o f A c c o u n t ? Offshore banks offer the same types of accounts as domestic banks, although the name of the account and the way it's used may differ When you first deposit funds, your offshore bank will open a current account. T h e account will earn no interest or a very low interest tate, and the assets will be held on the bank's balance sheet. Certificates of deposit are available at most foreign banks, in almost any currency. You earn more interest for a larger investment or for a longer commitment. T h e intetest tate also vaties depending on the credit quality of the issuer and the currency. Interest rates tend to be slightly lower than those published in financial newspapers, such as T h e Wall Street Journal or Financial 92 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Times. Depending on the bank's policy, CDs may ot may not remain part of the balance sheet. Securities accounts permit you to purchase stocks, bonds or funds, anywhere in the wotld. The purchase price for each trade, less commissions, is debited from your account and credited to a custodial account maintained by the bank. Your securities are usually segregated from the bank's assets and ate not available to meet claims by the bank's creditors. But inquire to make sure this is the bank's policy. As with a domestic securities account, you may issue limit orders, stop loss orders, etc. You may also buy and sell put and call options on many foteign secutities, although the rules may be different than in your home country. For instance, with European-style options, you can only cash out on the last business day before expiration. Dividend and interest payments may be subject to withholding tax, depending on the country in which they are issued. You can often reclaim withholding tax

under a tax treaty between your countty and whatever jurisdiction has imposed it. T h e United States, for instance, has tax tteaties with more than 50 countries. While it is common fot offshore banks to purchase U . S . securities on behalf of their clients, we don't recommend this strategy, due to the IRS "qualified intermediary" ( Q I ) regulations. These legal provisions strip away all privacy for U . S . securities holdings purchased through a foreign bank by requiring the bank to report to the I R S . Precious metals accounts have putchase options similar to those available for securities. Depending on the type of custody you choose, the metals you purchase may or may not be patt of the bank's balance sheet. Managed accounts are available if you have the equivalent of U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 (more at some banks) to invest. T h e stated portfolio management minimums of most ptivate banking departments are negotiable, depending on the client. You can choose to have your portfolio managed for growth, income, or a combination of growth and income. Buying F o r e i g n C u r r e n c i e s O n e of the advantages of a foreign account is that it gives you easy access to foreign currency markets. Here's an example of how this strategy might pay off. Let's say that you purchased a one-year CD denominated in euros with U . S . dollars on Jan. 1, 2 0 0 1 . You invested U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 in the C D , which had an intetest rate of 4 . 0 % . On that date, U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 would purchase E U R $ 9 , 4 1 4 . One year latet, on Jan. 1, 2002, you rolled over the CD for another year, this time at 2 . 5 % . And you did the same Jan. 3, 2 0 0 3 , at an interest rate of 2%. On Jan. 1, 2004, your CD will be worth E U R 1 0 , 2 3 6 . But in the meantime, the euro has appreciated against the U.S. dollar. We went to ptess Dec. 9, 2 0 0 3 , so we don't know the year-end euro-dollar exchange rate. But if it's around what it is today—1.22—if you cashed out your CD on Jan. 1, 2004, and converted it back to dollars, you would have U S $ 1 2 , 4 8 8 , less foreign exchange fees.

Because of your currency gains, your total three-year return nearly tripled—from 9% to 2 5 % . Of course, the euro could have just as easily gone down against the U.S. dollar But since the long-term trend of the dollar's value is down, investing in global currencies may be an intelligent diversification. A c c o u n t F e e s You'll P a y There's no getting around it—fees in offshore accounts are higher than they are in U . S . accounts. This is a consequence, in part, to the fact that foreign laws genetally prohibit financial institutions from disclosing any infotmation about individual accounts to outside sources. In contrast, U.S. banks and broketages can freely sell or exchange information about your account to third parties. Greater privacy, though, comes with a price. Fees and commissions you can anticipate paying 93 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection offshore include: * Currency conversion fees and hidden spreads. Commissions for currency conversions generally are about 0 . 1 5 % - 0 . 5 % , but beware of conversions that don't occut at or near the intetbank rate, but at a less favorable "retail rate" that may mask a hidden charge of 2% or more. * An account maintenance fee. This vaties from a flat rate equivalent to about US$50/year to a percentage of yout account—as high as 0.25%/yeat. * A statement preparation fee. Each time the bank executes a transaction, it chatges a fee to print and mail you a statement.

* Commissions offshore are significantly higher than in the United States. Expect to pay 0.15% or mote for each bond trade and 0 . 3 % or more for each stock you purchase. Commissions for precious metals generally are about 1%. You may even be charged a commission of 0 . 1 5 % - 0 . 5 % to purchase a CD (although generally not to roll it over). T h e good news, though, is that commissions are coming down due to greater competition. * Loads and management fees. W h e n you putchase offshote funds, you can anticipate paying a front end load of 5% or more, plus annual management fees as much as 3%. Even offshore funds without a front-end load may impose a rear end load if you sell before a specified number of years have elapsed. * Safe custody fees. For securities the bank purchases fot yout account, you will pay a custody fee from 0 . 1 5 % - 0 . 5 % per annum based on theit matket value. As custodian, the bank collects dividends, coupon payments and, if the security has a maturity date, the value of its ptincipal when it matures. These fees are for collective custody. This means yout holdings ate not segtegated from alike and interchangeable securities of other investots. Higher fees apply for individual custody, in which case your holdings are segregated and placed in secure storage under your name. In both types of custody, your holdings are generally not patt of the bank's balance sheet. * Portfolio management fees. A typical portfolio management fee is 1% pet annum. This fee does not include fees and commissions for ttades on the account. * Othet fees. Many services provided at no charge by domestic banks or brokerages are only available for a fee at offshore banks. To avoid surprises, before ordering a service, ask about the fee associated with it. Six Fee-Saving Strategies Here are a few ideas to reduce fees in your offshore account. 1. Limit securities purchases to blue chip issues that you plan to hold for an extended period. This reduces commissions for securities ttading.

2. Purchase closed end funds that ttade like stocks on a secutities exchange. This eliminates the loads imposed by many offshore funds. Your bank will purchase and sell the fund at the market price, which may represent a premium or discount to the value of the underlying assets. You pay the same commissions as you would for any other security. Note: We generally do notecommend paying premiums fot exchange-traded funds. 3. Take delivery of your securities and ptecious metals and maintain custody in a safety deposit box or private vault. This avoids custodial fees, but you will be responsible for collecting dividends, coupon payments, etc. If you want to sell your securities, you will need to find a broker willing to execute the trade and then arrange to have the certificates or metals securely conveyed. 4. Use intermediaries for currency conversions. If your bank will not conduct a trade at or near the intetbank rate, you may want to use a foreign currency account or trade currencies through an intermediary foreign exchange broker. One such intermediary is Asset Strategies International, headed up by Council of Experts membet Michael Checkan ( Anothet foreign exchange service is, with an online affiliate at 9 4 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection 5. Instruct your bank not to mail you account statements. This will eliminate ot substantially reduce statement fees. At some banks, you can arrange to access them Online. 6. Ask fot a lowet fee. If you are a good customer and believe that a fee for a trade or service is too high, just say so. Chances are the bank will reduce it to a mote reasonable level. Tapping Y o u r Offshore N e s t - E g g It's generally best to leave your offshore assets "offshore" unless you need to tap into them in an emergency. This keeps the assets off the domestic "radar screen." But if you require access to these assets, the same methods used to fund foreign

investments may also be used to reclaim them. T h e easiest and most convenient way to obtain payments from an offshore bank is via wire transfer. It may also be possible to have a check issued in your domestic currency by a correspondent bank located in your country. If you open a large enough account (approximately U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 at commercial banks, higher at private banks), you can apply for a debit card to withdraw funds. Ask whether the card can be used outside the country of origin and what the fees ate for using it. Also find out if the bank or credit card netwotk imposes a currency conversion fee if you need to withdraw funds in another currency. However, don't use a debit card if you are seeking privacy from your government. T h e U . S . government has obtained the credit card records of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Some of these Americans allegedly used offshore debit cards tied to bank accounts that the IRS says were never reported to the U.S. government and for which taxes were never paid. W h e r e t o Open Y o u r Foreign A c c o u n t Banks are part of modern commerce in every country. But T h e Sovereign Society's top country picks for offshore banking are Austria, Denmark, Panama, Switzetland, and Liechtenstein. We recommend these jurisdictions because they offet favotable laws to foreigners investing or doing business there, including (in most cases) zero taxes for nonresident investors. We also recommend these countties because, in two of them, we have set up "Convenient Account" relationships with local service providers—and we plan to establish othet such relationships in 2 0 0 4 . As a member of T h e Sovereign Society, you can immediately activate a Convenient Account with a top-notch private bank, with a professional, English-speaking staff. T h e minimum necessary to open the most basic account is U S $ 1 4 , 0 0 0 . All you need to do is complete the application you received when you became a Sovereign Society member. Here are the contact addresses for Convenient Accounts in our recommended jurisdictions: Austria. Anglo Irish Bank (Austria) A G , Rathaustrasse 20, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Tel.: + ( 4 3 ) 1 4 0 6 - 6 1 6 1 . Fax: + ( 4 3 ) 1 4 0 5 - 8 1 4 2 . E-mail:

[emailprotected]. Link: www.angloirish- (minimum investment: U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 ; U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 for companies and trusts). Denmark. Jyske Bank, Vesterbrograde 9, DK-1780 Copenhagen V, Denmark. Contact: Thomas Fischer. Tel.: +45 (33) 787-812. Fax: +45 (33) 787-833. Email: [emailprotected]. Link: (minimum investment: U S $ 1 4 , 0 0 0 ) . Don't have U S $ 1 4 , 0 0 0 to invest? Don't worry. Many foreign commercial banks accept much lower minimums, even from non-resident investors, although you won't get the petsonalized service that you would from a private bank. One such bank is Bank Austria. You can log on to their web site at How Secret Is an Offshore Bank Account? by John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, June 1998 Over the years I've had many bank accounts in the U . S . and other countries, and have often 95 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection telephoned my bank to verify my balance. Occasionally, 1 have been asked for my mother's maiden name or my social security number to get the information. All too often, I've needed to give nothing mote than my name and account number. Getting information over the telephone about anyone's account in U.S. banks is simple. Your bank account numbers are printed on every check you write, and required information for disclosure, such as your Social Security numbet ot your mother's name, can easily be found. It's not difficult for any private individual to find out the details of yout U . S . bank accounts if they hite a well connected private investigator, but for government agencies, it's even simpler.

Financial institutions must pony up every detail of your account history any time the IRS (ot any othet government agency) requests it, and no court order is required. Furthermore, banks are prohibited from even telling you about the inquiry. If Uncle Sam wants the money in your account, he can simply take it. You won't know it until after the fact. Increasingly, the situation is the same in the U.K., Canada and othet industtialized countties. It's "seize now, ask questions later." If you're outraged by the lack of bank privacy in your own country, an offshore bank account is one answer. Numerous countries, including Switzetland, Austria and Liechtenstein, as well as most of the "tax haven" countries like Panama have laws that prohibit banks and other financial institutions from divulging any infotmation about customet accounts without a coutt otder. Indeed, it is a crime for anyone working in one of these institutions to divulge customet information. T h e bank can only telease information if a local court otdets it to do so. And such an order can be obtained only if it receives evidence that the account holdet is suspected of criminal activity. T h e popular belief is that in asset havens, no one, including agencies of the U.S., U.K. ot Canadian governments, can bteak through these barriers. Typically a foreign banker will tell you that if a foreign agency, such as the IRS ot Revenue Canada, demands to see the bank records of a depositor who is suspected of tax evasion, it would be sent packing. It couldn't get a court older. Bank secrecy laws and the assurances of financial institutions that customer information would never be revealed unless a non-tax crime was involved, have led hordes of people to hide funds in "secret" accounts. Without doubt, many persons fail to disclose the existence of these accounts and don't report any income earned on them. In the case of a U . S . petson this is cleatly illegal. They feel they'te safe because of bank secrecy. Are they ? Don't bet your freedom on it. It would be vety foolish to rely on such bank secrecy as an unbreakable barrier to your account information. Many people have been prosecuted for tax evasion because their "secret" offshore accounts were discovered. H o w T a x Agencies Find U n r e p o r t e d Foreign A c c o u n t s

This information can be obtained many ways. Some poor souls are languishing in jail because they inadvertently left a paper trail to theit accounts. They deposited checks into the accounts, wire transferred the funds or left some other paper evidence that was discovered on a routine audit. In other cases, they telephoned their banker from home and the national tax agency obtained a record of the call's existence from their long distance bill. In the U S A , the IRS needs a warrant to obtain this information, but need not establish probable cause to get it, only that an inquiry is underway. Other persons with "secret" offshote accounts have been betrayed because they revealed the account's existence to someone they trusted but shouldn't have. A nasty divorce, a business dispute or an angeted friend resulted in betrayal. In many cases, a trusted friend or associate was threatened with prosecution and forfeiture if he or she didn't become a turncoat. In others, the "friend" became a paid informant. Of course, it's possible to open an account and tell no one. Some depositors simply give the foreign bank or trust company a letter of insttuctions telling it what to do at their death. This eliminates the chance of betrayal, but it still doesn't guarantee that the account won't be discovered. 96 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Some secret accounts have been discovered when bank employees were bribed to disclose information. Also, the tax agencies plant undercover agents in foreign banks. One gentleman I know was visiting the head of a Swiss bank in the banker's office above the bank floor. T h e banker pulled back the curtain and pointed to a tellet and to another person sitting behind a desk. "We believe," he said, "that those two both sectetly work for the I R S . " Cloak-and-dagger techniques ate another threat. In one case, the IRS wanted information about suspected tax evaders that it believed had secret accounts at a bank in T h e Bahamas. T h e IRS agent in charge of the investigation learned that one of the bank officets was coming to the U . S . to meet with a number of

clients, including the suspect. T h e agent set up a "chance" meeting between the banker and a beautiful woman, herself an IRS informant. She invited the banker to visit her in her hotel room. While the banker was with het, the IRS agent btoke into his hotel room, opened his locked briefcase, and copied all of the documents. With this information, they were able to successfully prosecute a number of U . S . citizens who had secret accounts at the bank. Was this theft illegal? Of course, but the Supreme Court upheld the prosecution of one of the victims. This gave the IRS carte blanche to engage in similat operations. I have desctibed some of the ptactical privacy advantages of an offshore bank account. But that doesn't mean you can count on "absolute secrecy" in any account. Governments of high-tax countries regularly seek to penetrate bank secrecy. But government agents aren't the only threat. Consider the following: B e t r a y a l in Liechtenstein A few years ago a foreign employee of a ttust company in Liechtenstein copied the financial tecotds of a latge numbet of the trust company's German clients and offered to sell them to a German magazine for U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 . Had it been a bank, the exposure of bank account tecords would have been less serious, as most bank accounts are in the name of corporations, trusts or nominees. That these were trust company tecords made their exposure particulatly grave, as they contained the names of the beneficial owners of corporations and trusts, as well as the links to the bank accounts held in the name of these structures. In this case, the thief fled Liechtenstein to avoid being arrested for violating its secrecy laws. Needless to say, he won't be able to teturn. T h e scandal has ignited a furor, and the Getman publishet has been debating whether to buy the records. If it does, not only will many Germans who relied on

financial privacy as a shield from tax evasion be prosecuted, but also thousands of employees of financial institutions in asset havens may begin calculating the risk/reward ratio of betraying theit employers. You can be certain of one thing: T h e tax man won't for a microsecond debate the issue of the morality of buying stolen records. T h e point is that the muchvaunted financial privacy laws of the tax haven countties are no guarantee yout "secret" offshore account won't be discovered. Offshore Debit C a r d s Many offshore financial advisors have suggested that one way to withdraw money from a secret offshore bank account would be to have the bank issue a debit card, and then use the debit card to get cash from ATM machines, either in the U . S . or offshore. T h e managing director of the British Virgin Islands branch of VP Bank, an international investment bank headquarteted in Liechtenstein, warned me about the privacy risks associated with Visa, MastetCard and Eurocard (the European issuer of MasterCard). VP bank doesn't offer any credit cards because it's a dead giveaway that the individual has a foteign bank account. Accotding to my B.V.I, contact, the IRS and perhaps othet tax agencies have 97 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection access through an agreement with Visa and MasterCard and can easily determine who has been issued a card. Nor is it that difficult for an investigatot to learn of the existence of a bank issued card, including Eurocards. Just holding a card is evidence you have a foreign account. T h e first six digits of the card number identify the country of origin and obviously prove that somewhere in this country an account exists. If those digits show a Swiss bank issued the credit catd, it's obvious that the holder has a Swiss bank account. Nor does it help if the card is a corporate or company card, if you're a signatory on the account on which it's drawn. You still

have to reveal the existence of the account to the tax man. If you want to hold a foreign credit card without having a foreign bank account, Eurocard issues "bank neutral" cards, such as airline credit cards, as well as bank-related cards. (You can also have a credit card listing only the name of yout offshore corporation.)

Play It Safe Seeking privacy with offshote financial structures is a wise decision. However, it should be done legally, and not in hopes of keeping unreported accounts sectet from the tax man. Why risk jail to save on taxes? There are many advantages to taking your assets offshore othet than illegally saving taxes. Simply structure your offshore dealings legitimately, and follow the law. You'll sleep better. On the other hand, what if you have a "secret" account that you no longer wish to keep secret ? Do not contact the tax authorities directly if you find youtself in this situation. Revealing the presence of this account on yout own may subject you and your property to ctiminal and civil sanctions. Instead, contact a tax attorney. Uncle Sam Wants to Look Into Your Bank Account By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, March 2002 What do governments do when their policies fail? They enhance their power, ostensibly to "solve" the problem. T h e reaction by the U . S . government to the events of September 11, 2 0 0 1 , confirms this trend. For instance, financial transactions in the United States have been monitored for years to combat crime. But that monitoring didn't detect nine small U.S. bank accounts used by those individuals who blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. To correct the situation, the government is doing more of the same things that haven't wotked in the past. Law-enforcement agencies now run daily checks on

individuals or groups with suspected connections to terror networks against the databases of Ametica's largest banks. T h e Treasury Department's intelligence division, the Financial Ctimes Enforcement Netwotk (FinCEN) ( reviews all matches. Assets in suspect accounts can be frozen instantly. However, this system is even less likely to detect "terrorist" activity than those already in place to fight money laundering. U . S . banks are already required to submit many reports to FinCEN, including reports of "suspicious transactions" engaged in by their customets. Between 1987 and 1995, banks sent FinCEN over 77 million "Suspicious Activity Reports" ( S A R s ) . Only 580 convictions resulted from these reports—a "success" rate of one conviction pet 133,000 SARs. Trying to find transactions tied to tetrorism is even more difficult, because the sums involved are much smaller. According to the International Monetary Fund, drug dealers launder approximately U S $ 1 . 5 trillion per year. In contrast, it cost only about U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 to conduct the attacks of Septembet 11, 2 0 0 1 . Further, most terrorist groups reportedly use Hawala or "flying money" netwotks (TSI 7/00), an underground banking system that is not affected by this initiative (although the government is try-98 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection ing to shut down Hawala networks as well). Thus, the daily checks by FinCEN against suspect terrorist accounts are probably doomed to failure. And in that event, FinCEN is likely to propose a far more comprehensive "Deposit Tracking System" ( D T S ) . T h e idea for a D T S first surfaced in 1993, when the C I A proposed a system that could instantaneously track transactions in all U.S. bank and credit card accounts and cteate continuously updated financial dossiets based on the data.

Once the D T S is developed, FinCEN would presumably share data from it with othet governments. Indeed, FinCEN's participation in a secretive organization called the "Egmont Group" gives it access to a "secure web server" designed to facilitate data exchange. Using data from D T S systems in other countries, the goal is clearly for FinCEN and its Egmont affiliates to monitor financial transactions as they occur, anywhere in the world. If a D T S would be ineffective at fighting crime or terrorism, how could it be used? I believe that it could present an inviting mechanism for quieting unwanted dissent. Consider the definition of "terrorism" in the U S A P A T R I O T A c t enacted by Congress in November 2001: "...[A]n activity that-(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and (ii) appears to be intended—(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; ( B ) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or ( C ) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking." This definition allows the U.S. government to label virtually any form of social protest as "terrorism." According to J. Btadley Jansen, an analyst with the conservative Ftee Congress Foundation, "All of the groups here (in Washington) that are active in public policy could by that definition be considered terrorist." T h e n there is the matter of persons caught in this financial dragnet. For instance, in December 2 0 0 1 , federal agents raided the suburban Chicago offices of Global Relief Foundation, a Muslim charity. They carted away files, froze bank accounts and put the chatity's founder in jail. However, the government sealed all documents justifying the action. According to Global Relief's attorney, "They've said nothing to us except that they have a teason for what they did, and it's classified." F o u r Strategies to Deal with Financial Surveillance 1. Take your assets offshore. It is highly unlikely, for instance, that Switzetland or Austria (the jurisdictions in which the Sovereign Society has established Convenient Bank Account relationships) would cooperate in a global D T S , since doing so would violate the bank secrecy laws in these jurisdictions.

Fot assets and transactions in the United States: 2. Use currency for small transactions that, for whatever reason, might look "suspicious" if viewed out of context. For instance, if you are an avid reader of books dealing with Islamic fundamental-ism, purchase them at a local bookstore with currency, not on the Internet using a credit card. (And don't check them out of a library; the U S A P A T R I O T A c t requires libraries to surrender patron records with no notification to the people affected.) 3. Volunteer to complete any "paperwork" for transactions that might be viewed as suspicious. For instance: you just sold a vehicle fot U S $ 8 , 0 0 0 in currency. You bring the currency to the bank to deposit it, but have never deposited more than U S $ 2 0 0 in currency previously. This might be viewed as a suspicious transaction, since it doesn't match your previous account history— but not if you make the deposit at the teller window, explain where the money came from and offer to complete any "paperwork" that might be necessary. (For this transaction, no reporting should be necessary, as the reporting threshold for currency transactions is U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 per transaction ot series of "related" transactions). 4. If you own or operate a U.S.-based business, follow the recommendations in "Seven Essential Strategies to Cope with U.S. Emergency Controls." T h e last thing you need is for your business to suffer the same fate as the illfated Global Relief Foundation. 99 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection How To Achieve the Maximum Privacy in Your Offshore Account By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, August 2003 In the minds of most Americans, thete is nothing so mysterious, so enticing, as an "offshore hank account." T h e very phrase, particularly among the wine and hrie crowd, brings up images

of exotic and possibly illegal financial dealings in a tropical setting, accompanied by absolute bank ptivacy. T h e movie T h e Firm, which was popular a few years ago, greatly reinforced these steteotypes. It pottrayed the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction where you could simply land a plane stuffed with bags of cash and deposit that cash directly into a local bank account. However, those days, if they ever existed at all, are long gone. T h e truth about offshore bank accounts is very different from what you hear at parties or see at the movies. In this column, I'm going to sepatate fact from fiction, and give you six recommendations that will allow you to legally protect the privacy of your offshore account. T h e T r u t h A b o u t " B a n k S e c r e c y " For better or worse, the concept of "bank secrecy" has changed greatly in recent years. Thirty years ago, it was possible to hire an attorney in one of several offshore jurisdictions—including Switzerland, Liechtenstein ot T h e Bahamas— and have the attorney open up an offshore bank account, in his name, and operate it for you without the bank knowing yout real identity. In those days, secrecy was virtually absolute. No one—including agents of the U.S. government—could penetrate it, except in very unusual circ*mstances. All this began to change in the 1970s, when the United States signed its first "Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty" ( M L A T ) with Switzerland. This agreement obligated Swiss authotities to waive bank sectecy when the U . S . government presented them with evidence that money tied to a serious crime in the United States was held being in Switzerland. Tax offenses, with the exception of tax fraud, were not covered. Since then, the United States has ratified nearly 50 additional MLATs, most with expanded provisions in comparison to the Swiss agreement. In addition, various international organizations, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( O E C D ) and its stepchild, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), have prepared "blacklists" of countties in which "excessive financial secrecy" prevails, and tried to impose sanctions against those countries not agreeing to severely restrict it.

But bank secrecy has not been "eliminated," as some press reports would imply. T h e best way to view bank secrecy today is as a bulwatk against prying eyes peering into your financial affairs, unless you are suspected of committing a serious crime. No doubt, bank secrecy occasionally shields lawbreakers. But more often than not, it is used fot legitimate purposes—to shield individuals and their families from retribution by corrupt or totalitarian governments; to give them access to investments fotbidden or restticted in their own countries; or to hide wealth from kidnappers who typically target persons with visible wealth. And today, even if some of the more powerful tools individuals and companies could once use to keep their financial affairs secret have been severely restricted, there remain opportunities for financial privacy "offshore" that simply don't exist domestically. You just have to be realistic in your expectations. Offshore B a n k A c c o u n t s and P r i v a c y While it's become more difficult to move money offshote, you can still take your domestic wealth off the radar screen to achieve practical, if not necessarily impenetrable, privacy. T h e single best reason to move assets outside your own country is to protect yourself from the 100 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection global litigation epidemic. T h e United States is unique in its approach to "tort liability," in which both sides in a lawsuit pay their own expenses, no matter who wins, and where lawyers are permitted to finance lawsuits, no matter how ridiculous the claim. In recent months, doctors have actually gone on strike in several states to protest skyrocketing malpractice premiums resulting from increased exposure to lawsuits. However, truly frivolous litigation is no longer a U.S.-only phenomenon. T h e U.K. and Canadian legal systems are also undergoing quiet, yet revolutionary transformations that dramatically increase the odds of being sued and losing. (See

for some mind-boggling Canadian lawsuits, including "Father files suit after son fails to make MVP award.") An offshore bank account provides substantial protection from frivolous lawsuits. Since lawyers size up targets for lawsuits by looking for their money, someone considering suing you may decide to find a target with mote visible wealth. This is one teason why T h e Soveteign Society developed its "Offshore Convenient Account" member benefit. Unfortunately, the availability of offshore bank accounts with low minimums is rapidly diminishing. This is a direct consequence of the escalating cost of banks performing "due diligence" on their customets to comply with new initiatives from the O E C D and FATE However, minimum deposits for the Offshore Convenient Account still may start as low as U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 . Six R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for Offshore B a n k i n g S e c r e c y T h e advantages of dealing offshote—privacy, asset protection and investment divetsification— remain in place, but only if you follow a few simple rules. 1. Choose the right jurisdiction. As we described in our annual review of offshore havens ( T S I 6 / 0 3 ) , we believe the top offshore jurisdictions to be Switzerland, Panama, Liechtenstein and Hong Kong. First class offshore banking services are also available in Austria. Denmark offers low-cost offshore banking, but no privacy with regards to foreign tax authorities. 2. Understand foreign "due diligence" requirements. Along with the end of anonymous accounts in most offshore jurisdictions, most offshore banks now require prospective customets to prove their identity with a certified copy of their passport or other official document. You may also face questions regarding the origin of the funds you are placing into the account. Don't be afraid to answer these questions—the application for your account along with all documentation you provide is subject to whatever bank secrecy laws prevail in the jurisdiction you've chosen. 3. Don't try to cheat the tax man. Most high-tax countries impose taxes on the wotldwide income of their residents. While domestic tax authorities don't

generally have the authority to go on offshore "fishing expeditions" to uncover unreported offshore income, the momentum is clearly towatd greater disclosure. There's also little doubt that the tools that governments are giving themselves to fight "terrorism" will ultimately be used to augment tax collection. Our recommendation is to tepott the existence of the account to your domestic tax authorities and pay whatever taxes are due. Doing so will not genetally raise a red flag and will not negate the privacy advantages of the account with respect to prospective litigants. At least in the case of the IRS, there have been many more prosecutions for failing to report an offshore transaction than for engaging in an allegedly illegal ttansaction that was tepotted. 4. Don't open an account at the foreign branch of a U . S . bank, or a foreign bank that has U . S . branches. Either of these factors places the bank under the jurisdiction of U . S . courts, thus providing litigants with additional opportunities to penetrate offshore banking secrecy. 5. Don't use offshore accounts to hold U . S . dollar denominated investments, including U.S. securities. T h e U S A P A T R I O T A c t gives U . S . authorities the right to demand to know the identity of individuals with intetests in the U.S. "cottespondent accounts" offshore banks maintain for their customers who maintain U.S. dollar investments. In addition, the U . S . government is beginning to confiscate the proceeds of such accounts undet the notorious "civil forfeiture" statutes. 101 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Finally, I R S "qualified intermediary" (QI) regulations enmesh correspondent accounts in a maze of red tape. U . S . depositots in foreign banks who purchase U . S . securities and refuse to identify themselves to the IRS under the QI regulations ate subject to a 3 1 % withholding tax—not just on income from the account, but on their entire investment. So make sure to set up your offshore account(s) so that you can use them to putchase U . S . securities or othet dollardenominated assets without actually holding them in U . S . dollars (sounds complicated, but it really is easy to do).

6. Keep it simple. It's a good idea never to get involved in an investment you don't understand, and this is doubly true for investments you make outside your own country. Ultimately, the value of offshore investing is to create a "nest egg" that can survive lawsuits; changes in public policy; even a collapse in the value of your domestic cutrency. You don't need complex investments to achieve these goals. Seven Essential Strategies to Cope with U . S . Emergency Controls by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, December 2001 T h e U . S . Congtess has given the president and executive agencies the authority to seize the assets of anyone suspected of many types of crimes. These powers are at their strongest during times of war or national emergency, but have been in almost continuous effect in some form for more than 80 years. Since the events of September 11, 2 0 0 1 , the impact of U . S . emergency financial controls is becoming clear as millions of dollars of suspect "terrorist" assets are seized, a consequence of an executive order signed by President Bush on September 24, 2 0 0 1 . Emergency financial controls have a long history. There are more than 20 sets of such controls currently in effect, not only against assets owned by or connected to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, but also against Cuba, Notth Korea, Libya, Iraq, Iran, the U N I T A faction in Angola, and designated "narcotics kingpins." With narrow exceptions, all persons and entities subject to U . S . law are forbidden from having any commercial contact with these countries and more than 5,000 additional "specially designated nationals"—individuals and companies on a constantly-expanding watch list maintained by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control at If your assets are frozen by O F A C , you must apply for a "license" (exemption) to recover them. In some cases, it takes O F A C years to process a claim, with the entire process shrouded in secrecy. Gossip C a n G e t Y o u r Assets F r o z e n

T h e authotity to designate you ot your company as "terrorists" or "terrorist sympathizers" can easily be misused: 1. A subscriber to an investment service purchased "put" options on American Airlines and Morgan Stanley just days before the September 11 attacks. (Putchasets of put options are betting that prices of particular securities or indices will fall.). He funded the conttacts with an offshore account. O F A C used this as justification to otder an emergency freeze of the entire account. T h e foreign government complied with this request. 2. Mohammed Ahmad, who lives in Maryland, had his account at Citibank blocked after O F A C published the first list of people with suspected financial ties to alleged tetrorists. One person on that list was known as "Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad." Citibank would not tell the Maryland Ahmad for several days why his account was frozen. Then, he was required to prove that he was not on the list by submitting documentation to show that his name was different. 3. In 1998, the United States attacked and destroyed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan with 102 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection cruise missiles. T h e Clinton administration claimed that the owner, Saleh Idris, was laundering money for terrorists and froze U S $ 2 4 million in Idris' London bank accounts. Idris sued to recover his money as well as compensation for his plant. In May 1999, after failing to produce evidence to connect Idris or his plant to terrorism, the United States unfroze Idris' accounts and announced it would not contest his U S $ 5 0 million lawsuit. However, if Mr. Idris had been identified as a "narcotics kingpin," he would have had no right to contest that designation in court. T h e "Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation A c t " states: "The determinations, identifications, findings, and designations made putsuant to [this act] shall not be subject to judicial review." How does the government determine who a "tetrorist" is? It can rely on reports from intelligence agencies, third-hand accounts, ptess clippings, hearsay and

material posted on the Internet to make its decision. Inflammatory gossip or anonymous news group postings could provide legal authotity for your assets to be frozen. While banks are perhaps the institutions most heavily impacted by O F A C controls, othet businesses that must be aware of them include securities and commodities broker/dealers; investment companies; currency exchanges; issuers, redeemers, and cashiers of traveler's checks, checks, money orders, or similar instruments; credit card system operators; insurance companies; dealers in precious metals, stones ot jewels; pawnbrokers; loan and finance companies; travel agencies; money transmitters; telegraph companies; businesses engaged in vehicle sales; persons involved in real estate closings or settlements; and casinos. These businesses are N O T permitted to reject suspect transactions. Let's say that you instruct your bank to wire U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 to a U.K. company that you do business with, but which, unknown to you, has been added to OFAC's list. Your bank must accept the transaction, then deduct U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 from your account and place it in a master "blocked account." F i v e K e y Strategies for Businesses Most major banks have turned to name-recognition software to block questionable ttansactions automatically. Vendois include JMJ Consulting ( and O F A C Compliance ( However there may be dozens or even hundreds of "false positive" matches for each legitimate match. If you or your company does not routinely engage in international financial transactions, it may not be economical to purchase interdict software. In that event, O F A C advises paying attention to the following factots: 1. Is the account party, beneficiary, issuing bank or confirming bank blocked? 2. Is the underlying ttade transaction prohibited? 3. Does the bill of lading indicate that goods were shipped by a blocked shipping company or aboard a blocked merchant vessel? 4. Does the cettificate of otigin reveal that the goods otiginated from a target

country? 5. Does the invoice tip you off that a blocked company supplied the goods to the seller? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," do N O T process the transaction, as it will be subject to the emetgency controls administeted by O F A C . Two Vital T a c t i c s for Investors 1. Use U.S. accounts to make U . S . investments. Don't risk having your foreign assets frozen simply because the government decides it doesn't like a ttade you made through an offshore account. 2. Confer with competent legal counsel to ptovide you with sound suggestions and recommendations in light of the new laws and government policies being enacted in response to terrorism. One expert we can recommend—a member of the O F A C Ptactitionets Forum and edil O i Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection tor of the International Enforcement Law Reporter (—is attorney Bruce Zagaris (Tel.: +1 (202) 293-5555. E-mail: [emailprotected]) If, despite these precautions, your assets are frozen, download Treasury Form T D F 90-22.54 from complete it and send it in for consideration. Just don't be in a hurry—OFAC has a huge backlog of cases. Types of Accounts Available at Offshore Banks Banking in Silence, 1998 T h e offshore banking industry offers a much wider range of account types than most onshore banking jurisdictions. T h e options vary from simple savings accounts to accounts designed for the sole purpose of tax avoidance to accounts whete the bank invests and oversees your money on your behalf.

T h e various types of accounts can be grouped into a few categories. Although the names may change from bank to bank, the basic design behind each account type is more or less the same. They are as follows: Current accounts ate the most common type of account. They generally come with a check book ot debit card and can sometimes be linked with a credit card. T h e required starting balance is low, but the interest rate is also generally low. Some banks allow for multi-currency accounts, meaning that you can deposit and withdraw funds in any of a number of currencies. You can also easily change either all or part of your account into the currency of your choice. Deposit accounts are generally a good place to store money over the slightly longer term. They offer higher interest rates, but restrict yout ability to get at your money by requiring that you provide sufficient notice or sacrifice the interest earned. Starting balances are also generally higher with many banks requiring a minimum deposit of somewhere in the region of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e interest rate depends upon the amount deposited, as well as the time petiod fot which it will stay in the account. It also depends on the currency in which the account is denominated, stronger currencies paying less interest. Twin accounts basically combine a high-intetest deposit account with the convenience of a current account under one all-inclusive number. T h e bulk of the funds on deposit is kept in the high interest account while a smallet amount is kept in the current account for day to day use. If you one day find yourself overdrawn, the bank would then merely transfer money from the deposit account into the current account. Thus, the need to maintain two different accounts is eliminated. Fiduciary accounts allow you to invest anonymously in high-tax markets, even in your home country, by using your bank as a proxy investor. For example, if you maintain an account in a Liechtenstein bank but wish to hold part of your overall portfolio in German marks, you could instruct your banker to open an account in Germany on your behalf. T h e marks would be purchased in Frankfurt and then held there in the bank's name, although the interest earned is paid to you in Liechtenstein. For the record, it appears as if the bank is acting on its own initiative, meaning that if you happen to be German you would no longer be liable for German tax. Of course, the bank chatges a fee, usually one quarter

of one percent of your principal, for providing you with such anonymity. You also receive a slightly lowet interest payment than you would if you made the deposit on your own. Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a way to earn much higher interest rates than those on offet through deposit accounts. In short, yout funds are loaned to the Euro currency market at the current rate for the currency in which the CD is denominated. CDs usually come in beatet form, meaning that they can be freely and anonymously traded. They enjoy a large and active secondary market. They vary a great deal in terms of the maturity of the investment, tanging from almost 104 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection overnight to up to five years. Best of all, banks do not withhold any tax on the CDs that they issue, meaning that with a little creative planning yout money can earn hefty interest payments tax free. Precious metal accounts allow you to invest in precious metals via your bank. T h e bank will then store the metal in its vault on your behalf. T h e advantage of opening up this type of account is that by combining your resources with those of othet bank clients, you can putchase precious metals at a far more competitive price. Of course, such an account does not generate any income but should be seen as a safety net. T h e bank generally charges an annual storage fee usually in the region of one half of one percent of the value of the metals on deposit. Investment accounts are usually only offered by latger banks. They allow you to invest your funds in commodity markets with the help of yout bank. They usually take the form of a mutual fund in stocks, bonds and other commodities and are overseen by the bank itself. T h e required starting balance is somewhat hefty, generally U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 . These accounts usually come with rathet high front-end costs as well as significant management fees. But as long as the markets are performing well a good investment account will on average prove to be more profitable than a simple deposit account. Managed accounts work much like investment accounts but allow you to choose where to invest your funds. Instructions of what to buy and sell are sent to the bank by phone or fax. It is possible to hold the commodities purchased in the

bank's name rathet than your own for an extra layer of privacy. T h e price for such convenience takes the form of a minimum deposit requirement of approximately U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 . Safekeeping accounts allow you to deposit bonds, stocks and other valuables. T h e bank will then manage the overall portfolio deposited, redeeming the bonds when they mature and doing whatevet need be done with the valuables entrusted to them. Of course, such convenience comes with a price tag, usually a fee of approximately .015 percent of the market value of the pottfolio they are maintaining.

Safety Deposit Boxes Offshore by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, May 1999 W h e n most of us think of an offshore account, we usually associate it with the putchase of cettificates of deposit (CDs) or securities or asset management. But behind the scenes, any bank—offshore or othetwise—must take precautions to insure the safe custody of the investments it holds for you. And it's also possible —and in some cases preferable—to maintain your own "safe custody" in an offshore safety deposit box. Custodial A c c o u n t s Many offshore banks provide convenient accounts that maintain custody of securities or precious metals they purchase on your behalf or that you turn over for safekeeping. T h e assets in such a "custodial account" are not available to creditots of the bank. You can also turn over documents or valuables in a sealed envelope or box to the bank. Numbered custodial accounts ate also available at some banks. You may specify "fungible" or "non-fungible" storage for these assets. Fungible storage means that when you redeem your securities or precious metals, you receive "like-kind" assets, although not necessatily the identical assets. In other words, the numbers on the securities you receive back may be different from that on those you deposited. Non-fungible storage means that the bank will return to you the exact securities or metals—or the sealed envelope—you deposited. A custodial account is fully integrated with your other account(s) with the bank.

You teceive regular statements about the assets held in custody and all chatges are deducted from the account balance. If you have instructions relating to the assets in the custodial account, you can relay these 105 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection to the hank through normal channels; i.e., via letter, fax or phone. If you merely use a custodial account to hold assets that do not generate income, thete are no tax or reporting consequences in most countries, including the United Kingdom. However, this integration and convenience comes at a price to U . S . depositors: a custodial account is a teportable "foreign financial account" if the aggregate value of the account and all othet "foreign financial accounts" exceeds U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e existence of all such accounts must be acknowledged on Schedule B of your U . S . tax return and on Treasury Form TD F 9 0 . 2 2 - 1 . Offshore Safety Deposit B o x e s As an alternative to a custodial account, consider a safety deposit box to maintain custody of securities, precious metals or other valuables. T h e main advantage of a safety deposit box is privacy. T h e bank does not know what you keep in the box, although you must agtee not to store dangerous or illegal materials in it. Further, the bank does not exercise authotity over the box. Thus, the rental of a safety deposit box in a foreign hank does not in itself appeal to constitute an account telationship. A U.S. person can make the argument that the box does not constitute a "foreign financial account." To avoid having to personally visit the box each time valuables ate to be added or removed, you may give an attorney or other trusted intermediary a limited power of attorney or other legal authotity necessary to petfotm this function. You can use the combination of an offshore account and a safety deposit box to control assets worth many times the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 teporting thteshold. Fot instance, you could make a series of securities purchases through the bank, then take personal delivery of the securities to place in yout safety deposit box. Ot

have your attorney or othet designated person take delivery. However, the funds to purchase these securities will leave a paper trail, particularly if they have a domestic origin. Materials held in a safety deposit box are not ordinarily insured against theft or other loss. Where this protection is available, the limits ate generally low. Supplemental insurance is available, but will compromise privacy. Contact the bank for details.

Safekeeping Precious Metals Offshore by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, June 1999 Warehouse receipts—documents providing title to a specified quantity of goods —are a convenient and low profile way to own precious metals. I know of two warehouse-receipt programs that provide title to a specified quantity of precious metals held offshore—the Mocatta Delivery Order ( M D O ) and the Perth Mint Certificate Program ( P M C P ) . Warehouse receipts do not generate income nor do they constitute an "account relationship." Therefore, in most countries, including the United States, their ownership does not appear to be a reportable "foreign account." An exception would be Canada, whete assets held offshore in warehouse receipt form appear to be teportable if the aggregate value of all offshote assets exceeds C$100,000. But while watehouse receipts allow you to take assets "off the radar screen," thus making life more difficult fot asset predators and Big Brother, the M D O and PMCP are not anonymous. Neithet is available in bearer form; both must be registered to an individual or individuals, company or trust. M o c a t t a Delivery Orders Mocatta Delivery Orders are warehouse receipts issued by ScotiaMocatta Metals of New York City, providing legal title to a specified quantity of gold, silver or platinum. T h e metals ate stored in the United States or in the Ftee Trade Zone at the Zurich (Switzetland) airport at the warehouse of Mat Securitas, one of Europe's largest ptecious metals vaults. However, transaction records remain 106

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection in New York and are subject to U . S . jurisdiction. To take delivery of the metals, you present your MDO to the custodian. You can purchase MDOs from any ScotiaMocatta-approved dealer. Contact ScotiaMocatta for the list at telephone +1 8 0 0 662 2882 (toll-free in the U . S . and Canada) or +1 212 912 8500. T h e minimum purchase is 10 ounces of gold coins, 20 ounces of platinum coins ot 1,000 ounces of silver bullion. Storage fees are 0.5 percent annually, based on the market value of the metals. T h e cost is U S $ 1 0 0 per certificate. Each M D O lists a serial number for your gold or silver bars or coins and their storage location. Your metals are not mixed with those belonging to anyone else ot with the custodian's assets. They cannot be seized to satisfy creditor claims against the custodian. Such "allocated" or "non-fungible" storage is in contrast to warehouse receipts that provide for "unallocated" storage. Unallocated warehouse receipts are merely a call upon a collective asset pool that may easily be dissipated, and have in the past been associated with various scams, such as the International Gold Bullion Exchange ( I G B E ) scandal of the 1980s. However, the M D O isn't perfect. For starters, the document is preprinted in specific amounts. Therefore, you must make the transaction conform to the document size. T h e largest MDO available is a 400-ounce gold bar, which is worth approximately U S $ 1 0 7 , 0 0 0 . You also can't put metals you already own into a MDO. Doing so would tequire a liquidation of the metals and a subsequent purchase of a MDO. To ensure that all metals it handles ate genuine, ScotiaMocatta buys only from the tefiners and mints that it represents. ScotiaMocatta also has not appointed any approved dealers outside the United

States. Deliveries at MAT Securitas in Switzerland must be coordinated through New York. This can cause needless delays, fees and disclosures. A n Improved W a r e h o u s e Receipt? MDOs have been around for nearly 25 years, according to Glen Kitsch, Executive Vice President of Asset Strategies International, Inc., an MDOapproved dealer. But to deal with some of the shortcomings of this instrument, A S I has developed a warehouse receipt that in some tespects appears to be a major improvement over the M D O — t h e Perth Mint Certificate Program. T h e PMCP can be issued for gold, silver, platinum or palladium under authority of the Western Australian government with storage in Australia at the Perth Mint. T h e cost pet certificate is U S $ 5 0 , and the certificate can be for any quantity of metal. Both allocated and unallocated stotage is available. Allocated storage is slightly more expensive than an MDO. Unallocated storage, however, is free. Kirsch believes that by working with the Perth Mint, the risks of unallocated storage are minimized. T h e PMCP will also be marketed wotldwide, which means there will be approved dealers outside the U.S. To my knowledge, this is the only government-guaranteed program of its kind in the world. Australia, of course, does not have the reputation as a ptivacy haven that Switzerland does. And you may prefer to avoid having the Australian government being a partner to your "private" offshore investments. But the convenience and low maintenance cost of the PMCP make it attractive. For more information on the PMCP, contact Asset Strategies International, Inc., 1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 4 0 0 , Rockville, MD 2 0 8 5 2 - 1 6 3 1 , U S A . Tel.: +1 800 831 0007 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada) or +1 301 881 8600. Fax: +1 301 881 1936. E-mail: [emailprotected]. From a privacy standpoint, one of the disadvantages of both the M D O and the PCMP is that ownetship must be registered. T h e certificates are not issued in bearer form, so that whoever is in possession of the certificate would be able to take delivery of whatever quantity of metals ate noted on it. There are obvious secutity risks to this approach, but no greater than those that exist for existing

bearer stocks and bonds. 107 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection

Offshore Bank Deposit Insurance by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, July 2001 There is no evidence that investing in an offshore financial institution is riskier than a domestic financial institution. You can lose money even in an insured deposit account when account interest is adjusted for inflation/opportunity cost. But in the event of isolated fraud or mismanagement, offshore insurance schemes are comforting. Deposit insurance systems are designed to protect investors against isolated bank failures, not a systemic financial collapse. For instance, in the United States, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Bank Insurance Fund had a balance of U S $ 2 9 . 6 billion at year-end 1999. This sum represents only a little more than 1 petcent of funds on deposit in U . S . credit institutions. T h e need for deposit insurance is a consequence of the fractional reserve banking system. In a 100 percent reserve banking system, there would be little or no need for deposit insurance, because banks could not loan out more money than they had on deposit. Outside the United States, competition has forced banks to develop nationwide branch networks and to divetsify into lines of business forbidden to U . S . banks until very recently. Despite a fractional-reserve banking system, this has resulted in large banks that are relatively secure because they spread their risks among many regions and activities. Examples ate Canada (five major banks with an overwhelming percentage of domestic business) or Switzerland (where competition has left just two major nationwide banks). Foreign deposit insurance systems encourage depositots to monitor the health of theit banks, which the U.S. system does not. Limits are much lower, from one-

half to one-tenth as much, and the insurance may not pay for 100 percent of depositor losses. T h e possibility of suffering losses encourages depositors to entrust their money only to well-managed banks. A handful of banks, mainly in Switzetland, maintain 100 percent reserves. These are the Swiss "private banks," in which owners have unlimited liability up to the amount of each customer's assets. Their numbers have fallen sharply in recent years due to the greatet profits available in rising markets for institutions that levetage their assets, and the reluctance of owners to continue to shoulder unlimited liability. Ireland offers deposit insurance for deposits in Itish Pounds (Euros aftet 2 0 0 2 ) , on the following basis pet depositor: 80 percent of the first £ 5 0 0 0 ( U S $ 5 , 7 0 0 ) , 70 percent of deposits from £ 5 0 0 0 10,000 ( U S $ 5 , 7 0 0 - 1 1 , 3 0 0 ) and 50 percent of deposits from £10,00015,000 ( U S $ 1 1 , 3 0 0 - 1 7 , 0 0 0 ) . There is a deposit insurance fund, premiums for which are paid by banks at the rate of 0.2 percent of monies on deposit. Deposits not eligible for cover include: interbank deposits; certificates of deposit; deposits in respect of which a money laundering offense has been committed; deposits by a company connected to the credit institution ot who had responsibility for or who profited from the failure of the credit institution; deposits by insurance companies; deposits by mutual funds; deposits by pension and retirement funds; debt secutities; and deposits by large companies (as defined undet companies legislation). Austria has offered deposit insurance since 1979. Coverage extends to deposits by non-residents, in any currency, to a maximum of maximum of A T S 200,000 ( U S $ 1 3 , 0 0 0 ) per depositor. There is no deposit insutance "fund"; banks are assessed for premiums on an asneeded basis. Exclusions from coverage are similar to those in effect in Ireland. Luxemboutg has also offered deposit insurance since 1989. Coverage extends to

all deposits, in any cutrency, to a maximum of LF500.000 ( U S $ 1 1 , 1 0 0 ) per depositor. There is no deposit insurance "fund"; banks are assessed for premiums on an as-needed basis based on the percentage of loss 108 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection to be met. Exclusions from coverage are similar to those in effect in Iteland. On the Isle of Man, a Depositors Compensation Scheme provides protection up to 75 percent of the first £ 2 0 , 0 0 0 sterling ( U S $ 2 7 , 6 2 8 ) or its equivalent in other currencies. Banks are assessed a premium of 0.2 percent of funds on deposit. Exemptions from coverage are similar to those in effect in Ireland, except that investments in qualifying mutual funds are covered to £ 4 8 , 0 0 0 (100 percent of the first £ 3 0 , 0 0 0 plus 90 percent of the next £ 2 0 , 0 0 0 ) . Further, insurance policies underwritten by a Manx company are covered without limit, although payment is generally limited to 90 percent. On Gibraltar, deposit protection is in line with the EC Directive on Deposit Guarantee Schemes ( 9 4 1 9 E C ) . T h e scheme covers qualifying deposits in most Eutopean currencies, with qualifying deposits and cutrencies are defined in the Otdinance. Covetage extends to the lesser of 90 percent of the total amount of all the claimant's qualifying deposits or £ 1 8 , 0 0 0 . In Switzerland, banks owned by cantons (the equivalent of states or provinces) are covered by a deposit insurance scheme. Coverage in cantonal banks extends to all deposits to a maximum of Sft30,000 ( U S $ 1 7 , 3 0 0 ) . A dodgy bank won't be magically converted into a legitimate one just because it is supposedly "guaranteed" by deposit insutance. T h e recent collapse of the First International Bank of Grenada ( F I B G ) is an example. FIBG guaranteed its customers returns of 30 percent or more annually in "prime bank instruments" and othet questionable investments. To assure depositors that their investments were safe, F I B G claimed that a ptivate company called International Deposit Insurance Corporation backed deposits. However, IDIC never made good on its depositor guarantees and is now the

subject of extensive litigation. While thete is no reason that a ptivate company could not provide deposit insurance, in FIBG's case, the promised guarantees simply didn't exist. As always, caveat emptor.

There Are Ways by Robert E. Bauman, JD & David Melnik, QC, The Offshore Money Manual, 1998 International W i r e Transfers American banks are nototiously inept at handling international cash transfers. You need a reputable professional to handle the process if you want it done cotrectly. We recommend Michael Checkan and Glen O. Kirsch of Asset Strategies International (see page for contact information). They provide wire transfer services to almost evety country in the wotld. Simply telephone A S I and they will confirm the currency exchange rate and ttansaction costs involved with the transfer. Once these rates are established, you order your bank to wire money directly to A S I . (Grand Bank, Rockville, MD, A B A # 0 5 5 - 0 0 1 - 7 1 1 , c/o Asset Strategies International, account numbet 10-077-85, F B O , client name.) Upon teceipt, A S I converts the dollat amount into the foreign currency at the guaranteed quoted rate. They will wire payment in whatever currency you choose, directly to your offshore account. No foreign wire transaction appears in your bank records, only the domestic wite transfer to ASI's bank account. A S I charges 1.5 percent for transfers up to U S $ 9 , 9 9 9 . 9 9 , one percent for amounts between U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 and U S $ 4 9 , 9 9 9 . 9 9 , and 0.5 percent for amounts over U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e A S I procedure has the advantage of locking in the currency exchange rate. Otherwise, your offshore bank decides the rate when the wire arrives. An important note: call A S I before wiring funds so they know it's on the way. This will reduce confusion immensely. U.S. Treasury rules now require banks and currency brokers to keep tecords of

all domestic and international wire transfers exceeding U S $ 3 , 0 0 0 or more. In addition, transfers over U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 must be officially reported. These records must show the exact amount and date of the transaction. 109 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Also required are instructions, name, address, social security and employer's identification number (EIN). This information must be made available to government agents who present judicially-approved subpoenas or search warrants. Although these records will exist, you may find it more private to have a transfer record with A S I or another exchange broker, than to have it tecorded at your own bank. Portable P r i v a c y U . S . law says you must also report the movement of ptecious metals actoss holders if valued at U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 ot more. But this is not the only difficulty in many such assets ovetseas. Obviously, large quantities of gold and othet metals ate cumbersome, making them difficult to ttansport physically. "Gold certificates" offer an alternative way to transfer such assets out of the country privately. T h e two best precious metals certificate programs available in North America are the ScotiaMocatta Delivery Order ( S M D O ) and the Perth Mint Certificate Program ( P M C P ) . Both programs are similar but there are some differences in minimum amounts, fees and flexibility. Both programs issue a certificate in the purchaser's name, or the name of a designated existing legal entity. T h e certificate serves as legal evidence of ownership of a certain number of coins or bars of precious metals. These metals are stated in locations in different parts of the world. T h e security and safety of the actual metals is fully insured by Lloyds of London and other underwriters.

If you really want to see your precious metals, you can arrange an appointment to visit the vaults. A lost certificate can be replaced, unlike a bearer instrument. T h e precious metals cettificates include legal powets that easily entitle you to sell, assign or col-lateralize the identified metal. They also provide the protection of "non-negotiability." Since ptecious metals certificates are non-negotiable, undet laws they ate not considered cash or cash equivalent. Therefore, you are not required to report the purchase or transfer of precious metals certificates. T h e minimum order for a PMCP is U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 . T h e S M D O can be purchased for as little as the cost of 10 one ounce gold coins. In general, the PMCP is less expensive than the S M D O . T h e PMCP is also mote flexible for delivery and storage in other parts of the world. Each certificate program offers coins and bars in gold, silver and platinum. In addition, the PMCP offets coins in palladium. There is storage available primarily at the Perth Mint in Perth, Austtalia for the PMCP, and at Mats Securitas in Zurich, Switzerland for S M D O . For more information about precious metals certificate, contact Michael Checkan, Rich Checkan or Glen Kirsch at Asset Strategies International, Inc. at the numbers above. Reporting Foreign B a n k A c c o u n t s So you have gotten yout assets offshote. Now what? Do you have to tell the government that you have opened an offshore account? T h e law says: Each United States person who has a financial interest in, or signature authority over bank, securities, or other financial accounts in a foreign country which exceeds U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 in aggregate value, must tepott the relationship each calendar year by filing Treasury Department Fotm 90-22.1 before June 30 of the succeeding year. There's a line on your annual income tax Form 1040 where that notice must be filed. T h e U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 account limit includes the total value of cash, CDs and negotiable securities held in your name in any offshore bank accounts. It excludes foreign investments held sepatately from the bank account itself. So long as the foreign bank account does not exceed U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 at any point in

time during the taxable year, no IRS report is required. There's no prohibition in the Bank Secrecy Act against the sort of "structuring" outlawed by the AntiMoney Laundering A c t of 1986. Consequently, you can have a number of offshore accounts in your name. As long as each stays under the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 limit, you have no responsibility to report them. Keeping each account below the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 limit might appear relatively easy at first glance, 110 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection until you consider the disturbing influence of exchange rates. Cutrency exchange rates change daily, and occasionally swing drastically. Such shifts might push your account balance above the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 limit. T h e law says you must make your calculations based on the official rates for each currency as determined by the Fedetal Reserve Bank of New York. Naturally, these figures are published only once annually at year's end. By then it may be too late to make downward adjustments in your balance. T h e solution is simple enough; keep your account balance well below the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 limit. This will provide a buffer against interest income and currency appreciation. It will tequire you to set up more accounts, but in the end you will come out ahead. Part Two—The Law, Privacy and Asset Protection

The End of Ordinary Money by J. Orlin Grabbe, The Cyberpayments Revolution, 1999 Here you learn the extent to which government has destroyed almost all financial privacy; how computets and bureaucrats track your every banking move; how the war on drugs and tettorism has become carte blanche for government snoops to spy on you. It was btight lights and balmy action. Thomas Constantine, the head of the U . S

. Drug Enforcement Administration ( D E A ) , claimed we've entered a "new world order of law enforcement." He meant the cooperation of British, Italian, and Spanish authorities in setting up a fake bank in Anguilla, in the Caribbean. It was a sting to ttap money launderers. Like all pirate otganizations, the group calculated success by the amount of booty seized. And this cleverly code-named "Operation Dinero" added U S $ 5 2 million, nine tons of cocaine, and a number of paintings (including works by Reynolds, Reuben, and Picasso) to official coffers. There were also 88 arrests. In many ways it was a gteat scam in classic DEA style: government officials got to keep the goods, while taxpayers got to pay for the incatceration of up to 88 people. T h e British Foreign Office—those wacky guys who, you will recall, conveniently released a bar-rage of information about Nazis in Argentina at the outbreak of the Falklands (Malvinas) war, and who also helped coordinate Operation Dinero—have since made a propaganda video about this official foray into fraudulent banking. Among others it stars Tony Baldry, junior minister. Be prepared for more of the same. T h e nine tons of co*ke should enable the British Foteign Office and the nosy DEA to burn the midnight oil for months to come, planning other booty-gathering raids and video thrillers. After all, the European Organization fot Economic Cooperation and Development's Financial Action Task Fotce (FATF) tepott of 1990 encouraged international banking stings like this one. But it isn't just the pseudo-bankers you should worry about. T h e B a n k e r a s Snitch: the B r a v e N e w W o r l d o f L a w E n f o r c e m e n t One of the ptecepts of the Chutch of the Subgenius is: You will pay to know what you really think. But in the world of money laundering, you will pay your thankless banker to turn you in to the government. In 1993 a Federal judge in Providence, Rhode Island, issued the longest sentence ever given for a nonviolent legal offense: he sentenced a man to 600 years in prison for money laundering. T h e individual was fingered by his Rhode Island bankers, who then cooperated with federal agents in building a case against him, even while the same bankers received fees for banking services. American Express was recently fined U S $ 7 million fot failing to detect money laundering, and agreed to forfeit to the U . S . Justice Department anothet U S $ 7 million. As patt of the settlement, the bank will spend a furthet U S $ 3 million in employee education, teaching them recommended 111

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection procedures for spying on customer ttansactions. In a hook about banker Edmond Safra, author Bryan Burrough notes: "To ttuly defeat money laundetets, banks must know not only their own customers—by no means an easy task—but their customets' customers, and in many cases their customets' customers' customers." And then, as part of an argument dealing Safra's Republic National Bank of money laundeting charges, Burrough recounts how he visited the office of the Financial Ctimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and talked with one of its top officials. T h e official said that, on the conttary, Republic had made "some solid suggestions about new ways the government could ttack dirty money." Most have still not gotten the message that their banker is a spy. They are still stuck in yester-day's world, where legislation like the Right to Financial Privacy A c t of 1978 allowed banks, on the one hand, to monitor their own records and inform the government when thete wete suspicious transactions in an account. On the other hand, the bank was prohibited from identifying either the account number or the account's owner. But the Privacy A c t was effectively gutted by the Annunzio-Wylie Anti-Money Laundering Act of 1992, which gives protection from civil liability to any financial institution, ditector, officer or employee who makes a suspicious transaction teport under any federal, state or local law. T h e lattet act essentially implies banks can teveal to the government any information they want to about their customers, without fear of prosecution. M o n e y L a u n d e r i n g — W h a t I s I t , A n y w a y ? There's a specter haunting the international financial markets: the spectet of crime by nomen-clature, by theological semantics. To be sure, the faceless piece of transaction information that makes money "money"—a useful medium of exchange, whereby we exchange everything for it, and avoid the direct barteting of wheelbarrows for oranges—has been under attack before. T h e 1960s brought us "euto"-dollars, and the 1970s "petro"-dollars. Now we have "narco"-dollars, "terror"-dollars, and (who knows?) maybe "kiddie-p*rn"dollars. For some of the data bits stoted in banks' computers comprise "clean" money and others "dirty" money, the latter legalistical-ly smitten with original

sin. Since the governmental powets that be can't do much about drug-dealing or terrorism—if only because they themselves are the chief dtug dealers and the chief terrorists—they have transferred these and other (often alleged) sins to the money supply. And since every dollar is a potential "narco" dollar or "terror" dollar, they must track each one as best they can. T h e fact that monetary monitoring has done nothing to diminish either drug-dealing or terrorism is treated of no importance, because it's all part of a larger game. All the players can easily see that this same financial tracking yields political side benefits in the form of social control and government revenue enhancement. Anyone who has studied the evolution of money laundering statutes in the United States and elsewhere will realize that the "crime" of money laundering boils down to a single, basic prohibited act: Doing something and not telling the government about it. But since the real Big-Brothetly motive is a Thing That Cannot Be Named, the laws are bogged down in prolix circumlocution, forming a hodge-podge of lawyers' fingers inserted here and there into the financial channels of the monetary system. U.S. legislation includes the Bank Secrecy A c t of 1970, the Comptehensive Crime Control A c t of 1984, the Money Laundering Control A c t of 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse A c t of 1988, the Annunzio-Wylie Anti-Money Laundering Act of 1992, and the Money Laundering Suppression A c t of 1994-International efforts include the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988; the Basle Committee on Banking Regulations and Supetvisoty Practices Statement of Ptinciples of December 1988; the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Report of April, 1990 (with its 40 recommendations for action); the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of Ptoceeds of Crime of September 8, 1990; the 61 tecommendations of the Catibbean Drug Money Laundering Conference of June, 1990; the agreement on EC legislation by the European Community's Ministets fot Economy and 112 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Finance of December 17, 1990; the Otganization of American States Model Regulations on Crimes Related to Laundering of Property and Proceeds Related to Drug Trafficking of March 1992; and a tangled bouillabaisse of Mutual Legal

Assistance Treaties (MLATs). "Most economically motivated criminals always have wanted to appear legitimate," says attorney Kirk Munroe. "What is new is the criminalization of money laundering. T h e process itself now is a crime separate from the crime that produced the money." Money laundering is said to be the "process by which one conceals the existence, illegal source, or illegal application of income, and then disguises that income to make it appeat legitimate" (emphasis added). Notice the word "existence." T h e sentence could be construed to mean that simply disguising the existence of income is money laundering. But whatever money laundeting is, in practice U.S. law purports to detect it thtough the mandatory reporting of cash transactions gteater than or equal to a threshold amount of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . For countries in Europe the figure ranges from ECU7.200 to 16,000. In the United States, Section 5313 of the Banking Secrecy Act ( B S A ) requires a Currency Transaction Report ( C T R ) of cash deposits ot ttansactions of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 and above, which is IRS Form 4789, and a Currency Transaction Report by Casinos ( C T R C ) , which is IRS Fotm 8362. Section 5316 of B S A also requires a Currency or Monetary Instrument Report ( C M I R ) for transport of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or more of currency in or out of the United States. This is Customs Fotm 4790. Section 5314(a) of B S A requires reporting of foreign bank or financial accounts whose value exceeds U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 at any time during the preceding year. This is called a Foreign Bank Account Report ( F B A R ) and is Treasury Form T D R 9 0 - 2 2 - 1 . Section 60501 of the IRS Code requires the reporting of business transactions involving mote than U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 cash. These are reported on IRS Form 8300. Suppose you need a criminal lawyer. T h e lawyer charges a modest U S $ 2 0 0 an hour, so the first month you pay him U S $ 7 , 0 0 0 in cash. T h e next month you pay him U S $ 4 , 0 0 0 in cash. Under current U . S . law, the lawyer is required to report complete information about you, including the U S $ 1 1 , 0 0 0 total cash payment, on IRS Form 8 3 0 0 , and ship it off to the IRS Computing Centet in Detroit, Michigan, within 15 days of receiving the second payment

(which put the total above the reporting threshold). Never mind if eithet you or your lawyer thinks filing such a form violates attorney-client privilege, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, or the Fifth Amendment right to be free from selfincrimination. For if the report is not made, and the IRS finds out about it and penalizes and/or prosecutes your lawyer, the courts will most probably back up the IRS. T h e scope and arrogance of the money laundering statutes knows no bounds. T h e Kerry Amendment to the Anti-Drug Abuse A c t of 1988 demands that foreign nations must also require financial institutions to report deposits of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or greater, and to make this infotmation available to U . S . law enforcement. Otherwise, the President is directed to impose sanctions against non-cooperative countries. Having extended the concept of evil to a vaguely defined practice called "money laundering," and having put in a detection system to help trace it, the laws have proceeded to make evasion of the monitoring system evil also. This tertiary evil may be found in the ptactice of "smurfing" or "structuring," which is basically any method of spreading cash among accounts or across time to avoid the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 reporting threshold. Structuring is defined in a 1991 amendment to the Bank Secrecy A c t thusly: Sttucture (structuring)... a person structures a transaction if that person, acting alone, or in conjunction with, or on behalf of othet persons, conducts or attempts to conduct one or more transactions in currency in any amount, at one ot more financial institutions, on one ot more days in any manner, for the purpose of evading the reporting requirements... 'In any mannet' includes, but is not limited to, the breaking down of a single sum of currency exceeding U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 into smaller sums, including sums at ot below U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , ot the conduct of a ttansaction ot seties of transactions, including transactions at ot below U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e transaction or ttansactions need 113 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection not exceed the U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 reporting threshold at any single financial

institution on any single day in order to constitute structuring within the meaning of this definition. And what does the government do with the information it collects? When your lawyer's Form 8300 reaches the IRS Computing Centet in Detroit, it will be entered into the Treasury Financial Data Base ( T F D B ) . Similarly, if you cross a U . S . border with more than U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 cash, you will fill out Customs Form 4 7 9 0 . This form will be sent off to customs' San Diego Data Center, and it too will eventually show up in T F D B . These and other fotms will now be available on-line in the Treasury Enforcement Communications System ( T E C S II). T h e T F D B data will also be ptocessed through the FinCEN Artificial Intelligence ( A I ) System, which is trained to identify suspicious ttansaction patterns. So, when you deal in cash, expect to give a note to the government, a ctumb to the friendly FinCEN AI. But AI has a voracious appetite, so the teporting doesn't stop with cash. T h e heatt of any modern monetary system is the digital transfer of electronic money through the telecommunication links among bank computers. Internationally, banks ate connected by a computer messaging system operated by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ( S W I F T ) . Domestically, banks within a country use equivalents of the U . S . clearing systems opetated by the Federal Resetve (Fedwire) and the Clearing House Interbank Payments System ( C H I P S ) . A Federal Reserve Policy Statement of December 23, 1992, asks financial institutions to include (if possible) complete information on the sender and recipient of large payment orders sent through Fedwire, CHIPS and SWIFT. "Historically, law enforcement efforts to curtail money laundering activities have focused on the identification and documentation of currency-based transactions; however, recent investigations have focused on the use of funds transfer systems," the statement notes. T h e focus on funds transfer brings in the resources of the U . S . National Secutity Agency ( N S A ) . T h e N S A has been monitoring civilian communications ever since it installed IBM computers at Menwith Hill in the U.K. in the early 1960s to keep ttack of international telex messages. N S A tentacles are now ensconced not only in transatlantic communications, but also in Pacific satellite ttansmissions, the regional Bell System telephone offices,

the S W I F T messaging system, the CHIPS clearing computets in Manhattan, and Fedwire. In addition, a satellite surveillance system picks up high frequency transmissions of specially constructed computer chips which are activated by certain types of ttansactions-oriented financial software. U . S . agencies ate not alone in financial monitoting. As a trivial additional example, the Council of Europe has recommended Interpol be given access to S W I F T to assist in moneylaundering detection. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1 9 7 0 Banking in Silence, 1998 T h e official name for this U . S . statute is the "Financial Record Keeping, Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act." How exactly it became known widely as the Bank Secrecy A c t is a mystery. It is a prime example of what is meant by "newspeak," where a government says one thing while doing the exact opposite. This act has absolutely nothing to do with bank secrecy. In fact, it explicitly sets out to provide the U.S. government easy access to all American bank records. Of course, the pretty name undoubtedly conttibuted to the lack of resistance Big Brother experienced in passing the legislation. T h e Bank Secrecy Act formed the first volley in the war on financial privacy. It called for the monitoring of financial affairs in three specific areas: 1. T h e dreaded Currency Transaction Report ( C T R ) , or form 4789, was brought into existence. This form must be filed with the IRS by all banks and financial institutions for each deposit, 114 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection withdrawal or exchange of currency or othet monetary instruments in excess of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 .

2. Customs form 4 7 9 0 was born. This form must be filled out whenever in excess of U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 (later raised to U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 ) in cash, negotiable securities or certain monetary instruments are carried across U . S . borders. This applies both when entering and leaving the country. 3. Any individual American who either owns or controls a financial account outside of the U . S . must inform the IRS of the existence of this account. If the total amount of funds owned or controlled offshore exceeds U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , form 9 0 - 2 2 . 1 , which forces one to provide explicit detail as to the nature and location of such accounts, must also be filed. These provisions marked the beginning of the end of banking privacy. As far as the government is concerned, your relationship with your bank is as much its business as yours. T h e effect of the law has been absolutely crippling on U . S . banks. They are now required to maintain detailed tecotds of almost every transaction, including copies of all deposit slips and copies of the front and back of all checks drawn for over U S $ 1 0 0 . Most banks routinely microfilm all of the checks that you write. In addition, banks are required to keep permanent records of all loans issued for over U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 , with the exception of loans on property. Your bank is also required to keep your social security numbet on file. If you fail to provide this number within 45 days of opening an account, your name, address and account number will be put on a special list that will in turn be given to the Treasury Department. In short, Big Brothet wants to know exactly how much you have in the bank. This act has assured him easy access to not only this information, but to detailed figures for virtually all of your banking activities as each of your accounts is now permanently linked to your taxpayer identification number To make mattets worse, the legislation goes on to accomplish a whole lot more than just turning your bank into a government spy. Almost any institution that you do business with has been enlisted by the government as an unpaid and, in many cases, unwilling accomplice. Any and all businesses considered to be "financial institutions" must also comply with the above reporting requirements. What exactly is a financial institution? As would be expected, Big Brother uses a fairly loose definition, meaning that all of the following suffice:

• All secutities brokers and dealers • Investment companies • Currency exchange houses • Anyone who sells cashier's checks, traveler's checks or money orders • Anyone who operates a credit card system • All accountants and attorneys • T h e U.S. Post Office • All automobile, aircraft and boat dealers, as well as property dealers and settlement agents • And just fot good measure, any other institution that the government detetmines either constitutes a financial institution, or from which such reports would provide "a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax or regulatory matters." [Ed. Note: T h e U S A P A T R I O T A c t became law in October 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City and on T h e Pentagon in Washington, D.C. This law mandated the issuance of a seties of regulations governing all of the categories of "financial institutions" named above, as well as others. Most of these new rules are now in effect.] In shott, anyone that Big Btother would like to squeeze information from could easily fall within the parameters of this very loosely worded legislation. With the passage of this single act, the 115 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection U.S. government successfully ctacked open the financial practices of everyone who lives in or does business in the U . S . Is T h i s Constitutional?

Although the bulk of the populace accepted the ridiculous provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act with little hesitation, a few saw through the political thetoric and questioned its legality. T h e matter soon made its way to the Supreme Court, but in each case the court sided with the government. This really should come as little surprise when one considers who writes the large paychecks received by each of the judges involved. After all, if government revenue were to suddenly take a nose dive, many of those in the employ of government would soon have to start looking for work, perhaps even legitimate work. The Bank Secrecy Act was first challenged in the case of California Bankers Association v. Schultz. Schultz had brought legal action against his bank because it had turned over his records to the federal government. He claimed that in doing so, both his Fifth Amendment fights, that which protects one from compulsory selfincrimination, and his Fourth Amendment rights, that which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, had been violated. T h e courts failed to agtee, saying that the records belonged to the bank, not the customer. In other words, as the records were the property of the bank, the tights of its customet cannot be used to prevent the release of such information. T h e opinion was not unanimous, however. Justice William O. Douglas lodged a dissent which stated the various problems he saw with the act. It reads in part: "It is, I submit, sheer nonsense to agree with the Secretary [of the Treasury] that all bank records of every citizen "have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings." That is unadulterated nonsense unless we are to assume that every citizen is a crook, an assumption I cannot make." Since the banking transactions of an individual give a fairly accurate account of his religion, ideology, opinions and interests, a regulation impounding them and making them automatically available to all federal investigative agencies is a sledge-hammer approach to a problem that only a delicate scalpel can manage. Bank accounts at times hatbor criminal plans. But we only rush with the crowd when we vent on our banks and their customers the devastating and leveling requirements of the current act. I am not yet ready to agree that America is so possessed with evil that we must level all constitutional barriers to give our civil

authorities the tools to catch criminals. Justice Douglas goes on to compare the requirements of the act with those that would require book stotes to keep tabs on the books purchased by customets or the phone company to keep recordings of all calls made. Although I admire his opinion, I only hope that he has not given the bureaucrats yet more ideas on how to limit our freedom. T h e second case to examine this act again succeeded in narrowing the basic rights enjoyed by U . S . citizens. In U . S . v. Miller, the court found that bank customers have no legal right to prevent the release of financial information held by third parties. T h e court also found that Miller, or any other depositot for that matter, does not even have standing to bring such matters before the coutt. T h e court claimed that if anything, it is the bank that should protest against the release of such records. Yet, in Schultz the court had previously found that the bank could not invoke the fights of its clients. In short, the court had successfully closed off all possible avenues to prevent the release of such information. This is particularly alarming as such records would not even have existed in the fitst place had the government not forced banks to start maintaining them. T h e death blow came in the case of Payner v. U.S. This case came to light because the IRS used illegal means to gather evidence. After disttacting a Bahamian bank customer (a female agent invited him to dinnet), the I R S broke into his hotel room and stole his briefcase. In the briefcase evidence was found that was later used to convict Payner of tax evasion. Did the court have a ptoblem with such subversive tactics? No. In the eyes of the court it was 116 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection all perfectly legal. If nothing else, this case clearly shows that Big Brother will stop at nothing to get his hands on your money. He makes the rules and then

expects you to follow them. Whether or not he complies is an entirely different issue.

Government Money Madness by Robert E. Bauman, The Sovereign Society Offshore A-Letter, February 2003 Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2 0 0 1 , the U S A P A T R I O T Act, was rushed through the U . S . Congress sight unseen by most members. T h e 342-page law gave the FBI and police many new powers, including the unchecked ability to conduct Internet surveillance without a court order and secretly to search homes and offices without notifying the owner. Tacked on to this law in the anti-terror frenzy were numerous new powers over domestic and offshore financial activity, based on alleged massive offshore terror financial activity that to this day never has been proven. T h e sleeper in the law was an expansive definition of "financial institutions." In recent months stock brokers, hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance brokers, financial advisors and other financial activities have suddenly been confronted with rules making all of them government money spies. Now the federal rule makers have issued preliminary regulations for travel agencies, auto dealers and precious metals dealers and refiners, jewelry manufacturers, loose gemstone merchants and retail stores that also act as a dealer in such items. It is estimated that U S $ 8 5 6 . 6 billion was laundered worldwide in 2002. T h e total will grow at an annual rate of 2.7% to reach U S $ 9 2 6 . 6 billion by 2006. Large institutions will spend a total of U S $ 8 4 5 million and mid-tier firms a total of U S $ 2 . 2 billion on anti-ML programs up to 2005. Small sized financial institutions will spend an aggregate of U S $ 7 . 9 billion. You pay the bill for all this in increased fees. Yet terrorist groups account for only one quarter of 1 % of all money laundering activity. Where will this government madness end? The Money Laundering Control Act of 1 9 8 6

Banking in Silence, 1 9 9 8 In 1985 and 1986, it came to light that, in spite of the government's many and varied efforts, a latge number of banks and financial institutions were simply ignoring the restrictive tequirements of the Bank Secrecy A c t and its accompanying legislation. Many individuals felt that the government really had no right to such information and proceeded according to their own beliefs rather than those of the bureaucratic system. Undetstandably, this practice caused a great deal of embarrassment fot the federal government and inevitably led to a ctackdown. Banks were forced into compliance through the use of several highly publicized and large fines. The Bank of Boston was the first to fall, fined U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 . This was quickly followed by fines against Seafirst Bank for U S $ 6 9 7 , 0 0 0 , the Bank of New England for U S $ 1 . 2 million, Crocker National Bank for U S $ 2 . 2 5 million and the Bank of America for U S $ 4 . 7 5 million. Banks across the country took notice; no longer was this myriad of regulations a matter to be taken lightly. T h e government's ptecious forms started to roll in and Big Brothet found himself buried in an avalanche of paperwork. Next came another decisive blow against financial privacy with the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986. This single act is responsible for the loss of more American liberties than any other 117 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection piece of legislation. Again, to keep the public from realizing what was really going on behind the scenes, the actual provisions of the act were encoded in pretty language and political rhetoric. T h e fact of the matter is that the act set about dismantling the basic rights of Ameticans in three separate ways: 1. Money laundering was made into a federal crime for the fitst time anywhete in the world. 2. It became a federal crime to engage in any transaction involving the proceeds of any "specified unlawful activity."

3. Structuting transactions so as to avoid any federal reporting tequirements was made illegal. T h e fines and penalties for violations of this act are some of the harshest possible in all U . S . legislation. Money laundering, an activity that was perfectly legal in the U.S. until 1986, has been put on a par with murder, espionage and racketeering. T h e fines and jail terms handed down are often more severe than those given to tapists. Fines can be levied for up to U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 or twice the value of the transactions involved. Furthermore, the law provides Big Brother with powers to seize any property involved in ot even related to an illegal transaction. If convicted of money laundering conspiracy, fines can reach up to U S $ 2 5 million and can include forfeiture of all assets, not just those criminally derived. Often a money laundering conviction is linked with a charge under the Racketeet Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ( R I C O ) Act, which permits the federal government to seize all monies "laundered" as well as all assets derived through these funds. In addition, a fine of up to three times the amount laundered is permissible. For example, in 1988 when Lee Chan-Hong, an investor who went by the name of Fred Lee, was convicted of insidet trading, he was fined a total of U S $ 7 7 . 6 million, four times the U S $ 1 9 . 4 million he supposedly made from his specified illegal activity. W h a t I s M o n e y Laundering? T h e term "money laundering" is certainly not lacking in connotations. It brings to mind images of suitcases stuffed with cash carried by men wearing pin-striped suits who speak in raspy whispers. In the eyes of the public, money laundering is one and the same with drug smuggling and violent crime. T h e government and the mainstream media foster this image. T h e truth is far less exciting, as money laundering is one of the most boting crimes on record. The actual legal definition of money laundering is found in Section 1956 of the

Money Laundering Control Act. It states that it is illegal to make any transaction with the ptoceeds of specified unlawful activity: A. with the intent to ptomote that activity; or B. knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part— (i) to conceal or disguise the natute, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; ot (ii) to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law. What falls within the bounds of specified illegal activity? Of course tax evasion appears at the top of the list. Simply depositing or using money on which taxes have not been paid is now legally defined as money laundering. Opening a foreign bank account and establishing a small nest egg offshore without notifying the government of yout activities can now be classified as money laundering. Prosecutions for money laundering are soaring and often lead to confiscations of all funds concerned. Prison terms of up to 20 years are frequently issued. Not to mention the fact that a conviction of money laundering all but ruins the reputation of the individual involved. Such tactics are clearly primarily intended to succeed in routing yet more money in the direction of the government. They are akin to a 100 percent tax on those individuals smart enough to realize that governments are not to be trusted. T h e moral of the story? Do not be surprised if what 118 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection originally appeated to he a simple tax investigation by the IRS turns into a money laundeting conviction. More alarming, the government does not stop there and goes on to define a host of other specified unlawful activities; at last count more than 150 such activities appear on the growing list. Have you ever heard of the Emergency Economic Powers A c t of 1977 or the Trading With the Enemy A c t of 1977? Violating

eithet of these acts could land you in jail for money laundering. Recently, even violations of environmental laws have been added to the list. In short, it seems that almost any activity that involves money and financial transactions, or in other words just about any business activity, could be linked to a money laundeting charge. As a money laundering conviction tends to be easiet to achieve and also manages to bring much larger sums into the government kitty, it is really no wonder that the list of prohibited activities just keeps on growing. Furthetmore, you need not even ditectly patticipate in any of these activities to take the fall. Merely doing business with or accepting cash or other monetary instruments from the public could also set you up for a conviction of money laundering. According to Section 1957 of the Money Laundering Control Act, it is illegal for a merchant to accept funds that he suspects have been derived from any of the growing list of specified unlawful activities. [Ed. Note: It is estimated that thete are now over 2 0 0 federal statutes, and many more state laws, that allow forfeitute of cash or property associated with prohibited criminal activities. T h e trend is to add on "money laundering" criminal charges against petsons engaged in all ctimes if evidence shows cash dealings as patt of the criminal activity.] If you would like an indication of the level of commitment expected from you in Big Brother's war, consider the comments of then Florida Congressman Bill McCollum (R-Fla.): T h e corner grocer in a community is aware of the reputation of the local dtug trafficker. That petson comes to the store and buys five pounds of hamburger. T h e grocer has to know that he is coming in to buy groceries with what is indeed the money detived ftom a particular designated ctime. I don't have any problem whatsoevet holding the grocer accountable for money laundering. Apparently Congressman McCollum had never heard of the idea of the right to a fair trial, or for that matter of the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Instead, he wanted the public to act as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. Businessmen and bankers have been instructed to discriminate against anyone who even appears to be guilty of a crime. If Congressman McCollum has his way, anyone unfortunate enough to be labeled as a criminal, whether correctly or not, will basically be sentenced to death without a trial. If no one is willing to do

business with this individual or even sell food to him, he will be left with no alternative but to become destitute and homeless. This is not such an unlikely scenario, as anyone not willing to participate in Big Brothel's campaign risks forfeitute of his assets as well as up to 10 years in prison. Even more damaging is that the merchant need not even be awate that the activities of which the person is suspected of committing are criminal. According to Section 1957, the government need not prove that "the defendant knew that the offense from which the criminally derived property was derived was a specified unlawful activity." As already mentioned, this growing list contains many activities that most individuals would never even imagine could be linked with a money laundering conviction. Should every corner grocer in the U . S . consult a competent attorney on a weekly basis so that he can find out which customers he is allowed to sell hamburger to and which ones he must turn away? If he wishes to stay entirely inside the law, this is his only option. Even criminal lawyers almost automatically risk enteting into a ctiminal conspiracy just by agreeing to represent a client. Undet common law, one must both have knowledge of an illegal activity and the intent to encourage it to be convicted of criminal conspiracy. Under Section 1957, neithet is requited, as one can be convicted of conspitacy for merely not taking a person's reputation into account before doing business with him. If an attorney even suspects that his client is guilty, he may well go to jail for merely representing him.

119 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Placed under such restrictions, many attorneys will choose not to represent individuals solely because they are known to have a bad teputation. In other words, Congress has yet again succeeded in turning over a basic civil liberty, that of the right to legal representation as promised by the Sixth Amendment. About the only saving grace is that Section 1957 only applies to amounts in excess of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . However, related transactions ovet a 12-month period that exceed U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 are also enforceable. Be warned: many in Congress would like to further restrict American liberties and reduce the limit to

only U S $ 3 , 0 0 0 . W h a t I s Structuring? T h e new crime of structuring was brought into existence by the Money Laundeting Control Act. It came to the attention of the government that many individuals intetested in laundering large amounts of money simply changed tactics to citcumvent reporting requirements. They developed a process that became known as "smurfing." This procedure simply involved large number of couriers, known as "smurfs," making several deposits a day at various locations. Each smurf would deposit an amount just below U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , meaning that in the end no C T R s would need to be filed. Over a relatively short period of time, very large amounts of cash could make their way into the banking system. T h e Money Laundering Control Act btought an end to all of this. Transactions structured in such a way were made illegal. However, like most of the legislation introduced to curb money laundering and to snare drug traffickers, the act has failed miserably. Once smurfing became illegal, professional criminals changed their tactics again. .Instead of using banks, today's launderers feed dirty money into the system through other financial operators, such as money exchanges, money transmittets and check cashing services. In reality, the new legislation has only really succeeded in stealing the assets of innocent individuals. Fot the most patt, those prosecuted for sttucturing first heat of the crime's existence when they ate arrested. According to a 1991 Treasury Department analysis, over 75 percent of assets seized as a result of the antistructuting laws were originally the property of individuals not involved in any illegal activities. In the modern over-legislated world, the question of guilt or innocence increasingly seems to be a thing of the past. T h e majot problem with anti-structuring laws is that no underlying illegal intent need be proven by the government. Merely depositing U S $ 9 , 0 0 0 in cash into an account on two consecutive days is now a ctime. T h e penalties for such infractions are severe. T h e funds involved almost automatically become the property of the government. Criminal violations may well bting an additional fine of U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 as well as a five-year stint in jail. Civil penalties for "willful" violation are a bit less severe, but still claim either U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 ot the full amount of the funds involved, whichever is greater. You can be convicted of willfully violating the law even if you are unaware of its existence.

Finally, if you are convicted of structuring in conjunction with a violation of any other law, the fine can escalate to a cool half a million as well as 10 years in jail. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN July 1994 Because you have lots of money, you are automatically guilty until proven innocent. That, at least, seems to be the view of FinCEN, the Financial Ctimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, a quasi-secretive federal sleuthing operation whose brief is to unearth money secrets. T h e U.S. government is lining up the computer big guns ostensibly to defeat drug barons and criminals but, in teality, frightening links are being developed between the data systems of the IRS, 120 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection the FBI, the Secret Setvice, similar policing groups and FinCEN. T h e following scenario is an example of the capacity to delve into an individual's past. A dtugs dealer is found by police with the wotd "John" and a phone number scribbled on a piece of paper but no other evidence of the suspected dtugs supplier. T h e local police turned to FinCEN. When FinCEN received the request, the digital hunt was on. First, the telephone numbet was checked against listed businesses, and was quickly found to belong to a restaurant. Next, the computer operatot entered the Currency and Banking Database of the IRS to check currency transaction reports, which note all transactions of more than U S $ 10,000. Within the database, the opetator requested a list of "suspicious" requests made by banks and other institutions. It came up with a numbet of suspect deposits in the area of the testaurant's ZIP code. T h e suspicious requests were made because a series of U S $ 9 , 5 0 0 deposits, just below the official reportable threshold had been made. They wete

made by someone whose first name was John. Through one of those suspicious Currency Transaction Reports, the computet opetator was able to ask for personal details on the depositor and the machine came up with data including a full name, social security number, date of birth, home address, driver's license number and bank account numbets. W h e n the IRS computer was accessed again, it came up with more suspicious and nonsuspicious reports on John, who listed his occupation as being involved in a testautant with a telephone number identical to that found originally. Turning to commercial and government databases, John's restaurant was discovered to have a substantially smaller income than that being deposited on its behalf. Crosschecks found other suspect ttansactions by John's other businesses. Within an hour of the first police inquiry, FinCEN had enough evidence to make a case against John on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. Since its inception in 1990, undet the auspices of the Treasury Department, FinCEN has become one of the wotld's most effective financial crime investigation units. Its 1993 tally of cases being probed totaled 4 0 , 0 0 0 , plus longer-tetm reports on 16,000 other individuals or organizations. Although its major successes have been in the field of drugs and money laundering, what is worrying civil liberties activists is FinCEN's close links with the C I A and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which enable it to act with immense power and breadth of operation. T h e consummate ease with which computer boffins can tap into linked databases can mean the world is an oyster ripe for opening—or a nest of vipers, depending on your viewpoint. Operation Gateway is a new system implemented by the U . S . government in all 50 states. Gateway gives state and local law enforcement officers access to the federal financial database containing 28 years of records filed under the Bank Secrecy Act. T h e results from all queries are written into a constantly-updated mastet file fot cross-indexing purposes. T h e financial database contains only records on major money movements and is not a threat to individual privacy. However thete is worse to come. When implemented, this computet system can be used to ptobe all 4 0 0 million bank accounts and their holders in the U . S . T h e government says it is wanted

to assess the funding needed for federal deposit insurance, and to locate assets of individuals ordered by courts to make testitution for financial crimes. T h e deposit tracking system has atttacted civil liberties criticism at a high level. T h e federal law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies see the system as a valuable addition to economic intelligence gathering, such as monitoring foreign financial dealings in the U . S . T h e ptesent system has successfully identified previous unknown criminal organizations and activities because of deposit flows and patterns. 121 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Watch Out for Cash Reporting Requirements Banking in Silence, 1 9 9 8 For privately moving money into your offshore account you must use a method consistent with the reporting acquirements in effect in your home country. These laws are designed to infotm the government when latge amounts of cash are moved, and to reveal the purpose of these ttansfets. Of course, these Big Brother laws destroy banking and financial privacy, but ignoring them means possible fines, jail and confiscation of yout cash. Once you understand the obstacle course you can adapt your game to suit your particular circ*mstances. Big Brother knows all too well that once money is converted into cash it becomes vety difficult to monitor. Acting on behalf of the government, banks are now forced to monitor all transactions, especially those in cash. Bank staff is always on the lookout for customer behavior that warrants a "suspicious activity teport." Banks have been instructed to look for individuals who frequently deposit ot withdraw large amounts of cash. Unless your business requires it (and the bank knows this in advance), changing a latge number of small bills into larger bills could mark you as a criminal suspect. Making a cash deposit just below the amount coveted by reporting requirements may also get attention from your banker. Buying an excessive amount of cashier's checks, money orders or

traveler's checks could cause a red flag on your account. Under the new rules purchasers of these insttuments must identify themselves fully and often must be a bank customer in order to be eligible to buy. Just about any cash transaction that looks odd could get you caught in the expanding government net. Big Brothel has been thorough in blocking all possible routes to bank secrecy. But the massive reporting requirements have buried banks and bureaucrats in mountains of unread reports, useless unless properly sorted and analyzed. Under government threat of severe penalties, banks have adopted the practice of filing "defensive" reports. In addition to mandatory reporting of all cash ttansactions of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or more, bank managers tell employees any activity even remotely suspicious should be written up. This information glut insulates the bank from possible reprisals and clogs government computerized data banks. As frightening as this sounds, the sheer volume serves to dilute the overall effectiveness of reporting requirements. A sutge in the quantity of cash banking reports filed in the U . S . does little to boost the number of individuals prosecuted for money-laundering offenses. T h e U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is several years behind in examining the flood of reports (approximately eight million annually) that it demands from all and sundry. One individual in New York filed nearly 1,700 such reports before Big Brothet noticed him. A random computer search revealed a large number of reports filed within a single zip code and then the government agents became interested. Further analysis showed all these reports had been filed by one individual in one bank. This suggests that ptopetly filed reports are generally ignored. This has led many professional money launderers to adopt what is known as the "file and forget it" approach. Once Big Brother finally focuses on these precious reports he looks for certain patterns of behavior rathet than single incidents. In other words, if you want to move a large amount of your money offshore in cash, withdraw it in one lump sum and file the appropriate report. That's the least you can do to join the wat against dtugs. After all, no sacrifice is too great fot the welfare of our children. T h e worst thing one can do is to fail to file a report or even appear to be

disturbed when the reporting requirement is mentioned. Such behaviot sets off alarm bells and makes your banker assume the worst about you. That a free person might wish to move legally earned money into a safe offshore account seems indeed foreign to government agents. But once you have soothed the 122 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection bureaucratic mind by filing theit beloved reports, you have yout cash in hand and can put it wherevet you wish. T h e next worst mistake when withdrawing cash from a bank is known as "structuring." This is simply making several withdrawals in lesser sums than the total amount that comes within the reporting requirements. Many bank computers are now programmed to detect such cash activity patterns so the bank can alert government officials. T h e act of structuting in and of itself is illegal and allows not only the forfeiture of all funds involved, but of any othet funds held in the accounts used. In the U.S, fines up to U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 and five years in jail can follow conviction of this and other non-reporting crimes. It is much better to file a report, especially if both you and your assets ate headed out of your home country for good. With a new passport in hand, you can freely wander the globe and enjoy the finer things in life while your former tax collectot wrings his hands over his useless reporting forms. E x e m p t Yourself If you insist on staying in your home country, thete may be a way to avoid reporting requirements in certain situations. Even government buteaucrats realized that too many reports would be as useless as no teports at all, thus cettain types of businesses ate granted exemptions from teporting requirements. For example, in the U . S . exemptions may be granted to owners and operators of a sports arena, race track, amusem*nt park, vending machine company or theatet, all businesses in which large amounts of cash are collected on a daily basis. Exemptions may be given to large companies and banks on behalf of known customers who reasonably require them. If you own a business that falls within the narrowly defined limits you might be freed from most teporting tequirements. Avoid investing in automobile, airplane or boat dealerships since

these business ate specifically denied exemptions from cash reporting. Whatever method you choose, once you successfully convert yout assets into eithet cash of other untraceable insttuments, you face the task of moving money out of your home country and into your offshore account. R e s t r i c t i o n s on Transporting C a s h There are no exchange control restrictions on the free flow of capital in and out of most countries at the ptesent time. This freedom to transfer assets abroad exists in almost every democracy including the U.S., Australia, Japan and most of Europe. Reporting requirements are, however, a different mattet entirely. For example, the U . S . Cutrency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act requires everyone "who transports or causes to be transported into or out of the United States currency or certain monetary instruments in the amount of exceeding U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or more" is required to file a report (IRS Fotm 4 7 9 0 ) with U.S. Customs Buteau agents at the time of entry or departure, or on or before the date of sending or receiving, if the cutrency or monetary instrument is mailed or shipped. Thus the government not only wants to know when your money is withdrawn from your bank, but also when you actually transport your cash to safer offshore pastures. T h e U . S . reporting requirements cover not only cash but any negotiable monetaty instruments that can be convetted into cash. This includes anything in bearer form, bonds, securities and investments. Similatly, cashier's checks, money orders or traveler's checks on which the name of the payee has been omitted or which have been endorsed must also be reported. Some countries are only concerned with the movement of large quantities of cash and not monetary instruments. Check the situation in yout home country and any countries where you may be traveling. Never ignore reporting tequitements. Non-reporting penalties are severe and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Big Brother will seize money from an innocent traveler completely unaware of the 123 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection law as easily as from an international drug lord. Thanks to political terrorists,

you can expect heavy airport security every time you board an international flight. Catry-on as well as checked luggage will be x-rayed before it is allowed on the plane. It is also increasingly common for passengers to be frisked as they pass through airport secutity. T h e bottom line: if you ttavel with a large amount of cash before boarding an international flight, government agents will know about it. Any unteported large amount of cash will automatically lead to forfeiture of all funds in your possession. One easier way to avoid reporting is to move cash into your offshore account in the form of cashier's checks, money orders or traveler's checks. Although you must report buying such monetary insttuments, you need not report transporting them if they are made payable to a specific person or entity—in other words, they are in non-negotiable form. You can make such instruments payable to yout offshore bank, instructing the bank to cash them and deposit the funds in your account. There is no paper trail if such instruments ate purchased anonymously with cash, though that may be difficult to do. Another method is to use petsonal or business checks payable to you or your business from thitd patty payers. By endorsing such checks over to your offshore bank and directing them to make deposits in yout offshore account, you can legally avoid reporting the fund transfer. Be sure not to place a simple endorsem*nt on the check since that makes it a reportable beatet instrument. You must make the check payable to a named patty. By making your offshore bank the payee, your offshore account stays out of the picture but yout bank is known. When the check is returned after clearance to the original check drawer he or she will be privy to banking information best known only to you. Be sure you can trust that person or avoid using their thitd party check. Happily, full-fledged cutrency restrictions that prohibit going abroad with your money are now largely in the past. Howevet, in many third world countties business may still be hampered by currency controls. Nonetheless, as with all reporting requirements, currency resttictions can be circumvented legally. Talk to resident foreigners in business. They usually know the easiest way to get money in and out of the country. Wealthy residents are usually knowledgeable about ways of beating the system. A quiet talk in private with local American Express office staff can also produce results.

U . S . Government Grabs Offshore Cash in Secret By Robert E. Bauman, J D . The Sovereign Individual, July 2003 It gives me no pleasure to say we told you so. But what is happening was inevitable, given the blind reaction by the U . S . Congress to the terror attacks on Washington, D.C. and New York City in the aftermath of Septembet 11, 2 0 0 1 . On May 30, 2003, the New York Times reported: "The Justice Depattment has begun using its expanded counter tetrorism powers to seize millions of dollats from foreign banks that do business in the United States...Officials at the State Department, howevet, have taised concerns over the practice, in patt because most of the seizures have involved fraud and money-laundering investigations that are unrelated to terrorism." T h e Times explained: "A little-noticed ptovision in the sweeping antitetrorism legislation passed in October 2 0 0 1 , gave federal authotities in such cases the power to seize money that passes through banks in the United States without notifying the foteign government. Most overseas banks maintain what ate called 'cottespondent accounts' in Ametican banks, allowing them to exchange American currency and handle other financial transactions in this country. Section 319 of the Pattiot Act, as the legislation that grew out of the Sept. 11 attacks is known, allows federal authorities to seize money from the foreign bank's correspondent account if they can convince a judge that the money deposited overseas at the bank was obtained illicitly." 124 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection So only now, for some uninformed people, is it becoming known just how far reaching the PATRIOT Act is. Small wonder since the Congress passed the law without even knowing what was in it. In less than six weeks after the terrorists horror, the Congress rammed through a 362-page law, sight unseen, with few members having the courage to oppose one of the worst attacks on the American liberties ever enacted into law.

Writing in our sister publication, T h e Sovereign Society Offshore A-Letter, on November 2, 2 0 0 1 , I said: "The ' U S A P A T R I O T ACT'—Public Law No. 107-56, signed by Pres. Bush on Oct. 26—devotes 125 of its 362 pages to U . S . and offshore banking and finance under the banner of 'anti-money laundering.' In the wake of the Sept. 11 hotror, 'anti-terrorism' is the patriotic fig leaf, but, as the fine print makes painfully cleat, the teal objective is massive expansion of the all purpose prosecutorial crime of money laundering, with tax collection an equal, if unstated, goal." Previously, on October 2, 2 0 0 1 , 1 had said: "Using the newly created terror imperative as their cover, leftist US politicians are scurrying to hang their favorite anti-offshore nostrums on the catch-all terrorist legislation about to sail though Congress...these opportunists want to ban much ofU.S.offshote correspondent banking and give the Treasury power to cut off foreign nations from the U.S. banking system, a radical Clinton proposal that failed in Congtess last year. These totalitarian proposals have as their ttue goals abolition of financial privacy and increased tax collection. T h e lie is that this is sold as fighting money laundering and terrorism. So now, it is happening, and thanks to fedetal judges who seal the records of the pending cases, America knows little about these cash seizures from the U . S . cotrespondent accounts of foreign banks. Law enforcement officials said the U . S . Justice Department had employed the new tool in about a half-dozen investigations, seizing money from at least 15 bank accounts. Most of those came in recent months and involved alleged ftaud and money laundering cases that had nothing to do with anti-terrorism. Here's how it works. In one case, the U . S . government seized $1.7 million in funds from a correspondent account in the U . S . belonging to the Bank of Belize. A U . S . lawyer, James Gibson, was accused of bilking clients out of millions of dollats, then fleeing to Belize where he deposited some of the money. Although the government of Belize initially agreed to freeze the money, a court

there blocked the move, but U . S . prosecutors said they believed that Mr. Gibson and his wife were looting the accounts to buy yachts and other luxury items. After passage of the P A T R I O T Act, the Justice Department moved within weeks in late 2001 to seize the money from the Belizean banks' correspondent accounts in the United States. Using this drastic procedure, the U . S . government ignores mutual legal assistance treaties with other nations which they have used in the past and which do contain ptocedural safeguards. They do not have to prove guilt or even show probable cause. They simply demand that the U.S. correspondent bank hand over sums they claim to be the tesult of alleged illegal activity of someone who has funds in the offshore bank. Once the U.S. bank surrenders the cash, the offshore bank is left holding the bag. They either deduct it from the accused's account, ot sustain the loss. Banks in New York City that hold correspondent accounts for Citibank, Standatd Charteted Bank, Deutsche Bank and H S B C Bank U S A have all been hit. We would not be surprised to see this unconstitutional tactic used in tax cases by the IRS. Until the Congress or the courts curb this wholesale money grab sans proof or due process, you can expect to see mote. These developments place even greater wisdom on our repeated advice; choose an offshore bank without any U . S . branches, which only makes seizures easier. Maintain your funds outside the 125 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection U.S. dollar so that there is no need for the bank to maintain yout funds in a U.S dollat correspondent account. But with the inter-related world banking system as it is, this new government seizure tool confirms the Nazification of the U . S . financial system. T h e day has now come where government money police, on their say so, can loot banks of funds belonging to people who have never been tried or convicted of any crime.

Welcome to the new Amerika.

Unreported Offshore Accounts by Donald McPherson, The Sovereign Individual, June 2001 It's 7 p.m. on a Friday evening. Relaxing at home, you are finishing yout second martini when the doorbell rings. Two I R S Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents (the ones that carry guns), announce that they have credit card records which prove that you have been maintaining an unreported offshore account. T h e agents claim that you "obviously" acted willfully, and thus, committed fedetal crimes. They ask you to sign a plea agreement stipulating that you will forfeit your home, business and retitement accounts and that you spend the next four years in a federal prison. If you fight them in court, they say you could spend the next 20 yeats in ptison. What are your options? What, if anything, is the solution? Any U.S. petson with signatory or other authority ovet one or more foreign "bank, securities or othet financial accounts" that contain, in aggregate, U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or more, is required to acknowledge those accounts on Schedule B of Fotm 1040, and separately, on Treasury Form TD F 9 0 - 2 2 . 1 . You must make these disclosures if you have effective control over the account —e.g., if someone else controls an offshore account on yout behalf, you must acknowledge the account. If you failed to make these disclosures, the possible scenarios vary from bad to wotse. T h e situation is less serious if the unreported account(s) contain after-tax dollars and you have paid taxes on any earnings from the accounts. At worst, the unreported accounts contain substantial pre-tax dollars with intent to evade assessment or collection of income tax. T h e situation has in recent months become more serious due to the disclosures made by John Mathewson, former head of Guardian Bank in the Cayman Islands. To avoid prison, Mathewson provided the IRS with detailed tecords of more than 2,000 client accounts, thereby violating Cayman Islands bank secrecy

laws. Armed with the Mathewson information and details of his modus operandi, which included an offshore bank account, ttust, corporation, and ctedit catd, the IRS has prosecuted numerous Guardian depositors. Based on Mathewson's testimony, the IRS has also obtained a court order to obtain data on transactions with American Express and MasterCard catds issued through bank accounts in the Caymans, Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda. T h e IRS hopes to use this data to identify additional U . S . persons with unreported offshore accounts. So far, the catd companies haven't complied, although it's probably just a matter of time befote they do. Possible C r i m e s — a n d P u n i s h m e n t s Depending on how large the tax loss from fraud or evasion is, possible federal charges range from filing a false tax return and tax evasion to conspiracy and money laundering—all of which are felonies. In less serious circ*mstances, misdemeanor charges may be brought. T h e likely punishment is not the statutory maximum, but within the range allowed under the Fedetal Sentencing Guidelines. This range depends on the "tax loss," or in laundering cases, the amount laundered. Without adjustments, the following sentencing ranges in months apply: 126 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 ( 1 2 4 8 ) ; U S $ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 ( 1 8 - 2 4 ) ; U S $ 5 5 0 , 0 0 0 ( 2 3 - 3 3 ) . Money laundering sentencing guidelines begin at 46-57 months and increase depending upon the amount laundered. In a tax-conspiracy case, an upward adjustment is made for "sophisticated concealment" (use of an offshore trust, corporation, bank, ot credit catd) and "role in the offense." Assuming a tax loss of U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 plus these adjustments, the range is 41-51 months. However, negotiated settlements with taxpayets whose foreign accounts were revealed in the Guardian Bank ptobe have been lower than these guidelines. None have been chatged with money laundeting.

A computer executive who evaded U S $ 2 . 2 million in taxes was sentenced to five months in jail, five months home detention, and a U S $ 6 0 , 0 0 0 fine. A Btooklyn golf pro deposited U S $ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 in money otders in a Cayman corporation. He was sentenced to six months home detention, three years probation and 6 0 0 hours of community service. T h e court tecommended golf lessons to inner city children and a U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 fine to be paid within 90 days. On the othet hand, prison sentences under the IRS's "abusive trust ptogtam" ( T S I 5/99) have been extremely harsh. If you fight an IRS criminal prosecution in coutt, you can expect to spend tens of thousands of dollats, or more, in legal fees, assuming that you have the means to hire an attorney and don't need to rely on court-appointed counsel. More than 95 petcent of defendants lose, and the sentencing guidelines definitely apply. However, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted knowingly and willfully. Ignorance of the law is an excuse/defense to technical crimes such as tax offenses. Willfulness means that you intentionally violated a known legal duty. Good faith teliance, mis-understanding of the law, ot teliance on others, especially professionals—such as an offshore promoter, banker, or your accountant—can provide a viable defense. "Willful blindness" negates a willfulness defense. This might be the case if you rely on the promises of an offshore promote! without asking an accountant or tax preparer for an opinion. What are the chances of being caught? Detection for depositots in Guatdian Bank appeals a certainty. Detection of credit card users tied to offshore bank accounts may depend on cooperation by offshore banks. T h e Bahamian Central Bank has informed card-issuing banks that future audits must itemize theit ctedit and debit card activity; a step that would permit the offshore banks to assemble the tecords tequired to identify individual depositors. T h e IRS can be expected to request this infotmation once a pending U.S.Bahamas Tax Information Exchange Agteement is signed, if not before.

T h e real question: by what method will IRS select individuals for audit? In the Guardian investigation, it is believed the names of all 2,000 account holders were turned over to C I D , at least initially. In the subpoena of offshore credit catd holders, only taxpayers with accounts larger than U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 are likely to be investigated. If the tax loss is zero or very low, one might assume that chances of being selected are low. But for "deterrence" (interpret: reign of fear), the IRS prosecutes tax loss cases as low as U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 . Recently, a client, a Colotado chiropractor, was charged for use of a trust for thtee yeats with a total tax loss of only U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 . Another unknown is whether the federal courts will uphold the procedures by which IRS obtained the Guardian Bank information, including use of the fruits of Mathewson's violations of Cayman law. Given a recent district court's decision in the Guardian case in favor of the I R S , it appears likely that the coutts will uphold them. But the IRS has limited resources. Audits are at an all-time low. T h e C I D brings only about 600 127 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection criminal tax prosecutions each year (although for every prosecution thete may be dozens of "settlements," where a taxpayer ends up paying and serving time on a plea deal). And there may be tens or even hundreds of thousands of unreported offshore accounts. Is It Too L a t e To Say Y o u ' r e Sorry? T h e five main choices for persons at tisk of an I R S ctiminal investigation fot non-reporting of offshote accounts ate: ( 1 ) Do nothing. ( 2 ) File the delinquent

teporting fotms. ( 3 ) #2 plus an amended return, 1040X for the last three years, and pay all the back tax, interest and penalties. Amended returns, however, cannot be filed beyond three years from the due date or filing date, whichever is later A sub-option to (3) is to pay all tax, interest and penalties for all years. (4) Pay back tax, interest and penalty anonymously, through your attorney, under cover of the attorney-client privilege. ( 5 ) Proceed through counsel with an informal request to the C I D , which need not involve disclosure of your identity, as described below. There is no obvious "best" choice. Counsel must evaluate each case. Under no circ*mstances can the IRS promise immunity. At best, your attorney, after presenting a "hypothetical" case, might obtain a "reading" from the local C I D chief. Yet promises are not likely, much less binding. What about "voluntaty disclosure" to the IRS? T h e Internal Revenue Manual states: "When faced with a taxpayer who wants to make a voluntary disclosure, the special agent should infotm the taxpayer of the following: 'It is the ptactice of the Internal Revenue Service that a voluntary disclosure does not bat criminal prosecution, but tather is a factor to be considered when deciding to recommend prosecution.'" T h e IRS requires five elements in a voluntary disclosure to avoid prosecution: truthfulness, timeliness, completeness, cooperation and legal income. A voluntary disclosure may not be done anonymously. A disclosure is timely only if received prior to IRS's initiation of any inquiry that "is likely to lead to the taxpayet and the taxpayer is reasonably thought to be aware of that investigative activity." If "some event known by the taxpayet" has occurred which is "likely to cause an audit into the taxpayer's liabilities," it's too late to say you're sorry. This is particularly relevant since the knowledge that offshore credit card information soon will be in the hands of IRS investigators is a mattet of public record. An amended return ( 1 0 4 0 X ) and payment of back tax, interest and penalty demonstrates contrition and offers an argument of mitigation and no prosecution, to which the IRS may respond, "Thanks, sign the plea agreement here." A major disadvantage to an amended return is that it starts tunning a new civil and criminal statute of limitations; and,

if filed correctly, may identify other problems. However, a 1040X does not include a revision of information on Schedule B, which asks if you control an offshore account(s). Nor does it identify the source of unreported income; it merely shows the old 1040 numbets, the new numbets, and the difference. T h e general statute of limitations for a civil tax audit is three years from the due date of the return or the filing of the return, whichever is latet, unless gross income is unreported by 25 percent or more, in which case IRS has six years. In the case of civil fraud there is no statute of limitation, but the IRS must prove fraud by clear and convincing evidence. In a criminal case, there is a six-year limitation for tax crimes; generally five years for conspiracy and othet crimes. However, conspiracy runs five years from the last overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, which might be last week's phone conversation with a Cayman banker Meanwhile, Congress is about to enact a new bankruptcy law that will reduce options for dis-charging tax debts through bankruptcy. Time is on the government's side. S u m m a r y and C o n c l u s i o n T h e answer is: there is no answer. There are only choices, some perhaps more viable than oth-128 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection ets, depending on particular facts and citc*mstances. Those with a gambler's heart and patience may wish to do nothing. Others hate dealing with the unknown and want to get it ovet with, and on with their life, without fear of the knock at the door. If the financial loss to the government is small, ptison is unlikely, but the government may insist on a felony tathet than a misdemeanor plea. Competent, experienced counsel can review the specific facts and discuss the options, make a recommendation, and ride herd on the case. IRS websites and answers to Freedom of Information requests concerning the offshore credit card project may prove fruitful.

And finally, do N O T sign a plea agreement with the I R S unless advised to do so by an experienced tax attorney. IRS's Qualified Intermediary (QI) Regulations Center for Freedom and Prosperity, March 2001 T h e IRS has decided to implement new tegulations governing money that is invested in Ametica from overseas. These so-called QI (Qualified Intetmediary) regulations, which will impose costly reporting requirements on foreign institutions, are ostensibly designed to increase tax collections by catching U . S . taxpayers trying to hide income earned in America from the IRS by anonymously investing through foreign institutions. To the extent that such tax evasion exists, howevet, tax evaders can avoid the net by shifting investments out of the U.S. While failing to reduce tax evasion, the new regulations will have an impact. Unfortunately, that impact will be negative. Likely effects include capital flight out of the U . S . market, less future foreign investment in the U.S., a loss of privacy, a reduction in national sovereignty, a reduction in international commerce, and a discriminatory burden against medium-and small-sized businesses.

Equally important, the QI regulations create a disquieting ptecedent. In effect, the U.S. is trying to impose rules on the rest of the world. This will create an obligation on the patt of the U . S . government to acquiesce to rules that foreign tax collectors will want to impose on U.S. citizens and businesses. T h e QI tegulations will be simultaneously costly but ineffective. Indeed, serious shortcomings already caused their enactment to be twice postponed. Yet, the legally required cost/benefit analysis is still lacking. And while significant adverse effects are a certainty, expetts fotesee no real dent on U . S . tax evasion. T h e I R S should thus withdraw the proposal and reconsider how best to tax the U.S. income earned by U . S . taxpayets and foreigners. W h a t are Q I Regulations? T h e IRS decided to change its withholding tax regime, enforcing new regulations effective January 1, 2001 that are aimed in particular at "U.S. persons"— i.e., U.S. citizens, dual nationals, green card holders, U . S . residents —who invest in the U . S . market through financial institutions abroad. Recipients of U.S.-source income are thus faced with the choice of eithet withdrawing their investments from the U . S . market or disclosing their identity to the IRS, under threat of a penalty of over 30 percent of their investment (not just the income, but 30 percent of any financial flow). T h e tax would be collected on behalf of the IRS by QI. Overseas financial institutions practicing IRS-apptoved know-your-customer rules ( K Y C ) can apply to entet into an agreement with the IRS to ditectly enforce these new regulations as QIs, with IRS-apptoved and Ql-paid fiduciaries serving as auditors acting under U.S. laws. A r e foreign investments an important c o m p o n e n t of the U . S . e c o n o m y ? In its latest report, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board stated total foreign-held U.S. financial assets to be $6.3 trillion. T h e Institute for International Economics puts the figute at $10 trillion. These investments have helped trigger America's unprecedented prosperity. Yet the QI regulations will 129

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection encourage both "U.S. persons" and foreign investors to reduce or eliminate their investments from the U.S. market. It appears that the IRS, so fat, has published no studies analyzing the risks associated with the QI regulations. Mote specifically, it appears that the cost/benefit analysis tequited by the Administrative Procedures Act has not been completed. W h a t is the supposed need for Q I ? Unlike many other nations, the United States asserts the right to tax the worldwide income and assets of its citizens and businesses residing abroad. T h e IRS worries that some U . S . taxpayers may be "hiding" income by anonymously investing through foreign financial institutions. T h e QI regulation is designed to catch these taxpayers. W h y are the Q I Regulations misguided? In effect, the IRS seeks to swat a fly with a sledgehammer. To the extent that U . S . taxpayers are trying to evade taxes by investing in the U.S., through foreign institutions, they will simply shift theit investments out of U . S . assets to avoid the QI regulations. These untested IRS tegulations, however, will inevitably cause significant collateral damage. For instance, they will be: Bad for investment.The QI tegulations create a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't quandaty for overseas institutions and investors. Failure to qualify means higher withholding taxes, yet the decision to qualify forces the institutions and investots to endure considerable red tape and a costly regulatory burden. T h e easy way to avoid this catch-22 is to invest someplace other than America. Indeed, professionals and banking executives have warned that the new regulations "could trigger an exodus from U.S. securities." T h e regulations would hit all persons investing in the U.S., especially non-U.S. firms. Bad for privacy. T h e QI regulations, stripped of fancy rhetoric, represent an attempt by the IRS

to export nosy and intrusive know-your-customer rules that force financial institutions to spy on their customers, i.e., to act contrary to their legal duties and traditional fiduciary obligations. American consumers revolted against similar provisions that tegulators attempted to impose in the U.S. Yet the IRS seeks to get these invasive tules overseas. Foreign institutions would be forced to engage in a massive data-collection exercise to determine whethet or not theit clients are "U.S. persons." This is a costly, time-consuming task, particularly given the complex tules governing dual citizens, green card holders, varying tax rules for diffetent types of investments, and the use of multi-tiered structures and multi-countty entities. Bad for sovereignty. Using the thteat of higher withholding taxes, the IRS is trying to deputize foreign institutions to assist in the collection of U . S . taxes. This puts long-term U . S . intetests at tisk as foreign taxmen will likely insist on and receive reciprocal treatment. T h e spectet of foreign tax authotities having power over U . S . citizens and companies may not be to the liking of many U . S . lawmakers eithet—particularly since it would mean a costly new tegulatoty burden for U.S. institutions and investots. A managing pattnet at one overseas bank justifiably complained that "The U . S . is trying to impose its own rules on the rest of the world." Indeed, this effort to impose U.S. information-gathering requirements on an exttaterritotial basis is not seen to be in the U . S . interests. For it could badly backfire. And it could violate and generally undermine the respect for existing tax and othet treaties. T h e QI regulations interfere with nations that genuinely respect financial ptivacy. Bad for free trade. T h e QI regulations are going to create a discriminatory system that imposes different tax fates on global investment. This favoritism is a violation of open trade rules. Moreover, the costs of compliance may simply lead many institutions to avoid the U.S. maiket altogether In order to fully comply, foreign institutions would have to endure large information technology costs, huge legal fees, and ongoing auditing costs.

1 3 0 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection These regulations would cteate a non-tariff harrier to non-U.S. investment custodians. A regulatory burden. U.S. international tax specialists have criticized these regulations for their extraordinarily bewildering complexity. Needless to say, it will be almost impossible for foreign institutions and investots—particulatly those from the non-English speaking world—to decipher the intricacies of U . S . regulations that cross-reference numerous provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. T h e butden is particularly harsh for small-and medium-sized companies that lack the in-house legal assistance and/of the resources to engage costly outside counsel. MLATs Threaten Offshore Assets By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, June 2002 Think your assets are safe just because you've placed them offshore? Think again. T h e United States (and other governments) have negotiated dozens of tteaties that permit them to seize assets in dozens of offshore centers without a court hearing and (in some cases) with no right of appeal to any court. Instead, the head of a prosecuting entity in one country sends the tequest directly to his or her counterpart in the foreign country for execution. Since the first "mutual legal assistance treaty" (MLAT) was signed in 1973, billions of dollars have been seized using them. T h e US splits the booty with the jurisdiction seizing it, giving both countries an incentive to cooperate. MLATs override all bank secrecy or confidentiality laws that might otherwise apply. For instance, the U.S.-Turks & Caicos Islands MLAT states: "A person who divulges any confidential information ot gives any testimony in conformity

with the [MLAT] tequest shall be deemed not to commit any offense under the Confidential Relationships Ordinance 1979 ... sub-section ( 6 ) of section 16 of the Banking Otdinance 1979 ... [or] section 202 of the Companies Otdinance 1981." Eatly MLATs applied only to a short list of serious offenses that were crimes in both the US and Switzetland. However, most MLATs today cover "all crimes," whether or not the "crime" in question is an offense in both countries. In some MLATs (e.g., the U.S.-Switzerland, U.S.-Austria and U.S.-Luxembourg agreements), tax evasion is an excluded offense, but not tax fraud. This was once the case in MLATs with many of United Kingdom's current and former Caribbean colonies (e.g., the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, etc.) although these jurisdictions have now signed or promised to sign agreements that open the books of banks and trust companies to the IRS in both civil and criminal tax investigations. T h e use by the United States of MLATs to fight tax evasion in countries where it is not a crime has led to serious disruptions in the fight against other, more serious, types of crime, and particularly, terrorism. This has been documented in a recent study by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity ( MLATs also allow ptosecutors to dodge constitutional protections otherwise due the target of an investigation. Most MLATs may be invoked on the grounds of "reasonable suspicion" that a ctime has been committed, a fat less demanding standard than the "probable cause" demanded by the Fourth Amendment. Nor are the U . S . subjects of MLAT requests permitted to challenge disclosure in U . S . courts. Indeed, most MLATs explicitly deny this option to investigative targets, leaving them with no redress to contest disclosure in the courts of the requesting jutisdiction. There have even been cases where the interaction of U.S. and foreign law make it impossible for the subject of a MLAT request 131

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection to make an effective challenge in either countty. Further, a U.S. defendant—or that defendant's property—cannot challenge the admission of evidence gathered in a MLAT inquiry even if prosecuted for a different ctime not covered by the applicable MLAT. This has been the case even when evidence to support the inquiry may have been fabricated by prosecutors. T h e only saving grace is that MLATs are evidently not used with gteat frequency. A report from the Senate Foteign Relations Committee published in November 2000 states that the U . S . Depattment of Justice makes only about 500 MLAT tequests annually. However, this does not mean that foreign jurisdictions release information to U.S. law enforcement authotities only 500 times annually. U . S . authorities continue to use covert means to retrieve financial records "informally" in offshore centers, including bribery, and extortion. T h e U.S. Supreme Court has upheld convictions obtained through the use of such illegal investigative techniques. As of January 1, 2002, MLATs are in effect with Anguilla, Antigua & Batbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, Dominica, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Grenada, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Montsettat, Morocco, the Nethetlands, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Spain, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, South Africa, South Korea, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Switzetland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turks & Caicos Islands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela. Because of their sweeping application, MLATs can represent a threat to legitimate investots and businesses that, for whatevet reason, come under criminal investigation. And don't be too certain that you'te N O T a criminal. In the U S , thete are well over 3,000 federal crimes. Beyond that, 10,000-plus actions have been made into

ctimes by regulators. For instance, filling in a puddle on your own property that a bureaucrat later classifies as a "wetland" is a crime. Any assets you've conveyed offshore to protect yourself from whatever fines or forfeiture results from this or any other "crime" could conceivably be forfeited under all-crimes MLATs. If you do business or invest in a jurisdiction with a MLAT that could apply to you, considet the following strategies to reduce your vulnerability. Review the relevant MLAT or MLATs to detetmine what "ctimes" are covered, and whether the offenses covered must be an offense in both jurisdictions to apply ("dual criminality"). This determination should ideally be made in consultation with your attorney. Review with your attorney whether assets conveyed to a foreign trust or othet structure may be frozen or forfeited in a MLAT proceeding. This must be a separate determination from the normal evaluation of potential vulnerability to civil judgments, fraudulent conveyance claims, etc. Prepare "flight clauses" in trust documents and/or Articles of Incorporation that permit the domicile of the trust or corporation to be changed if the MLAT is amended or reinterpreted in any mannet that would threaten the existence of the entity, or its assets. Canada's Anti-Laundering Law Threatens Privacy and Property By Douglas Hendler, The Sovereign Individual, July 2002 The original justification for money-laundering legislation in Canada, first enacted in 1991, was to repress the black markets and criminal industry created by the ban on recreational drugs. As with anti-laundering legislation in most other countries, this justification has now expanded to include many other crimes. Canadian solicitor Douglas Hendler discusses Canada's newest anti-laundering legislation, enacted in 2001. Under Canada's Criminal Code, money laundering involves concealing or converting property 132

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection or money, knowing or believing that they were derived from the commission of specified offenses such as drug trafficking, bribery, child p*rnography, prostitution, theft, extortion, fraud, illegal gambling, murder, robbery and counterfeiting. Violations can result in fines of up to $2,000,000 ( U S $ 1 . 3 million), five years in prison and forfeiture of all laundered property. Recent amendments to this legislation, intended to combat tetrorist financing, together with provisions that came into effect in 2 0 0 1 , establish record keeping and reporting requirements to facilitate detection and prosecution of money laundering offenses. Three categories of transactions give rise to mandatory reporting to a new bureaucracy called F i n T R A C , the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center: ( 1 ) suspicious transactions; (2) prescribed ttansactions; and ( 3 ) certain cross border currency and monetaty instrument transactions. Being in a H u r r y is Suspicious Suspicious ttansactions are the most difficult to identify because the categoty is broad and the guidelines nebulous. Any transaction that creates reasonable grounds to suspect that it is related to money laundering must be identified on a "Suspicious Transaction Report" ( S T R ) , regardless of how little money is involved. It is an offense to disclose to the affected party that you have filed a S T R or to disclose the contents of the report. Suspicious transactions may involve several factors that individually seem insignificant but together create suspicion of money laundering, including: "Client insists a transaction be done quickly." "Client attempts to develop close rapport with staff." "Client has unusual knowledge of the law in relation to suspicious-transaction reporting." "Client makes cash transactions of consistently rounded-off large amounts."

"Client runs large credit-catd balances." "Client shows uncommon curiosity about internal systems, conttols and policies." "Transaction seems to be inconsistent with the client's appatent financial standing or usual pattern of activities." "Client refuses to produce personal-identification documents." T h e act requires detailed reports about suspicious ttansactions from lawyers; banks, credit unions ot ttust and loan companies; life insurance companies; insurance brokers and agents; secutities dealers; pottfolio managets; investment counselors; foreign exchange dealers; money services businesses including Canada Post; accountants; real estate brokers and sales representatives; and casinos, along with the employees of any of these businesses. For lawyeis, these provisions require the disclosure of information that would notmally be confidential between a solicitor and client. Where a conflict exists between solicitor-client confidentiality and the obligation to tepott, the obligation to report takes precedence unless the communication is cleatly protected by privilege. It is likely that all or most of the information required in a suspicious or prescribed ttansaction report will not be protected by solicitorclient privilege. Several types of "prescribed ttansactions" must also be reported. These include cash ttansactions of C $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 ( U S $ 6 , 5 0 0 ) ot more, or its equivalent in a foreign currency, including two or more transactions totaling C $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or more conducted on behalf of the same individual within 24 hours. Reports are also required for movements of cash or monetary instruments across the Canadian border for amounts of C $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 or more, or its equivalent. P r o p e r t y Seizures W i t h N o C r i m i n a l C o n v i c t i o n F I N T R A C has been given the authority to seatch mail and to enter premises (othet than a dwelling) without a search warrant. Currency and monetary instruments that are not reported to 133

Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection F I N T R A C may be seized and forfeited, without a criminal conviction. However, the currency or monetary instrument must be returned if the fine for non-reporting is paid unless F I N T R A C believes that the money is from proceeds of crime. While confiscation can be appealed to the courts, the ability to seize property without convicting the owner of a crime is a dangerous escala-tion of the government's civil forfeiture authority. (Ed. Note: It seems likely that F I N T R A C , like the U.S. Treasury's financial intelligence agency, FinCEN, will be overwhelmed by S T R s . T h e lack of a minimum threshold, together with the vague and all-encompassing list of suspicious behaviors and the draconian penalties fot violations, are likely to encourage persons affected by the legislation to report any activity that is even remotely suspicious. Thus, as in the United States, where more than 9 9 % of reports identifying "suspicious activities" turn out to be groundless, the reporting mechanism could actually make it more difficult to identify the financial activities of money launderers and terrorists by diverting the attention of law enforcement away from more credible suspects.] T h e best way to deal with these requirements is to avoid the prescribed and cross border curren cy and monetary insttument transactions identified in the law. If a party covered by these requirements indicates that a transaction must be tepotted, advise them that they are free to do so. This will virtually eliminate the possibility that they will tepott your ttansactions as suspicious as you have expressed a willingness to be cooperative. Asset Protection in a Post 9 / 1 1 Environment: New Considerations and New Solutions By Ron Holland, The Sovereign Individual, March 2004 What can we learn from legal and jurisdictional attacks on our wealth since the events of September 11, 2001?

What are the loopholes used to attack the wealth of productive, working Americans and how do we build maximum protected wealth in a world of transparency? Think back to a decade ago when asset ptotection was all the tage. Tens of thousands of Americans were fleeing the lawsuit mania of the abusive U.S. legal system and putting theit wealth into asset protection trusts and other structures offshore. It became fash-ionable to have an offshore trust, and the mainstream media, if not exactly approving of the concept, didn't attack it virulently. Fot many, this was a prudent move, since productive Americans who had spent theit lives building, saving and accumulating wealth did not want to risk having it stolen in a frivolous lawsuit or trumped-up asset forfeiture. However in today's post 9/11 environment, increased attacks by theU.S. government on offshore jurisdictions, combined with a dramatic reduction in privacy, make it important to review wealth preservation structures and asset protection strategies to insure that they stand up to today's new threats to wealth. Today's most effective asset ptotection structures contain so-called "duress clauses" and limit your access to the protected funds. These features, along with the confidentiality and protection offered by attorney-client privilege, effectively close most of the avenues that litigants and the government use to gain unwarranted access to yout wealth. If your existing program doesn't take advantage of these features, you should consider bringing it up to date. First: A Warning Investors have used many techniques in the past to protect and defend their wealth. Some have worked well, othets have been successful in specific circ*mstances and some were unwise, question-134 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection able choices that in time became illegal. Just remember that illegal actions will eventually catch up with you. It is bettet to have the peace of mind of being legal

with yout offshore products and strategies. If in the past you engaged in questionable offshore activities, such as not reporting the existence of, or income from, a foreign financial account, you need to retain a criminal tax attorney immediately to protect youtself from possible civil or even criminal liability. Like it or not, we live in a world that demands complete transparency with invasive "know-yout-customer" rules forced on the entire world. Wealth pteservation plans that involve non-reported ot non-taxcompliant structures place you, your wealth and your property at greater risk than if you did nothing at all. A consequence of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent passage of the U S A PATRIOT A c t is that every bank teller, investment advisor, stockbroker or insurance agent in America is a de facto federal agent. They ate tequired to report any "suspicious transactions" in which you engage to the federal government, and ate prohibited from informing you of that fact. In addition, the feds now considet lawyers and accountants as "gatekeepers" to the national and international financial system. These professionals are also required to help detect and deter money laundering, although they are not yet required to teport "suspicious transactions" to the government. P r e v e n t F o r c e d Distributions from Y o u r Offshore Nest-Egg Let's take a look at several of the ways the legal predators after your wealth have pierced existing wealth preservation ptogramsand how you might thwart these actions in the future. Dutess provisions are important in order to keep the courts and others from forcing you to do what you would not have done on your own free will. Your asset protection strategy should not depend on permanent personal, business or family relationships because these often change, especially when large sums of money are involved. Remember, your best friend—and even your spouse—can quickly become your worst enemy. Fot maximum asset protection, no one should have the right to receive distributions from the product or structure, except at pre-established intervals. Sttuctures that can be terminated or that permit assets to be loaned back permit others to coerce, threaten or use contempt-of-court charges to steal the assets in yout wealth pteservation structure.

To prevent such coercion, many asset protection structures now include a duress clause. Such a clause allows a financial service provider, trustee and attorney to require a visit from the individual beneficial owner if thete is any question whether a withdrawal or liquidation is voluntary—or is being made under coercion or duress from outside parties. T h e duress clause should still allow for investment strategies and portfolios to be changed anytime. Everyone needs liquid funds, but you should never invest funds you might need to tap to meet immediate living expenses in an asset protection ot wealth pteservation stfucture. That's because if the program can meet short-term liquidity needs, this opens up your stfucture to outside attack. If you can easily obtain access to yout funds in an asset protection stfucture through cancellation, a debit card, loans or early withdrawal, then so can a court. Case Study: Contempt of Court. Learn about what can happen even with offshore protected wealth when a judge can prove you have access to the money in your offshore asset protection stfucture. Link: U s e A t t o r n e y - C l i e n t Privilege for I n c r e a s e d Confidentiality For hundreds of years, the attorney-client privilege has helped to preserve the confidentiality of communications between lawyeis and their clients. It exists because: 1) Clients need to be completely truthful with their legal counsel, so their advice is based on all the facts of a case; and 2) it helps to assure those needing legal counsel that theif private affairs will not be disclosed. Until 9/11, the privacy and confidentiality of what was said between a client and his lawyer was almost completely protected. But recent U . S . court rulings indicate that attorney-client privilege is 135 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection being weakened, along with most othet protections of confidentiality, liberty and wealth. In the United Kingdom attorney-client privilege has declined even further, as attorneys are now required to inform the government if they believe their client is engaged in illegal activity. However, attorney-client privilege can still help to keep your communications

and structures confidential. You just need to hire an attorney in a jurisdiction where attorney-client communications temain untouchable. T h e essential sttategy is to consult with your local attorney on general matters, but when dealing offshore, consider using an offshore attorney to further enhance attorneyclient privilege. Using this strategy, all communications, both written and oral, and subsequent attorney work-product, enjoy enhanced protection from any future disclosure orders of a U . S . court. Note that attorney-client privilege does not extend to accountants, business associates, financial experts, consultants or anyone else either in the United States ot offshore. Fot maximum privacy and confidentiality, all discussions regarding your specific objectives and asset protection goals, including investment decisions and structute questions, should be handled directly between you and your retained legal counsel. This provides a high level of confidentiality not available in many other structures where a promoter, salesperson or marketing group is positioned between you and the product or sttategy. With the exception of your retained attorney, all conversations, written ot e-mail communications and tecotds with any other individual or professional could be subject to subpoena in a lawsuit. Plus, the ptomoter or salesperson could even be forced into courts to testify against you and your wealth preservation program. F o r M a x i m u m P r i v a c y , H o l d All D o c u m e n t a t i o n Offshore Attorney-client confidentiality can be further enhanced through products and strategies requiring the minimal amount of legal reporting and by maintaining all documentation outside your own country. Most asset protection and wealth preservation strategies allow contracts, trust documents, and certificates or indicia of ownership to be freely retained by the client and held in the client's home country. T h e problem with this atrangement is that during the discovery phase of litigation, armed with only a subpoena, a lawyer can obtain the documentation and learn how your offshore asset protection program is structured. This leaves your wealth defenses wide open for review and attack. A better method is to maintain all documentation and account infotmation securely offshore. You should of course retain the tight to review this data in a personal visit, but

you should not keep copies of it in the United States. Not should you have online access to this information, since a court may compel such access, thereby fully disclosing your structure to your legal opponents. W h e n an attorney and/or trustee holds all account information offshore, a U . S . plaintiff must generally bring a lawsuit in that foreign jurisdiction to retrieve it. This will be an uphill battle, because in most offshore jurisdictions, attorneyclient privilege is taken much more seriously than in the United States. In addition, offshore jurisdictions often require a plaintiff to pay a latge deposit for the privilege of btinging a lawsuit and require a higher burden of proof to ptevail than in the United States. In addition, the concept of "punitive damages" awarded by a jury is almost unknown outside the United States. All of these factors tend to prevent lawsuits from even getting statted. Your attackers will always be in the dark regarding your structure defense and legal protections, as this adds to their costs and uncertainty. Remember: there are plenty of "easy pickings" for individuals and their lawyers out to legally steal the wealth and ptopetty of others. They usually will not waste their time on a difficult case when an easiet target is available. "No L o a n s " E n h a n c e A s s e t P r o t e c t i o n Many offshore structures and investments permit you to "borrow" some of the funds you have invested to meet immediate liquidity needs. However, such provisions can fatally weaken the struc-136 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection ture. T h e solution is simple: when establishing your wealth preservation program, make sure that your trust, insurance contract or other structure does not allow for a loan provision. Case Study: Variable Annuity Loans. Offshore fixed and variable annuity products can provide a high level of asset protection. However, if your foreign insurance contact has a loan provision, this can open up your protected wealth to creditors and place you in a dilemma of choosing between your money or jail time for contempt of court. Leam how this can occur. Link: T h e offshore world has changed profoundly since the events of 9/11. You must either update your wealth preservation strategies or risk the loss of your protection and maybe yout wealth! (Ron Holland is a membet of T h e Sovereign Society's Council of Experts and an internationally known financial consultant, author and public speaker. He is the editor of the SwissGnomes website which provides offshore alternative financial news and comment. Originally from North Carolina, Ron now lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland. Tel.: ( 8 0 0 ) 8 9 1 - 8 3 3 2 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: Part Three—Places The Top Four Banking Havens of the World, 2 0 0 1 These are the four safest money havens in the world, used by the super-rich for decades. Your cash will be protected by some of the sttictest secrecy laws in existence. Interest rates are high, and tough banking laws keep bankers honest. To help you decide about where best to locate your offshore bank account, we investigated and visited many of the world's banking havens, and narrowed the choices down to the four safest and most stable havens on the planet. We also include specific bank tecommendations from each haven with their contact numbers and addresses. T h e banks selected are well known, established banks and ate highly recommended for service and confidentiality. H a v e n 4 : Switzerland Although Switzerland has succumbed to U . S . pressure to loosen its strict secrecy laws, for safe banking it still rates as one of the top havens. Technically, any depositor will still be protected by Switzetland's secrecy laws. These laws were first enacted in 1934 and call for the punishment of anyone who releases information on any Swiss bank account holder without authorization. Offenders can receive a fine of more than Sfr50,000 and a six-month prison sentence.

However, Switzerland has entered into a number of treaties with other countries that allow for information to be released in cases involving a crime committed in another country that is also a crime under Swiss law. Tax evasion is not a crime under Swiss law, so foreign tax evaders are technically protected, but tax fraud is a crime. At the very least, if any creditor or government wanted to come after your money they would have to go through a complicated and expensive process to get at it. But if you want strict banking privacy, you are probably better off to go to a haven that does not have any infotmation-sharing treaties with your country. Having said that, Switzerland is still the yardstick by which all other financial centers are measured. Swiss bankers enjoy an international reputation that is second to none. T h e country has been economically and politically stable for centuries. It enjoys a low tate of inflation, and the Swiss 137 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection franc is one of the strongest cutrencies in the world. Swiss banks are undoubtedly among the strongest and most stable financial institutions in the world. They offer a full range of services to investors, as well as a wide variety of investment opportunities in stocks, bonds, precious metals, insurance and most othet financial services. Switzerland does impose a 35 percent withholding tax on all interest and dividends earned within its borders, but this can be easily avoided by investing money through a fiduciary account. Also double-taxation treaties may cancel out the tax. Switzerland has more than 500 banks from which to choose. T h e best banks, however, require very large deposits (up to and over U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 ) and also require personal recommendations. Anyone wishing to bank in Switzetland may do best to first go through a local advisor. We can recommend one company that can help you: Office Services, Jupitetstrasse 56, C H - 8 0 3 2 Zurich, Switzerland, telephone + 41 1 382 0 3 5 6

, fax 41 1 382 0 1 5 3 . They will let you do everything by mail. They will also send you their literature and information free. Three banks we can recommend: Banque Union de Credit if you have U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 , Banque S C S Alliance if you have U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 , and Banque Julius Baet if you U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 . Each of these banks offets the full range of financial services. Contacts For a complete, up-to-date list of Swiss banks and other financial institutions, see Chapter 5. H a v e n 3 : L u x e m b o u r g Luxembourg is one of the fastest-growing financial centers in the world and our third choice for international banking. It has seen a massive influx of capital in the last decade due to its new liberal banking and tax laws. Located in central Europe bordering France, Germany and Belgium, it covers only about 1,000 square miles. Both a city and a country, it has one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe and enjoys an almost 100 percent employment rate. Although its secrecy laws only date back to the early '80s, it has maintained a long tradition of banking confidentiality. Information will only be released to foreign governments if the depositor has been charged with a crime that is related to the account and is also a crime in Luxembourg. Tax evasion is not a ctime in Luxembourg. Luxembourg, however, does maintain international tax tteaties with a slew of countties including the U.S., the UK, Germany and France. Intetest, dividends and capital gains earned in the country are totally free of tax. Accounts are insured by the government for amounts up to Luxembourg francs 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 (approximately U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 ) . Luxembourg is also home to over 1,000 investment funds. Many of them are sponsored by major banks. Some are no-load, others charge as much as 7 percent

commission. More than 187 international banks have set up shop in Luxemboutg. And nearly all bank employees are fluent in English and German. In fact, this is one of their prerequisites fot employment. Banque International a Luxembourg is our number one choice, for deposits of mote than U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 . It is one of the largest banks in Luxembourg and is locally owned and operated. H a v e n 2 : L i e c h t e n s t e i n Tucked in a beautiful mountain valley along the border between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is one of the smallest countries in the world. But its importance as a banking haven is almost unparalleled. Liechtenstein has some of the sttongest bank secrecy laws in existence. There is no withholding 138 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection tax on interest. And all deposits, no mattet what amount, are guaranteed by the state. Considering Liechtenstein is one of the five richest countries in the world in per capita income and personal wealth, you can rest assured that the country will be able to stand by their promise. Although Liechtenstein only has a few banks, each has a phenomenal growth tate and caters to the needs of foreign investors. Each bank offers theit private investors an account called a Therma-Konto. T h e advantage of this account is that your funds are always immediately available, and you can use the account to buy shares, make payments, write Euro checks and pay credit card bills. Your funds are also held in one of the world's strongest currencies—the Swiss franc. Numbered accounts are also available to large depositors. T h e Verwaltungs-und-Privatbank (VP-bank) is our bank of choice in Liechtenstein. This bank is accustomed to dealing with foreign investors. It even

sends its customets a tegular newsletter containing the latest investment news, recommended investments, securities and stocks, as well as information on Liechtenstein and the bank itself. Contacts • Bank en Liechtenstein, Herrenstrasse 12, P.O. Box 8 5 , 9 4 9 0 , Vaduz. Tel.: +41 75 235 1122. Fax: +41 75 235 1522. • Liechtensteinische Landebank, Stadtle 44, Postfach 384, 9490, Vaduz. Tel.: +423 236 8 8 1 1 . Fax: +423 236 8822. • Verwaltungs-und-Privatbank, Postfach 885, FL-9490, Vaduz. Tel.: +41 (75) 235 6655. Fax: +41 ( 7 5 ) 235 6500. E-mail: [emailprotected]. H a v e n 1 : A u s t r i a We have traveled to many of the wotld's banking havens and teviewed numerous offshore banks, but Austtia in our opinion is one of the finest long-standing banking havens. Not only does it offer services and products comparable to Switzerland, but it has done well to preserve its long tradition of banking confidentiality. Austria has strict bank secrecy laws, calling for the ptosecution of any bank employee who divulges any information on a client's account. Information can only be released with a court order in connection with criminal proceedings. And that only includes activities that ate considered crimes under Austrian law. It does not include tax evasion. Austtia ranks among the 10 richest countries in the world on a per capita basis. Its capital gold reserves rank third in the western world. Its political and economic stability is reflected in its currency. T h e Austtian schilling is a hatd currency closely linked to the deutschemark. It has appteci-ated against the U . S . dollar by 150 percent in the last 20 years.

Austria's banking tradition is more than 200 hundred years old and is based on a universal banking system. Investments are available in all major currencies at competitive Euro-market interest rates. Currency conversions are a routine practice allowing investors to benefit from currency appreciations. T h e minimum requirement fot operating an account is extremely modest by international standatds. And Austtian banks are well known for their flexible and courteous service. T h e banks are low-key operations that stay out of the banking limelight, and because of this they are able to offer their customers unique opportunities to invest sectetly and anonymously. In fact, Austrian monetaty authotities are reluctant to ptomote their investment opportunities to nonresidents as they tealize the European Union will put an end to them. This means that Austtia can offer you a financial edge that you cannot get anywhere else on the planet. Austrian banks are required by law to guatantee deposits up to 200,000 schillings. But several, such as the Raiffeisenbank, will insure the entire amount of your deposit. At the Anglo Irish Bank (Austria), you can open an account for as little as U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 . You can bank in most major currencies, and they can buy securities fot you from all over the world. They 139 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection can also buy and hold gold, silvet and other precious metals for you. T h e bank also offers a unique "pooled account," which is like a mutual fund. This account may be able to offet you asset protection and tax deferral benefits. Be sure to inquire when you approach this bank. Contacts: For complete, up-to-date information on Austrian banks, see Chaptet 9. Asset Protection: A Canadian View by David Melnik QC, & David Potts

T h e Canadian legal system is undetgoing a quiet yet revolutionary ttansformation that dramatically increases the odds of being successfully sued. This is particularly true in Ontatio, which has shifted the balance to the plaintiff and made it easier for people to bring lawsuits and to move lawsuits through the courts mote quickly. These changes, while well meaning in theory, are based on the assumption that most actions are legitimate and that justice delayed is justice denied. In fact, sometimes there is a salutaty value in delay, as it forces people to reassess their actions and determine whether they were really worth pursuing. Delay allows tempers to cool and compels people to seek more business-like methods in resolving disputes. Finally, the specter of delay can detet people from launching frivolous lawsuits. Here are some of the changes that have occurred recently: Class action lawsuits authorized. This is an action that can be brought on behalf of many individuals who claim to have suffered a particular wrong at the hands of a company. These actions are often used in product liability cases. In the United States, class-action lawsuits have been used against a wide variety of corporate defendants and are cited as a primary reason for the increased cost of —or in cases the cancellation of—business liability insurance. Funding for lawsuits established. In an extraordinary development, an insutance company has announced that it will fund litigation for plaintiffs. An article in the January 2000 issue of Canadian Lawyer entitled "Insurance Makes Lawsuits a Sure Thing" discusses several new types of insutance policies for potential plaintiffs—contingent asset indemnity and insurance for plaintiffs' costs. According to the btochute prepared by the underwritei, the contingent asset indemnity policy would be available to "plaintiffs who have an excellent chance of success in lawsuits instituted in Canada." T h e action must have a value greater than C $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 . It is "an insurance vehicle which guarantees to a plaintiff a sum up to 75 percent of the likely award arising out of a lawsuit." There is also a plaintiff costs indemnity policy that "reimburses the legal costs of a plaintiff in the event that the case is lost or that legal costs exceed the awatd or settlement."

Small claims procedures streamlined. Another development is that simplified rules have been enacted allowing claims for under C $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 to be brought to trial more quickly and less expensively. Examinations for discovery and pretrial court motions are not allowed. Actions can be placed on the trial list much more quickly than originally. (Rule 76 of the Rules of Civil Procedure for Ontario.) Case management introduced. This is a fundamental change to the legal system. It shifts control of the pace of the litigation from the litigants to eithet court officers or judges. Again, this is done in the ostensible interest of streamlining and simplifying the legal system. In the fast track, an action can come to trial within 90 days from the date of the defense being filed. (Rule 77, Rules of Civil Procedure) Contingency fees permitted. In a contingency fee arrangement, the plaintiff doesn't pay his lawyet unless the lawyer wins the lawsuit and collects a judgment. In theory, contingency fees are not 140 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection allowed in Ontario. But contingency fee arrangements are used quite regularly, particularly in personal injury cases. (In othet provinces, such as British Columbia, contingency fees are explicitly permitted.) Mandatory mediation. This is being introduced under the belief that most actions can be settled. T h e problem is that it imposes another layer of costs on the parties whethet they want it or not. It is another example where litigation is taken out of the hands of the parties and put in the hands of the courts. A party is obliged to attend a mandatory mediation session and pay a mediator for at least three hours. (Rule 77, Rules of Civil Procedure.) From our experience, this again favors the plaintiffs. Since both sides hire the mediators, they don't want to send one side away empty-handed. It is easier to extract some money from the defendant and say, "you are lucky you weren't required to pay more" than to dismiss the claim. Mediators have many complicated and high-sounding theories, which ultimately boil down to one

thing: compromise. In most cases, "compromise" means that someone with a deep pocket—the defendant or the defendant's insurance company—has to pay the claimant. While some of these changes were intended to streamline and lower the cost of litigation, as a whole, they dramatically shift the balance in favor of a plaintiff bringing a lawsuit. Canadians who have watched with horror the lawsuit epidemic in the United States and said, "It can't happen here" need to wake up. If you haven't done so already, you need to begin taking steps to protect your wealth from lawsuits. T h e techniques and structures used are in many cases similar to the U . S . practice, albeit with some important differences. Corporations, limited liability companies and similar liability-isolating structures may be appropriate for some clients. Offshore sttuctures are used as well, although as in most other high-tax countries, thete are no longer significant tax advantages. Is Swiss Bank Secrecy Still Alive? by Robert E. Bauman JD, The Sovereign Individual, October 2001 A global survey of private bankers published a few years ago by Price Watethouse Coopets found that the major attraction for any new customer is a bank's good reputation. In the past it also could be said that Switzerland's solid financial reputation was central to that nation's claim that it serves as "banker to the world." For 250 years, as European empires and nations rose and fell, Swiss topography and determination combined to defend this Alpine redoubt, even as its citizens maintained political neutrality towards other nations. T h e result has been a haven trusted by the tich and powerful from around the world: King Louis X V I of France was reputed to have maintained Swiss accounts in the eighteenth century, as do many political leadets today. In 1945, after World War II, the Swiss people overwhelmingly rejected membership in the United Nations. In national polls in 1992 and again in 2 0 0 1 , Swiss voters rejected membership in the European Union, fearing EU

bureaucratic interference with their privacy and banking laws. T h e Swiss again said "no" to opening negotiations to join the EU by 77 percent to 23 percent on March 4, 2 0 0 1 , largely because they wanted to preserve bank secrecy. A few years ago a national ballot soundly rejected a specific proposal to ease Swiss bank secrecy laws. More recently, in a June 2001 national opinion poll by the Swiss Bankers Association, over 80 percent of the Swiss continued to support the country's bank secrecy laws, but many (66 percent) also believed mote can be done to combat money laundering. Aftet each of the earlier national plebiscites, even greatet amounts of foreign cash flowed into Swiss banks, re-confirming the widesptead belief that Switzerland is the place to safeguatd your 141 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection money. It's estimated that currently Swiss banks manage at least one-thitd of all assets held offshore by the world's wealthy. In books, movies and populat culture, Switzerland and its much-vaunted bank secrecy have become a modern cliche. But in spite of Swiss popular support, just how safe is true financial privacy in Switzerland today? T h e 1 9 3 4 B a n k S e c r e c y L a w T h e rise of Hitlet's Germany in the early 1930s prompted the famous 1934 Swiss bank secrecy law that remains in force today. That law was a good faith effort to stop Nazi agents who were bribing bank employees for information about the accounts of Getman citizens and expatriates. T h e law protects foteign depositors from unwarranted inttusions into theit bank ptivacy, although now it has been tempered in important ways by newer anti-money laundering statutes and tax information exchange tteaties, noted below. But most foteigners don't undetstand the current natute and extent of Swiss financial and banking privacy.

A Swiss bank is prohibited by law from responding to inquiries about an individual account— whether from attorneys, credit tating services or foreign governments. T h e law punishes violations of bank secrecy with fines up to Sfr50,000 ( U S $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 ) and six months in ptison. In most cases the Swiss government cannot obtain information about an account without a court otder. To obtain an order it must be ptoven that Swiss law has been violated and that there is reason to believe the particulat account at issue is involved in that law violation. T h e A n t i - M o n e y Laundering C r u s a d e In spite of its reputation fot bank secrecy, self-regulation began as far back as 1977 when Swiss bankers themselves adopted voluntary restrictions. They preferred to clean house father than have government force them to act. This came after U S $ 5 0 0 million in Italian investments mysteriously disappeated from the Chiasso branch of the Ciedit Suisse bank. In 1990 Switzerland was one of the first European countries to make money laundering a criminal offense. T h e law forced the demise of the famous Swiss compte anonyme, as the French-speaking Swiss termed it. Previously, it was possible fot an attorney or other nominee to open an account in which the identity of the beneficial owner need not be revealed to the bank. Instead, the nominee submitted a form to the bank attesting that the nominee knew the identity of the underlying client. Since 1994 there has been a central office in Bern devoted exclusively to fighting organized crime. T h e Swiss Bankers Association has issued specific "know your customer" guidelines to be used by Swiss banks to investigate potential clients and decide their acceptability. T h e regulations call for banks to pay particular attention if a prospective client tties to open an account of more than Sfr25,000 ( U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 ) in cash, or if anyone tries to convert large amounts of cash into foreign currencies. Court orders to obtain account information ate issued only if evidence suggests that a ctiminal offense has occurred under Swiss law, without regard to whethet the alleged offense is a crime in the home country of a foreign national. Nonpayment of taxes is not a crime in Switzerland, but "tax fraud" is—and as you'll learn momentarily, that can be a rathet elastic phtase.

On April 1, 1998, a new, stricter money laundering law took effect. This law transformed the face of Swiss banking in a fundamental way. Previously, bankers had the option of reporting suspicious transactions to police authorities. Now, under pressure from world governments pursuing corruption, drug cartels and organized crime, Switzerland has made bank non-reporting of suspicious activities a crime. Bankers now can go to jail for keeping secret the names and records of suspect clients. Before, they faced jail if they did teveal such information. T h e result has been a revolution in the previously top-secret world of Swiss banking. Official figures show that in 2000 about 270 "money laundering" cases were reported to authotities, of which 70 percent led to investigations and 50 percent convictions or asset freezes.

142 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection Using these newer statutes, in some few cases Switzerland has released information that does not involve a crime under Swiss law. T h e government has shown its willingness to do this befote an individual is convicted if the foteign government can demonstrate "reasonable suspicion" that the accused engaged in ctiminal conduct. T h e list of offenses for which the Swiss government is willing to step in and order account freezes seems to grow longer. This has been particulatly ttue in high-ptofile dtug or corruption cases. Ferdinand Marcos, the late Philippines dictator, was said to have stashed away up to U S $ 2 0 billion in Swiss accounts. T h e Swiss government has cooperated for more than a decade in efforts by the present Filipino government to recover the assets. W h e n the Haitian government asked that all private accounts held by Baby-Doc Duvalier be identified and frozen, it had no problems. Similarly, at the request of the American government, Switzerland froze all of the accounts owned by Panama's Manuel Noriega. And in one recent and infamous case, the U.S. split several hundred million dollars with the Swiss government for its assistance in freezing and confiscating that cash. Despite these headline-grabbing asset freezes, several officials of the Swiss

money laundering office resigned earlier this year to protest what they charge is lax enforcement of these laws. Add to this, pressure from the European Union to modify bank secrecy, plus repeated attacks by Socialist membets of the French parliament who charge Switzerland harbors French tax cheats. And outside pressure continues. In an effort to reach a tentative agreement on tax evasion policy with the European Union, Swiss finance minister Kaspar Villiger has suggested extending the 35 petcent withholding tax on accounts belonging to EU citizens in Switzetland's banks until the year 2010, but the issue remains highly contentious. But there are limits to how far the Swiss will go. In Match 2001 a new, even stricter laundering bill was rejected by the Swiss parliament after the government announced that it considered the existing defenses against money laundering to be adequate. Treaties P r e v e n t Double T a x a t i o n , Sacrifice S e c r e c y Treaties have also eroded Swiss secrecy. Switzerland has entered into many treaties with other countties allowing for information telease where a crime committed in the other country is also a crime under Swiss law, the "dual criminality" principle. T h e most famous such tteaty is the U.S.Switzerland Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which came into effect in 1977. Since that time, it has been used on thousands of occasions to investigate alleged criminal activity, and in many cases, to confiscate assets allegedly detived from crime. Switzerland has also signed many tax treaties, including a revised treaty with the United States in 1997. While this treaty has significant benefits—e.g., permitting U.S. persons purchasing Swiss insurance policies to forego paying a 1 percent U . S . excise tax that would otherwise apply—Article 26 of the treaty poses a significant threat to tax privacy. While nonpayment of taxes is not a crime in Switzerland, Article 26 permits the two governments to exchange information about alleged tax fraud. It also allows authorities to transfer information that may help in the "prevention of tax fraud and the like in relation to taxes." Historically, the Swiss position was that tax evasion involved merely not listing all of one's income on a tax return. Tax fraud, on the other hand, involved the

preparation or submission of false tax documents. However, the United States has consistently taken the position that signing a false tax return under penalty of perjury is, in fact, tax fraud. While the Swiss have not yet come around to this position, the new treaty makes the distinction very narrow. Swiss B a n k e r s Defend S e c r e c y Swiss banking industry officials proclaim they will never abandon the country's bank secrecy, vowing to resist any pressure to weaken it. However, this statement must be taken in the context of market reality. For instance, the 1998 merger of Swiss Bank Corp. and Union Bank of Switzerland, creating 143 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection U B S A G , involved the U . S . subsidiaries of both organizations, and was therefore subject to U . S . regulatory scrutiny. T h e merger was approved by the U . S . Federal Reserve only aftet the banking giant agreed to provide U . S . regulators with all information "necessary to determine and enforce compliance with ...[U.S.] federal law." No exception was granted for U . S . tax laws. Rathet than defend their clients' privacy rights, the bank compromised. U B S compliance with this deal was bad news for financial privacy seekers. Obviously U . S . depositots considering Swiss banks should avoid U B S AG and any Swiss bank with U.S.-based branches, affiliates or actual banking operations, other than a mere "representative office." But some doubt these claims. They say that Swiss bankers realize that secrecy has lost its positive image and that the bank secrecy law undercuts Switzerland's image of financial probity. "The secrecy concept is completely disappearing and can no longer be used to ptomote Switzerland as a private banking center," Carlo Lombardini, a Geneva lawyer specializing in banking, told the International Herald Tribune last year.

For finance minister Villiger, however, the crux of the matter is that the Swiss people simply do not want to give up their cherished banking secrecy. Says he: "A person's confidentiality is a very important principle, especially when new technology allows detailed ptofiles of everyone. Every person has a right to be protected. We Swiss have all the tools necessary to avoid abuses, and that is why it is legitimate to maintain this special professional secrecy. I'm convinced that even if the government proposed moving away from this system, the people would nevet say yes." And so long as secrecy keeps the billions rolling in, neither will the Swiss government. The Swiss Franc: End of an Era? by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, July 1999 In Aptil 1999, votets in Switzerland approved a new constitution that ends the requirement that the Swiss franc be backed by gold. This is the end of an era. A world without a gold-backed franc is a world that seems without one of its fundamental economic pillats. For decades, investors have sought financial refuge in the Swiss franc. And they have been rewarded by stellar performance verses other currencies. Even the mighty U . S . dollar—currently the world's strongest currency—is only worth about one-thitd as much in Swiss franc tetms as it was in 1970. Swiss voters are selfish. They're no different from voters anywhere else. And by reneging on gold backing for the franc, they sent a strong message to the politicians representing them. Anyone who's ever visited Switzerland knows it's expensive to live, work or do business there. T h e main benefit that ordinary Swiss citizens obtain by having the world's strongest currency is that imports to Switzetland are relatively inexpensive. Everything else in Switzetland costs more when the franc rises. Swiss businesses look abroad for investment and expansion opportunities—not in Switzerland. Swiss workers—at least those outside the financial sector—lose their jobs and see their income stagnate.

Swiss voters wouldn't mind seeing a weaker Swiss franc. However, despite their intentions, it's unlikely they'll get it. Undet the old constitution, every Swiss franc in circulation had to be backed by a minimum of 40 petcent in gold reserves. But the government defined the "official" price of gold at Sfrl42.90 ( U S $ 9 3 . 9 0 ) per ounce. Taking into account that gold trades at approximately U S $ 2 6 8 per ounce, that meant the franc was effectively 100 percent backed by gold. T h e new constitution stipulates that the Swiss National Bank, the nation's central bank, shall accumulate sufficient reserves to back the franc, a portion of which shall be in gold. It is left up to 144 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection the S N B to determine how much of its reserves will be maintained in gold. It also for the fitst time mandates that the S N B shall operate free of political control. N o M a n d a t e t o Sell Gold But the new constitution does not require that the S N B sell any gold, although the S N B has announced its intention to sell approximately 50 percent of Swiss gold reserves over the next decade. This announcement was met with consternation by investors worldwide who assume that any reduction in Swiss gold holdings will adversely affect the value of the ftanc. Many of these investors had anticipated that the long-term rise in the value of the Swiss franc in relation to the U.S. dollat and other fiat (backed by nothing but paper) currencies would continue indefinitely. For reasons I'll discuss momentarily, the Swiss franc is unlikely to decline significantly in value, despite the prospect of gold sales. But neither is it likely to rise appreciably—here's why: Almost all the increase of the value of the franc versus the U.S. dollar occurred from 1970 to 1986, a highly inflationary period. Since 1986, the franc has fluctuated in a trading range between U S $ 0 . 6 0 and

U S $ 0 . 8 7 . It is currently ttading at the lower end of this tange. In a world gripped by deflation, not inflation, I don't expect massive increases in value in the franc, at least in U.S. dollar terms. On the other hand, modest gains ate possible if the franc moves back to the higher end of its ttading range. Nor do I anticipate that the value of the franc will collapse, or that the S N B will permit Switzerland to debase its currency to the extent, for instance, that the U . S . Fedetal Reserve has with reference to the U . S . dollar. Quite the contrary. Even if the Swiss "man in the street" is not particularly supportive of a strong franc, the financial engineers at the S N B ate acutely aware of the need to maintain confidence in the Swiss franc. This allows Switzerland to putchase essential imported goods (e.g., food and fuel, neither of which the country produces enough to be self-sufficient). Not to mention the foreign exchange benefits that a sttong franc provide and the continuing flow of capital to Swiss financial institutions. In short, the S N B is unlikely to do anything that would lead to a decline—and surely not a collapse— in the value of the franc. T h e same holds true in relation to the amount of gold the S N B will retain. It has been acknowledged in Swiss academic circles that as gold is the only government-independent medium of payment, maintaining a substantial reserve of the metal is essential in preserving Swiss neutrality. It is unquestionable that gold will continue to play a crucial role in the SNB's portfolio. Swiss R e s e r v e s World's Highest According to the S N B , Switzerland currently owns 2,590 tons of gold—the fourth largest holding in the world (aftet the United States, France and Germany) and by far the highest reserves per capita. In addition, Switzerland holds Sfr53.2/US$34-5 billion in foreign currencies and Sfr3.3/US$2.15 billion in other reserves. Every Swiss franc in circulation is backed by much more than gold. Indeed, the existence of non-gold reserves insures that holdets of franc-denominated assets can easily exchange these holdings for yen, euros, dollars or any other freely

traded currency. This shows the importance of foreign currency reserves in today's world where transactions rarely involve gold. Again, these holdings ate the world's largest relative to GDP. Relative to GDP, Swiss international reserves with gold valued at market ptices amounted to 23 petcent in 1997. Relative to yeat-ly impotts, Swiss international reserves amounts to 90 percent. Only Japan among the industrial countries is in the same league. Viewed in this context, the SNB's plan to sell half of its gold reserves over the next 10 years— assuming the requisite laws to approve the sales are even passed—is not a particulatly threatening development. Nor is it certain that gold will be sold outfight. T h e S N B could conceivably issue 145 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection gold-backed bonds or lend gold for revenue purposes. And so long as Switzerland keeps running surpluses in ttade and other foreign transactions, it will have the ability to add to its total reserves. Further, the size of a nation's reserves—gold or otherwise—is just one factot impacting the value of its currency. Its balance of payments, economic strength, market psychology and the openness of its markets each have an impact that is at least as important. In all of these factors, Switzerland passes with flying colors. And based on these parametets, I expect its currency will remain one of the strongest, if not the strongest, in the world. A Candid American View of Civil Forfeiture by Robert E. Bauman, JD, December 1998 During the last 15 years, police confiscation of private property has grown into a multi-billion dollat American scandal. Since the early 1980s, using the excuse of the failed "war against drugs," federal, state and local police have confiscated cash and property of every sort

valued at over U S $ 7 billion. This blatant police grab occurs because of extraordinary powers granted by a U . S . legal doctrine that grew out of ancient English common law. That legal theory has been codified into statutory law by U . S . politicians eager to appear "tough on crime." It's called "civil asset forfeiture" and property owners beware! Brenda Grantland, a prominent criminal defense attorney from California specializing in antiforfeiture law, heads a national U . S . group, Forfeiture Endangers American Rights ( F E A R ) . (Check the excellent FEAR Internet web site at Ms. Grantland says, "In America asset forfeiture has become a polite euphemism for government confiscation of private property. It allows government to seize property without paying for it, based solely on police accusation the property was or is somehow connected to criminal conduct." Under U . S . forfeiture laws, a home or office building in which a crime allegedly occurs can be confiscated because use of that place is said to "facilitate" the crime. Motor vehicles driven to the place a transaction occurs also are said to "facilitate" crime, so they can be taken too. T h e government claims depositing $1.00 in criminally tainted money in a bank account allows them to forfeit (confiscate) all the cash in the account! Property can be confiscated from innocent ownets even for alleged crimes by other people. Even a totally innocent accused property owner must go through a lengthy court ptocess and prove at trial they neithet knew of, ot consented to, illegal use of their property. Constitutional "due process" guaranteed in othet ateas of U . S . criminal law is virtually unknown in asset forfeiture cases. Procedure is stacked against an innocent owner and in favor of government. T h e basic presumption of "innocent until proven guilty" is turned on its head; the burden is on the owner who, in order to reclaim the property must prove a negative, showing it was not used in a criminal act.

The government seizes property without a hearing and holds it until the case is finally decided in the courts, months or years later. Police often seize everything of value a person owns, so the accused has no money to hire a lawyer to fight the seizure. There is no right to court appointed counsel in forfeiture cases and typically the cost is a minimum of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 to U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 in legal fees. T h e record shows that in the U.S. forfeiture is aimed not so much at wealthy suspected drug traffickers, but in the great majority of cases, at more convenient targets—avetage people, many of them minorities, whose only "crime" is ownership of real and personal property (or cash) ripe for police taking. Today on-the-spot police confiscation of cash and assets is common. Mere suspicion has become a police license to steal.

146 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection In more than 80 percent of U . S . forfeiture cases the property owner is never charged with a crime, yet the police can and do keep the seized property. In most cases there has been little or no proportionality between the crime alleged to justify forfeiture, and the punishment imposed. Under asset forfeiture, hotels are seized because one room was said to be used for a drug transaction, and landlords lose apartment houses because tenant drug deals allegedly occurred in some unspecified apartments. T h e forfeiture of real estate is so attractive, routine police policy arranges "structured arrests." Whenever a drug deal is set to "go down," undetcover agents make sure the transaction occurs inside a valuable building or on a high-priced tract of land— which then or later is confiscated by police. W h e n even a small part of a larger parcel of land is the locus of an alleged drug crime, the entire tract is subject to forfeiture under the legal theory that the land's use "facilitates" the commission of the crime. When a drug deal takes place in a driveway, the government seizes the house and thirty acres of land as well. Marijuana found growing in the remote corner of a 500-acre farm, allows confiscation of the entite farm, even if the owner knew nothing about it.

Under threat of great financial loss, forfeiture law forces property owners to act as police agents and incriminate others; innocent owners are defenseless unless they prove not only that the alleged illegal activity occurred without their knowledge or consent—but also they did all they "reasonably could be expected to do to ptevent the proscribed use of the property." Forfeiture skirts the usual safeguatds of the normal government appropriations process; billions of dollars worth of property and cash fall into police hands, then ate spent with no supetvision by elected officials and little or no accounting to anyone. Hundreds of police, prosecutots and officials themselves have been arrested for stealing or misusing forfeited cash and ptopetty—and for falsely arresting and confiscating property on trumped up charges. Millions of dollars have been awarded by courts to victims of this police misconduct. That is one of the worst aspects of forfeiture; that police and prosecutorial authorities engage in criminal conduct themselves, corrupted by an illicit profit motive because the property and cash being expropriated from private citizens goes directly to police budgets, including salaries. This per-verse conflict of interest is inherent; the more they seize, the more they get for "official use." Former New York City Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy admitted, "The large monetary value of forfeitures . . . has created a great temptation for state and local police departments to target assets tather than criminal activity." Small wonder police rape squads and murder details have been joined by official "forfeiture squads," cops out scouring the town to meet quotas, not for arrests and convictions, but for total dollar value confiscated. High-priced autos are a special police target. As the Pittsburgh Press so aptly put it, "The billions of dollats that forfeiture brings into law enforcement agencies is so blind-ing that it obscutes the devastation it causes the innocent." Not content with forfeiture for drug offenses, eager politicians and legislatots have expanded this btutal punishment broadly. More than one hundred federal statutes now impose forfeiture for environmental crimes, health and safety law violations. A growing number of states, including Texas and Florida, now apply civil forfeiture to any and all criminal activity. Scores of federal government agencies now have statutory forfeiture power, including, of course, the Internal Revenue Setvice—plus more than 3,000 state and local police departments.

Used together with U . S . and state anti-money laundering laws, forfeiture has become a government cash cow that keeps on milking. Americans courts, caught up in "drug war" fervor, generally have acquiesced in this police confiscation. While upholding forfeiture in principle, the U.S. Supreme Court has cutbed some of its worst abuses. They held that until a court renders judgment, a property owner has title and the right to defend it; that civil forfeitures are subject to the constitutional prohibition against excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments, and that forfeitures cannot be excessive in relation to 147 Offshore Banking: Privacy & Asset Protection the offense committed. Ms. Grantland, FEAR president, is the author of an excellent book on how to avoid forfeitute of real and personal property. Entitled Your House Is Under Arrest, its subtitle tells it all: "How police can seize your home, car and business without a trial—and how to ptotect yourself." Here are some of Grantland's practical anti-forfeiture measures: • Homeowners must make sute absolutely no police-attracting or criminal activity takes place in theit house, including dtug use and/or parties that get out of hand. • Landlotds must take every precaution against criminal activities by tenants, warning and evicting problem tenants, even notifying police. Keep careful records of all you do. Owners of run-down rental property, so-called "slum lords," are particularly vulnerable. Governments use forfeiture as a kind of area "renewal." • Time-sharing resort condo ownership is also apt to be risky because of jointowner's inability to conttol renter's conduct. Think before you buy a share. • Be certain your on-site property manager is strict in applying occupancy and other rules, and is himself clean in every respect.

• Don't buy, ot if you own, sell, any public place such as a bar, night club, motel ot hotel located in a high-ctime area likely to be targeted by police. • If you're a rural landowner, constantly make sute thete is no illegal substances growing anywhere on your land. • Think twice before investing in commercial real estate. Forfeitute police look fot high-value buildings where owners may be lax on supervision and management. • Watch out for business partners or co-investors who may have even the faintest link with criminal activity. Undet forfeitute, your property co-interest is taken along with all othets. • Be especially wary of business with foreign investors who may violate cutrency reporting or other international cash movement restrictions. [Ed. Note: In 1999 a significant anti-forfeiture legislative victory was achieved when the U . S . Congtess passed reform law that rolled "back 30 years of criminal measures passed at the height of Government 'wars' on drugs and terrorism," as the New York Times phrased it. T h e law, sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), imposed major resttictions on police forfeiture powers and bolsters property owners' rights. Unfortunately, many of the Hyde reforms were weakened by socalled "anti-terrorist" provisions of the U S A P A T R I O T Act adopted in October 2001.]


The Matter of Cash C H A P T E R F O U R The Matter of Cash Illegal Tender: T h e War on Cash 149 What Is "CyberCash" 151 A Critical Look at E-Currencies 152 Required Course: Electronic Finance 101 153 Bearer Shares & Bearer Bonds 157 Bearer Shares: Friend or Foe? 160 Government Targets: Smatt Cards & Digital Banking 162

Flying Money: T h e Global Financial Undetground 163 Suspicious Transactions 164 T h e IRS Tries to Profile Card Holders 165 IRS Crackdown on Offshore Credit Cards 166 Cash is defined as "money or its equivalent." Until relatively recent times money meant papet currency backed by gold, or metal coins of gold or silver with intrinsic value. Today cash can be bil lions of binary digits controlled by computers that send it around the world with a speed once reserved for lightning bolts. T h e Bible, in the First Book of Timothy, admonishes us, "The love of money is the root of all evil." In the modern world the manner in which you handle your money can result in evils befalling you worse than all the plagues described in both the Old and New Testaments. In this chapter, we survey the state of money and its many new equivalents in what can be called a "money safety course"—the new money regime you must master to survive. Illegal Tender: The War on Cash by John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, December 2001 History teaches us that the most serious casualty of war is always liberty. In "America's New War," this sad lesson is being demonstrated again. Each passing day we are told that in order to protect our freedoms we must relinquish them. George Orwell had a name for this: doublespeak. Using the fear of terrorism as cover, world governments are cranking up an allout assault on financial privacy. Their primary target: cash. I'm old enough to remember when cash was the most common medium of exchange.

Companies paid their employees in cash, and people used cash for most purchases, including large ones like cars and even houses. Until the mid-20th century, bank accounts were the exception rather than the rule for individuals and even businesses worldwide. Credit cards were non-existent until the 1950s. T h e American Express card didn't appear until 1958.

149 The Matter of Cash Although wealthy individuals sometimes putchased stocks, for almost everyone else, savings were in the form of cash (or gold and silver coins) stashed "under the mattress." Cash was king. Large bills circulated in most countries. In the United States thete were $500 and $ 1 , 0 0 0 notes, and even $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 and $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 bills. They're long gone, although they are still sold as collector's items. Now the U.S. government is working to eliminate $100s, and $50s ate likely to follow. Governments don't like cash. With cash, citizens can conduct exchanges without written records and in complete privacy. Cash leaves no trail. While we are told government is against cash because it facilitates crime, in fact they hate it because cash makes individuals, sovereign. T h e objective is a "cashless society," where every financial transaction will be available for instant examination and comprehensive analysis in government-run data banks. It has taken decades for governments to gradually lull the public into accepting the elimination of cash, but success is at hand. Citizens are learning thtough bitter experience that to accept, hold, transport and exchange relatively large amounts of cash is to risk forfeiture and even prison. In bygone days, the danger in carrying cash was that you might be robbed. It still is. Only today the tobbet is most likely to wear a police uniform. T h e early signs of this war on cash came with the passage of the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act, which made it a federal crime for anyone to cross the U . S .

botdet with more than $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 in cash without filing a report with the U . S . Customs Service. Today, government agents can basically empty your wallet of cash anytime they want. Most people whose cash is seized are never formally charged with a crime. Some 9 0 % never get theit property back. In Flotida, the "Impact" unit, a force of 50 officers backed by nearly a dozen police agencies, funds itself entirely through asset seizures, and it doles out millions more stolen dollats to area police departments. A Vietnamese immigtant forfeited U S $ 8 0 , 0 0 0 in cash he was carrying despite the fact he was never charged with a ctime after agents seized money from him during a train ride from California to Boston. In Wayne County, Michigan, police confiscate the cash that people bring in to bail out friends or family members, simply by having a dog sniff it, supposedly "alerting" to the smell of drug residues on the currency. Such seizures continue, despite that numerous federal court cases have established that nearly all U.S. currency has enough such residues to excite a drug-sniffing dog. Occasionally, the amount confiscated is large enough that the victim sues to recover it. In 1998, the U . S . Supreme Court said federal authotities could not keep the $357,144 in legally earned funds they had taken from Hosep Bajakajian for failure to declate it when exiting the country. T h e Court, fot the first time in its 200-yeat history, invalidated the forfeiture because it would result in a punishment grossly disproportionate to the underlying offense to which Bajakajian had pleaded guilty, which would have resulted in a maximum fine of only U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 . Not willing to be bound by the U.S. Constitution or by justice itself, the Bush administration successfully lobbied to change the Bajakajian type of offense from "failure to disclose" to "smuggling," a crime with a much stiffer maximum penalty. This change is part of the new U . S . anti-terrorist legislation. In the future, someone like Bajakajian will not be able to recover his legally earned after-tax money and could be sent to ptison for up to five years. Is the war on cash likely to end? Not a chance. T h e events of Septembet 11 have given all the majot governments new justification for theit war on cash. Is there an answer for sovereign individuals? Yes. T h e ongoing battle between the

sovereign state and sovereign individuals is moving to the next evolutionary step in money: electronic currencies. T h e largest operation in existence is called e-gold ( However, my preference is for GoldMoney ( the patented cyber-gold payment system introduced this year by long-time gold advocate James Turk. This new concept 150 The Matter of Cash completely eliminates the forfeiture and theft risks of transporting cash and is the perfect solution to moving money across borders. It also eliminates fraud and solves the collection problems and costs inherent with transferring money through checks, wires and credit cards. Best of all, GoldMoney (and e-gold) offer individuals the opportunity to bypass fiat currency. As mediums of exchange that are fully backed by gold or other precious metals, these avant-garde systems are based on tangible wealth-in contrast to the "dollars" issued by the Federal Reserve which are backed by nothing but the "good faith" of politicians. Each of us, like it or not, is at war to protect our dwindling liberties. As sovereign individuals we don't assemble, arm ourselves and march against the enemy. Instead, we search for strategies and products that protect our property, and deny our resources to the State. Gold-backed electronic currencies are one more such tool. What Is "CyberCash"? by Mark Nestmann, The CyberCash Report, August 1999 What is "cybercash?" A working definition is that cybercash is any system that facilitates the transfer of money ot other financial value electronically, potentially outside the banking system. Cyberpayments can be made on the Internet or through "smart cards," which

contain a microchip that stotes value on the card. Such arrangements ptovide the transacting patties with an immediate, convenient, secure (i.e., encrypted) and potentially anonymous means by which to transfer value. Cyberpayments need not ever re-enter the banking network. They can move from consumer to consumer, consumer to point of sale, or point of sale to point of sale, just as cash does now, but at the speed of light. Cyberpayments pose an unptecedented threat to the governmental monopoly on money and to the global surveillance system designed to prevent "money laundering," the metaphysical crime defined by one apologist as "a process which obscures the origin of money and its source." Under this definition, any action to maintain financial privacy is a crime. J. Orlin Grabbe masterfully explains how this system developed, and how cyberpayments will force it to unravel. (See below in this chapter). Central to the cyberpayments revolution is the development of privately issued digital money that can be transferred outside the banking system, with no regulatory "choke points" to facilitate government surveillance. To establish these choke points, governments will try to require that all cyberpayment transactions clear through a central authority. It will also try to ban anonymous transactions and require that a paper trail be established for cyberpayments similar to those recently imposed for transfers of cash. In the wotds of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U . S . Treasury's financial intelligence unit, "Because most cyberpayment systems are being designed to opetate internationally and in multiple currencies, it will be more difficult to determine the applicability of jurisdictional authority. T h e apparent and immediate erosion of international financial borders resulting from cyberpayment ttansactions mandates enhanced cooperation and efforts among international entities to ensure that there are consistent policies and standards. It will not deter financial crime if one country has extensive laws and regulations and another has none. T h e illicit money will merely move to the weakest link." FinCEN and each of the more than 50 financial intelligence units around the world should be worried. An unregulated cyberpayments industry will make it far more difficult for governments to tax their most productive citizens. This revolutionary development, according to Davidson & Rees-151

The Matter of Cash Mogg in The Sovereign Individual, may herald the end of hig government, and indeed, of governments themselves: Cyberspace is the ultimate offshore jurisdiction W h e n this greatest tax haven of them all is fully open for business, all funds will essentially be offshore funds at the discretion of theit owner. This will have cascading consequences. T h e state has grown used to treating its taxpayers as a farmer treats his cows, keeping them in a field to be milked. Soon, the cows will have wings. FinCEN thus proposes that cyberpayments be made subject to stringent antilaundering legislation. However, the ability in the very near future to conduct encrypted financial transactions over the Internet outside the banking system will prove a powerful incentive for many individuals to bypass whatever regulations FinCEN imposes. Such actions will no doubt be illegal. But whatever regulations are issued to prevent anonymity, they will again prove the truth of the warning issued by the philosopher Tacitus, "The more corrupt the state, the mote numerous the laws." A Critical Look at E-Currencies by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, May 2001 Will privately issued e-currencies eventually replace government-issued currencies? In theory, e-currencies, particularly those backed 100 percent by gold ot other precious metals, have much to offer. T h e biggest advantage is that consumets can choose to hold or do business in e-currencies that are backed by tangible assets rather than fiat money issued by a central bank. E-currencies can also enhance privacy. Residing on your hard drive, on an Internet server or on a "stored value" card, e-currencies are transferable directly from one party to another, without using a bank as an inteimediary. This system atchitecture also lowers transaction costs. Businesses benefit because transactions can be settled more quickly than with a wire transfer, regardless of the location of buyer or seller. For instance, a North American buyer of Asian textiles can send funds to the seller online while the

buyer's agent is at the seller's factory ready to take delivery. T h e entire transaction is completed in seconds and is not dependent on a bank being open during business hours. Merchants benefit as well, because the fees associated with e-cutrencies are far lower than the 1.5-15% fees imposed by credit catd companies. T h e fees are also lower than those imposed for wire transfers. This makes small-value ttansactions attractive that otherwise would be infeasible. Further, transactions in most e-currencies cannot be repudiated. Unlike credit card transactions, payments are not subject to reversal or charge-back. (Conversely, "non-repudiation" makes these e-currencies less attractive to consumers.) Despite these advantages, to date, e-currencies have not been patticularly successful. T h e best-known e-currency scheme, DigiCash, declared bankruptcy in 1998. Three stored-value card e-cash schemes—Mondex, VisaCash and Proton—have been modestly successful, but can only be used for relatively small purchases. Various hybrid digital cash schemes, such as CyberCash (, E-Cash ( and Billpoint (, also exist. CyberCash only works with a credit card (and recently declared bankruptcy); E-Cash and Billpoint both require a bank account. There are several reasons for this lack of acceptance. One is hostility from governments. Since e-currencies don't depend on banks for their existence, regulations in most countties requiring banks to "know their customers" don't apply to their issuers. This has anti-laundering organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) deeply concerned. As a result, most ecurrencies haven't been designed to facilitate privacy or permit large transactions.

152 The Matter of Cash Nor do other hanking regulations or depositor protections apply. While some ecurrency firms insure their aggregate physical holdings from theft, there is no insurance on individual holdings corresponding to the U . S . Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or similar guarantor with an implied government backing.

But a larger reason e-currencies haven't caught on is that thete hasn't been much demand, given the convenience of credit cards. And since it is possible for buyers to stop payments on a credit card if sellers fail to deliver goods ordered via credit card, consumers feel relatively safe using credit cards over the Internet. According to Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr., a Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: "Buyers will not acquire e-currency if few sellers accept it and sellets will not accept that currency if few buyers hold it. If few sellers accept electronic currency, there is little reason for buyers to tie up part of their assets in the currency. On the flip side, if few buyers hold electronic currency, there is little reason for sellers to bear the costs of accepting the cutrency. A successful ecurrency ... will require an introduction that manages to overcome what othetwise is a catch-22." Required Course: Electronic Finance 101 by J. Orlin Grabbe, The Cyberpayments Revolution, 1999 Many of the basic features of electronic cash—variously referred to as "e-cash," "digital cash," "digital money," and so on—may sound novel to those unfamiliar with the financial matkets. But much of the financial system is already on an electronic basis, and has been so for years. To see why, consider the foteign exchange market. This is a largely interbank market for trading the currency of one country for the currency of another: dollars for pounds, dollars for yen, and so on. But if I, as an interbank trader, sell U . S . dollars for British pounds, what are the actual logistics of the ttansfet? Consider the problems that would be imposed by a cash-based market. T h e standard transaction size in the foteign exchange market is an amount of currency equivalent to U S $ 1 million. A U S $ 2 0 bill weighs about 1 gtam. So, if transacted in cash, the U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 (50,000 bills) would weigh approximately 50 kilograms or 110 pounds.

Imagine the cost involved in such a transaction if in order to sell dollars for pounds I had to fill up a suitcase with U S $ 2 0 bills, lug the 110-pound suitcase to a Manhattan taxi, take a long ride to Kennedy Airport (New York City), fill out a C M I R form and check my baggage, arrive at Heathrow (London) seven hours later, retrieve my baggage, go through customs, and catch a cab to the appropriate British bank in central London. Once there I would pick up the equivalent in pounds sterling and reverse the whole process. There's a problem with this scenario: transaction costs. Anyone trying to change dollars into pounds will go to some other bank where he doesn't have to pay for my plane tickets and cab fares, not to mention my courier salary and the lunch I had at the Savoy before I headed back to New York. (In the present markets for cocaine and heroin, it is hard to reduce transactions costs, because the weight of the dtugs is less than the weight of the cash proceeds. In the eatly 1980s, cash bills were actually loaded into suitcases and moved around. To save time and money, however, the cash wasn't counted. Aftet a spot check of bills for denomination and authenticity, the suitcases were simply weighed to determined the total value. This measurement was accurate to within a few dollars— close enough. But foreign exchange ttading isn't illegal and doesn't, and can't, happen this way.) To see how international money transfers really work, consider the case of a Greek immigrant who has opened a restautant in Boston, has made a little money, and wants to send some cash to the folks back home. In eatlier days he probably would have gone down to the Western Union office and handed the attendant cash to "wire" to his mothet in Athens. T h e Western Union office The Matter of Cash in Boston would put the cash in its safe, or perhaps deposit it in a Boston bank, and would meanwhile send a message to the Athens office, "Give so-and-so X dollars" (or, more likely, "Y drach-mas"). That is, the cash received was not the same as the cash sent. All that was sent was a message. But no one cared, because cash itself is fungible: the dollar that is taken out is interchangeable with, but not the same as, the dollar that was put in. T h e bills ate also not tegistered: no particular name is associated with any particulat serial number. In this example, bills were put into the safe at one end of the ttansaction, and different bills were taken out at the other. Consider now a slight modification to

this scenatio: Eurobond trading. Eurobonds are generally placed in the depository systems operated by Euroclear in Brussels or Cedel in Luxembourg. Once bonds are in the vault, they generally stay there, because of transactions costs. If a trader in Frankfurt sells a GM eurobond with a coupon of 7 1/8 percent and maturing in 2012 to a trader in London, they both send messages to Euroclear. Euroclear compares the two set of instructions, checks the cash balance of the London trader, then switches the computer label of ownership of the bond to the London trader, and the ownership of the tequisite cash to the Frankfurt ttader. Again, however, the bonds are not registered, and are fungible within the parameters of a patticular issue. There may be several thousand GM eutobonds with a coupon of 7 1/8 percent and maturing in 2012, and the London trader owns one of them, but his ownership is not attached to a particular bond serial number. This is pretty much the way the foreign exchange market works. If a New York bank deals dollars for German owned euros [deutschemark] with a London bank, they send each othet confirma-tions through SWIFT. T h e n the New York bank will turn over a dollar deposit in New York to the London bank, while the London bank will turn over a euro deposit in Ftankfurt to the New York bank. T h e Frankfurt bank simply switches the name of the owner of the euros [deutschematks] from the London bank to the New York bank. T h e New York bank now owns X-number of fungible, unregistered (but completely traceable) euros at the Frankfurt bank. "I temember my shock when I learned that the fastest way for two banks in Hong Kong to settle a dollar transaction was to wire the money from Hong Kong to New York and back again," said Manhattan assistant district attorney John Moscow. He was shocked because he didn't understand how the process works. T h e "wired" dollars were sitting in New York all along as numbers in a bank computet, originally labeled as owned by the first Hong Kong bank. Aftet the transaction is completed, they are still in the same place, but labeled as owned by the second Hong Kong bank. There is nothing mystetious about this at all. Now let's modify the basic scenario again: Yankee bond trading. Yankee bonds are dollar-denominated bonds issued by non-U.S. citizens in the U . S . bond market. Yankee bonds are registered. If you buy a bond, your name is attached to

a particular bond with a particular serial number. If someone steals the bond, he will not be able to teceive intetest or principal, because his name is not attached to the bond serial number. So when Yankee bonds are traded, the seller's name is removed from the serial number of the bond being sold, and the buyet's name is attached. To this point we have talked about things that potentially exist in physical form. I can take a bond out of the vault, or I can cash in my electronic euros for printed bills. T h e final modification to these various scenarios is to get rid of the physical paper entirely. Such purely electronic creatures already exist: U . S . Tteasury bills; short-tetm debt instruments issued by the U.S. government. You buy, for example, a $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 T-bill at a discount, and it pays $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 at maturity. But you don't see printed T-bill certificates, because there aren't any. T-bills are electronic entries in the books of the Federal Reserve System. You can trade your T-bill to someone else by having the Fed change the name of the owner, but you can't stuff one in yout pocket. You can "wire" your T-bill from one bank to another, because the "wire" is just a message that tells the Federal Reserve bank to switch the name of the owner from one commercial bank to another

154 The Matter of Cash Smart and N o t - S o - S m a r t C a r d s In the previous section we saw that most of the financial system is already on an electronic basis. And we understand that "wiring" money doesn't at all correspond to the mental image of stuffing bills down an electrical wire or phone line. To bring this story closer to home, let's consider how most of us use a computer and a modem on a daily basis to make financial transactions. Even if we don't own a computet. Ot a modem. Let's talk about smatt and dumb cards— ATM cards, credit catds, phone cards, and much more. Some smart cards have microprocessors and are actually smart (and relatively expensive). They are really computers, but missing a keyboard, video screen, and power supply. Others, such as laser optical cards and magnetic stripe cards,

are chipless and only semi-smart. Laser optical cards are popular in Japan, and can hold up to 4 megabytes of data —enough for your tax and medical files and extensive genealogical information besides. T h e cards are a sandwich, usually a highly reflective layer on top of a non-reflective layer. A laser beam is used to punch holes through the reflective layer, exposing the non-reflective layer underneath. T h e presence or absence of holes represents bits of information. A much weaker laser heam is then used to read the card data. You can later mark a file of information as deleted, or turn it into gibberish, but you can't reuse the area on the card. Magnetic stripe cards, popular everywhere, doesn't hold much information. An ATM card is one example. Data is recorded on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card similar to the way an audio tape is recorded. There are thtee tracks—the first of which is reserved for airline ticketing. This track holds up to 79 alphanumeric charactets including your name and personal account number (PAN). T h e ATM doesn't actually use the first track for ttansactions, but it may read off your name, as when it says, "Thank you, Joe Blowup, fot allowing me to serve you." T h e second track contains up to 40 numerical digits, of which the first 19 are reserved for your PAN, which is followed by the expiration date. T h e third track will hold 107 numerical digits, starting again with yout PAN, and perhaps information related to your PIN (personal identification number, or "secret password"), along with othet information, all of which potentially gets rewritten every time the track is used. T h e ATM machine into which you insert your card is itself a computer. T h e ATM typically has both hard and floppy drives, a PC mother-board which contains the microprocessor, and a power supply—as well as drawers for deposits, cash, and swallowed cards. If the ATM is Online (i.e., one that is connected to a distant centtal bank computer, which makes all the real decisions), then it also has a modem to communicate ovet phone lines with the centtal computer. When you make a request for cash, the ATM machine compares your password to the one you enteted. If they are the same, it then takes yout request and your PAN, encrypts (hopefully) the information, and sends it on to the central computer. T h e central computer decrypts the message, looks at your account information, and sends an encrypted message back to the A T M , telling it to dispense money, refuse the transaction, or eat yout card.

In between the ATM and the authorizing bank is usually a controller, which services several ATMs. T h e controller monitors the ttansaction, and routes the message to the correct authorization processor (bank computet). Some ttansactions, for example, will involve banks in different ATM netwotks, and the transaction will have to be transferred to a different network for approval. T h e controller would also generally monitor the status of the different physical devices in the ATM—to see that they are operating properly and that the ATM is not being burglarized. A r e Smart C a r d s the M a r k o f the Beast? Besides optical and magnetic sttipe cards, there are two types of "chip" cards. Chip cards are basically any cards with electtonic circuits embedded in the plastic. One type of chip catd, called a memory (or "wired logic") card, doesn't have a microprocessor and isn't any smarter than the cards we discussed previously. Prepaid phone cards are of this type. They may have about IK of memory, 155 The Matter of Cash and can execute a set of instructions, but can't be reprogrammed. Then there are the truly smart cards that have a microprocessor and several kilobytes of rewriteable memory. Smart cards allow for greatly increased security, since access to their data is controlled by the internal microprocessorAnd thete can be built-in encryption algorithms. This versa-tility has made smart cards controversial. T h e negative reputation arises from certain cases where smart cards were imposed by force, as well as from smart-card storage of biometric data. T h e use of smart catds became a pterequisite for Marines to receive paychecks at Parris Island, South Carolina. Fingerprint-based smart card ID systems were implemented by the Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. T h e "Childhood Immunization" bill, introduced by Sen.

Ted Kennedy ( D - M A ) , would have tracked vaccination of all childten under six years of age, together with at least one parent, across geographical areas through smart cards. Access control at the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site tequites smart card badges which store the cardholder's hand geometry. Security access through retinal scan patterns stored in smart catd memory have been tested at the Sandia National Laboratory. Visa announced plans for creating an "electronic purse." T h e purse would be a reloadable spending card. You would charge the card up at an ATM machine, where it would suck some cash value out of your account, and store it in memory. You would then use the card instead of cash to make small purchases. Visa is atttacted by the estimate that consumet cash transactions in the United States are about five times the size of bank-assisted transactions (those that use checks, credit cards, and debit cards). Visa has been joined in this endeavor hy a consortium that includes VeriFone, the leading suppliet of point-of-sale transaction systems, and Gemplus, the leading manufacturer of smart catds. Thete may be increased security in the use of an electronic purse, but it is not clear how replenishing one's card balance at an ATM is any more convenient for the uset than getting cash at an ATM. Since Visa is not advertising the privacy aspects of electronic putse payments, one must assume this feature was omitted in the planning. Hence, a cynic could conclude that the electronic purse is little more than a Rube Goldberg device which, by substituting fot cash, will create a bettet set of PROMIS-type transaction records. These and other examples suggest possible uses of smart cards for more general surveillance and social control. T h e truly paranoid envision the use of a single smart catd for every financial transaction, medical visit and telephone call. This information would be sent directly to a common PROMIS-like database, which would constitute a record of all your activities. In addition, your card could be programmed to transmit its identification code whenever you use it. So you (or your card, anyway) could be instantly located anywhere on earth via the satellite-based Global Positioning System. But smart cards don't have to be used this way. Recall that mainframe computers once appeared destined to turn the average citizen into Organization Man, a creature to be folded, spindled and mutilated in lieu of IBM's punched catds. T h e advent of the personal computer, however, showed the same technology could be a tool of individual freedom and creativity.

There is nothing intrinsically evil in storing a great deal of information about ourselves, our finances, and our current and future plans. That is, after all, exactly why some of us carry around portable computets. But in this case the use of the computer is voluntary, and we ourselves control both access to, and the content of, the information. T h e same principle applies to smart cards. It is smatt cards more than any othet aspect of banking technology, I believe, that will allow for financial privacy through cryptology, for anonymous and secure digital cash transactions. It's simply a matter of taking control of the technology and using it to enhance personal freedom.

156 The Matter of Cash Bearer Shares & Bearer Bonds Banking in Silence, 1998 Another alternative for transporting large amounts of money anonymously is hy means of bearer securities. These are simply shares of companies or bonds that are issued to the "bearer." T h e issuing company maintains no record of the sale. By definition, these shares or bonds may be freely bought, sold, traded or given away without creating a paper trail. As far as banks or othet financial institutions are concerned, such shares or bonds are legally owned by whoever actually has them in his or her physical possession. No centtal tegistration exists, meaning that for all intents and purposes, they are as unttaceable as good old cash. Bearer shares are issued by most offshore corporations. They are also used by banks, insurance companies and even countries, states and municipalities, which issue them to raise revenue. They can be purchased just about anywhere on the planet, with, of coutse, the exception of the U.S. Bearer shares and bonds were one of the fitst victims of the so-called war on drugs and are now illegal in this Big Brother stronghold. American corporations, even those based offshore, are now prohibited from issuing bearer bonds or shares. Even the U.S. government swallowed its own bitter pill and recently stopped issuing bearer T-Bills. Nonetheless, in spite of such ongoing efforts by Big Brother, such wonders of anonymity remain freely available in most of the rest of the world, at least for the moment.

Bearer bonds are considered by many privacy conscious investors to be the best invention since sliced btead. As a conduit fot convening your cash and transporting it in the least conspicuous way, they are unbeatable. You can convert $ 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 into pethaps ten pieces of paper (ten bonds of $100,000 each) and carry them on your person. In many countries, a border guard has the legal authotity to confiscate any cash you carry in excess of reporting requirements if you fail to declare it. (Why any country would make it difficult to import cash in the first place remains a mystery, but that's how the wotld works.) However, most countries will not give a second glance to $1,000,000 or even $ 2 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 as long as it is in the form of bearer shares or bonds. Again, the U . S . government swims against the tide and requires that you report any bearer instrument worth in excess of U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . A B C s o f B e a r e r Bonds Bearer bonds come in two vetsions: coupon and non-coupon. T h e former is a bond with a number of coupons attached to it. At specified intervals, these coupons may be cut out and redeemed for cash, eithet at a bank or by mailing them directly to whoever issued the bond in the first place. Rules vary, but will be stated on the back of the bond. This payment is usually interest, as the bond itself is redeemable at face value upon maturity. On the othet hand, a non-coupon bond, as the name implies, does not have any coupons. This means that intetest is not paid out as long as you hold the bond but is instead added to the overall value of the bond until it reaches maturity. Let us say, for instance, that a bond is issued in the amount of U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e interest rate is set at 10 percent per annum and the date of matutity (the date when the bond may be redeemed at full face value of U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 ) is seven years from the date of issue. Obviously, no one would pay U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 for a bond just for the pleasure of owning it for seven years and then at the end of it all get the same amount back. In effect, that would mean receiving no interest payments on yout funds. So, the bond is issued at a discount to face value. For the purpose of this example, I have set an interest rate of 10 percent per annum and a running time of seven years because an amount will double in seven years (plus a few weeks, anyway) if 10 percent annual interest is left to be compounded upon the good old interest on interest.

This means that when a bond is issued with a face value of U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 it will be sold for U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 — a 50 percent discount on face value. No one in his right mind would pay the 157 The Matter of Cash U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 face value before maturation date, seven years hence. Remember, there are no coupons on such a bond. In fact, intetest fot the entire seven-year period will be paid as part of a lump sum of U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 at the end of it all—that's U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 in interest as well as the original U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 paid for the bond. Sttictly speaking, one does not buy a bond but rather lends money and receives the bond as collateral for the loan. So what happens if you need or want your money back before maturation date? No problem. You just find someone who wants to buy it. That is exactly the sort of thing that banks and brokerage houses do for a living. They make surprisingly small charges for their services. (Of course, if a low-quality junk bond is involved, there may be no buyers.) After one year, you will be able to sell the bond of the above example for U S $ 5 5 , 0 0 0 — t h e original outlay plus 10 percent interest. If yout bearer bonds ate not counterfeit or damaged, you will have no problem selling them. Just walk into any bank or stockbroker's office with your bond and they will happily buy it from you at the prevailing price. It should be noted that bearer bonds are investments—places to put your money and earned intetest. They can be just as fickle as otdinary bonds. If the interest rate quoted on yout bearer bonds is 10 percent and genetal interest rates suddenly skyrocket to 20 percent, then the price of your bond will naturally slip by 50 petcent. If, on the othet hand, general intetest rates plummet to five percent, yout bearer bond will double in value because it promises a rate of interest (10 percent) that is double that obtainable elsewhere. Of course, for our purposes in this discussion, bearer shares and bonds are covered purely and simply because they ate one of the easiest ways for you to move large amounts of money into your offshore account anonymously. Whether you hold on to bearer bonds until maturation ot cash them in as soon as they arrive at yout new

account is entirely your decision. Just remember that once deposited in your new account, you can easily instruct yout bank either to hold on to bearer securities or to sell them and deal with the proceeds as directed. At home, be certain when purchasing bearer securities that you do so anonymously. Otherwise you may inadvertently create a paper ttail (albeit one that is very difficult to follow) if you buy bearer securities in your own name through a stockbroker or bank. Explain to your stockbtoker when making the purchase that confidentiality is your objective. A good stockbroker will arrange for an anonymous purchase. A r e B e a r e r B o n d s Safe? T h e major drawback to bearer bonds is the same as with cash—if you lose it, kiss your money goodbye. Yes, there is a way to get a duplicate bond to replace one that has been lost, stolen or destroyed, but this means that you must also purchase a "lost instrument surety bond" from an insurance company. This will cost about 12 percent of the value of your bearer bond. You will also have to wait about six months to get yout money back after proving that the paper was lost or destroyed. If you dread the risk, ask an insurance company for more information or seek out one of the very few bearer bonds that comes pre-insured. Alternatively, guard your bearer bonds closely, preferably keep them on your person or in a safety deposit box until you can get them to yout bank and add them to the growing mother lode held securely offshore. Anothet caveat about bearer bonds and shares is that, as there is no centtal registration of bonds, you could accidentally buy stolen shares. As stolen bearer bonds are almost always canceled bonds that have already been redeemed, again you can then kiss your money goodbye. T h e easiest way to avoid this is to buy bearer securities only from a majot bank or broker. They supply you with a receipt and a guatantee that the papet is bona fide. Con artists love everything that has a tad of mystique about it, whether this mystique is warranted or not. Every year, both banks and private investors are duped into eithet forking over money for worthless canceled beatet bonds or into extending large loans and taking physical posses-158

The Matter of Cash sion of bogus bonds as collateral. Usually, the way it works is that a crook somehow obtains, more often than not by theft, a numbet of bonds that have been redeemed but have not yet made their way to the incinerator Sometimes the ruse is obvious to those who know what to look for, such as one or more tiny holes or perforations in a corner of the bond. (Those little holes, if undetected, may mean that the piece of papet you just paid £ 1 0 , 0 0 0 for is about as valuable as a piece of toilet tissue.) On othet occasions, even bonds that have already been redeemed but for some reason were not perforated are peddled by more enterprising con artists. Be careful! Bearer bonds are extremely valuable as a monetary tool, but you should guard yourself against hoaxes by buying only from a bank or a large, thoroughly reputable brokerage house. Don't be satisfied just because you have seen an ad fot a brokerage house (or even a bank) in a newspaper and thus reckon that the outfit must be legit. Two decades ago, an unknown individual referred to by investigators as "Dr. No" placed ads in several international bank registets for T h e Bank of Sark, a bank that does not exist and has never existed. Dr. No did not do this to attract customers or business, but merely to make the name linger in the memories of bank managers everywhere. Aftet buying and placing these ads for three consecutive years, he managed to pull off an international swindle with cashiet's checks and bearer bonds based on the mere perception created as to the bank's existence. He got away with more than U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 . Both Interpol and a lot of banks and investors are still wringing their hands over the affair. Dr. No is still at large. So, when you go to buy bearer bonds, check the scene out carefully and gathet as much information as you possibly can. Place calls to good, old brokerage houses and merchant banks such as Manufacturers Hanovet, Prudential Bathe, Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs. Check out everything before taking the plunge. B e a r e r Bonds A n Endangered Species? On anothet note, although you can take steps to protect yourself from con artists when purchasing bearer bonds, there is little you can do to protect yourself from legislators.

For example, in 1992, the State Bank of Pakistan ran full page ads in the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal and other papers. They touted a new series of bearer certificates and proclaimed proudly that no questions would be asked as to the origin of funds used to buy the bonds. Of coutse, Big Brother saw this as nothing less than a direct assault against his ongoing war against banking privacy. He acted swiftly. T h e U . S . government, acting as self-elected world cop, threatened to summarily arrest and prosecute all Pakistani bankers living or working in the United States for aiding and abetting drug dealers and money launderers, current and prospective. Talk about Nazi methods! But it worked. A short three weeks latet, the State Bank of Pakistan ran new ads saying the bearer bonds offer was withdrawn. Big Brother had struck another blow against freedom. Pakistan then went on to sell its bearer bonds mote discreetly as almost all nations and corporations do. T h e U . S . government requested that Pakistani officials turn over names of all Americans who responded to the ads. T h e demand was not honored. However, one can learn from this story, particularly if you are an American interested in putchasing bearer securities. When requesting information about such commodities, make absolutely certain you use an address located outside of the U.S. If your government discovers you frequently buy and sell bearer securities you may well find youtself at the center of a very unfriendly investigation. Don't allow this to happen. Stay absolutely low-profile from the very outset. Furthermore, this story also shows that you really do need to statt thinking about how you intend to move large sums at some future date. This rule applies not only to Americans but to everyone, unless you have your mind set on spending the rest of your days in your present country no mat-159 The Matter of Cash tet what may happen in the future. Bearer bonds exist now—use them before this door closes. Cash is great but bulky. A million pounds doesn't buy what it used to, but it still takes up a lot of room. Even in Sfr 1,000 notes we are talking about roughly 2,000 bills. If you are using U S $ 1 0 0

bills, the equivalent number is about 15,000 greenbacks. In terms of keeping cash on your person, I reckon that you can get away with carrying 600 or perhaps even 1,000 bills of any denomination strapped to your legs and in a money belt. That's about the limit before you have to start carrying a brown paper shopping bag. (This is the preferred method of transporting large amounts of cash, low-profile style.) How does gold compare? Not well. Gertrude Stein would say that a pound of gold is a pound of gold is a pound of gold. Fine, but an ounce of gold is still only about US$360—making a pound of gold a measly U S $ 5 , 5 0 0 . With a bit of effort, you may be able to drag a suitcase filled with 50 kilos of gold but that is still only a bit more than U S $ 5 5 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e n you have to transport the stuff. T h e last time I moved a mere million dollars in gold it broke the axle of a heavy-duty baggage cart at Zutich airport. It took three porters to lift my suitcase. When leaving New York there were no reporting requirements at the time for gold and, likewise, Swiss customs didn't care if you imported 20 tons of the stuff. Beatet bonds were bom in a pre-computer world. Stock and bond exchanges around the world are slowly changing from bearer to registered shares. In other words, now that the world has got hooked on silicon chips instead of real money, the days of the bearer bonds may be numbered. Get yours and lock them in a box. [Ed. Note: Since the above was written there has been a concerted international campaign by major high tax governments and related pro-tax groups to ban beatet shares entitely. This attack is based on the supposition that anonymous ownership of shares may conceal criminal financial activity or money laundering. In a few offshore havens, such as T h e Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands, this has resulted in testricting or banning bearer shares, but in others, such as Panama, bearer shares are still legal] Bearer Shares: Friend or Foe? By Derek Sambrook, The Sovereign Individual, November 2002 Bearer shares and ttusts have both suffered a similar fate: each has been used for purposes neithet was ever intended for, in some instances in ignorance, but in most cases by deliberate design.

Most abuse of bearer shares (as with trusts) has occutred offshore and, as a consequence, many onshore bankers, accountants and lawyers view bearer shares with suspicion. Bearer shares were once the normal way in which ownership rights in companies were established. T h e certificate, with no investor's name recorded, was deemed to be owned by the petson possessing the certificate, i.e., the bearer. Whoever possessed the certificate controlled ownership. Like cash, it was easy fot a certificate to change hands. Gradually, certificates bearing the name of the owner became the norm. Some countries, including many states in America, no longer permit the issue of bearer shares. Today, shares are usually eithet certificated (registered in the owner's name) or held through nominees, ot through a stockbrokers' depository, in either certificated or dematerialized form (i.e., as a book entry). Bearer shares have a long history in Europe where banks have traditionally held them in safe custody and collected dividends on behalf of customers. I remember as a bank inspector visiting the vault of a bank in London in the 1970s and seeing long tows of filing cabinets filled with bearer bond and bearer share certificates, many of them issued by Asian, Latin American and European 160 The Matter of Cash governments and corporations. T h e collective value of the investments represented must have been staggering. I was told that the vault door weighed the same as a London double-decker bus. Clearly, bearer shares are the speediest form of transition of ownership, avoiding practically any paperwork, but they can be the most hazardous means of ownership if not properly protected. Inevitably, with their inappropriate use (particularly offshore), thete are an increasing number of court cases in which ownership of bearer shares is fiercely contested.

However, most of the litigation could have been avoided if the parties had acted responsibly and been properly advised. One recent case heard in the Caribbean amply illustrates the point. It involved an offshore corporation whose entire issued share capital had been put in bearer form. T h e sole bearer share certificate had been delivered to the client, who was now deceased. T h e plaintiff was the deceased's widow, who contended that before her husband died he had handed the certificate to her, thus effecting a proper transmission of ownership. This transfer, she argued, made her the owner of the company. T h e company, however, had been an asset of a trust established by the widow's late husband. T h e trustee told the court that the deceased husband had verbally asked for share certificate number 1 to be canceled and thereaftet a teplacement share certificate, number 2, was issued by the company and delivered to the trustee. There were glaring errors made in the case, the most obvious one being the fundamental mistake that the trustee made of accepting the trusteeship before he had control of share certificate number 1. No wonder onshore professionals hold theit hands up in dismay when they read about such cases. It is one thing to buy bearer shares in XYZ Petroleum with which you have no relationship beyond an intetest in profiting ftom its worldwide drilling activities. Such impersonal relationships lend themselves to bearer shares, provided that the share certificate is kept in a secure and safe location. But when bearer shares, in the guise of an offshore company, represent access to your own personal assets, a different perspective is needed. Unfortunately, many corporations that are nothing more than an investor's alter ego have issued bearer shares. Well-experienced and properly ttained offshore professionals can help clients avoid problems down the road (especially litigation) by making suggestions as to the type of share to be issued. If you believe in the tooth fairy you may think that anyone presenting bearer share certificates of an offshore corporation to the professionals managing it will be automatically recognized as the new owner and, therefore, of all its assets. This is not necessarily the case; presentation of all ot some of the share certificates will not automatically bestow any ownership rights. Even so, it might still be feasible to use bearer shares when there is perhaps one

specific asset such as a piece of undeveloped land. Here, bearer shares may not only reduce paperwork and transfer costs, but can provide, if desired, a degree of confidentiality concerning the transfer of ownership. And, despite bad publicity, bearer shares can also be useful in estate planning. If shares are put in either a client's name or a nominee's name, the client's executor will have to approve any post death transfer. But if the client wishes to create an offshore estate comprising the shares of the company which can be dealt with aftet his death, without the need for probate, bearer shares co,uld be issued and held under a simple inexpensive revocable trust. T h e trust would act as an agency (bare trust) during the client's lifetime such that the client could have the share certificates at any time. After the client's death, if the trust has not been revoked, the trustee would transfer the shares to the beneficiaries named in the trust deed. Bearer shares do have theit place but you should always seek expert advice and think about double-decker buses when it comes to protecting them. [Ed. Note: Panama, in which the author is based, is one of the few remaining jurisdictions permitting the use of bearer shares. For transactions involving U . S . citizens, beatet shares pose numer-161 The Matter of Cash ous potential problems. These include state ot federal securities law violations and unintended federal tax consequences.] Government Targets: Smart Cards & Digital Banking by Robert E. Bauman, J D , September 1997 On May 21,1997, the U . S . Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in a little-noticed rule proposal, began the government's takeovet of all forms of electronic and digital cash in America. For the fitst time the U . S . government asserted direct control over all so-called "financial value systems," defined as "...funds or monetary value represented in

stored digital format (whether or not encrypted) and stored, or capable of storage, on electronic media... as to be tetrievable and transferable electronically." (Official text; 31 C F R Code of Federal Regulations, Part 103, May 21, 1997.) This definition covers so-called "smart cards," online Internet banking and any other cash transactions in electronic form. Registration R e q u i r e m e n t T h e rule requires registration with FinCEN of all "money services businesses" ( M S B s ) and their agents that use "stored value systems," a broad definition that now replaces the fotmer, narrower description of "non-bank financial institutions." MSBs include non-bank cash systems run by currency dealers, check cashing operations, money order sales, including the U . S . Post Office, and issuers of travelers' checks—accounting for U S $ 2 0 0 billion in business in America each year. T h e ominous grab for control over digital cash got lost in sensational news stories about anothet May 21 FinCEN regulation, aimed at South American drug money launderers who allegedly used storefront "money transmittets" in Texas and New York City. As a result, such operations now must report all transactions of U S $ 7 5 0 or more. At the heart of the stored value controversy are plastic digital smart cards, lookalike for what may soon be obsolete credit cards. A smart catd's embedded chip holds 500 times mote information than an ATM or credit catd magnetic sttip, allowing it to serve as a portable personal bank account in your wallet. These "electronic purses" store digital money that can be replenished with a phone call to yout bank. In time, smart cards could replace the need fot paper notes and coins. P r i v a c y — T h e Target What worries tax-collecting, ctime-fighting governments most is the smart catd's privacy potential. Based on the U . S . Bank Secrecy Act, tegulations now cover virtually all cash transactions, making non-reporting of specific money transfers criminal acts punishable by prison and fines of up to U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e official money laundering crusade that began a decade ago as patt of the socalled "war on drugs," now criminalizes over 200 other financial activities, many far afield from illegal drug money.

Superior encryption technology makes possible one way cash transactions that tecotd only deposit sources, but not where card payments go. Respected digital cash pioneets could be hampered by the new rules. Most smatt cards are issued by banks that already operate under a mountain of restrictive government rules. This will add to the butden and cost. Suspicious A c t i v i t y ? Money laundeting experts outside the U . S . government say i's unclear whether separate FinCEN registration of stored value cash systems means any strictet application of so-called "Suspicious Activity Reports ( S A R s ) to digital cash account holders. These rules already require banks to monitor and report all customers and accounts suspected of possible criminal activity. A bank official says S A R rules, although difficult to enforce on digital cash accounts, already apply.

162 The Matter of Cash But he predicted a major outcry if FinCEN tries to impose a lower U S $ 7 5 0 transaction teporting rule on smart card bank transfers. T h e present reportable amount for cash ttansfers is U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 and above. Whether all U . S . Bank Secrecy A c t rules do apply to digital cash seems an open question. Treasury's Stanley E. Morris, director of FinCEN, expressed doubt to the Wall Street Journal, suggest-ing "technology that permits anonymous transactions outside the regulated banking sector" could destroy anti-money laundering efforts. Eatly this yeat the Patis-based, 26-nation member Financial Action Task Force warned against "the speed, security and anonymity" of digital banking, factots they see as having great potential use for cyber-criminals. Deaf T o A d v i c e T h e rush for expanded government control of digital financial transactions flies squarely in the face of opposite advice from U . S . Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Alan Greenspan. In a publication by the Cato Institute of Washington, DC, The Future of Money in the Information Age (Cato Books, $12.95,+1 800 767 1 2 4 1 ) , the Fed chairman expressed concern that government "...not attempt to impede unduly our newest innovation, electronic money or..our increasingly broad electronics payment system." Gteenspan warned, "Government action can retatd ptogress but almost certainly cannot ensure it." A seniot American banking expert sees the new FinCEN rules as further proof of an established trend. "Government agents already view almost anyone engaged in cash transfers as potential criminals. They started down this road 10 years ago," he said. "If these rules are approved in their present form, it's only a matter of time until the privacy potential of digital cash is dead in the United States."

Flying Money: The Global Financial Underground by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, July 2000 Services such as e-gold ( promise a future where individuals can transfer value between one another without using a bank of other government-regulated institution as an intermediary. And one where the currency used can't be manipulated or debased by any government. This development is of profound concern to world governments. Their most important concern, as always, is tax collection. Monitoring such transactions, much less collecting taxes on them, will be difficult—if not impossible. This is the teal teason why governments want to end Internet anonymity and force Internet Service Providers worldwide to maintain logs. But governments face an even larger threat—the fusion of these new forms of "digital money" with a much older worldwide netwotk through which billions of dollars is transferred each year, outside the banking system. This is the world of fei-chien, Chinese for "flying money." Fei-chien predates western banking by centuries. More than 1,200 years ago, the growing tea ttade between the south and the imperial capital emphasized the need for a medium of exchange to avoid physically transporting copper, silk or other valuables. Tea merchants deposited their proceeds to these courts. T h e courts applied a portion of the deposit for taxes due and issued a certificate representing the balance due the merchant. Upon returning home, the merchant presented the certificate to the provincial government to collect his money. Centuties later, flying money moves hundreds of billions of dollars each year, almost invisibly. According to Temple University Professor Nikos Passos, "it is an efficient, speedy and cheap way of moving money, often for very legitimate porpoises." Today, flying money brokers, often doing business as a currency exchange, can be found in bazaars throughout Asia and the Middle East. But the world's tax collectors are no longer sponsors. Despite its legitimate uses, law enforce-163

The Matter of Cash has trouble entering the data it gets accurately. A 1999 audit found that in one case, $5,000 was entered as $5 million. But this is only the beginning. FinCEN notes approvingly the expansion of mandatory S A R requirements in other countries to all professionals that handle money as fiduciaries. U.K. law, for instance, requires lawyers to report transactions they believe ate related to money laundering. Similar provisions are now in effect in many offshore centets. FinCEN is already preparing new S A R rules for U . S . securities brokers and firms engaged in foreign trade. And it suggests extending the requirements to accountants, insurers and even appliance makers and consumer electronics stores. It is possible that these new requirements will result in some crimes being solved that might otherwise have gone undetected. But at what cost? T h e ttadition of confidentiality in the conduct of one's financial affaits is mote than 5,000 years old. T h e Code of Hammurabi, one of the first written system of laws, stipulated that the when persons entrusted their money to a banker, that transactions were not to be disclosed to outsidets. T h e Justinian Code of the sixth century A.D. (that compilation of Roman Law on which most European legal systems are based) recognized that relationships.between individuals and their lawyers should also be afforded secrecy. In English law, the principle was first mentioned in 1580. T h e common thread in these traditions is that clients should feel free to make full disclosure, thus making it mote likely that a ptofessional advisor will provide good advice. Confidentiality makes us feel comfortable disclosing information that, if known to otheis, could be damaging. But today, banks, attorneys and many other professionals owe their first duty to

the state, not to their clients. We are rapidly approaching the Nazification of the global financial system, with out trusted advisors acting as spies against us in an illusory "War on Crime." We have no choice but to take responsibility for our own individual sovereignty. The IRS Tries to Profile Card Holders by Robert E. Bauman, JD, The Offshore A-Lerter, August 2001 In October 2000 an unprecedented IRS fishing expedition was allowed by a U.S. District Judge in Miami. Under the guise of putsuing possible tax evasion, the IRS was granted broad subpoena power for the 1998-99 credit card records of American Express and MasterCard holders whose cards were issued by banks in T h e Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Antigua. Since the catd clearing houses are located in south Florida, the court asserted U . S . jurisdiction over the card charge records. At the time I asked: "Will the credit card companies have the guts to stand up to the government and honor their obligation to protect the privacy of their cardholders?" Our question was posed after the card companies pledged "cooperation" with the I R S . Now it appears, happily, we were wrong. It is reported that both AmEx and MasterCard have resisted turning over cardholder account information to the IRS, and have not done so. It is now possible that the card companies may continue to resist IRS demands, even to the point of appealing any adverse rulings in the courts. As we see it, this IRS wholesale demand for thousands of persons' financial records is nothing less than anothet example of police "profiling." Add this illegal waivet of due process to the insulting racial and ethnic profiling commonly practiced by prejudiced American police. Now we have IRS "offshore" profiling. 165 The Matter of Cash

The IRS Crackdown on Offshore Credit Cards By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, June 2002 Each year in the weeks leading up to the tax filing deadline of April 15, the I R S trots out a "celebrity victim" to demonstrate that no one is safe from its long arms. This year, however, the IRS changed its sttategy. Instead of targeting a single victim, it targeted an entire class of (mostly) wealthy individuals: taxpayets who use credit cards issued by foreign banks. In its latest broadside against offshore investors, the IRS is demanding that V I S A International turn over hundreds of millions of confidential transaction records. It has obtained authorization from a California federal district court to issue so-called "John Doe" summonses on V I S A in an ongoing investigation of tax evasion using offshote credit and debit cards. Did the IRS target these taxpayers because it is illegal for a U.S. person to use credit catds issued overseas? No, the IRS admits that this is perfectly legal. Is it because the I R S had proof that even a single one of these individuals was guilty of tax evasion? No such proof exists—which is why the steps the I R S is taking to gathet such evidence is so troublesome. T h e court order, issued March 28, 2002, allows the IRS to examine the tecords of V I S A credit or debit cards issued "by, through, or on behalf of banks or other financial institutions" in more than 30 offshore jurisdictions, including the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Luxemboutg, Panama, Singapore, and Switzerland. T h e IRS already has obtained 1.7 million offshore ttansaction tecords from MastetCatd International Ltd. American Express Co. has agreed to release similar records. V I S A must provide "the names, addresses, Social Security numbers (or such other identifying information as driver license, passport ot employer identification numbers) and telephone numbers of cardholders or card users of V

I S A cards issued by the banks and financial institutions in the subject jurisdictions where a U . S . citizen or U . S . resident had signatute authority ovet the V I S A card or account during the years ended December 3 1 , 1999 through 2 0 0 1 . " IRS investigators plan to review car, boat and airline ticket purchases and hotel and car rentals to detetmine whether account holders were living beyond their reported incomes. Banks in the targeted jutisdictions require customers to open bank accounts before obtaining cards; obtaining the names of cardholders will produce the names of bank account holders as well. In a "John Doe" summons, the IRS does not know the identity of the taxpayer(s) under investigation. T h e U.S. Supreme Court upheld such summonses in 1974, in a case where the IRS rummaged through a bank's customet records to discover the identity of a single individual suspected of tax evasion. Only Justices William J. Brennan and William O. Douglas dissented, finding this "a breathtaking expansion of the summons power ... any private economic transaction is now fair game for forced disclosure." Given that the IRS is now demanding hundreds of millions of ttansaction records of individuals not shown as being connected to any crime, these concerns are proven justified. H o w m a n y A m e r i c a n s a r e affected by the inquiry? According to the IRS: "If the MasterCard information is representative of the industry, there could be one to two million U . S . citizens with debit/ctedit cards issued by offshore banks. This compares with only 170,000 Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts being filed in 2000, and only 117,000 individual 1040 filers indicating they had offshote bank accounts in tax yeat 1999." Testimony of C o n v i c t e d M o n e y L a u n d e r e r Basis for Investigation T h e summons against V I S A International granted by U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton was 166 The Matter of Cash issued on the basis of information provided by John Mathewson, former head of Guardian Bank in the Cayman Islands. In 1998, to avoid prison aftet being convicted of money laundering, Mathewson provided the IRS with detailed

records of more than 2,000 client accounts, thereby violating Cayman Islands bank secrecy laws. Armed with the Mathewson information and details of his modus operandi, the IRS prosecuted numerous Guardian depositots. T h e IRS also used Mathewson's testimony to support its application for a John Doe summons against MasterCard and American Express, which was granted in November 2000. Relying on the testimony of a convicted felon to support its application for these records is bad enough. But the IRS also included a declaration from selfproclaimed offshore "expert" Jack A. Blum, who estimated the annual loss to the IRS by individual taxpayers holding unreported offshore accounts at $ 7 0 billion. Blum had a yeat earlier made the incredible statement before Congress that: "There is no legitimate reason for an American citizen to have an offshore account ...When you go offshore, you are doing so to evade rules, regulations, laws or taxes." This statement belies Blum's own ignorance of the many advantages of dealing offshore, including access to investments effectively "banned in the U S A , " protection from ID theft, avoidance of frivolous lawsuits, etc. Given Blum's record for making patently absurd statements undet oath, the $70 billion figute he cited for offshote tax evasion is highly questionable. [Ed. Note: In 2002 the IRS Commissioner quietly admitted that fewer than 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 U . S . persons probably had offshore credit cards, and further, that the total estimates of lost taxes due to offshore credit card cheating was almost impossible to quantify. Nevertheless, the news media continue to use the inflated figures.] H o w Offshore Credit/Debit C a r d s Operate In its John Doe summons, the I R S is tatgeting U . S . taxpayers that open accounts in offshore financial centers, often in the name of a trust or an international business company ( I B C ) . T h e taxpayer is then issued a credit or debit card by the bank with which he or she can withdraw funds from the account. Bills are paid directly from the account, so thete is no paper ttail in the United States ditectly linking the taxpayer to the account. Until now, because of

offshore bank secrecy laws, thete has been no practical way fot the IRS to find out about the accounts. However, transfers of assets or cash, directly or indirectly, to a foreign entity ot trust require disclosure, with few exceptions. Further, tax must almost always be paid on income from such entities or accounts. Accotding to tax attorney Richard Duke, "Failure to report these ttansactions, accounts and/or income may result in prosecution fot tax evasion, tax fraud and even money laundering." T h e penalties for these crimes are almost unbelievably harsh, although according to tax attorney Donald MacPherson: "The likely punishment is not the statutoty maximum, but within the range allowed under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which were amended in November 2001 to make them more onerous with regards to tax offenses." This range depends on the "tax loss," or in laundering cases, the amount laundered. Without adjustments, the following sentencing ranges in months apply: U S $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 ( 1 5 - 2 1 ) U S $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 ( 2 7 - 3 3 ) ; U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 ( 4 1 - 5 1 ) . Money laundering sentencing guidelines begin at 46-57 months and increase depending upon the amount laundered. "In a tax-conspiracy case, an upward adjustment is made for 'sophisticated concealment' (use of an offshore trust, corporation, bank, ot credit card) and "role in the offense." Assuming a tax loss of U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 plus these adjustments, the range is 41-51 months. However, negotiated settlements with taxpayers whose foreign accounts were revealed in the Guardian Bank probe have been lower than these guidelines. None have been charged with money laundeting." A r e Y o u a t Risk? T h e real question is how useful will the information received from this investigation be to the IRS? And how will it be used to target individuals fot audit? 167 The Matter of Cash According to MacPherson: "If the tax loss is zero or very low, one might assume

that chances of being selected are low. But for "deterrence" (interpret: reign of fear), the IRS prosecutes tax loss cases as low as U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 . " However, the IRS will be limited by both the terms of the agreements it concludes with V I S A International and the quality of the information it receives from them: Terms of agreement. T h e IRS accord with American Express calls for records to be released only for account holders with billing addresses in T h e Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, or the Cayman Islands. In addition, the cardholder must have had at least one authotization in the United States for a purchase of more than $2,500 in one of a handful of categories (including yachts, jewelry, and cars), and at least five authorizations in the United States during 1998 and 1999. Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not at risk for having data released, at least for now. In addition, the agreement permits the company to notify affected customers before handing over their data to the I R S . Quality of information. While the IRS has already obtained 1.7 million offshore transaction records from MasterCard International Ltd., this data is likely to be useful only if it can be matched to information already in the hands of the I R S . Historically, MastetCatd has not maintained a central database matching account numbers to the names of the people who hold them. In contrast, American Express both issues and processes its cards, and therefore knows the identity of every cardholder. Strategies t o Deal W i t h the I R S C r a c k d o w n If you have an unreported offshore account, and particularly if you have used a debit card or credit card tied to it to make purchases in the United States, you face a significant tisk for audit. According to MacPherson, the five major choices for persons potentially facing an IRS criminal investigation for non-reporting of offshore accounts are: " ( 1 ) Do nothing. ( 2 ) File the delinquent reporting forms. (3) #2 plus an amended return, 1040X for the last three years, and pay all the back tax, interest and penalties. Amended returns cannot be filed beyond three years from the due date ot filing date, whichever is later. A sub-option to ( 3 ) is pay all tax, interest, and penalties for all years. (4) Anonymous payment of back tax, interest and penalty, paid through your attorney, undet cover of the attorney-client privilege. ( 5 ) Proceed through counsel with an informal request to the Criminal Investigation Division ( C I D ) , which need not involve disclosure of your identity, as desctibed below.

"There is no obvious best choice. T h e general statute of limitations for a civil tax audit is three years from the due date of the return or the filing of the return, whichever is later, unless gross income is unreported by 2 5 % or more, in which case I R S has six years. In the case of civil fraud there is no statute of limitation, but the IRS must prove fraud by clear and convincing evidence. "In a criminal case, there is a six-year limitation for tax crimes; generally five years for conspiracy and other crimes. However, conspiracy runs five years from the last overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, which might be last week's phone conversation with a Cayman banker." Another strategy, assuming that you're not facing audit, is to move your offshore holdings into legally non-reportable fotms. This includes international insutance policies; property maintained in an offshote safety deposit box; or offshore real estate or other personal property from which you do not derive any income. For More Information. As we've stated many times before, if you have unreported offshore accounts, you should contact an experienced tax attorney to help you deal with the problem. Two attorneys members may consult for assistance in IRS audits of unreported offshore holdings and/or income are: Donald McPherson. Tel.: +1 (602) 866-9566. Fax: +1 (602) 866 3799. W A T S : l - ( 8 0 0 ) 232-8477. Link: Richard Duke. Tel.: +1 (205) 823-3900. Fax: +1 (205) 802-9066. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link:

Investments C H A P T E R FIVE

Investments Part One—Your Investments Profits from the Global Economy 170 An Offshore Bill of Rights 171 Eight Myths About International Investing. . . . 173 Fortress U.S.A.: Overcoming Protectionist Roadblocks to Offshore Investments 175 Ways for Americans to Invest Offshore 178

How to Choose Offshote Investments 179 Change the Location of Your Assets 181 Why You Should Own Non-U.S. Investments In Your Retitement Plan 181 Choosing a U . S . or Offshore Investment Advisot 183 Investment Risks To Guard Against 184 How to Recognize an Investment Scam 185 Fraud Alert—Six Scams to Avoid 186 Due Diligence in Offshore Investing 188 Five Ways to Profit from Global Real Estate . . . 189 Why Gold is Money 191 It's Still as Good as Gold 192 Part Two—The World's Best Investment Strategies Global Strategies That Wotk 193 Build a Portfolio to Cope with Uncertainty. . . . 196 How to Buy Foreign Currencies for Two Cents on the Dollar 199 No-Risk Deals 201 Bond Mutual Funds 203 Managed Currency Funds 205

Borrow Low, Invest High 206 Gold Accumulation Accounts 207 Low-Cost Asset Protection Through Swiss Annuities 209 Swiss & Liechtenstein Insurance Investments: Privacy, Asset Protection, Tax Deferral & M o r e ! 212 You Don't Need to Be Rich to Invest Offshore: Here's Proof! 213 Part Three—The Six Best Countries to Do Business Barbados: A Tropical Island Where Government Pays Your Rent 214 Chile: Government Pays 75 Percent of Your Business Expenses 217 United Atab Emirates: Tax-Free Business/ Residency 221 Malta: Crossroads for Government-Business Partnetship 223 P o r t u g a l : F o r e i g n B u s i n e s s A l w a y s W e l c o m e . . . 2 2 5 169

Investments In this chaptet we get down to the nuts and holts of the expansion, accumulation and protection of petsonal wealth. Each of these articles deals with an important aspect of offshore investing and financial sttategies. Some of this is very basic: how to tecognize investment tisk, how to spot a scam, how to avoid lending money. Othet atticles describe time-tested strategies proven to produce exttaordinary profits. Part One—Your Investments

Profits from the Global Economy by Robert E. Bauman, ]D, & David Melnik, QC, The Offshore Money Manual 2000 Modern global commerce began in the year 1571. So argues Dennis O. Flynn, head of the economics department at the Univetsity of the Pacific. In that year, the Spanish Empire founded the city of Manila in the Philippines. Manila was designed to receive the silver-laden galleons that traveled across the Pacific Ocean from the New World. This precious metal was bound not for Spain, but for the Impetial Court of China. This was the first tecorded period in which all the settled continents were actively trading with one another. T h e separate national economies of the wotld had become intetdependent. Early proof of these global ties emerged when silver began to depreciate, resulting in worldwide inflation. Globalization continued through war and famine for more than 300 yeats. Historians point to the period just prior to Wotld War I as the apogee of international economic integration. In 1913, the British Empire was at its zenith. Foreign trade accounted for half of England's national product, and ovetseas investments equaled half of all domestic assets. British traders were everywhere, and British banks funded massive development around the world. T h e "Great War" devastated this thriving international economy. T h e greater part of the twentieth century has been an era of strict protectionism, tariffs and disruptive military and political conflicts. This cultute of confrontation ended

only with the demise of both the Soviet Union and the Cold War in 1991. It has since been replaced by a new economic openness that offers investors some real opportunities for profit and growth. Recent setbacks in Asia have risen eyebrows, but investots the world over seem more willing than ever to go offshore. T h e R i s e o f G l o b a l I n v e s t i n g Cross-border investments ate once again the rage. Even the 1994 Mexican economic meltdown could not slow demand for profitable offshore opportunities. At this writing, thete ate approximately 1,200 emerging-market investment funds managing over U S $ 1 0 0 billion in equities. Add to that figute the billions in financial instruments and the total is overwhelming. International and "emerging nation" mutual funds offer a simple way for American investors to profit from the growth of foreign companies. Such funds eliminate the inconvenience associated with direct ownership of foreign shares. American investors can also profit from American Depository Receipts, or ADRs. These are listed securities ttaded on U.S. stock exchanges. ADRs represent shates of a foteign stock and ate issued by U . S . banks that take possession of the securities. T h e banks convert dividend payments into dollars and deduct any foreign withholding taxes. ADRs give investors a greater guarantee of safety, as participating foreign companies have to meet certain U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( S E C ) accounting and disclosure standards Over the past 20 years, capital markets outside the U . S . have grown rapidly in size and importance. In 1970, non-US stocks accounted for 32 percent of the world's U S $ 9 3 5 billion total market capitalization. By 1995, foreign stocks represented over 60 percent of the total world stock market capitalization of U S $ 1 0 trillion plus. 170

Investments While top U . S . stocks have performed exceptionally well over the years, international stock markets historically have outperformed Wall Street as a whole. In the decade ending in 1992, the U . S . stock market provided an annualized total return of 16 percent. This represents one of the best

performances of any 10-year period in U . S . histoty. During that period 12 foreign equity markets performed better. T h e rapid growth of capital matkets around the world has also created abundant opportunities for fixed-income investors. Worldwide bond market capitalization now exceeds worldwide equity capitalization. Non-US bonds account for more than half of the wotld's bond market value. Non-American investors have realized the enormous profit potential of crossborder investment. Rebounding from a 10-year low reached in 1992, foreign investment in the U . S . economy has sharply increased. In 1994, foreign investors spent U S $ 4 7 . 2 billion acquiting ot staffing new U . S . businesses, up 83 percent from 1993. While direct investment from Japan has declined, western European investors have made up the diffetence. Avoiding Roadblocks to P r o s p e r i t y This international economic integtation continues despite U . S . laws designed to hindet such activity. One of the main obstacles remains restrictive securities legislation. Any "investment contract" fot a secutity sold in the United States must be registeted with the S E C and similar agencies in each of the states. This is a prohibitively expensive process. T h e U . S . also requires far more disclosure than most foteign countries, and burdens the process with different accounting practices. International fund managets are practical people who look at the bottom line. Many correctly calculate that operating costs in the U . S . would wipe out any profit margin they could achieve. Ironically, several mutual funds and hedge funds with top performance records are run from the U . S . by U . S . residents, but do not accept investments from Americans. To avoid S E C red tape and registration costs, investment in these funds is available only to foreigners. Fortunately, there are ways for U . S . citizens to get around these obstacles. Although you're a U . S . citizen, you can qualify under the law as an accredited investor. As such you will have a freer hand to buy non-SEC tegisteted foreign stocks and mutual funds directly. An "accredited investor" is defined by S E C rules as an individual who has a net woith of U S $ 1 million

or more, or an annual income of at least U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 . In other words, you must have a lot of money. You can also buy foreign securities through corporations or trusts you have created offshote. Properly structured foreign trusts and corporations—and we do mean properly structuted—are not considered "U.S. residents, persons, or citizens." These entities thetefore have the untestticted right to buy non-SEC registeted secutities. S E C "Regulation S" has actually made it easier to make such investments. It clearly defines the exemptions allowed by U.S. securities laws. These exemptions permit investment in non-SEC registered securities through a foreign ttust and/or corporation. T h e most important restriction: the grantor who creates such entities must include income from these sources as personal income on annual tax returns. Typically, the IRS has a web of rules and regulations that aim to wring maximum revenue from Americans who go offshore. These tax laws are extremely complex, so move cautiously and only with expert professional advice. At every step of the way, find out exactly what the U.S. tax consequences will be before you proceed

An Offshore Bill of Rights by Vernon K. Jacobs, CPA, CLU, The Sovereign Individual, May 2001 T h e United States presents the largest obstacles of any country to its citizens living, doing busi-171

Investments ness or investing offshore. Indeed, the United States is guilty of the same practices it condemns in other countries by frustrating its citizens from living and working outside its borders and restricting access to financial markets in othet countries.

I think it's time for Americans who want to live ot invest overseas to demand fait treatment. And it's time for the United States to end its own discriminatory harmful tax practices. If I were writing an offshore "Bill of Rights" to deal with these grievances, here's what I'd include: 1. No income taxation without permanent residency. The biggest problem of all is that U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income even when they are not permanent U . S . residents. T h e United States is the only major country imposing such a global tax dragnet. 2. No tax penalty for an individual changing citizenship. It should be a fundamental right of all persons to change their citizenship. T h e tax laws should not punish those who make that choice. This is not the case in the United States, which imposes an "exit tax" on persons giving up their citizenship. In addition, those who "renounce" their U . S . citizenship for tax teasons may be permanently excluded from the United States. T h e U.S. government has condemned exit taxes in other countries, and essentially prohibits the 50 states from imposing exit taxes on state residents who change their domicile. But when it comes to fedetal law, the same principles don't apply. If the government wants to impose an exit tax, it should not matter if the departure is for a tax-motivated purpose. At a minimum, all persons giving up U.S. citizenship should have the right to argue before an independent ttibunal that they are leaving for non-tax reasons. 3. No discriminatory tax treatment against offshore fixed annuities. Another problem is that the United States imposes punitive and discriminatory taxes against many offshore investments. For instance, offshore fixed return annuities are discriminated against, tax-wise, versus domestic fixed return annuities. T h e effect of this rule is to subsidize U.S. insurance companies. This subsidy acts, in effect, as a protective tariff that could be challenged as an "unfair trade practice" before the World Trade Organization. These measures also could be considered "harmful tax competition," which the Otganization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( O E C D ) is trying to stamp out. 4-No discrimination against offshore funds. Another unfair ttade ptactice is the draconian tax consequence when U.S. citizens, even those living outside the United States, purchase shares in almost any offshore mutual fund or unit trust.

Unless the investment is sheltered in a qualified tetirement plan or offshore insurance policy, the tax bill when they sell or are deemed to take an "excess distribution" can equal 100 percent of their initial investment. T h e IRS has issued two sets of regulations that allow investors in certain offshore funds to pay tax on their income or gains each year, including unrealized capital gains. Both sets of regulations ate discriminatory—there is no tax on capital gains in U . S . funds until the shates are sold. But a bigger problem is that almost no offshore funds qualify for this tteatment. Instead, investots must tely on a "throwback" provision that permits tax deferral, but imposes an intetest chatge for that privilege, applied to each year the fund has been held. This charge, plus the fact that gains are taxed at the highest tax rate that applied for each year of deferral, can wipe out all income or gain, plus part or even all of the initial investment. It was not the intention of Congress to penalize U . S . investots in offshore funds. Yet the tegulations the IRS has issued to interpret the law effectively do so. I believe the real reason for this complex set of rules is for the IRS to deter U.S. persons from investing offshore. At the least, the law should permit a deferral of tax and the treatment of any distributions as ordinary income in the year received, plus a deductible interest charge on the deferral. 5. No tax penalties on entrepreneurs with foreign businesses. Any U.S. person who has ever operated a business abroad knows the potential pitfalls that can arise from the IRS chatactetizing foreign income as U.S. income. We need clearcut rules to establish when a U . S . business has a nexus or

112 Investments permanent establishment in another country. 6. No micro-management. Congress passes laws that encourage the IRS to intrude into the smallest and most insignificant transactions in order to prevent the slightest element of evasion of the tax laws. T h e concept of income is one of the most elusive that could have evet been used as the basis for a major tax system. Accountants and economists don't agree on fundamentals as to what

income is or when it has been tealized. T h e Congress and the IRS should quit trying to force everyone to comply regardless of what it costs. Enforcement should be administered on a cost/benefit basis so that compliance for compliance sake is not the rule. This would require that Congress insttuct the IRS to adopt a system of "materiality." This is a difficult concept to define, mainly because the government is not likely to specify what constitutes a "material" case. Whatever threshold they set would be an open invitation to cheat up to that level. T h e practical definition is that the government should not expend more to enforce the tax laws than the effort is worth in added tax collections. Enforcement for the sake of enforcement is a "power" issue of not wanting anyone to deviate from the rules. 7. No shifting of costs to taxpayers. We grossly understate the real cost of compliance with our tax system because we force the cost burden onto businesses and the taxpayers. Many small start-up ventutes never occur because of the obstacle imposed by the cost of complying with a host of teporting tequirements. T h e small business with one employee has to file substantially the same fotms as a latge business, at least in terms of federal tax law. There should be some kind of reasonable allowance for those who ate required to serve as assistant tax collectors based on the time required to comply with the laws. 8. No confiscatory tax rates. Over the past 30 years, I've observed that there is a high correlation between the effective tax burden and the amount of time and effort taxpayers will exert to avoid or evade taxes. As tax rates increase, taxpayers begin searching for loopholes. After a few years, the IRS persuades Congress to pass laws that curtail these loopholes. But, lowet effective tax rates would accomplish the same tesult. And, when tax rates are cut, the complex rules that were enacted to curtail the loopholes remain law. T h e same principal applies with respect to offshore tax issues. If U . S . tax rates are effectively lower than in most other major countries, the IRS doesn't need complicated rules to prevent taxpayers from using foreign structures to avoid taxes. And if lowet tax rates ate available to foreign persons, the United States will attract capital from higher tax countries without maintaining one set of tax rules for U.S. taxpayets and another for nonresident aliens with U . S . soutce income, as we have now.

Uniform rules for U . S . residents and nonresidents will also preclude the O E C D and the EU from contending that the United States has a "ring-fenced" system that favors foreign persons over domestic persons. It's time for the United States to end "Harmful Tax Competition" against its own citizens and the rest of the world. Enacting the teforms in this Offshore Bill of Rights would be a good start.

Eight Myths About International Investing By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, October 2002 In the wake of the Enron scandal and the debate over U.S. corporations "expatriating" to Bermuda and other low-tax jurisdictions, the media bias against international investing has teached an all-time high. An example of the breathtaking arrogance and ignorance of the mainstream media comes from a Washington Post editorial (Aug. 2 1 , 2 0 0 2 ) . T h e Post questions the "patriotism" of U.S. companies reincorporating offshore. T h e Post completely ignores the fact that the U.S. Tax Code makes it dif-173 Investments ficult for U.S.-based companies to compete globally. But the Post editorial is mild by comparison to those appearing elsewhere. For instance, the Superior, Wisconsin, Daily Telegram thundets: "It's Time to Eliminate Offshore Tax Havens." To counter this massive disinformation campaign, this column highlights the most important myths and outright lies about international investments put fotward by the mainstteam media, along with out tesponse. Myth #1: "Many international investments are illegal." T h e fact: There are no U . S . laws prohibiting any international investment,

although most of them are taxable and must be reported to the IRS. Myth #2: "It's not patriotic to invest internationally." T h e fact: T h e United States is the world's largest tax haven and has attracted more than U S $ 1 0 trillion in foreign investment. T h e U.S. government offers tax-free access to America, but only if you're not from the United States. W h e n Americans invest overseas, they are only taking advantage of the same opportunities the U . S . government offers foreigners, but forbids its own citizens. Indeed, if tax havens were ever "abolished," the United States would suffer more than any other country. Myth #3: "I'm not rich, so I can't benefit from international investments." T h e fact: You can open an international bank account for as little as U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 and have easy access to a wealth of investment opportunities, including foreign stocks, bonds and CDs. Myth #4: "I'll be audited by the I R S if 1 invest internationally." T h e fact: T h e overwhelming majority of IRS investigations of international investors are individuals who didn't report the existence of, or the profits from, these investments—not those who did. Myth #5: "U.S. investments are safer than international investments." T h e fact: Many international markets are safer than the United States. Fot instance, the Swiss insurance industry has never experienced a business failure in its 140-yeat history. By comparison, about 1% of U . S . insurance companies experience serious financial difficulties, including banktupt-cy, each year. Myth #6: "It's more expensive to invest internationally than in the U.S." T h e fact: Many international investments are a better deal than their U.S. counterparts. For instance, if you purchase foreign currency CDs outside the United States, you'll almost always receive higher interest fates and pay lower fees. Myth #7: "All the investments I want to make are in the United States."

T h e fact: More than 7 0 % of global financial activity takes place outside the United States. Indeed, convenient access to international markets is one of the most important reasons to diversify internationally. Myth# 8: "There are no longer any privacy advantages to international investing." T h e fact: While you ate required to report and pay taxes on most international investments, when you move assets outside the United States, those assets disappear from the domestic "radar screen." They are virtually invisible to business competitors, sue-happy lawyers and identity thieves, if not to the I R S . T h e fact is that international investing is safer and more profitable than ever, and it's perfectly legal to participate. A good place to begin with is T h e Sovereign Society's Global Market Investot service, overseen by Council of Experts member Eric Roseman. G M I features international investment portfolios, tanging from very conservative to very aggressive. To learn more, see 174

Investments Fortress U.S.A.: Overcoming Protectionist Roadblocks

to Offshore Investments By Robert Bauman, The Sovereign Individual, January 2004 President George W. Bush often bills himself in his public utterances as a "free trader" devoted to open world markets and unfettered global commerce. In fact, Bush has been one of the most protectionist ptesidents since Herbert Hoover signed the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff into law, helping to turn a recession i n l 9 2 9 into the Great Depression.

"Free trader" Bush has imposed highly protectionist measures supposedly to help American steel makers, textile workers, farmers, and numerous other special interest groups. These resttictive policies fly in the face of the theory behind truly free trade—that goods and services can be produced anywhere in the world, then sold at lower prices, thus benefitting sellers and consumers alike, regardless of where they reside. Investment P r o t e c t i o n i s m Slapping a high tariff on imported steel is a dramatic event, easily portrayed by the American news media in terms of prices, costs, tonnage and jobs. But for decades, there have been numerous U . S . government protectionist laws and polices in place that frustrate, impede and damage the ability of Americans to do business abroad—especially when it comes to investing in foteign stocks, bonds and other profitable ventures. And it is obvious that, just like the more visible tariffs on imported goods, U.S. offshore investment restrictions provide a direct financial benefit to powerful business interests. These include domestic stockbrokers, insurance and annuity salespersons, bankers and investment interests—all of whom have powerful lobbies and make huge campaign contributions to both political parties. M o r e and B e t t e r Investments Offshore I'll describe the specifics of these restrictions—and how you can overcome them —in a moment. But first, you should know exactly what it is that the government doesn't want you to know. T h e fact is that some of the most ptofitable investments to be made anywhere can be found offshore. Over the past 20 years, capital markets outside the U . S . have grown rapidly in size and importance. In 1970, non-U.S. stocks accounted for 3 2 % of the world's U S $ 9 3 5 billion total market capitalization. By 2000, foteign stocks tepresented over 6 5 % of the total world stock market capitalization of U S $ 1 5 trillion plus. In 2000, mutual funds, pension funds and other institutional investors controlled U S $ 2 5 trillion, 12 times the comparable 1980 figure. Where autos, steel and grain once dominated world trade, now trade in stocks, bonds nd currencies reign supreme.

While, with some notable exceptions, top U . S . stocks have performed well over many years, international stock markets historically have outperformed Wall Stteet as a whole. T h e rapid growth of capital markets around the world has also created abundant opportunities for fixed-income investots. Worldwide bond-market capitalization now exceeds worldwide equity capitalization. NonU.S. bonds account for more than half of the world's bond market value. Non-American investors have long realized the enormous profit potential of cross-border investment. And while it's taken yeats for U . S . investors to discover this potential, they are slowly but steadily increasing their participation in foreign markets. This trend has been particularly noticeable in pension funds. In 1980, less than 1% of U.S. pension-fund assets were invested abroad. By 2000 that figure had risen to 2 0 % . More than pension funds, mutual funds and stock purchasers, banks have bought into emerging markets in a big way. At the same time that investments have become more mobile, capital itself has as well. Finance 175

Investments and technology now dominate the economic scene. On a typical business day, the total amount of money moving in just the world's foreign exchange markets is U S $ 2 trillion. That's ten times more than in 1986. It's also a sum equivalent to total current world trade fot a full fout-month period! Wealth has become stateless, cash without a country, circulating wherever the owner finds the highest return and the greatest freedom. From 1970 to 2000, spending by investors in industrialized nations on offshore stocks increased 197 times over, and national capital markets have metged into one fast-moving, global capital market. As stock markets close in London, they open in New York, and as U.S. exchanges end the day, markets in Hong Kong and Tokyo come to life. Avoiding Roadblocks to P r o s p e r i t y International economic integtation continues despite U . S . laws designed to hinder such activity.

One of the main U . S . obstacles remains highly restrictive secutities legislation that blocks offshore investments. Under laws adopted during the 1930s, any "investment contract" for a security sold in the United States must be registered with the Securities 6k Exchange Commission and similar agencies in each of the 50 states. T h e S E C requires far more disclosure than most foreign countries, and adds more burdens to this process by using and insisting on different accounting practices than those used by most other nations. International business managers are practical people who look at the bottom line. Many correctly calculate that the costs to comply with U.S. registration requirements would wipe out any profit margin they could achieve by making U . S . sales. You might think that this resttiction applies not only to investors, but also to managers. It doesn't. For instance, U . S . residents manage many top offshote hedge funds from the United States— yet these same funds do not accept investments from Americans. About the only easy way that the government seems to approve of "offshore" investments is via American Depository Receipts, or ADRs. These are listed securities traded on U . S . stock exchanges. ADRs tepresent shares of a foreign stock and are issued by U . S . banks that take possession of the securities. T h e banks convert dividend payments into dollars and deduct any foreign withholding taxes. ADRs give investots a greatet guarantee of safety, as participating foreign companies have to meet certain U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( S E C ) accounting and disclosure standards. C h i n k s in the P r o t e c t i o n i s t s ' A r m o r Fortunately, there are ways for U.S. citizens to get around these obstacles. One of the easiest ways, if you are wealthy enough, is to qualify as an acctedited investor. As such you will have a freer hand to buy non-SEC registered foreign stocks and mutual funds directly. An acctedited investor is defined by S E C rules as an individual who has a net worth of U S $ 1 million or more, or an annual income of at least U S $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 for two successive years. You can also buy foreign securities through corporations or trusts you have created offshore.

Properly structured foteign trusts and corporations—and I do mean properly structured—are not considered "U.S. residents, persons, or citizens." These entities therefore have the unrestricted right to buy non-SEC registered securities. S E C "Regulation S" has actually made it easier to make such investments. It clearly defines the exemptions allowed by U.S. securities laws. These exemptions permit investment in non-SEC registered securities through a foreign trust and/or corporation. T h e most important testriction: the grantor who creates such entities must include income from these sources as personal income on annual tax returns. Some C a v e a t s There are many other reasons, besides higher returns, for investing offshore. These include far 176

Investments greater financial privacy, sttonger asset protection, and much wider investment diversification. Unfortunately, tax savings are not generally available to offshote investors. T h e general rule for U.S. investors who invest outside the U . S . is that they are subject to income and capital gains taxes the same as with U . S . investments. However, this rule only applies to direct investments and not to investments made through a foreign ttust, foreign corporation (or I B C ) or a foreign partnership. In some cases, use of such legal entities allows deferral of taxes. Thete ate also special tax rules for investments in foreign annuities or foreign life insurance companies and mutual funds or investment companies. As you can imagine, the U . S . Tax Code imposes all sorts of complex tax rules on offshore investments that aim to wting maximum revenue from Americans who go offshore. These tax laws are extremely complex, so move cautiously and only with expert ptofessional advice. At every step of the way, find out exactly what the U . S . tax consequences will be before you proceed. Also make sure you understand what you need to report to the IRS about your offshore investments.

O v e r c o m i n g the Information B l a c k o u t Some of the most draconian tax provisions relating to offshore investments are aimed at offshore mutual funds. Not coincidentally, these funds are some of the easiest and most profitable ways U . S . investors can participate in foreign markets. At this writing, there are approximately 1,500 emerging-market investment funds managing over U S $ 2 0 0 billion in equities. These funds offer a simple way for American investors to profit from the growth of foreign companies by eliminating the inconvenience associated with direct ownership of foreign shares. T h e IRS regulations relating to offshore funds are designed to ptevent U . S . persons from deferring income in them, a privilege that is not accorded to U . S . funds. You might think the IRS would want to make it easy for U . S . taxpayers to simply pay taxes on theit income or gain each year from the fund, in the same manner as for U . S . funds. Alas, that's not the case. Indeed, the only way that the U.S. owner of shares in an offshore fund can recognize the gains each year is if the fund meets one of two sets of stringent IRS regulations. Unfortunately, this tequites the fund managets to jump through many accounting and regulatory hoops. Most managers don't bother even ttying to comply, and to make sure they're not asked, most offshore funds prohibit direct investment by U . S . persons. As a result, U . S . taxpayers ate forced to use the much less favorable fallback method of calculating gains on what the IRS calls a "passive foreign investment company" ( P F I C ) . T h e PFIC regulations require investors to defer paying interest on tax until they sell the funds or are deemed to take an "excess distribution." This requires calculation of a punitive intetest charge that, over a period of years, can not only eliminate all profits in the fund, but additionally eat into and, in extreme cases, exceed the principal amount of the investment. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions to these rules. While most offshore funds are organized as corporations, an increasing number are organized as limited partnerships, limited liability companies or similar tax-neutral structures. U . S . shareholders in such funds simply pay tax on their pro-rata share of income ot gain from the fund, bypassing the punitive PFIC rules. Anothet option, which works for any kind of offshore fund, is to purchase them

through a tax-sheltered investment, such as a retirement plan or offshore variable life insurance policy. However, make such investments cautiously, and only then with the assistance of a qualified international tax planner. C o n c l u s i o n While the obstacles to offshore profits are many, they are not insurmountable. In spite of the roadblocks to prosperity the U . S . government imposes, there are many legal ways to achieve your investment objectives. And with the global return to a growing, greater prosperity, 2004 could be yout offshore year. 177 Investments Ways for Americans to Invest Offshore by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, April 2001 Unless you have no interest in offshore investing, or have been hiding under a rock, you know that the world's most powerful governments are engaged in a systematic campaign against low-tax offshore jurisdictions. But despite the best efforts of the alphabet soup of global otganizations such as the Otganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Financial Action Task Force, et al., offshore investing is by no means dead. While it's become difficult-to-impossible to hide money from the tax man offshore, you can still take your domestic wealth off the tadar screen to achieve practical, if not necessarily impenetrable, privacy. Offshore holdings also give you more flexibility trading foreign markets. And bank secrecy is still very useful for commercial purposes, even if it's hardly "absolute" in tax and (especially) criminal investigations. Finally, offshore insurance policies and trusts continue to provide significant benefits. P r a c t i c a l P r i v a c y and Lawsuit P r o t e c t i o n T h e single best reason in my view to move assets outside your own country is

to protect yourself from the global litigation epidemic. Truly frivolous litigation is no longer a U.S.-only phenomenon. T h e U.K. and Canadian legal systems are also undergoing a quiet, yet tevolutionary, transformation that dramatically increases the odds of being sued successfully. Even something as simple as an offshore bank account provides substantial protection from frivolous lawsuits. This is one reason why T h e Sovereign Society developed its "Offshore Convenient Account" member benefit (see By transferring assets to a financial institution outside your own country, you gain a significant practical degree of financial privacy and asset ptotection. If you live in a countty that taxes its residents' worldwide income, you won't generally obtain tax advantages, but the assets will disappear from the domestic "radar screen." Since lawyers size up targets fot lawsuits by looking for their money, someone considering suing you may decide to find a target with more visible wealth. If you live in an English-speaking countty, it may also be much more difficult for a successful litigant to collect against assets in an offshore account. Fot instance, in Austria (where the Society maintains a Convenient Account relationship with Anglo Irish Bank) according to Austrian attorney Bert Ortner: "It is virtually impossible for a U . S . litigant to collect a judgment. It is possible only with a treaty and the United States has no treaties to collect judgments with any other country. This is true also in the realm of punitive damages, the enforcement of which is—punishment— which in Austria is reserved for the criminal courts. I have never seen a case where money was actually repatriated to the United States. It would also make no difference if the litigant were a government agency. There would still be no jurisdiction in Austtia without more than a tourist simply making an investment in an Austrian bank. T h e only exception would be if the judgment comes under the authority of the U.S.-Austtia Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty." T h e situation for Canadian depositors in Austrian banks is almost as favorable as it is for U . S . depositors. According to Ortnet, only arbitration awards and judgments from

British Columbia are enforceable. Nor are Australian judgments, with the exception of arbittation awards, enforceable in Austria. On the other hand, Austria will enforce final judgments from Gteat Britain. But even then, the assets are still off the radar screen. T h e bottom line is that an offshore account provides practical asset protection and privacy. State-of-the-Art Offshore A s s e t P r o t e c t i o n In recent years, courts in the United States and othet countries have become frustrated by their 178

Investments seeming inability to enforce judgments against persons or companies with assets abtoad. Especially where the creditor is a government agency, U . S . courts have ordered defendants to repatriate their offshore assets, or face contempt charges and, in a few exceptional cases, jail. If this concerns you, you may want to consider an offshore structure, such as a trust ot limited liability company. And while it's ttue that many of asset protection structures that are available offshore are also available domestically, offshore sttuctures are far more effective for asset protection. T h e reason is that courts in many states have tuled that domestic sttuctures may be invaded in various circ*mstances; e.g., to enforce claims for child or spousal support. And as an example of cutrent trends, the Supreme Court of Mississippi has ruled, in effect, that if a beneficiaty of an irrevocable spendthrift trust is a "bad person" (in this case, an alcoholic who caused a wrongful death), the courts may awatd payments from the trust to anothet patty. T h e laws of popular offshore trust jurisdictions, such as Nevis, have no such exceptions. But what if you don't have U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 to place in an offshore ttust, the minimum amount that most experts recommend for the structure to be costeffective? Then you can use offshore structures such as a limited liability company ( L L C ) . True, you can also form a domestic LLC, but for asset ptotection, one fotmed outside your own country will provide much greater asset ptotection. Similarly, U . S . life insurance and annuity contracts can sometimes provide asset protection, but better protection is available offshore. T a x Benefits are Still Available

Nor is it true that you can no longer achieve tax benefits by investing, doing business or even living offshore. For U . S . persons, offshore life insurance policies or variable annuities remain a great way to defer income taxes on your gains. In most countries, if you form a foreign corporation and go into business with someone outside your own country, you have the opportunity to defer taxes indefinitely on the profits. T h e price, though, is that you may not be able to own more than 50 petcent of the business to avoid the "controlled foreign corporation" provisions of your country's domestic tax legislation. But if you are doing business with a foreign partner, this obstacle is easy to overcome. Another opportunity is to leave your home countty and move to a lower tax jurisdiction. In most countries, all you need to do to avoid income tax liability is to prove that you have given up permanent residency there. U . S . citizens must do mote, howevet they must actually give up their U.S. citizenship. Yet even here, there's a silver lining. If you leave the United States to live elsewhere, and receive wages or salary from an offshore source, you can keep your citizenship and still be eligible to earn up to US$80,000/year without being subject to any U . S . income tax. If you are married, and your spouse is also overseas, the exemption doubles to U S $ 1 6 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e bottom line is that despite a concerted disinformation campaign by governments and the media to discredit offshore investing and businesses, more than U S $ 6 trillion has made its way into dozens of offshore centers wotldwide. T h e overwhelming majority of this money represents legitimate investments made by individuals and businesses that are not trying to evade taxes or launder money. And there's no reason why you shouldn't join them.

How to Choose Offshore Investments By John Pugsley, The Sovereign Individual, January 2004 Sovereign Society members are generally above average in assets and in financial acumen. Yet membet correspondence and interaction at our seminars tells us that many members are uncertain how to choose offshore investments. Part of the problem is confusion about what it means to invest offshore. A

second and greater part comes from a failure to undetstand how to structute a rational 179

Investments financial plan. There is little objective information on how you should design a long-term plan for the emula-tion and protection of wealth. This isn't hard to understand, since the investment industry profits by selling stocks, bonds and real estate, not by offering effective strategic advice. Before choosing offshore investments, decide what type of assets meet your financial goals. Essentially, thete are four types of assets: tangibles, money, businesses, and real estate. Tangibles are things that are useful, such as industrial commodities, gold, silver, precious gems, and collectibles. Money, the medium of exchange, takes the form of cash, or negotiable instruments (bank deposits, CDs, and bonds). Businesses can be wholly owned ot partially owned through partnership interests or corporate shares (equities). Real estate can be owned as taw land or residential and commercial properties. T h e following points provide a guideline of how to allocate yout assets, depending on what you foresee for the overall economy: ( 1 ) Tangibles rise and fall in price as economic booms and recessions increase or decrease consumer demand. ( 2 ) Equities rise and fall depending on the skill of individual business managers, and general stock market cycles. ( 3 ) Bonds, even "risk-free" U . S . Treasuries, rise and fall with an inverse relationship to intetest rates. (That is, as interest rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa.) ( 4 ) Since most real estate is mottgaged, ptoperty prices also have an inverse relationship to intetest rates. You should detetmine your portfolio balance by your evaluation of the economy and interest rates. However, there is another factor you must keep in mind— political tisk. Nowhere is political risk more pronounced, and less acknowledged, than in the

U.S., where investors must consider: ( 1 ) Legal risks. Laws such as the U S A P A T R I O T Act give the government power to secretly confiscate property without a heating. ( 2 ) Regulatoty risks. Government regulations can devastate an industry or adversely affect property tights. For instance, environmental resttictions on developing property in "wetlands" have made millions of actes of U.S. property virtually worthless. ( 3 ) Tax risks. Changing the tax treatment of an investment can have devastating effects. For instance, when Congress decided to shut down "tax shelters" in the 1980s, real estate prices in some markets fell 5 0 % or more. ( 4 ) Monetary risks. U . S . monetaty policy overshadows all investments. Will the Fedetal Reserve increase interest rates and decimate bond values? Or will it expand the money supply, leading to inflation, and further favoring physical commodities as investments ? We believe monetary risks will have the most immediate impact on investots in 2004-Soaring federal budget deficits leave the Federal Reserve no choice but to continue to cteate money out of thin ait, adding billions in new money to the banking system every month. As themoney supply expands, the unavoidable consequence will be a decline in the value of the dollar relative to other currencies and gold. It will also result in price inflation for goods and services priced in dollars. As prices for goods and services rise, investors in dollar-denominated bonds and other monetary instruments will demand higher interest rates. As U.S. interest rates tise, dollar-denominated bonds will fall in value, as will U . S . real estate prices. Business activity will slow, resulting in declining stock prices. This outlook leads us to make investment recommendations that we believe will perform well despite increasing U . S . monetary risks: ( 1 ) We recommend keeping the money portion of your portfolio in shott-tetm bonds, preferably diversified among stronger currencies (e.g., the venerable Swiss franc). ( 2 ) In dollar terms, precious metals, and particularly gold and silver, will continue to rise, possibly entering an explosive bull-market phase. ( 3 ) T h e equities portion of all portfolios should include stocks outside the U . S . market. We also recommend a core position in securities such as the Prudent Bear Fund ( N Y S E - B E A R X ) that will profit from declining U . S . stock prices. None of these investments need to be purchased offshore. Yet, the most obvious way to minimize political risk to your investments is to diversify your portfolio internationally, which is, of 1 8 0

Investments course, the raison d'etre of T h e Sovereign Society. However, don't choose an investment only because it is offshore. Choose it only after deciding if your portfolio needs that type of asset to give it the appropriate balance of risk and reward. You should also consider how a particular investment is likely to perform relative to all other assets in that category. Assuming you decide to take the plunge "offshore," should you invest directly? Through an offshore bank account? Through an offshore corporation, offshore insurance policy, annuity or offshore trust? These are the questions consideted in this and othet issues of T S I . Read the analyses we ptesent carefully, determine if the tecommendations we make fit into yout long-term financial plan— and invest accordingly. Change the Location of Your Assets by Marshall J. Langer, T h e Tax Exile Report Many countries impose estate or inheritance taxes on property situated in the country even if owned by nonresidents. Although you cannot move real estate, you may be able to change the situs of personal property. T h e location of your assets may determine whether they are subject to capital transfer taxes such as the estate and gift taxes. A U . S . citizen or domiciliary is subject to these taxes on all ttansfers he makes no matter where the property is located. However, a non-domiciled alien is subject to these taxes only on property located in the U . S . With minor exceptions this rule extends to a taxmotivated expattiate. For example, the stock of a foreign corporation that produces foreign-source dividends will normally be a foreign asset. However, a tax-motivated expatriate may be taxed on his share of the U.S. assets owned by a foreign corporation if certain ownership tests are met. Foreign bonds and foreign bank accounts are foreign assets. Foreign real estate is also a

foreign asset for transfer tax purposes. O w n Only Foreign A s s e t s In general, you will find it advantageous to own only foreign assets. You should keep gold, jewelry, antiques, art and othet personal property outside the U . S . You should not keep latge amounts of U.S. dollars or foreign currency in the U . S . You should not keep U . S . tax-free municipal bonds because such bonds are tax-free only for income tax purposes, not for estate and gift tax purposes. You should not be partners in partnerships that own U . S . property nor should you do business in the U.S. You should be able to retain U . S . life insurance policies. When you are no longer at risk under the anti-expatriation rules, you can reacquire some U . S . bank accounts and bonds and own othet U . S . assets, such as stock and real estate, through a foreign corporation that will then shield you from the estate tax. Why You Should Own Non-U.S. Investments In Your Retirement Plan by Larry Grossman, The Sovereign Individual, June 2 0 0 3 Contrary to what you may have been told by your broker or banker, you can own almost any U . S . or non-U.S. investment in your retirement plan, including offshore mutual funds and virtually any kind of foreign real estate. Imagine owning an exotic beachfront retirement home on a lush tropical island —purchased with the tax-deferred dollars you have been saving. Add to that the salaty your retirement plan will pay you to manage the property. T h e icing on the cake is the freedom from the worries that plague 181

Investments most Ameticans when they think about their dwindling retirement plan assets. Most of these opportunities are never made available to the average U.S. citizen —few people aside from the ultra-wealthy have ever even known of theit existence. Trust me, your regular U.S. broker will never tell you these opportunities exist, probably because he's simply

unaware of them himself. W h y T a k e Y o u r R e t i r e m e n t Plan Offshore? 1. Investment diversification. Many of the world's best investments and money managers will not do business with U . S . citizens directly. They have simply made the choice that it is easiet to do business with the test of the world than to comply with the draconian U . S . rules. 2. Higher returns. There are opportunities in the traditional financial markets, such as offshore mutual funds and London-traded investment trusts with much higher returns then are generally available in U.S. markets. For example, the BFS Income and Growth Fund returned 7 5 % over the last year; and the Jupitet Financial Fund has a one-year return of 5 7 . 1 % ! These "split capital" ttusts aten't normally available to U . S . investors. 3. Currency diversification. Investots looking to stabilize theit portfolios can protect their wealth against the falling U . S . dollar by simply holding othet currencies (like Japanese yen or Swiss francs). And opportunities in foreign currencies are plentiful—like earning nearly 2 0 % this year on the declining dollar versus the euro. 4. "Insurance" from closure of U . S . securities markets. We all learned the need to have patt of out assets outside of the United States when our markets wete shut down for five full trading days following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2 0 0 1 . But although U . S . markets were closed, individuals with foreign accounts wete able to trade securities on foreign exchanges. 5. Asset protection. All types of tetirement plans have come under attack in the courts. If a creditor gets a judgment against a "qualified plan" that's not properly administered, or a "non-qualified plan" in a state where such plans aren't protected, the judgment is easily enforced.14 In contrast, if you invest your retirement plan in a suitable jurisdiction—Switzerland, for instance—it can be configured to be essentially judgment-proof. 6. Financial privacy. Many people want protection from the ptying eyes of business partners, estranged family members and identity thieves surfing the Internet. And financial privacy can be the best protection against frivolous lawsuits that end with big judgments—if you do not appear to have enough assets to justify the time and expense of an attack in an attorney's mind, he will

not view you as a target. Simply put, assets you place "offshore" are off the domestic asset tracking "radar screen." What investments can your retirement plan make offshore? Almost anything! T h e only restrictions that apply are against most collectibles and some types of insutance. Amazingly, most investment restrictions people have run into are imposed not by legislation, but by the custodian or plan administrator. For instance, are you interested in intetnational real estate? Well, your IRA or pension plan can own raw land, condos, office buildings, single or multi-family homes, apartment buildings and improved land, so long as the real estate is not for your current personal use. How about offshore funds? Most offshore funds won't sell directly to U . S . investors, and even if they did, the U . S . tax consequences of owning most offshore funds can be punitive—unless you purchase them through your IRA or pension plan. For many investors, their retirement plans have become one of, if not, the latgest asset they have. Clearly, it is vitally important to have these assets in a position where they can provide access to the global trading markets, the world's best investments and money managers and added asset ptotection. I urge you to act now while you are still able. (About the authot: Larry Grossman is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Investment 182

Investments Management Analyst and a membet of T h e Sovereign Society's Council of Expetts. Grossman was one of, if not, the first financial advisor to develop a taxcompliant method for taking IRAs and pension funds offshore. He is Managing Director of Sovereign International Asset Management, LLC. Contact: Larry Grossman, 1312 Alt 19, Palm Harbor, Fla. 34683 U.S.A. WATS: ( 8 8 8 ) 6097425. Fax: +1 (727) 7 8 4 - 6 1 8 1 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: http://www. ) Choosing a U.S. or Offshore Investment Advisor by Ron Holland, The Sovereign Individual, July 2000 T h e Internet is driving down the cost of investment advice and financial transactions. It is making insurance products and mutual funds with high frontend loads and full-commission stockbrokers obsolete. I believe that knowledgeable investots will in the future either use low commission (e-trade type) brokers or fee based investment advisors. Internet based e-trade accounts are great when you know what you want to buy. But low commissions have an unfortunate cotollaty: excessive trading and increased investor losses. Expect this trend to petsist as commissions and investment advisory fees continue to fall. Nowhete is this trend more evident than in the world of day trading. According to Worth magazine: "a recent study of retail day ttadets by the North American Security Administrators Association found that only 11.5 percent of them do it profitably and want an acceptably low chance of ruin. Seventy percent of day traders are so bad that they are likely not just to lose money but to lose all of their money." Fee-based advisors avoid a conflict of interest because they don't get paid for merely moving your money around in possibly losing trades. Rather, they are paid a flat fee and possibly a bonus if the portfolio grows in value as a result of the their investment management. What should you look fot in a fee-based advisor? Here are some recommendations based on my more than 30 years of experience as an investment advisor: Choose an advisor with substantial money under management and experience. Find out in writing the amount of funds currently under management (not investments previously sold by commission). Choose one with at least five years in the money management business and U S $ 5 0 million under management.

Expect to provide detailed information to the advisor. Advisors should ask for detailed information about your financial situation. Be prepared to answer questions about existing investments, net worth, tax returns and investment needs. An advisor who doesn't tequest and teview this data is not someone you want to manage your portfolio. Weigh the pros and cons of onshore verses offshore investment advisors. Offshore advisors generally have a wider range of potential investments available. They will also provide a degree of confidentiality and privacy not available from SEC-registered or U.S.-based advisors. But an offshore advisor will generally charge higher fees. And you may not receive the level of service, feedback and convenience of a domestic advisor. Also remember that most offshore managed investments are reportable as a "foreign financial account." Some experts believe acknowledging such an account can be a red flag on your tax return. Ask a friend. Ask your friends who they recommend for good performance and service—then check them out. Also check out portfolio managers who your favorite newsletter editors or advisors recommend. One caveat: you need to determine if this is an objective tecommendation or if they are a referral agent to a specific advisor. I recommend consulting with financial professionals who use a variety of advisors, not just one or two. You're likely to receive more objective advice.

183 Investments Find an advisor with a compatible investment philosophy. Choose an advisor with whom you feel comfortable philosophically. For example, if you believe in Austtian economics or "hard money" investing, consider an advisor who shares your concerns and who knows how to apply these economic principles in investing. T h e same principle applies if yout intetest lies specifically in technology stocks, global investing or if you just want a balanced income or growth portfolio. Avoid sales pressure. If you are paying for investment advice, why should you be

subject to selling pressure? T h e answer is, you shouldn't. If the advisor doesn't spend most of your time together asking you questions and listening to your answers, he may not be doing his job. Beware of an advisor who brags about performance and doesn't explain the investment risks. Also watch out fot any back end load or penalty charges if you change advisors. Most advisors charge a percentage of assets under management with little or no termination fees. Consider a financial professional to help you pick the right investment advisor or advisors. Most major broker/dealers have access to a variety of money managers who they monitor for performance, client service and strategies. If an advisor makes mistakes and performance or service falters, then the financial professional can work with you to fire the advisot and choose one more appropriate for your needs. This is the service that I ptovide to clients throughout the United States.

Investment Risks To Guard Against By Marc-Andre Sola, October 2001 Mr. Sola is president and CEO o / N M G International Ltd. in Zurich, Switzerland. Contact: Tel: +41 1 266 21 41 Fax: +41 1 266 21 49 e-mail: Web site: Inherently, any investment involves risk. Considered alone, "risk" sounds negative but considered in the overall investment picture, risk is much more manageable. T h e more risk is understood, the more you can turn risks into financial opportunities. 1. Inflation risk This is the danger that the cash you invest will buy less in the future because of rises in prices of consumer and other goods. When the rate of inflation rises, money loses purchasing power. This is especially true with fixed income investments. As long as investments produce returns at constant rates, they can be threatened by inflation. Inflation risk is tied to interest rate risk, because interest rates often rise to compensate fot inflation. If your savings and investments ate failing to outpace inflation, you may wish to consider investing in growth-oriented alternatives such as stocks, stock mutual funds, variable annuities, or other vehicles. Equity stocks, gold and othet tangibles have proven to be the best hedge against inflation.

2. Investment risk. As noted, tisk is an inherent, basic patt of investing. Fot those nervous folks who worry a great deal, investments may not be suitable. Generally, investors must take greatet risks to achieve greater returns. Those who do not tolerate risk very well have a relatively smaller chance of making high earnings than do those with a higher tolerance for risk. 3. Interest Rate Risk.Bonds and other fixed-income investments are sensitive to changes in interest rates. When interest rates rise, the value of your fixed interest income investments falls. Aftet all, why would someone pay full price for a bond at 5 percent when new bonds are paying 7 percent? Of coutse, the opposite is also true. W h e n interest rates fall, existing bonds with fixed higher rates increase in value. As an alternative, consider investing a part of your fixed income in deferred fixed annuities. These investments pay you a competitive interest and you avoid market risk. 4- Exchange rate risk. Exchange risk arises when a particulat nation's cutrency loses value when exchanged for foreign currencies. As an investor it is important for you to understand currency fluctuations and know the value of the leading sttong currencies such as the U . S . dollar, the euro ( E U R ) or the Swiss franc. Over many years the Swiss franc has continued to be one of the strongest of all national currencies. If your home currency is likely to lose value compared to these stronger 184 Investments currencies, you should consider investing some of your money in one or more of these currencies. If, however, your home currency is strong, such as the British pound stetling, a diversification into other cutrencies has to be monitored carefully. 5. Economic Risk. W h e n the economy experiences a downturn, the earnings capabilities of most businesses may be threatened. While some industties and companies adjust to downturns in the economy vety well, others, particulatly large industrial firms, take longer to react. In such situations risk is reduced by investments in those industries likely to prosper even in a downturn, but this requires knowledge on your part of the companies you choose. 6. Market Risk. W h e n the market as a whole experiences a downturn, that

tends to pull most equity shares down as well. Afterward, the affected stocks recover at rates closely related to their fundamental strength, regardless of overall market swings. Market tisk affects almost all investments, including stocks, bonds, and real estate, but at different times. T h e key is to invest for long-term gains because over the long haul risk is reduced and averaged out. That strategy matks the serious investor compared to the day trader seeking fast profits. 7. Liquidity risk. Liquidity risk is the tisk that an investment, when converted to cash, will experience loss in its value. To reduce the risk of being forced to sell at the wrong time, when the price of your investment is down, you should plan thoroughly your future needs for liquidity and select investments with varying time lines that allow you to liquidate when needed. 8. Creditor risk. This involves the risk that arises when the issuer of a stock or bond cannot meet his obligations when they come due. This may be an inability to pay periodic interest ot return on principal on time. This risk can be reduced by diversifying investments within an asset class and by selecting investments with first class, "blue chip" companies. T h e ctedibility of a creditor can be predetermined by consulting one of the top rating companies such as Standard & Poor's or Moody's. By understanding the different types of risk and keeping a constant eye on your investments, you will be able to manage your money far more effectively. Remember, strategic investing doesn't mean "taking chances" so much as "making sound decisions." Long-term investing and diversification are some of the most effective strategies you can use to minimize risk and increase potential return. How to Recognize an Investment Scam May 1 9 9 6 T h e lure of a quick buck is all around us, and may seem irresistible, especially when money is tight and investment returns shaky. That alluring offer guaranteed to make you a millionaite can paint a very pretty picture indeed. However, in most cases, these pictures need some serious reviewing, and investors should be extremely wary.

In some cases, the pictutes are simply gross exaggerations. Money can indeed be made—but it's not as easy or as quick as the promoters make it sound. Other deals are nothing but scams, underwritten by con artists intent on using your money to underwrite their retirement. An appeal to greed. So, how do you spot—and avoid—these dangerous pictures? Here are some of the warning flags: • Promised investment returns that are substantially higher than average. Every percentage point increase above the going treasury bond rate should be considered an increase in risk. When an offer promises risk-free returns to 10 percent above the treasury rate, you shouldn't only be seeing flags, you should be hearing sirens. • "Now-or-never" sales pitches, or "limited-time offers." Promoters give you this special opportunity now, but can't guarantee they'll be able to "hold your spot"— even for an hour. Why? If you think about it too long, you might come to your senses, so they want yout check or credit 185

Investments card number now. • Solicitations (usually phone pitches) from unlicensed companies. Before handing over your money, you should know a lot about the company you're investing with. Check it out with the agency that registers or licenses businesses, like the Department of Corporations, the Department of Insurance, the Secretary of State or the Securities Commission. If you can't find the company through inquiries there, how easily do you think you'll find your money once it's gone? • Offshore companies. Unfortunately, the many legitimate advantages offered through investing with offshore banks or corporations have sometimes been ovet-promoted by unscrupulous con artists, all too ready to relieve you of your assets and then hide behind the same blanket of financial ptivacy you wanted to enjoy for yourself. You should thoroughly investigate any agency or organization offering assistance with offshore investments. Deal only with longestablished firms of proven reputation, and request references before entrusting your hard-earned money to anyone who claims to be an "expert" in the offshote investment field.

• Glib responses. You know the adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." So ask, "If this is such a sure-fire deal, why are you offering it to me? Why won't the banks touch it?" Con artist response: "It's such a complex deal the banks don't understand." This is one of the great lies of investing. Banks understand only too well. It's their job. If they won't touch it, you probably shouldn't either. Given those dangers, here are some steps you can take to ensute you don't wind up the victim of a scam artist: • Don't invest with someone who just calls over the phone. Get a prospectus first, which should provide a detailed analysis of the deal and its risks. Never send money or give out a valid credit card number without it. • Check out the company and its officers. Know whom you're investing with and what their history is in the business. Many scam artists go from one con to the next—and they leave a lengthy trail behind them. Check your wheeler-dealer out with governmental agencies or the courts before handing over your cash. • Don't let someone else do your reading for you. You wouldn't walk blindfolded into a car dealership and say, "Give me a good one for $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 , " so don't do it with your investments. Don't rely on a friend to fill you in. Do the reading yourself—and talk to your accountant, financial planner, attorney or other adviser before taking the plunge. As long as there ate investments, there will be investment scams and swindlers seeking victims. However, with a little common sense and a few ptecautions, you should be able to avoid becoming one of the latter. Fraud Alert—Six Scams to Avoid By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, September 2002 According to a recent Internet survey conducted among supposedly expetienced investors by, 2 2 % of respondents expected offshore returns of 100% or higher per year; 3 2 % of respondents expected tetutns of at least 5 0 % ; and 4 2 % of respondents expected returns of at least 2 5 % . These unrealistic expectations are the main reason why so many people become victims of offshore frauds. In addition, offshore passport fraud and tax fraud is rampant. This column outlines how these frauds operate and how to avoid them. 1. Prime bank note/bank debenture schemes. These schemes generally promise monthly 186

Investments tetiiins of 3 0 % or more with "no risk." One scheme involves trading of socalled bank credit instruments (debentures). Promoters also use terms like "bank purchase orders" or "promissory bank notes" and claim to be operating under guidelines from the International Chamber of Commerce. But the I C C has issued a warning that no such investments exist. According to the ICC's Commercial Crime Bureau, this scam costs investors in North America alone more than U S $ 1 0 million in daily losses. 2. Offshore promoters promising to assist in tax evasion. Promotets of "prime bank notes" and similar schemes often claim that their particular arrangement offers absolute sectecy and that profits from the scheme need not be reported on yout tax return. T h e unspoken purpose of this promise is to teduce the risk that defrauded investors will ever sue or complain that they have been defrauded, since to do so would invite an investigation for tax evasion. Remember: Taxpayers in the United States, Canada and some other O E C D countries are required to pay taxes on their worldwide income. Also remember that there is a global crackdown against bank secrecy and that the implication that secrecy would apply in an investigation from "any source" is highly questionable.

3. The Nigerian fraud. In this scheme, which the FBI says has resulted in more than U S $ 5 billion of losses in the United States alone, you receive an unsolicited e-mail or fax from Nigeria (and, with increasing frequency, other countries) asking you to allow the writer to deposit several million dollars into your bank account. You are promised a generous commission for doing so, which is necessary because the writet is engaged in activity which is implied to be illegal. As evidence of your good intentions, you are asked to send an advance fee to an offshote account. T h e fee, of course, promptly vanishes. In addition, the fraudsters may try to clean out the account from which you wrote the check. 4. "Pure trust" schemes. So-called "constitutional" or "pure" trusts are promoted as entities legally exempt from all taxes. But in fact, a U . S . grantor of a trust in which the grantor remains a possible beneficiary is taxed on an individual basis on the income from the trust. These schemes ate at the center of the current IRS crackdown against "abusive trusts"that has resulted in several recent convictions of promoters. "Pure trusts" are also being promoted in Canada and Australia-with the same disastrous tax results for those persons relying on the promises of promoters. 5. "Brass plate" bank schemes. There are still offshore jurisdictions where it is easy to purchase a bank charter. Promoters claim that once you've set up an offshore bank, income it generates is tax-free. T h e truth is much more complex —a comprehensive tax analysis by a qualified practitioner is required to determine if you will obtain any tax benefits from such an arrangement. Even if you can, unless the offshore bank is a bona-fide commercial institution with a physical presence, it is prohibited from doing business in the United States. Such "shell banks" are a major tatget of the U.S. "war on terror," although there is little evidence that they have ever been used in terrorist financing. 6. Fraudulent passport offers. Only two nations cutrently sell legally authorized "instant" citizenship: St. Kitts/Nevis and the Commonwealth of Dominica. However, there are many other offers for "instant" citizenship in other countties promoted on the Internet and elsewhete. We have warned readers to avoid "instant" passpotts ftom an unnamed EU country being sold for U S $ 8 , 0 0 0 , and that these sales constituted criminal activity under domestic laws and international treaties. (That country, it was later revealed, was Greece.) We have now learned that our

analysis was correct. In one case, a purchaser flew to Athens to supposedly meet someone ftom the law firm handling the passport sales. But instead, when he arrived, he was kidnapped. His kidnappers demanded an additional U S $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 and told him that he had 24 hours to pay the money, or otherwise they would not be responsible for what happened. He was released after retrieving these funds, but never received the passport. H o w to Avoid Being Defrauded T h e best way to avoid offshore investment and tax frauds is to conduct your own "due dili-187

Investments gence." One quick check you can do is in a seatch engine such as Enter in the name of the company promoting a scheme along with the word "scam" or "fraud" and peruse the results. If there are a lot of complaints-steer clear. Two investigators who have compiled a database of offshore frauds are Matt Blackman ( and David Marchant ( Access to their databases is available fot a nominal charge. Another good resource to avoid offshore fraud is Beyond these resources, a professional investigator charging US$75/hour or so can uncover enough information in a few hours to give you a good idea of whether the investment being considered is a reputable one. T h e best way to avoid offshore passport fraud is to deal only with reputable companies that offer strictly legitimate documents. One such firm is Henley & Partners, Kirchgasse 24 8001 Zurich Switzerland. Tel.: + ( 4 1 ) 1 267 60 90. Fax: + ( 4 1 ) 1 267 60 9 1 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link:

Due Diligence in Offshore Investing

by David Marchant, The Sovereign individual, July 2000 Early in 2002, I was contacted by the Reverend Albert Jackson, head of the U.S.based "Church of the Oversoul" ( Jackson claimed to have invested U S $ 2 3 0 , 0 0 0 of church members' funds with T h e Harris Organization Financial Services Group of Panama in October 1999. W h e n he requested a U S $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 redemption two months later to support humani-tarian projects, he was told that no money was available. Oversoul has unsuccessfully sought to redeem its investment ever since. Jackson contacted me for assistance aftet learning that my company, Offshore Business News 6k Research Inc., and I had won a libel ttial in Miami aftet T h e Harris Organization sued over an article we published in Offshore Alert newsletter making serious allegations against Harris. What I found remarkable during my correspondence with Jackson was his admission that he had been aware that a judgment had been entered in favor of O B N R before he had invested the U S $ 2 3 0 , 0 0 0 . Nor did he obtain a copy of the judgment prior to investing. If he had, he would have read Judge Michael Moore's comments that T h e Harris Organization's 1997 audited financial statement was "of questionable validity," that the group had prior involvement in "fraudulent and criminal activity" and that it had a "continuing association with persons and entities that had been involved in ot advocated ctiminal activity." And that "from the time he published the initial atticle to the present, Marchant had evidence which provided persuasive support for the truth of each of the allegations at issue." These "allegations at issue" included one that Harris was insolvent. Jackson told me that he had contacted my firm prior to investing with Harris, but did not obtain a copy of the judgment ot supporting documents because he believed there was a charge involved. T h e expense of obtaining a copy of a judgment from the clerk of the court rendering it is usually quite modest, although in this case, Rev. Jackson could have downloaded the entire judgment from our web site at without chatge. To save at most a few hundred dollars (usually much less), or an hour or two of free

Internet research, church members have potentially lost U S $ 2 3 0 , 0 0 0 . Unfortunately, Jackson's story is typical of a chronic reluctance among unsophisticated investors to carry out any proper due diligence before parting with their funds. Fot many, the existence of a web site is all the proof they require that an offshore provider is legitimate. It is extra comfort if someone has posted a message on one of the many Internet bulletin boards devoted to offshore investing along the lines of "XYZ provider has been returning 10 per cent per month for five years 188

Investments without any complaints from investors, take my word for it." Who cares if the message was posted anonymously? After all, the poster couldn't possibly be lying because he professes to be religious. Interestingly, many of these same bulletin boards ate swamped with messages from people claiming to have been defrauded, often by the same companies! Basic due diligence need not cost a fortune. A professional investigator charging US$75/hour can uncover enough information in a few hours to give you a good idea of whether the investment being considered is a reputable one. Of course, some companies charge much more. New York-headquartered Kroll Associates charges $200 per hour, plus expenses. Their services might be worth considering if you're considering an investment in the hundreds of thousands of dollats, but might not otherwise be cost-effective. One of the greatest strengths of offshore investing—secrecy—is also one of its biggest down sides when it comes to carrying out due diligence. However, everything has its price and, if you are prepared to spend the money, it is possible to obtain virtually any information you want, even offshore. I have a contact who can obtain balances, account signatories, details of money transfers and othet information at most offshore banks. T h e price for such a service is in the U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 U S $ 7 , 5 0 0 tange, depending on the bank and the jurisdiction. Bank secrecy laws count for little if a bank employee decides to sell information for money or for their personal liberty. T h e latter occurred in the case of former

banker John Mathewson, who gave U . S . authorities complete details of account-holders at Cayman-based Guardian Bank & Trust to escape a prison sentence for money laundering. Citizens of the information-friendly United States own many offshore businesses. It is relatively easy to conduct a basic background check on their principals, once their identity is known. In less than an hour, I can perform a computet-assisted search of criminal and civil litigation in U . S . federal courts, civil checks in state courts and obtain details such as Social Secutity Number, current and prior addresses, professional licenses, property ownership, company involvement, etc. on anyone who has legally lived in the United States. While many of you might considet this to be an unconscionable invasion of privacy, it nevertheless represents money and time well spent if it prevents you from being ripped off. There's no point setting up an offshore structure to avoid paying 3 0 - 4 0 percent tax if you're going to squander 100 percent of it by investing with a con artist. Five Ways to Profit from Global Real Estate By Lief Simon, The Sovereign Individual, January 2004 If you've made 1 0 % a year on your U . S . investments in the last couple of years—which isn't bad—you've actually lost money if you count in the dollat depreciation. Offshore real estate is an excellent hedge against the dollar, the U . S . economy, and U.S. stock markets. It's a hard asset. You can stand on it...and take enjoyment from it, while you watch the value appreciate. How can you profit from offshore real estate? Specifically, in five ways: 1. Currency appreciation. You can still buy real estate in many parts of the world for much less in dollar terms than you could have only a few years ago. A real estate investment you make now with the euto, the New Zealand dollar, or even the lowly Czech koruna has the potential to net you extra profits as the U . S . dollar falls. But this is quickly changing. In fact, the dollar index is down 2 5 % from its high two years ago. 2. Capital appreciation. Offshore real estate investments can appreciate fastet

than U . S . teal estate. Because of the low price there is a higher ceiling for appreciation. That's driven by the fact 1 8 9

Investments that with the Internet and e-mail, many people can work from anywhere on the planet. In the right real estate markets, it's possible for you to earn returns of 2 0 0 % . . . 6 4 0 % . . . or even 9 0 0 % . While these returns are exceptional, real estate, as the investment adage goes, "can't go to zero." You can take enjoyment from it, and use it for vacations...while it's appreciating, year after year. 3. Leverage. With real estate, you can often get financing to make your investment, and use that leverage to invest a small amount and yet reap the gains on a large amount. While financing outside the United States is generally not as easy to find as inside the United States, it is becoming increasingly available. 4-Rental income. Properties that produce rental income that exceeds holding costs will make you money. For instance, the long-term rental market in Argentina is well developed and offers good potential, as does the market in France. 5. Asset protection. Offshore real estate is an easy way to move some of your assets offshore. There are few restrictions placed on Americans by the government regarding the purchase of property overseas. And once you own property abroad it's extremely difficult for the government, creditors, or anyone else to get at it. There's a sixth advantage as well, but it's difficult to define in sttictly financial terms. A dwelling in the tight offshore jurisdiction offets you a safe alternative if things go bad at home. In the United States, for instance, many Americans fear for their constitutional rights. It seems as though those lights are fading quickly in this age of the U S A P A T R I O T A c t and "homeland security." And although many governments around the world are even worse, others are muchless intrusive. Where should you be looking right now? I'm interested in thtee destinations in particular: 1. T h e most undervalued raw land in the world. Nicaragua offers the best land deals in Latin America...and some of the most undervalued raw land in

the world. T h e prospects for this country seem to get better every day. T h e economy is growing faster than that of any other country in the legion. T h e president, Enrique Bolanos, is firmly committed to attracting foreign investment and is doing everything in his power to make his country as appealing as possible. We've seen steady appreciation in land values over the past seven or eight years. This appreciation will continue and accelerate in the coming years. 2. Government-backed guaranteed investment returns. T h e French Leaseback Program, a government-sponsored program, was created to attract foreign investors to build tourist accommodation in France. In a nutshell, when you buy an apartment, you get a heavy discount ( 1 9 . 6 % ) off the purchase price, you enjoy up to 9 5 % financing, and get guaranteed minimum rental tetums for nine years (up to 6% of the purchase price per year). Most people (including most Ftench realtors) have never heard of this special program. But i t ' s the easiest and safest way I know to invest in Europe. 3. A "Survivor's" Paradise. Contadora, the largest of Panama's Pearl Islands, has long attracted the attention of Panama's elite—because of its sheer natural beauty...and, mostly, because of the privacy it afforded. Until recently, few in the world even knew this island existed. But this is changing in a dramatic way. "Survivor," perhaps America's most popular reality TV show, is airing its current series as I write. T h e location? T h e Pearl Islands of Panama. Remember what happened after "Temptation Island" aired its series filmed on Ambergris Cay, Belize? Real estate values rose 1 0 0 % and more in six months. T h e real estate matket on Contadora is small and limited. Not a lot of inventory. T h e spike in values here could be even greater. F o r M o r e Information [emailprotected]. (Lief Simon manages Global Real Estate Investor a small group of the world's savviest real estate investots. Members learn specifically how, where, when, and for what investment return to buy offshore real estate. To learn more, visit www.globalrealestate ) 190


Why Gold Is Money by Michael Checkan, The Sovereign Individual, October 2003 With trillions of dollars, euros and yen circulating in paper and electronic forms, it is easy to fotget that gold is and always has been money. For 5,000 years, it has been the only currency that is no one's liability. Gold is money. Current practice is to ttanslate its value into the denomination in which its ptice is quoted on international markets—the U . S . dollar. But gold is a currency in its own right and has been throughout recorded history. Gold's role as money has been diminished by governments hijacking the tight to issue money. Legal tender laws require citizens to accept fiat paper money as a "substitute" for gold. This monopoly money gives governments the power to tax the users of their money through inflation. Globalization and the liberalization of financial matkets have created choice in so many areas of our lives. So far privatization has not extended to the issuance of money. Gold i s N o One's I O U Gold as money remains in use today in both the public and private sector. Central banks hold more than 33,000 tons of gold as part of their cutrency reserves; i.e. as money. Central banks hold gold because it has all the characteristics of money: it is a medium of exchange, a store of money and a unit of value. Gold is no one's IOU. It is the asset of last resort. Had the government not sold off all of its gold a decade ago, there is a strong argument that Argentina may have been better off during its recent travails when it defaulted on U S $ 1 3 2 billion of debt. Had the government retained some gold, it could have used it in the same way a motorist might use a reserve tank on a cat, to tide it over in the

short run. It could have also used gold to establish a new gold-backed currency. In addition to the monetary reasons for holding gold, central bankers also accept the fact that people like their central bankers to hold gold. This was part of the motivation of the European Central bank in adopting gold as a reserve asset. T h e Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan has an avowed affinity for gold and recently reminded us that fiat currencies have a history of mismanagement. Gold as a Hedge Against U n c e r t a i n t y Unlike many asset classes, gold has maintained its purchasing power over decades and even centuries in the face of inflationary pressures. In addition, the price of gold typically moves invetsely to the value of the dollar. These are two compelling reasons to use gold to diversify investment portfolios. T h e demand for gold has continued to exceed the supply of newly mined gold by a large and widening margin for many years. Until recently, gold prices did not increase as a result because the shortfall in supply was made up by gold sales from central banks. Such sales have now slowed to a trickle. T h e demand for gold has come primarily from the private sector. That some 8 0 % of global gold demand is from the jewelry sector understates gold's monetary role. T h e use of gold as an adorn-ment probably precedes its monetary use. But in many cases gold jewelry is held as much for its capacity as a store of value as for its cosmetic properties. In a way, privately held gold continues to play a vital role as a parallel currency in countries where faith in the government's money remains tarnished by economic mismanagement, war or natural disastets. But in developing countries gold is not only held in bad times: it is used whete the tradition of using gold as money stretches unbroken over the ages. No government dictate can 1 9 1 Investments change that. T h e developed world is not immune from economic uncertainty and the

demand for gold as a buffer against uncertainty is as real as ever. T h e B e s t W a y s t o O w n Gold Investors hold gold in many different forms, some more convenient than others. In Vietnam, taels (pure sheet gold weighing 1.2 ounces) are used alongside the local currency, particularly when ptoperty is purchased. In Turkey, legal tender gold coins ate used in day-to-day ttansactions. Recent events in Japan have shown gold to be the asset of preference when concerns about continued tecession, fragility of the banking system, low interest rates and equity ptices prevail. In Japan, demand for gold rose 5 4 % in 2001 and by February 2002 investots were buying gold at a rate of about a ton per day. Private investors worldwide hold an estimated 22,000 tons of gold in a vatiety of fotms ranging from jewelry to government guaranteed gold certificates. In some cases, they hold physical gold in the fotm of bullion coins. One ounce Australian Kangaroos, American Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs, all of which are legal tender are the most popular choices. Clearly, gold is the only real money. T h e central bankers know it, and the average "man on the street" knows it as well! It's Still as Good as Gold by Robert E. Bauman, JD, November 1998 From September 1929 to April 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Averages Index slid from 382 to 56, a drop in value of nearly 90 percent. Some 4,000 U . S . banks closed their doors and soon millions were unemployed. T h e Great Depression had arrived. During that same bleak period the price of gold skyrocketed 70 percent. T h e value of gold producer stocks, like Homestake Mining, shot up almost 800 percent. After the market crashed, anyone holding 10 percent of an investment portfolio in gold and mining shares would have had all their othet losses neutralized by their gold. Gold also increased in value after "Black Monday," October 19, 1987, when the Motgan Stanley index of world shares fell 19 percent over 10 days. And during

most all the mini-crashes of the stock markets since then, gold has held its value. So why hasn't gold moved dramatically higher recently as Wall Stteet joined other world stock matkets and currencies that have taken a nosedive? Is gold finally dead? Has faith in gold transferred to government-backed paper? Don't you believe it. It's true that with the U . S . stock market at an all-time high in 1998, gold was near a 21-year low at U S $ 2 7 8 pet ounce in January 1988. It sank even lower to an early September price of about U S $ 2 7 1 , not far above production costs (averaging about $250 to $260 per ounce). Several factors, all of them unusual, have kept gold down. T h e precious metal is denominated in the momentarily strong U.S. dollar, making it less affordable in ttaditional gold buying matkets like India and much of faltering Asia. Until recently gold prices have been depressed by increased production in South Africa, Canada and Australia. But close observers see a supply deficit developing that can boost prices quickly. If the U . S . Federal Reserve bends to pressures to cut interest rates as a stock market booster, the dollar could weaken fast, causing a flight to the gold backed Swiss franc and to gold itself. Douglas M. Cohen, a Wall Street analyst, told the New York Times, "Gold has thousands of years of history on its side. That history is full of episodes when people insisted gold was dead, and 192

Investments sure enough, gold has tended to rally back very strongly." Gold ownership has always defended against both inflation and deflation. That's because of its constant purchasing power. Compare gold today with the biblical times of the Old Testament during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. Then and now an ounce of gold buys about 350 loaves of bread. T h e same quantity of gold will buy a loaf of bread today undet Tony Blair's New Labourites as it would have undet an earlier, less decorous reign, that of King Henry VIII in the sixteenth centuty.

One gold mutual fund manager summed it up: "Gold is the only teal money. Silvet is only pocket change and everything else is teally just a credit insttument taken on faith." That's sadly accurate when paper money, like the Indonesian rupiah and the South Korean won, declines in value hourly. But as Asian currencies evaporate, gold temains solid. Every paper currency buys far less than it did at the turn of this century, but gold buys almost twice as much. That historic record demonstrates true insutance against economic swings. Think about it. Gold cannot be inflated by printing more. It cannot be devalued by government decree. And, unlike papet currency or investments in stocks and bonds, gold is an asset which doesn't depend on anybody's promise to repay. Although gold has been mined for more than 6,000 years, only about 120,000 metric tons have been produced. Lump that together and it's just enough for a cube measuring only 18 meters (about 55 feet) along each of its six sides. New gold mined each yeat totals less than 2,000 metric tons, about the size of the living room in a small modern house. Gold remains one of the scarcest, and most sought after metals on earth. Time and again, gold has proven the successful hedge against devaluation of an investor's national currency. It's one of the few investments that survives, even thrives, during times of economic uncettainty. With gold at tecotd low ptices and the world facing what could be a prolonged period of major economic turmoil, buying gold now may be the best bet. People who have known prolonged prosperity may not fully understand just yet the histotic implications of gold and its role when bad times arrive. Once they do, it will be again the one investment that's still "good as gold." Part Two—The World's Best Investment Strategies

Global Strategies That Work by Eric Roseman, The Sovereign Individual, August 2000 What strategies are the most effective for global investors? For those with patience, the search for value remains the best strategy. Since 1995, howevet, growth-based investments have far outpaced value investing in the race for

profits. But over time, no other long-tetm sttategy has produced better results for investors than buying and holding undervalued stocks or countties. Hete ate some pointers: 1. Buy undervalued country markets or indices representing those nations. Research conducted by Michael Keppler of Keppler Asset Management in New York proves that, over time, value always wins. Kepplet, the advisor to the State Street Global Advantage Funds (Luxembouig), uses a value-based methodology to scan for low price-to-earnings ratios, low price-to-book-value, low price-tocash-flow ratios and dividends. Today, some of the best bargains in a very overvalued market include Getmany (low price-to-cash); Austria (cheapest of all Euro bourses); Thailand (low P/E); Indonesia (low P/E); Belgium (low P/E) and the Philippines (low price-to-hook). Most of these bourses performed poorly in 1999, 1 9 3 Investments but I anticipate significant gains in the next 12-24 months. To invest in these markets, you can choose among three different products. Actively managed open-ended funds tend to perform the best. Some of the best open-ended country funds are domiciled in Luxembourg (Fidelity) and Hong Kong (Jardine Fleming). Closed-end funds are listed on the N Y S E and London SE (investment trusts). These funds tend to trade at a discount to their net asset value—often 20 percent or more. If you can't find an open-ended fund for the country you're tatgeting, choose this route. Index-linked products are my last choice—they simply don't perform as well in a bull market. For instance, the best funds in Japan in 1999 soared over 200 percent compared to only 59 percent for the World Equity Benchmark Series ( W E B S ) . 2. Open-ended funds usually outperform closed-end funds. T h e reasons vary, but are tied to poot liquidity for the closed-end fund, a huge discount to net asset

value deterring new investors and generally higher fees. Another factot is the "home market listing" phenomenon. A small decline in New York will affect your closed-end's price even though the international market it's representing has gone up. This isn't a frequent occurrence, but in 1994 resulted in losses for NYSE-listed Korean and Indian funds despite that both these matkets moved up sharply. 3. Offshore country funds perform better than U.S. funds. One reason is that there are more than 15 times as many offshore country funds as there are U.S.based equivalents. Another is that offshore country fund managers usually live in the market they target, giving them a better "feel" for investments there. My favotite offshote open-ended country fund organizations include Fidelity Investments (Luxembourg), Jardine Fleming (Hong Kong), Fleming's (Luxembourg), and I N V E S C O - L G T (Ireland 6k Luxembourg). 4. U.S.-based global and international funds outpace offshore rivals. According to Morningstai, U.S.-based international equity funds (excluding U . S . A . ) have trounced the Motgan Stanley Europe, Australia, Far East Index (EAFE ) by 57 percent since 1996, 57 petcent since 1994, and 79 percent since 1989. One reason why U.S.-based global funds perform better is lowet fees. In the United States, the average total expense ratio for global funds is approximately 1.43 percent compared to 1.84 petcent offshore. Ftont-end loads can also be avoided more easily in the U.S. market if you invest via Janus, Tweedy, Browne and fund supermarkets like Jack White and Charles Schwab. Another reason is that the huge U.S.-based global investment houses manage billion-dollar funds that far surpass much smaller products offered offshore. A large fund benefits shareholders by providing lower fees, better liquidity and less possibility of going undet due to their sheer asset size. Some of the best funds of the 1990s were multi-billion dollar vehicles such as Janus Worldwide, American Funds New Perspective and Tweedy, Browne Global Value. Many international and Canadian residents can also buy these funds (ask for an IRS W-8

form). 5. Managed futures funds offer potential bear market protection. In severe corrections or bear markets, managed futures have made enormous profits for investors. T h e Turtles, or the trend-followers in the futures industry, remain the most reliable bear market tools, aside from put options. Turtles are diversified managed futures funds sold in the United States and offshore to high net wotth individuals. Unlike conventional futures funds, the Turtle traders are highly diversified in more than 125 global matkets, including global commodities, interest rates, bonds, currencies and stock indices. They offer negative correlation to traditional investments (stocks and bonds), particularly during bear markets and crashes. T h e world's oldest and best Turtle traders are Dunn Capital Management (Florida), Chesapeake Capital Corporation (Vitginia), and John W. Henry & Company (Florida). Each earned stunning profits in the last global beat matket of 1990, while Dunn and John Henry made fortunes in the 194 Investments 1987 crash. And in August 1998 when world bourses collapsed, all three advisots earned ttemen-dous gains, offsetting losses for conventional portfolios in stocks. A little money invested in the Turtles can go a long way. For an explanation of the Turtle trading system, see 6. Low volatility hedge funds offer the lowest risk and most consistent returns. These funds can deliver returns in the 12-15 percent range each year without being aggressive. T h e trick is finding a long-term winner in a sector that is still relatively new since 1995 and backed by good managets. Perhaps one of the best low volatility hedge funds in the industry remains the Momentum All Weather Fund. This multi-manager product continues to earn top matks for its consistent teturns and low volatility.

7. Warrant funds only for the aggressive bull. Only aggressive investors with an appetite for short-term risk and immense volatility should stake a (small) percentage of their assets in these gun-slingers. They should be used only to compliment an existing weighting. Fot example, if you're really bullish on Asia, buy a well-managed regional fund, two or three single-country funds, and a small position in a warrant fund. If you're right, you can earn over 100 percent in just months. If you're wrong—don't ask. In the current investment environment, I'm not recommending any warrant funds. 8. Dogs of the Dow and the Dow Five-Stock Strategy. You choose among the top ten highest yielding Dow 30 Industrial stocks on January 1, hold them for a year, and make the same determination the following January 1. This strategy has been a long-term winner, although it performed poorly in 1999. Even more profitable is the Dow Five-Stock Strategy. You select the top ten highest yielding Dow stocks, then isolate those issues sporting the lowest share price. Since 1969, the Select Five has earned 18 percent per annum. T h e Dogs and the Select Five were pioneered by Michael O'Higgins, author of Beating the Dow with Bonds (Harper Business, 2 0 0 0 ) . O'Higgins himself since 1998 has opted for bonds because of ultra-high stock prices. Of course, bonds suffered a big drop in 1999 and that didn't work, either. Although both programs offer compelling long-term returns, this approach seems flawed in today's low dividend environment. T h e Dow 30 has no tech stocks with a dividend yield. And you barely get a dividend on the Dow at 1.3 percent. That won't help you in a bear market. It is hard to argue against this proven sttategy. But because it now contradicts its own philosophy of buying value stocks with high dividends, I'm not sure either program will work until we suffer anothet bear market. For more information on the Dogs, see http://www,'Vtd,htm, 9. Insider buying is a key signal. A good contrarian strategy is to buy shares of companies in which the corporate executives are aggressively purchasing the stock. This is particularly true if more than one executive is buying. For companies listed on U . S . exchanges, it's easy to follow insider buying and

selling because U . S . law requires a formal filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission within seven days following these purchases or sales. Histotical studies continue to document this time-tested approach. See, for example, Anthony Gallea and William Patolon, Contrarian Investing (Prentice Hall Press, 1999). This is a value-based strategy because executives usually buy after a big drop in the stock price, when the stock has a single-digit P/E and a high dividend yield. A good rule of thumb is to buy shates after an insider has purchased at least U S $ 1 2 0 , 0 0 0 worth of common stock and preferably, when several insiders buy stock worth at least U S $ 1 million or more at the same intetvals. I still prefer a good mutual fund to stock picking. You really have to be on top of yout stocks in today's highly erratic market. Of all the stock-picking strategies, though, I think the Insider approach makes the most sense, provided the company is a good name, undet good management and a tecipient of substantial net buying following a dramatic price decline. Today, this includes 195 Investments Mattel ( N Y S E M A T ) , and Tricon Global Restaurants ( N Y S E Y U M ) . 10. Indexing is cheaper in the United States. U . S . funds typically levy lower annual fees than their offshore counterparts. Only one fund company offshore has a very low fee structure: Vanguard Group in Dublin. Unfortunately, the minimum investment is U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 for its index-linked products: Vanguard S6kP 500 Index Fund Portfolio, Vanguard Europe Index Portfolio, and the wotld's only M S C I World Index clone, the Vanguard Global Index Fund. T h e management fee is only 0.50 percent pet annum. But fees at Vanguard's U.S.-domiciled index funds are even lower: an average of 0.20 percent per annum. Contacts for funds mentioned in this article • American Funds. WATS: (800) 421-0180, ext. 23 ( U . S . A . ) . Tel.: +1 (714) 671-7000

• Chesapeake, LP. Tel.: +1 ( 3 0 3 ) 572-1000. Fax: +1 ( 3 0 3 ) 832-9354 ( U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 minimum) • Chesapeake Select (Caymans). Tel.: +1 (804) 285-5420. Fax: +1 ( 8 0 4 ) 2855418 • Dunn Capital Management Inc. Tel.: +1 (561) 286-4777 • Fidelity Investments LuxembourgS.A. Tel.: + ( 3 5 2 ) 251-351-5555 Fax: + (352) 250 340. Link: • First Chesapeake Capital Corporation. Tel.: +1 ( 7 0 3 ) 883-8175 • Fleming Fund Management (Luxembourg) S.A. (Flemings 6k Jardine Fleming). Tel.: + ( 3 5 2 ) 3410-3020. Fax + ( 3 5 2 ) 3 4 1 0 - 2 2 2 1 . Link: • Invesco/LGT. Tel.: +(44) 1481-722-746. Fax: +(44) 1481-722-679. Link: • Janus. WATS: (800) 975-9932 ( U . S . A . ) . Link: • Momentum U.K. Limited. Tel.: +(44) 20 7581 5841. Fax: +(44) 20 7581 5545 E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: • Tweedy, Browne. WATS: (800) 432-4789 (U.S.A.) • Vanguard Group (Ireland). Tel.: + ( 3 5 3 ) 1-612-3226 How to Build a Portfolio to Cope With Uncertainty Interview With Harry Browne, The Sovereign Individual, August 2002 (Ed. Note: "No one can reliably predict the future." That's the bedrock principal upon which author, investment advisor, and two-time Libertarian candidate for the U.S. president, Harry Browne, based his plan for a "permanent portfolio"

when he began developing it in the 1970s. The portfolio is designed to grow in value regardless of current economic conditions). TSI: "Uncertainty" is certainly an appropriate term to label the times we live in. How does the "petmanent portfolio" idea that you devised neatly 30 years ago deal with it? Browne: You cannot eliminate uncertainty. In 30 years, I have found that no one can reliably predict future gold prices, stock valuations, the ditection of the economy, ot anything else that has to do with human action. Rather than trying eliminate or overcome uncertainty, we have to accept it and handle investments as though we have no idea what's coming next—even when you think you do. T h e goal is to devise a portfolio that will protect you whatever may happen. If you do, you should experience steady growth of an unspectacular but reliable, kind. It isn't that you'll never have a losing year, but it will be rare when you do —and the loss will be mild when it does happen. TSI: What investments comprise your permanent portfolio? Browne: Anything that happens—war, peace, civil unrest, instability, good times, bad times, and so on—will translate itself into one of fout economic environments: prosperity, inflation, reces-196 Investments sion, or deflation. Fortunately, each of these environments has an investment that does particularly well in it. Stocks and bonds both profit during prosperity; gold does well during inflation; bonds do well in a deflationary depression. And although nothing does well in a recession, cash helps to cushion the fall in other investments—and, unlike the other three environments, a recession (a period of tight money) by definition automatically ends within a yeat or so. Thus four investments—stocks, bonds, gold, and cash—cover all the bases. No matter what economic environment dominates the next year at any given time, you know that at least one investment will be taking cate of you. Your first reaction might be that you could have three losing investments and just one winning investment during a given period. That's definitely possible, but

the winning investment almost always has a gteater impact on a portfolio's performance than the losets. An investment can rise several hundred percent, but no investment can lose more than 1 0 0 % of its value—and in teal life a horrendous bear market might cause an investment category to lose 2 5 - 4 0 % . For example, if someone had convinced you in 1970 to split $ 1 0 0 by putting $ 9 0 in stocks and $ 1 0 in gold, what would have happened over the next decade? In 1980, your stocks would have dropped in value to only about $ 4 0 , but yout $ 1 0 of gold would be worth close to $ 2 0 0 . T S I : Why place cash into the portfolio? And how do you define "cash?" Browne: Cash will nevet be a big winner in any economic environment. But it will help cushion the impact of declines in other investments during a tightmoney period. T h e year 1981 was a good example. Stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, gold, and silver all fell in value the permanent portfolio's loss was only 6.7%, and it was more than offset when everything took off upward the following year. "Cash" actually means short-term debt instruments denominated in the currency you depend upon—for U.S. residents, the U.S. dollar. T h e two safest and easiest ways to hold cash ate with U . S . Treasury bills or a money market fund investing only in T-bills. You use Tteasury securities to eliminate the need to evaluate credit. Commercial paper or other debt instruments tequire continually monitoring the credit standing of the issuers. But the U.S. Treasury will always pay its bills by either taxing or printing money. T h e one basic objective of the permanent portfolio is to allow you to ignore your investments and focus on the things in life you do bettet and enjoy more. Thus an important criterion is that you shouldn't have to monitot the elements constantly to make sure someone's credit hasn't gone bad. T S I : Why place gold into the portfolio? And how do you define "gold"? Browne: Gold profits from inflation. It does so because it's the second most popular form of money in the world after the U . S . dollar. Gold is also accessible almost everywhere in the world and is accepted universally as a store of value, whereas currencies like the Swiss franc, euro, and yen are not. When inflation appears to threaten the dollar's value, some foreigners who are holding dollars become concerned and ttade some part of them for gold.

Gold in the permanent portfolio consists of gold bullion or one-ounce gold coins that have no collectot value. T h e link between dollar inflation and the price of gold doesn't necessatily exist between the dollat and numismatic coins or gold stocks. T S I : Why place stocks in the portfolio? And how do you define "stocks?" Browne: Stocks appreciate during times of prosperity. But no one can accurately predict when the market will take off ot which sectors will perform the best. So it's best to split the stock pottion between two or three funds that clone the S & P 500. They stay fully invested at all times, so that you aren't relying on someone's opinion as to when to be in stocks. T S I : Why place bonds in the permanent portfolio? And what kind of bonds should you purchase? 197

Investments Browne: Bonds are there so that you can profit when interest rates are dropping. This is likely in two of the economic scenarios. Interest rates usually drop during most of a period of prosperity. They also drop during a deflation. In the 1930s, interest tates on U . S . Treasury bonds dropped as low as 1%. If that were to happen today, you'd have a huge profit in bonds-more than offsetting your losses in stocks and gold. As with cash, you don't want to monitor the credit of the bond issuer. So U . S . investors can purchase U . S . Treasury bonds for this portion of the portfolio. A second qualification is that you want the bond to have a latge impact on the portfolio when interest tates change. So you should hold 25-year Treasury bonds. TSI: How has the petmanent portfolio concept performed since you first originated it? Browne: Very well. It has an overall return averaging about 10% annually, ot about 5% above the underlying inflation rate. I've used this approach for over 20 years, and I've tracked it back to 1970—and there have been only three losing years. As I mentioned earlier, the worst year was 1981, when the portfolio lost

almost 7%. Even though the permanent portfolio concept has at times trailed stock investments—or, in fact, whatever is the hottest investment of the moment—in those 20 years I've never heard from a single person who regretted using this concept. TSI: How do you divide the portfolio? And how do you reallocate your holdings as the market causes the values of the components to change ? Browne: Simply put 2 5 % of the funds you wish to earmark as your "permanent portfolio" into each of the four investments. At least once a year you should check the values of the investments. If any investment has appreciated to represent 3 5 % or more of the value of the overall portfolio or fallen in value to 1 5 % or less, you should adjust the portfolio by selling enough of the "winners" and buying enough of the "losers" to bring the respective percentages back to 2 5 % . Otherwise, you don't need to do anything. Such an adjustment is necessary to preserve the concept of the portfolio. For example, gold soared in the 1970s, so without occasional readjustments, by 1980 you'd have 6 0 % of the new value of the pottfolio in gold alone—just before the gold price crashed. Your overall portfolio could have lost roughly 3 0 % in 1980. But by adjusting when necessary, you know that no individual investment's fall can hurt you, and you'll know that each investment is big enough to carry the whole portfolio upward whenever it needs to. TSI: What percentage of a person's wealth should be in a permanent portfolio? Browne: For many people it should be 100%. I don't think there's anyone for whom it should be 0 % . T h e permanent portfolio should consist of whatever funds you can't afford to lose. If you have assets beyond what you need to meet living expenses, tetirement, or your children's education, you can set up a second pottfolio—a "variable portfolio"—with which you can bet on future price trends in whatever way strikes your fancy. Just make sure you fund that second portfolio only with money you can afford to lose. This points out the difference between investing and speculating. Investing is

accepting the returns the market is offering to everyone. Speculating is believing you can beat those teturns through superior knowledge, insights, or connections. Ironically, most people's returns fall short of what the matket is offering, because they've tried to beat the market and wound up getting less than they could have by spending the time playing golf or listening to music. TSI: Have you considered adding another category to the permanent portfolio— foreign currencies, for instance—that would help hedge against a decline in the dollar? Browne: Other than the four investments I've included, no investment has a firm link to any of the four economic environments that the permanent portfolio is designed to cover. T h e Swiss franc, for instance, could go up or down in any environment. When the U.S. is inflating, we expect the dollat to fall against the franc. But this isn't automatic; the Swiss could be inflating as fast or faster 198 Investments at the same time, for instance. However, if anyone could come up with an investment that profits automatically during a period of tight money or recession, I'd consider it carefully, because that's the one economic environment I don't know how to profit from. Fortunately, periods of tight money and recession are self-limiting. They always come to an end within a year or so. Either the economy adjusts to the new, slower level of money growth and things pick up, or the Fedetal Reserve quits fighting inflation and speeds up money growth, leading to prosperity in the short term and inflation in the long term. (Harry Browne is the author of eleven books. His first book, How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation, was published in 1970. Browne's warnings proved to be accurate when the dollar was devalued twice and his recommended investments rose many times over. Ten more books followed, and from 1974 to 1997 he published Harry Browne's Special Reports, a newsletter covering the economy, politics, and investments. His latest book, Fail-Safe Investing, explains in detail how set up a permanent portfolio. In the late 1 990s, Browne was one of the few people who recognized from the

outset that Y2K would not cause serious problems. He is now the Director of Public Policy at the American Liberty Foundation, a non-profit organization that puts libertarian ads on national television. His investment work is now limited to one-time consultations to help people set up a permanent portfolio. Link: E-mail: HarryBrowne@Harry ) How to Buy Foreign Currencies for Two Cents on the Dollar by Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, April 2 0 0 1 Is it bedtime for the buck? T h e bursting bubble, bulging U.S. trade deficit and slowing economy are cracking the foundation of the dollar's global power. Meanwhile, Europe, Asia and Latin American economies are growing stronger. T h e era of dollar domination appears to have ended. Fot Americans this means higher prices. For investors this could mean disaster—or rare opportunity. For yeats, foreign capital inflows buoyed U . S . stocks, bonds and the dollar, and helped support America's credit-addicted economy. It was self-feeding; a stronger dollar meant greater confidence in U . S . investments and mote buying. More buying led to highet prices, which led to even greater confidence, and even higher prices. A falling dollar threatens foreign holders of U . S . investments as it reduces, or wipes out, returns when converted back into their home currency. For example, a 20 percent fall in the U . S . dollar against the British pound erases a 20 percent U . S . stock capital gain owned by English investors converting their "profit" back into pounds. This is exchange-rate risk. Exchange rate risk, plus other bearish forces cited above, are primed to trigger dollar dumping. In turn, causing dollar-denominated investments to fall fatther and faster than would otherwise be the case. So how do you best take advantage of this emetging opportunity? N o t on Wall Street

T h e smart way to cash-in on a falling dollar is to invest directly in the foreign currency exchange or "FX" market. This is the market in which transfers of one currency into the currency of another country take place. It is by fat the largest global financial market, ranging from a tourist exchanging a few dollars at an airport to multi-billion dollar transactions between corporations and governments. Unfortunately, most FX vehicles promoted by Wall Street are far from a pure play; so, even if you're right on the dollar, other factors can erase your profits, and even compound risks. This is especially true of foreign stocks and bonds, as their prices frequently have little or no reliable dollar correlation. 1 9 9 Investments On the other hand, FX bank and checking accounts, and CDs often have prohibitive minimums of U S $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 or more, require a physical switch out of dollars and, in the case of CDs, extended holding periods to avoid penalties. Also, FX "round lots" run U S $ 5 to U S $ 1 0 million, forcing most investors to go through layers of far more expensive "odd lot" middlemen banks ot brokers. But what if you could "rent" currencies for far less than their full value, without your money ever leaving home? And do it at round lot commissions, even if you have just a few thousand dollars to invest, rather than millions? T h e answer to those questions is a vital, but little known, way to profit from a falling dollar. Foreign C u r r e n c y Call Options A call option is like buying insurance. Take your homeowner's policy for example. You pay a "premium" to the insurance company in exchange for the right to "sell" your house to the insurance company for its market value if it is destroyed. This right is good fot a specified period of time. FX call options are similar. W h e n you buy an FX call you make a payment (known as a "ptemium" just like in insurance) for the right but not the obligation

to buy a particulat currency at specified price for a fixed period of time. T h e key phrase is "not the obligation." Since call holdets are not obligated to buy, all they have at risk is the cost of the option itself. Profit potential, on the other hand, is unlimited. Call options are "opportunity insurance" that you don't miss out on a move if it takes place. B u y Swiss F r a n c s F o r T w o C e n t s O n T h e D o l l a r For shorter-term investment plays, FX futures and options on fututes contracts are hard to beat, as you'll discover in the following simplified example: Swiss franc futures contracts for June delivery were recently selling for about U S $ 0 . 6 1 , with the June 62-cent call option on the underlying futures selling for 120 points. Both the option and undetlying futures contracts ate 125,000 Swiss francs, so each "point" ( 1 / 1 0 0 ) is wotth U S $ 1 2 . 5 0 ( 1 2 5 , 0 0 0 " 120 = U S $ 1 2 . 5 0 per point.) This makes the June 62-cent calls worth U S $ 1 , 5 0 0 each ( U S $ 1 2 . 5 0 x 120 points = U S $ 1 , 5 0 0 ) . Fot U S $ 1 , 5 0 0 , you get the tight but not the obligation to buy 125,000 Swiss francs at 62 cents each. This right is good until option expitation in June. Compare this with the outright purchase of 125,000 Swiss francs. At the going rate of 61 cents, it would cost you $ 7 6 , 2 5 0 (61 cents x Sfrl25,000 = $ 7 6 , 2 5 0 ) . But buy the 62-cent call, and you "rent" the investment opportunity in the same U S $ 7 6 , 2 5 0 wotth of Swiss francs for only U S $ 1 , 5 0 0 — a mere 2 percent of the cost of buying them outright. Indeed, it is like getting Swiss francs for two cents on the dollar. Now say the Swiss franc rallies to 64 cents, yout 62-cent call will be worth at least the difference between the 62 cents you have a right to buy for, and the 64 cent matket price or $2,500 (2 cents x Sfrl25,000 = $ 2 , 5 0 0 . ) Should the franc rally to 66 cents, your option would be worth $ 5 , 0 0 0 . At 70 it would be wotth $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . Swiss Franc Option Profit reveals the tremendous leverage built into FX options.

Even a small percentage move in the exchange rate could mean big percentage gains in your call. A rally from the cash price of 61 cents to 64 cents is 5 petcent, but your option gains U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 or 66 percent. An 8.2 percent rally to 66 cents means a U S $ 3 , 5 0 0 ot 233 percent gain for your option. T h e leverage is even greater the highet the market climbs. What's the downside? If the Swiss franc doesn't rally, you forfeit all or part of the $1,500 paid for the 62-cent call (plus a modest transaction cost)—but no more. T h e buyer of physical Swiss francs will still own them. Whether or not this is beneficial depends on the level of the franc when the option expires. At 62 cents, the fully paid buyer comes out ahead. However, at prices below 59.8 cents you are better off having bought calls. For example, a decline back to old lows at 55 cents would give the 200

Investments franc buyer a paper loss of U S $ 7 , 5 0 0 ; while the 62-cent call would have a maximum loss of only US$1,500. C u t A l r e a d y L o w C o s t s i n H a l f You can make this strategy even more economical by taking the difference between the purchase price of the 62-cent call and 125,000 Swiss francs (or other amount) and putting it in a money market fund. Thtee months of interest on U S $ 7 4 , 7 5 0 at 5 percent is about U S $ 9 3 5 . This covers more than half the cost of your call, lowering your risk to U S $ 5 6 5 . Meanwhile, the bulk of your money is still there for other opportunities, without the time, trouble, and added expense of converting it first back into dollars. There are two final call option benefits. First, you do not need to exercise your option in otdet to take profits or cut losses; simply sell it before expiry, just like a stock option conttact. Second, there are numerous strategies allowing you to customize your risk/reward, sometimes starting at just a few hundted dollars. Of coutse, prices will have changed by the time you read this column, but you can take the lessons learned from this example and apply them to any cutrency option contract, including: the Australian dollar, Brazilian real, British pound,

Canadian dollar, French franc, German mark, the Euro, Japanese yen, Mexican peso, New Zealand dollar, Russian ruble, South African rand, and U . S . Dollar Index. H o w t o G e t Started You can't trade these FX options through your stockbroker as they are listed on commodity futures exchanges. Therefore, you need a separate futures account. If you do not have a futures account, or experienced FX futures broker, one broker familiar with this sttategy is Sue Rutsen at Fox Inc. in Chicago. U.S. WATS: 1 (800) 345-7026. Tel.: +1 (312) 341-7494. Sue and her team have been trading FX options since 1982. If you mention that you are a member of the Sovereign Society, Sue will send you the popular IPS Short Course In Futures and Options (a US$14.95 bookstore value) free. No-Risk Deals by Gary Scott, Borrow Low—Deposit High, 1998 A unique offshore investment in which a bank will link your deposit to one or more stock exchange indexes. If the index falls, you still get back your initial investment—if it rises, you can get up to 90 percent of the rise! All with zero risk! Once you understand how to invest in many types of investments through your private bank, you can begin to increase safety and ptofit potential by using a "norisk" discipline. Many investors are not happy investing just in equities. Investors who find shares too volatile or lacking sufficient income may want to reduce their portfolio's risk (yet maintain the portfolio yield) by having a "barbell" portfolio, which combines equities and bonds or cash. This approach brings maximum return and lowers volatility. It is called a "barbell" approach because the cash or bonds and equities each represent the opposite ends of the risk-retutn factot in investing. In a barbell, investors put one portion of their portfolio (usually a small part) in a portfolio they considet aggressive, volatile or high-risk, such as equities. They place the other part in a portfolio they consider extremely safe, such as interestbearing deposits, money market funds, short-term bonds or managed currency funds.

A typical portfolio could have 70 percent cash ot short-term bonds (for maximum safety), and 30 percent highet tisk bonds and equities (for growth). 201 Investments N o - R i s k Deals A growing number of banks, such as Jyske Bank, are beginning to offer special barbell portfolios that they call "no-tisk deals." These deals guarantee capital, usually over a two-year period, plus provide considerable capital gains potential as well. What the bank does is invest a pottion of the capital in discounted bonds, so in two yeats the full capital invested will be available. Then the bank invests the difference in options on the stock exchange index chosen. I tried investing in a no-risk British stock account at Jyske Bank and made 38 percent profit over two years! Yet the bank guaranteed I would not lose a penny of capital. My entire risk was the potential interest of my investment over two years. I have since rolled my capital and profit (all of which is now guaranteed) into Jyske's next Stock Index Account which invested in the Japanese Stock Index. This deal guarantees the return of my initial investment and I get about 90 percent of any rise in the Japanese index. I am tisking only the interest my investments otherwise earn. I concluded Japan was in a mess and shares were selling at really low prices. My bet was that Japan would sort out its mess within the next two years. If so, and if Japan's stock market responds accordingly, I'll profit again. More important than these Jyske deals (or others I introduce here) is the principle involved! During the next 15 yeats, it makes sense for us to build out own portfolio using a no-risk strategy. We can do this through the safest investments of all—discounted bonds, treasury

bills and banker's acceptances. Discounted bonds, treasury bills and banker's acceptances are promises to pay a guaranteed amount of money at some time in the future. Purchased at a discount, these are generally favored debts in any instance of liquidation. These include zero coupon bonds, short-term government bonds and tteasury bills, as well as banker's acceptances. These are even safer investments if held at a safe overseas bank in a custodian account. Investments held in custodian accounts are not lost even if a bank goes broke! Thus holding investments in this way gives discipline, asset protection, and investment protection. And even if the bank where you held such investments went broke and the institution behind the investment went btoke, you would still have a good chance of getting all your money back. T h e way these investments wotk is simple. For example, a two-year, zero coupon bond yielding in the six percent range sells for about U S $ 8 8 0 . Invest U S $ 8 8 0 . In two years you get U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 . A supet-safe sttategy to use in your private bank account for those who want to maximize safety and profit potential is to discipline yourself to investing only future earnings of capital on risky investments. For example, let's say you wanted to invest $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 for two years in a high-risk investment (such as South Korean equities). You would invest $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 in a two-year, zero coupon bond ( A A A rated) which is guaranteed to be worth $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 in two years. Then invest $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 in the South Korean equities. Even if you lose your $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 in Korea, your discipline will assure in two yeats you still have your original capital. This is an incredibly simple strategy which creates a tight self-imposed discipline. You allow yourself to invest in high-potential, high-risk deals, but also assure yourself you won't get wiped out. This type of discipline also gives you a great deal of emotional staying power. You can use this strategy in the short or longer term by simply varying the length of maturity of the discounted bond or paper. Ranges vary from thtee months to years. To understand this better, ask your investment advisor or banker to tell

you more about discount or zero coupon bonds, discounted bills and banker's acceptances. More and more private banks will begin to offer this type of transaction. Listed below is another company (a subsidiary of a bank) with no-risk deals. We should always consider the costs of opportunity, so no-risk deals are really just mental exercises. (Yet, so too are all investment disciplines!) Fot many, notisk deals are really good disciplines. 202

Investments They lock away money into good hut high-risk investments we would otherwise skip if we had to buy them with a full-risk mentality. C o n t a c t s Midland Offshore, PO Box 26, 28-34 Hill Stteet, St. Helier, Jersey JE4 8NR, Channel Islands, U.K. Tel: +44 1534 6 1 6 3 3 3 . Fax: +44 1534 6 1 6 2 2 2 . This company (which should be checked closely) is not a bank, but advertises itself as a member of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Group, which is one of the largest banks in the world. This firm offers two no-risk deals: 1. Anglo American Security Plus Plan links your returns to the U.K. and U . S . stock matket for three to five yeats. This investment guarantees the return of your capital plus potential to earn up to a flat rate of 12 percent per annum and includes a minimum flat rate of 3.6 percent pet annum. 2. European Growth Plan links your investment for three and one-half years and could return up to 17 percent per annum, plus guarantees the return of your capital. T h e minimum investment in each plan is U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 .

Bond Mutual Funds by Gary Scott, Borrow Low—Deposit High, 1998 Here you learn about the special offshore bond mutual funds that invest in

multiple currencies and a variety of bond issues and matutities. Some of these ultra-safe funds have delivered up to 76 percent return in the past five years. Some may give you tax-deferral benefits, even if you are an American! Another way to invest in bonds, especially fot smallet accounts, is to use bond mutual funds. There are several types of funds your private bank can buy for you. T h e first type of fund is a closed-end fund traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Listed below is a sample of such funds. Performance Name Fund Manager 1 Yr. 3Yrs. 5 Yrs. Aberdeen High Income Fund Aberdeen Group +54.5% +83.7% Shires Income Fund Glasgow Group +45.3%

+90.4% + 129.1% Henderson High Income Hendinvest +35.8% +65.6% + 103.6% Glasgow Income Glasgow Group +33.3% +69.2% + 114.8% Investors Cap Pkg Fund Ivory 6k Sime +28.4% +77.0% + 72.2% Guinness Flight Fund Guinness Flight +27.3% -

Fleming Income 6k Capital Fleming Invest +26.8% +69.7% + 87.2% Emerging B o n d F u n d s T h e above funds invest mainly in majot matkets, but there are also New Yorkttaded emerging market bond funds. A few are listed below: • Templeton Emerging Market Fund: Currently holds bonds issued by governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and Russia. This fund returned 10.9 percent over the past year and 20.1 percent since inception in 1993. • Scudder High Income Fund: Currently holds bonds of Venezuela, Atgentina, Brazil, Panama and Jamaica and rose 22.2 percent last year and 71.4 percent since inception July 1992. • Morgan Stanley Emerging Market Fund: Currently holds bonds from Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Jamaica and Russia and rose 30.4 percent last year and 75.8 per-203

Investments cent since July 1993. These emerging market funds can put extra zip in your portfolio, but of course add risk. There are also investment ttusts, similar closed-end mutual funds that trade on the London Stock Exchange.

There are also numerous overseas open-end bond mutual funds which fall into several categories. General bond funds invest in one currency in a variety of issues and maturities. Global bond funds invest in a variety of issues and maturities in many currencies. Listed below are just a few of many overseas bond funds. These examples show single currency funds, regional funds and global funds. You will gain much by contacting these funds to see what they offer, but before choosing any bond, managed currency, money market or equity fund, discuss with your banker which funds best suit your needs and which funds are available from your banker (if your banker will buy funds). • Aetna Australian Dollar Bond Fund, 21 Ave Du La Liberte, L-1931, Luxembourg. Tel.: +352 29 54 94 355. Fax: +352 29 54 94 20. This is a single currency fund. Aetna offers many different bond funds. • SBC EM Ec Portfolio Latin America Bonds Fund, S B C , PO Box 2, 26 Route d'Arlon, L-2012, Luxembourg. Tel.: +352 4 5 1 2 1 1 . This is a Latin Ametican regional bond fund. S B C offers many different bond funds. • Guinness Flight Asian Currency Bond Fund, Guinness Flight House, PO Box 250, La Plaiderie, St. Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3QH, U.K. Tel.: +44 1481 712 176. F a x . : +44 1481 712 065. • Invesco PS Global Fund, PO Box 271, Invesco House, Grenville Street, St. Heliet, Jersey, JE4 8 T D , U.K. Tel.: +44 1534 814 000. Fax.: +44 1534 814 100. If you plan to buy mutual funds through your overseas bank there are many factors to consider and discuss with yout banker and your othet tax professionals. First, check the tax consequences with your local tax professionals. Some mutual funds create different types of tax liability than others. For example, the Guinness Flight Currency Fund shown above is an offshore open-end fund. However, Guinness Flight also has a closed-end U.S.-registered fund traded on the New York Stock Exchange. An open-end Guernsey-managed fund could be

considered a personal foreign investment company (PFIC) fund under U.S. tax law. This could create some tax deferrals in the short term, but extra tax and interest upon sale of the fund. However the New York-traded fund would not be considered a PFIC. Generally you will have at least three types of funds to choose for any investment idea you might have, a New York-and London-traded closed-end, and an offshore open-end fund. Check with a professional in your tax jurisdiction to see which fund is best for you. Second, check the fees. Some mutual funds are no load, others charge up to six percent initially when you buy. Some funds charge one percent pet annum, others more. Remember your bank will also charge you a fee to hold the funds, plus may even chatge you to buy the funds. Third, ask about liquidity. Many funds trade only once per week and can be slow in liquidating. Overseas mutual funds generally cannot be bought ot sold as quickly as closed end stock exchange mutual funds. I have seen examples of two week delays from the time of placing an order until monies are received from open-end funds. Fourth, can and will your bank buy the fund? Some banks won't buy any mutual funds for clients (or for clients who live in certain countties). Othet banks won't buy open-end offshore funds but will buy closed-end funds if they are traded on a stock exchange. Other banks have their own in-house funds, managed by a subsidiary of the bank, which they offet for their customers. Still othet banks have a list of funds which they are prepared to buy for their customers. 204 Investments

Managed Currency Funds by Gary Scott, Borrow Low—Deposit High, 1998

Here is the easiest and most cost-effective way to invest in a basket of currencies with vety little tisk—yet with great potential for high returns. If your bank does not have an extensive currency management capability, you may instead gain the same tesults with managed currency funds. These funds invest in vety safe, top quality, short-term monetary insttuments, usually for the purpose of conserving and increasing capital. T h e managers of these funds try to pick currencies which pay high intetest rates and ate likely to rise in value. There are three types of managed currency funds, some more conservative than others. There are highly leveraged funds which are speculative and not conservative at all. There are also lightly-leveraged funds that are not as safe as those that do not use leverage. There are also diversified funds which focus on trying to attain diversification to reduce volatility, while other funds place emphasis on weighting the portfolio towards growth. To give an example, let's compare three managed currency funds, the Guinness Flight IF Managed Cutrency Fund, JF Managed Currency Fund and Rothschild Five Arrows Managed International Currency Fund. T h e JF Fund, which invests more for growth, can be lightly leveraged (10 percent of fund) and is slightly tiskier than the other two funds. In one performance survey, this fund was up 12.63 percent (while the non-leveraged diversified type funds were up only three and four percent). This excellent performance was obtained because at the time of the survey, the fund held a latge patt of its portfolio in high-yielding, fast-rising British pounds. Sixty percent of the pottfolio was in pounds sterling. T h e portfolio also had contained 20 percent yen. T h e more conservative, btoadly diversified Guinness Flight and Rothschild Funds rose 4-34 percent and 3.03 percent over the year, suffering in dollaradjusted performance because of the U.S. dollar's appreciation. These funds were broadly diversified and hence all the non-dollar currencies which they held were dropping compared to the dollar. Listed below are managed currency funds I recommend:

• AIB US$ Managed Currency Fund, Michael O'Hara, PO Box 2751, A I B International Center, IFSC, Dublin 1, Ireland. Tel.: +353 1 874 0777. Fax: +353 1 874 3050. • AIB Grofund ECU Managed Currency, A I B Investment Managers, Percy Place, Dublin 4, Ireland. Tel.: +353 1 661 7077. Fax: +353 1 661 7038. • Century L Pound Sterling Managed Fund, Century Life International, Albert House, South Esplanade, St. Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1AP, U.K. Tel.: +44 1481 727066. Fax: +44 1481 724468. • Guinness Flight IF Managed Currency Fund, Guinness Flight House, PO Box 250, La Plaiderie, St. Petet Pott, Guernsey GY1 3QH, U.K. Tel.: +44 1481 712176. Fax: +44 1481 712065. • JF Managed Currency Fund, Fleming Fund Management, 6 route de Treves, Senningerberg L-2633, R.C. Luxembourg B2790O. Tel.: +352 3410 3050. Fax: +352 3410 2217. • Hambro Emma Continental European Fund, PO Box 225, Barfield House, St. Julian's Avenue, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3QL, U.K. Tel.: +44 1481 715454. Fax: +44 1481 710285. • Mercury M M T Sterling Managed, Grenville Street, St. Helier, Jersey, JE4 8RL, U.K. Tel.: +44 1534 600600. Fax: +44 1534 600687. • Skaniford Dollar Currency, Skandia SICAV, % BIL, 2 Boulevard Royal, L2449, Luxembourg. Tel.: +352 4 5 9 0 1 . Fax:+352 4590 2010. Because the investment priorities of managed cutrency funds vary to such a degree, be sure to 205


review the charter and the portfolio of any such fund before you buy. If you want a consetvative investment, choose a diversified, non-leveraged fund. Many overseas mutual fund managers will not deal directly with residents of the U.S., Canada or U.K. because of securities laws in these countries. Buying such funds through overseas banks is a perfect way to hold them. Some banks will buy mutual funds for clients, others will not. T h e only way to know is to ask. Borrow Low, Invest High By Thomas Fischer, The Sovereign Individual, 2002 One way to profit from currency fluctuations is to borrow funds in a currency that is falling and invest the proceeds in an appreciating currency. This strategy is often referred to as a "multi-currency sandwich." Current conditions in the currency markets make two such ttades attractive. Overseas private banks commonly lend money in a choice of major currencies to clients who have assets held by the bank. Jyske Bank is one such institution. Jyske's Invest-Loan program offers the opportunity to levetage yout deposit up to four times depending on the secutities you purchase. You benefit from the diffetence between the higher retutns on the leveraged investment and the lower cost of borrowing. Such leverage provides an opportunity for higher than normal investment retutns. Switching between currencies and securities can occur with a single telephone call and you can exit from the program whenever you wish. B o r r o w Low... What are the appropriate currencies to use for such a trade? Several factors indicate that the Japanese yen is an appropriate lending currency as it is expected to continue to weaken in the longer tenn: China's acceptance in the World Trade Organization and imptessive growth thteatens Japan's status as the regional economic superpower. Japan has accused China of pursuing a cheap currency policy to protect its exports and may "allow" the U . S . dollar-yen exchange rate to rise to 160.

Lower credit ratings of Japanese government bonds may encourage foreign investors to sell Japanese bonds, further weakening the yen. It is rumored that 7 0 % of Japanese companies and financial institutions actually had a negative share capital if theit assets wete valued at market value. If proven true, 40 years of Japanese pension contributions have disappeated. Japanese decision-makers hope that an upturn in the U . S . economy will help pull the economy out of the mire, strengthening the yen in the short and medium term. This situation could lead to losses in this recommended trade, so we would recommend unwinding it if sustained growth in the U.S. economy resumes. In the long term, an appreciating yen may make things worse, because necessary structural changes will then be canceled or postponed. It is therefore unlikely that the yen will continue to strengthen in the longer term. Another appropriate lending currency may be the Swiss franc. While the franc has for decades been viewed as a "safe-haven" currency, the Swiss National Bank is now warning of a too strong franc, and recently reduced interest rates accordingly. We have seen a move towatds the Norwegian kroner as a safehaven currency as Norway is a politically stable and neutral country with huge oil income. This development and an increasingly shaky Swiss economy may lead to a decline in the Swiss franc. We currently recommend a 5 0 % position in Japanese yen and 5 0 % in Swiss francs as lending currencies for multi-currency sandwich investments. When/if the yen or franc strengthens this should be a selling opportunity. Investors can, however, switch between any loan currency and split between cutrencies at any time. 206

Investments ...Invest High What investments are atttactive for the proceeds of yen ot Swiss franc loans? Investors with the U.S. dollat as their base currency will benefit if they invest in euro denominated bonds. We recommend bonds with short-term duration such as Ericsson matuting in July 2004 (yielding 7.25%) and A B B maturing in December 2003 (yielding 7 . 4 0 % ) .

Investors will obtain further gains if the dollar continues its slide against the euro, as is expected. A technical indicator that the dollar may weaken further is that its trading range after September 11, 2001 has been breached to the downside. T h e last defense for the dollat appears to be 115 in J. P. Morgans U S D index. This index is currently above 117. If the 115 level is breached, it will render a furthet 10% weakening of the dollar likely. Another atttactive investment for loans in yen or Swiss franc are Australian bonds. Australia avoided the global economic slowdown thanks to swift monetary easings and to the weakness of the currency. Consumer confidence is robust and at its highest level for three years. However, inflation in Australia is above the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA's) inflation tatget of 2 % - 3 % . R B A is therefore likely to raise interest rates in the near futute. This will make the Austtalian dollar more attractive. T h e currency will also be buoyed up if the world economy should pick up, which will increase demand for Australia's commodities. Due to the rising inflation, long bond yields have risen. We therefore recommend short-term Australian bonds, because such an investment will mainly be currency-driven. We recommend the Transco bond (matuting 2008) issued in Australian dollars and yielding 7.15%. Transco is a natural-gas transportation and storage business of Lattice group Pic ( U . K . ) . T h e company has a monopoly on gas disttibution in the United Kingdom. T h e rating is A 2 / A with a stable outlook from all rating agencies. T h e cost of enteting Jyske's Invest-Loan program is 1% of the loan (applicable for up to five years, and which can be extended for a further five years for a modest fee). Both brokerage and safe custody fees are highly competitive. Investors can open either personal, corporate or trust accounts with a minimum of U S $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 and the necessary documentation. All advice from the investor's Jyske Bank personal investment adviser concerning possible market developments is free of charge and non-commissioned. (For more information, contact Thomas Fischer, Manager, International Client Relations. Tel.: +(45) 33 787 812. Fax: + ( 4 5 ) 33 787 8 3 3 . E-mail: [emailprotected] Link: Ed. Note: The multi'Currency sandwich strategy is only appropriate for aggressive investors, as the leveraged gains possible can become leveraged losses if the currency you have borrowed against begins to rise in value.) Gold Accumulation Accounts

by William T. McCord, How to Use Swiss Banks for Safety, Privacy & Global Profit, 1998 Here is the conservative, yet ingenious, Swiss way to speculate in gold. You can make a profit even when the price of gold doesn't move! Many investors still feel it is important to hold gold in their portfolios, and for good reason. Unlike real estate, gold is immediately redeemable at current market ptices. Unlike stocks, the price of gold cannot be mismanaged. Unlike bonds, gold cannot default. And unlike almost all of the wotld's currencies, the value of gold cannot be inflated away. Since the reign of the ancient Egyptian emperors, gold has always been highly valued as the perfect asset in times of uncertainty. During 1998, the price of gold per ounce fell to a 12-year low, so gold may be a bargain. And what better place to accumulate a position in gold than in Switzerland, the land of the gold-backed franc? Those who speculate in gold, buying and selling it like any other security, engage in a dangerous 207 Investments game. T h e smart investor who buys gold, holds it as a hedge against unforeseen calamities. T h e teal value of gold lies not in its speculative value, but in the long-term peace of mind it offers. Regardless of economic or political disastet, the worldwide purchasing power of gold has endured throughout the ages. Many Swiss banks have gold accumulation programs which allow you to use a dollar cost averaging approach to make your purchases. These programs follow the same systematic buying technique used by investors to purchase mutual funds. You buy a fixed dollar amount of gold the same time every month or each quarter. You will make some of your purchases at matket highs and some at market lows, but over time you will buy more gold at low prices than high ones. This is a wonderful way to systematically putchase gold without trying to beat

the gold matket. T h e chart below shows bow purchasing gold through a dollar cost averaging program works. Date of Quarterly Price of Gold # of Ounces Purchase Investment Per Ounce Purchased Jan. Yr 1 $5,000 $395.00 12.658 Apr. Yr 1 $5,000 $360.00 13.889 Jul. Yr 1 $5,000 $320.00 15.625

Oct. Yr 1 $5,000 $310.00 16.129 Jan. Yr 2 $5,000 $370.00 13.514 Apr. Yr 2 $5,000 $395.00 12.658 T O T A L S : $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 $ 3 5 8 . 3 3 (avg. price) 8 4 . 4 7 3 In this hypothetical example, you made six purchases of $ 5 , 0 0 0 each, exactly three months apart. Your final purchase at $395 per ounce in April of Year 2 was the same price as your initial purchase in January of Year 1. From the beginning of the 18-month purchase period to its end, the price of gold did not rise a penny. However, four of your purchases were made at prices below the $395 high. One putchase was made as low as $ 3 1 0 per ounce. Notice that the lowet the price, the more ounces you purchased. You accumulated a total of 84-473 ounces of gold, which, valued at the last putchase price of $ 3 9 5 , meant your gold was worth $33,367. Even though the price of gold did not rise over the 18-month

period, you still made over $ 3 , 0 0 0 in profit, ot a 7.5 percent average yearly rate of return. As you can see, dollar cost averaging can be a safe and effective way to buy a volatile security such as gold. You can usually begin a gold accumulation program with as little as U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 with U S $ 2 , 5 0 0 in subsequent investments. You can increase, decrease, stop or re-start your systematic purchases any time you want. If you decide to liquidate your holdings, you can have the physical metal sent to you or you can redeem it in the currency of your choice. Your gold is completely liquid just like any othet investment in your Swiss bank account. Most clients have theit gold held in safe storage at their Swiss bank. T h e Swiss live by a simple motto: "Be ptudent, be patient, and be prepared." This is the role of gold in a well-diversified portfolio. Swiss F r a n c A n n u i t i e s You can also own Swiss franc annuities in your bank account. Investors around the world seeking safety of capital, currency diversification and absolute privacy are buying Swiss franc annuities. Swiss annuities offer guaranteed interest tates and are usually denominated in Swiss francs although you can also own them in dollars and euros. Your annuity principal and interest are guaranteed by the insurance company which issues the annuity. Swiss insurance companies are among the oldest, largest and financially-sound insurers in the world. In addition to the guarantee of principal and annual interest payments (approximately four percent at this time), Swiss annuities are tax-free in Switzetland. You never owe any Swiss tax on an 2 0 8

Investments annuity. Swiss annuities have rewarded American and British investots with stock market-like returns during the past 25 years, due to the strength of the Swiss franc against the dollar and the pound. Fot investors from both countries, a Swiss annuity has averaged approximately 10 percent per year since 1972 (four

percent interest plus six percent currency appreciation). That's an unheard of return in a guaranteed investment. Swiss annuities are the only investments expressly protected from creditors by Swiss statute. Under Swiss law, all life insurance policies including annuities are protected from the policy owner's creditots if the owner's spouse, children, grandchildren, or an irrevocable third party are named as the beneficiaries. T h e Swiss view life insurance proceeds as belonging to the ownet's family, and as such protect the proceeds from claims by others. People in high liability professions, such as doctors, are the biggest purchasers of Swiss annuities because of the protection they offer from lawsuits. A Swiss bank can arrange your purchase of a Swiss annuity. Most annuity owners keep the original annuity policy in safekeeping at the bank as added protection against potential lawsuits. You can request your bank to send you a copy. It's better to have the added safety of not being in possession of the policy, which you surrender to the insurance company upon liquidation. It may throw one more roadblock in the path of someone trying to sue you. Low-Cost Asset Protection Through Swiss Annuities By Marc-Andre Sola, The Sovereign Individual, June 2 0 0 2 A Swiss insurance policy is one of the least costly ways to achieve almost instant asset protection. After only one year, no new claims may be made against the assets in the policy, and after five years, even existing creditors may not make a claim. What's more, you can name your spouse or descendants as revocable beneficiaries and still have asset protection. Even better, Swiss insurance policies designed as variable annuities can provide tax benefits for U . S . policyholders. Other benefits of Swiss insurance policies include: Swiss insurance contracts are covered by strict data and privacy protection rules. Except in the event of a criminal investigation as defined by Swiss law, neither the initial putchase of the policy, nor individual payments, nor interest or dividends earned, may be reported to anyone but the policyholder or beneficiaries.

Insurance companies in Switzerland do not report to any government—Swiss or foreign-if the policyholder is not resident in Switzerland. Swiss insurance policies annuities are free from any Swiss tax. In particular, the 3 5 % Swiss withholding tax on interest and dividends earned in Switzerland does not apply. T h e policyholder is obliged to report and pay taxes only if required under his or her domestic law. Switzerland has the world's strongest insurance industry. Thete have been no failures of any Swiss insurance company in the 140-year history of the industry. Opportunity for currency diversification. Swiss insurance policies may be denominated in various currencies, including the Swiss franc, euro and U . S . dollar. Swiss insurance policies have additional benefits for U.S. policyholders. These include: No excise tax. Unlike foreign insurance policies from most other countries. Swiss insurance policies are not subject to a 1 percent U . S . excise tax. This is a provision of the new U.S.-Swiss tax treaty and applies to premiums paid by a U . S . citizen to an insurance company domiciled in Switzerland. Income on Swiss variable annuities can be tax deferred. Unlike most other offshore investments, 2 0 9 Investments some Swiss variable annuities are designed to meet IRS requirements for taxdefetred growth. With these annuities, the internal buildup inside the policy is tax-free until the income is received. No 31% withholding tax. Offshore banks maintaining U . S . custodial accounts with U . S . correspondent banks or brokers must identify their U.S. customers to the IRS, or have all income and gross sales proceeds derived from securities transactions subjected to a 3 1 % withholding tax. Swiss insutance policies are not subject to these requirements, even if their underlying investments include U . S . securities. Qualified for U.S. pension plans. Swiss annuities and endowments can be placed

in many tax-sheltered plans, including Individual Retirement Accounts ot corporate plans. A U . S . custodian can hold the annuity contract. Tax-free exchanges. You may exchange tax-free a domestic insurance policy for a foreign insurance policy or a foreign insurance policy for another foreign insurance policy. Some tax advisors take the position that foteign annuities need not be reported to the U . S . Treasury as a "foreign bank, securities or other financial account." But check with a qualified advisor before you take this position. Offshore Variable A n n u i t i e s M a y G r o w T a x - F r e e T h e tetm "annuity" is often misunderstood because it is used in so many different ways. Most often, it denotes arrangements where an insurance company agrees to make a series of payments to someone fot the rest of their life in exchange for a single, fixed premium. For example, if you give an insurance company U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 at age 65, they might agree to pay you an income of about U S $ 7 0 0 a month for the rest of your life. That's a typical life income annuity. Prior to receiving income, investors may wish to let interest and dividends inside the annuity accumulate. Duting the accumulation or deferment period, Swiss fixed annuities are comparable to certificates of deposit. An annuity contract may be of any duration. It can be fot the lifetime of the annuitant ot the joint lifetime of two annuitants. T h e contract may also ptovide for a guarantee of enough payments to at least equal the amount that was paid for the contract. A fixed annuity is one where the insurance company guarantees to make payments of a fixed amount for an agreed upon tetm of years or for the lifetime of the annuitant or joint annuitants. Implicit in this atrangement is an assumed rate of interest the insurance company will pay based on the deposits made by the policy owner. Offshore fixed annuities no longer provide tax deferral for U . S . persons. Nor do they permit you to have any influence over the selection of the underlying investments. However, under Swiss law, they offet the same asset ptotection

advantages as any other insurance contract. They also have the lowest investment minimums of any Swiss insurance product (approximately U S $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 ) . T h e guatanteed minimum return depends on the type of policy, the company issuing it and the currency in which the policy is denominated. A typical guaranteed "technical" rate is 2 . 5 % for a policy denominated in Swiss francs. To this figure, an insurance company will add a "bonus" of 1.5%-2.5%, depending on the performance of the company and the selected currency. In a variable annuity, some or all of the funds on deposit are professionally managed portfolios of stock and bonds selected according to the objectives of the purchaser. T h e investment income will vaty depending on how well the underlying investments perform. T h e benefits paid vary with the petformance of the investments. For a minimum investment of approximately U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 , Swiss variable annuities offer a combination of asset protection, a choice of asset allocation strategies based on your tolerance for risk and (for U . S . investors) tax deferral. Swiss A n n u i t i e s : R o c k - S o l i d A s s e t P r o t e c t i o n Under Swiss law, asset protection applies to all life insurance policies as well as life insurance policies linked to mutual funds and derivatives. Annuities, fixed or variable, are treated as life insurance policies under Swiss law. 2 1 0

Investments Asset ptotection with a Swiss life insurance policy is tied to the choice of beneficiaries and whethet the assignment of beneficiaries is irrevocable. When a foreign investor (the "policy owner") purchases a Swiss insurance policy and designates his or her spouse and/or descendants as beneficiaries, the policy is protected by Swiss law against any debt collection procedures instituted by the creditors of the policy owner and is not included in any Swiss bankruptcy procedure. Even when a foreign judgment or court order expressly decrees the seizure of the policy or its inclusion in the estate in bankruptcy, the policy may not be seized in Switzerland or included in the bankruptcy estate.

Protection is guaranteed in the event of the policy owner's bankruptcy because ownership is automatically transferred to the beneficiaries. Only the beneficiaries, as the new owners, can give instructions to the insurance company. It is impottant to make sure that the insurer knows about the foreign bankruptcy decree and that the beneficiaries inform the insurer of their succession. This protection applies whether the designation of the policy owner's spouse or descendants as beneficiaries is revocable or irrevocable. T h e policy owner may therefore revoke this designation prior to the expiration of the policy if at such time there are no thteats from creditors. T h e same protection is also available to individuals ot legal entities (such as trusts) named as beneficiaries that are not the spouse or descendants of the policy owner. However, the beneficiary designation must be irrevocable for asset protection to exist. The only exception to these rules is if the purchase of the policy or the designation of the beneficiaries is determined by a Swiss court to be a fraudulent conveyance under Swiss law. This condition is fulfilled under the following circ*mstances: ( 1 ) If the policy owner designated the beneficiaries less than one year before debt collection proceedings were initiated that eventually led to the policy ownet's bankruptcy or the seizure of the policy owner's assets; or ( 2 ) If the beneficiary was designated with the clear intent to damage creditors or to treat some creditots more favorably than others within five years of the date debt collection proceedings resulting in a bankruptcy decree or in the seizure of assets were initiated against the policyholder. T h e creditors must prove not only the policy owner's intent to defraud but also that the beneficiary had knowledge of such intent. Clearly, these requirements cannot be met when the beneficiaries were designated when the policy owner was solvent and no creditors asserted any claims that could render the policy owner insolvent. These conditions apply even if the debt collection or bankruptcy laws in the country where the debtor's assets are located or where the bankruptcy order issued does not afford such protection. Only the Swiss rules on fraudulent conveyance apply. Creditots cannot void beneficiary designations without a ruling to that effect by a Swiss court.

At the expiration of the insurance contract, the policy owner may collect the proceeds pursuant to the policy, extend the policy, or roll the proceeds over into a new policy. If at expiration, a creditor appears or the owner becomes insolvent, a new policy would not be ptotected whereas an extended policy would. T h e asset protection features of a Swiss annuity are most effective if the Swiss insurance company maintains possession of the policy. Otherwise, a creditot could seize the policy in accordance with local collection and bankruptcy rules. A n t i - D u r e s s Provisions of Swiss I n s u r a n c e C o n t r a c t s A foreign court may order a policy owner under its jurisdiction to revoke a beneficiary designation and include assets in a Swiss insurance policy in a foreign bankruptcy estate. To comply with such an order, the policy owner must inform the insutet that he or she revokes the prior beneficiary designation. In this situation, a Swiss insutance company is under no obligation to comply with the policy owner's request:

211 Investments (1) in an irrevocable designation of a beneficiary thitd party, as this would contradict the irrevocability of the designation; (2) in a revocable designation of the spouse or descendants as beneficiaries, as such beneficiaries automatically succeed into the rights and obligations atising ftom the insutance contract the moment the policy owner is declared bankrupt. (The spouse or descendants must inform the insurer accordingly.) T h e only exception is if these individuals expressly object to such succession; or (3) if the insurance company concludes that the insttuction received does not express the policy owner's true intent and was forced upon him or her by a foreign court. These anti-duress provisions are similar to those found in some offshore trusts, and ate available in all Swiss insurance policies. Swiss annuities offer a plethora of benefits, including strong asset protection. However, to obtain asset protection from them, you must purchase them before a creditor makes a claim against you. You can't buy fire insurance when you smell

smoke! Swiss & Liechtenstein Insurance Investments: Privacy, Asset Protection, Tax Deferral & More! By Mark Sola, The Sovereign Individual, January 2 0 0 4 Swiss and Liechtenstein insurance investments are unique in the offshore world. They offer near-ultimate privacy, safety and asset protection in a very noncontroversial investment. Privacy and discretion is the backbone of the Swiss financial industry. It is a criminal offense to divulge information on bank account and insurance policy holders, punishable by fines and in aggravated cases, by imprisonment. T h e only exceptions are in a criminal investigation. Liechtenstein's secrecy laws are even stricter. Swiss and Liechtenstein insurance investments ate also safe. There has never been a failure of an insurance company in Switzetland or Liechtenstein in the 140-year history of the industry. Asset protection in a Swiss or Liechtenstein insurance policy is guaranteed, without expensive and complex structutes. When you purchase an insurance policy in either jurisdiction and designate your spouse as the beneficiary, or another person as an irrevocable beneficiary, the policy is protected against any debt collection procedures instituted by your creditots. It is important you establish the policy before bankruptcy or other collection procedures have commenced. Swiss or Liechtenstein fraudulent conveyance laws may apply if the policy was established within one year before bankruptcy or seizure, or if the policy was established with the intent to damage creditors. T h e asset protection provisions of these laws don't apply in the event of fraudulent conveyance, or if beneficiaries aren't specified in the way I just described. In that case, a foreign judgment can be enforced against the contract. However, creditors must file a claim in a Swiss coutt, following Swiss legal procedures. This is an expensive undertaking for any litigant. Making a claim against a Liechtenstein insutance contract is even more difficult because Liechtenstein does not enforce foreign judgments. In both countries, the courts generally enforce only actual damages, not punitive damages.

Another advantage of Swiss and Liechtenstein insurance policies is that they are non-controversial. Purchasing a foreign insurance policy doesn't raise the same level of sctutiny as, e.g., forming an offshore trust. Plus, the teporting requirements for U . S . persons who purchase foreign insurance policies are practically non-existent. A n I n s u r a n c e Policy for A l m o s t E v e r y o n e 2 1 2 Investments Three primary types of Swiss and Liechtenstein insurance policies are available to non-residents: fixed annuities; variable annuities; and portfolio bonds. Fixed annuities are available for a minimum U S $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 investment and may be purchased in U . S . dollars, euros or the Swiss franc. With some policies, you can also switch currencies after you buy. T h e policy earns guaranteed interest of approximately 2 . 5 % per annum, plus dividends. In recent years, total returns have averaged about 3 . 5 % per year, plus (in the case of the euro and Swiss franc) some impressive foreign currency gains versus the U.S. dollar. Variable annuities. Swiss variable annuities, with a minimum investment of U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 , allow you to hold mutual funds within yout insurance policy. You can choose conservative, balanced or aggressive management of yout pottfolio. Unlike a fixed annuity, the value of a variable annuity is not guaranteed. Portfolio bonds. T h e Liechtenstein portfolio bond, with a minimum investment of U S $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 , provides an insurance "wrapper" around nearly any investment, giving you near-instant asset protection for those funds. T h e Liechtenstein insurance company opens an account in its name with a bank of yout choice. You maintain full control of your assets or you may designate a financial adviser to manage the investments within the bond. F o r M o r e Information For more information on Swiss and Liechtenstein insurance policies, contact me

c/o N M G International Financial Services, Ltd., Goethestrasse 228001 Zurich, Switzetland. Tel.: + ( 4 1 ) 1 266 21 41-Fax: + ( 4 1 ) 1 266 21 49. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: (Mate-Andre Sola is an attorney and a member of T h e Sovereign Society Council of Experts. An expert on the insurance laws of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Mr. Sola is a managing partner of N M G International Financial Services, Ltd., a subsidiary of the worldwide N M G Group.) You Don't Need to Be Rich to Invest Offshore: Here's Proof! By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, April 2004 One of the most common questions we receive from Sovereign Society members is, "I'm a small investor.. .can 1 legally buy the types of offshore investments you recommend?" T h e answer is a resounding yes. Here are a few ideas: 1. Offshore funds. There are over 100,000 offshore funds, some with investment minimums as low as U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 . A great example is G A M Diversity, a lowrisk hedge fund that has gained an avetage of 1 3 % pet annum since 1989, with 5 0 % less standard deviation, or risk, than its benchmark index ( M S C I World Index). While G A M Diversity is now closed to new investment, G A M Diversity III), managed in the same manner, is still available. Link: (Note U . S . citizens ot residents generally can't purchase offshore funds directly. We recommend that you buy them through an offshore bank, such as T h e Sovereign Society's Offshore Convenient Account partners in Denmark or Austria. Due to tax considerations, we also tecommend that you purchase them through a tax-deferred vehicle such as a retitement plan. ) * Jyske Bank, Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact: Thomas Fischer. Tel.: +45 (33)

787-812. Fax: +45 ( 3 3 ) 787-833. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: (minimum account size fot offshore funds: U S $ 1 4 , 0 0 0 ) . * Anglo Irish Bank (Austria) A G , Vienna, Austria. Tel.: + ( 4 3 ) 1 4 0 6 - 6 1 6 1 . Fax: + ( 4 3 ) 1 4 0 5 8142. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: (minimum account size fot offshote funds: U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 ) . 2. Foreign currency C D s . You can also use your Offshore Convenient Account to purchase 213

Investments CDs in nearly a dozen diffetent currencies for a minimum investment of only U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 . And foreign currency diversification can he a very smart investment. For instance, if you purchased a U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 British pound CD in on Jan. 1, 2 0 0 3 , one year later, it was worth U S $ 5 , 7 0 0 , including interest. If you purchased a euro C D , you did even better, with your CD worth U S $ 6 , 1 0 0 , for a total return of 22%. (Note: T h e Sovereign Society no longer recommends euro CDs, although we still like the British pound and Canadian and Australian dollars.) Foreign currency CDs are available from Anglo Irish Bank (Austria) for a minimum investment of U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 (minimum account size for CDs: U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 ) . They are available from Jyske Bank for a minimum investment of $14,000 ( U S $ 1 7 , 6 0 0 ) (minimum account size for CDs: $ 1 4 , 0 0 0 ) . 3. Swiss annuities. For only U S $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 , you can purchase one of the safest annuities in the world—one from Switzerland. You obtain a modest income, but the real attraction of a Swiss annuity is virtually ironclad protection from creditors. If you're looking to create an offshore "nest egg" that no one can touch, a Swiss annuity is one of the best investments you can consider. Swiss annuities are available thtough Sovereign Society Council of Experts

member Marc-Andre Sola. Contact: N M G International Financial Services, Ltd. Tel.: + ( 4 1 ) 1 2 6 6 - 2 1 4 1 . Fax: + (41) 1 266-2149. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: They are also available through Council of Experts member Dr. Erich Stoeger's company, Euraxxess AG in Ebmatingen/Zutich, Switzerland. Contact: Mrs. Bemarda Pesantez. Tel. + ( 4 1 ) 1 9 8 0 - 4 2 8 1 . Fax: + (41) 1 980 4255. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: 4. Offshore precious metals ownership. For only U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , you can purchase a Perth Mint Certificate ( P M C ) , a depository receipt acknowledging your ownership of gold, silver, platinum or palladium bars or coins stored in a government-guaranteed depository in Western Australia. This is the only government guaranteed ptecious metals accumulation program in the world. Like foreign currencies, precious metals have been smart investments in recent years. For instance, if you purchased a U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 gold PMC on Jan. 1, 2 0 0 3 , it would have been worth U S $ 1 2 , 1 0 0 by year-end—a 2 1 . 1 % gain. For more information on PMCs, see layout2 •asp?url=l. Two members of T h e Sovereign Society's Council of Experts are approved dealers for PMCs. Michael Checkan is president of Asset Strategies International, Inc., in Rockville, Md. Link: Dr. Erich Stoeger is Chairman of EurAxxess, A G , in Switzerland. Link: Of course, if you have more than U S $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 to invest offshore, you can enjoy a larger number of investment options, including tax deferred variable annuities (minimum U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 ) , portfolio management (minimum U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 and up), etc. But you don't need this much to get what are you waiting for? Part Three—The Six Best Countries to Do Business

Barbados: A Tropical Island Where Government Pays Your Rent The Business Havens Report, 1998 Here you learn how to set up a tax-free business on a tropical island where labor is cheap—60 percent less costly than in the U.S. —and where the government will pay your rent! Barbados is a beautiful Caribbean island, a tropical paradise. It is the most easterly of the Catibbean islands, enjoying warm weather all year round. A popular tourist destination, the island atttacts many thousands of tourists every year. The local economy is based on sugar, tourism, light manufacturing, data processing, and offshore 214 Investments business. T h e population of 252,000 speaks English and is 98 percent literate. A significant portion of the workforce is trained in the use of computers, data processing and various types of factoty machinery. It is an excellent business haven, offering especially strong incentives for the establishment of new business operations that include information and financial services or manufacturing. T h e island, independent since 1966, has a stable, pro-private enterprise government committed to foreign investment. Batbados offers employers a skilled, English-speaking workforce with significantly lower wages than in the United States and Canada. Batbados is a modern nation, with satellite communications, strong international air and sea connections to major cities across the world and an exttemely attractive package of business incentives. T h e government especially seeks those considering corporate relocation or establishing new enterprises on the island. Doing business in Barbados can be both enjoyable and profitable. Bureaucratic red tape and government intervention in the economy are minimal.

During the past 40 yeats, the Barbadian economy has diversified, and attained an impressive per capita income, while maintaining low inflation and low debt. Fot thtee centuries British colonial administrators governed, building traditions that produced a vigorous, cultured society and a committed democratic form of government. T h e people of Barbados, the Bajans, are well educated, confident, and sophisticated. Barbados has an established teputation as peaceful and politically stable. It is a member of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Caribbean Community ( C A R I C O M ) . It has double taxation tteaties with the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Finland, Sweden, Notway, and Switzerland. T h e island is served by major international banks including the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Barclays Bank. Major local banks include Barbados National Bank, Caribbean Commercial Bank, and the Mutual Bank of the Caribbean. Direct air services to North America and Europe are provided by British West Indian Aitways ( B W I A ) , American Airlines, Air Canada, and British Airways, among othets. T h e modern harbor serves both passenget and cargo ships. T h e legal system is basically English common law augmented by its own statutory modifications. Business incorporation generally follows the typical British pattern, but words that designate corporate status include "limited," "corporation," or "incorporated" (or their abbreviations). In that respect, they follow the U.S. model. Shares may he divided into classes with no par value, and with either unlimited or stated maximum capital. T h e numbet of directors is unrestricted, although companies frequently use one or more Barbadian directors to show management and control in Barbados. V e r y P r o - B u s i n e s s One of the major attractive features of Barbados is its liberal attitude towards the formation of international business companies ( I B C s ) . T h e Ministry of Finance issues I B C licenses. IBCs incorporated in othet nations can receive resident status in Barbados, provided they have no more than 10 percent ownership of assets or capital by residents of the C A R I C O M region. IBCs

here tend to be international trading operations. An I B C , shares of which form all or part of the assets of a foreign ttust under the management of an offshore bank, is exempt from tax on its profits and gains. But its activities must be restricted exclusively to buying, selling, holding or managing securities. Otherwise, I B C tax rates vary from two and one-half percent on profits and gains up to U S $ 5 million, to one percent of profits and gains exceeding U S $ 1 5 million. Normal business deductions are taken into account in determining the net income on which the tax is assessed. IBCs are not subject to restrictions of the exchange control act. T h e usual forms of trusts are also available in Barbados. Special provisions also exist for captive 215 Investments insurance companies, offshore banks, and offshore trust companies, all of which are subject to various licensing and supervision requirements. T h e primary value in locating a business in Barbados, as compared to other nations with friendly IBC statutes, is a company's ability to qualify under the double taxation agreements Barbados has with many nations.

Business Incentives Batbados has adopted significant laws to atttact businesses. These laws guarantee tax freedom, exemptions, subsidies or even cash grants. T h e incentives listed below apply to certain businesses, but many other companies, because of the nature of their operations, may be eligible fot incentives under several categories. Corporate information services incentives: • A low tax rate of 2.5 percent for data entry operations operating as international business companies. • Exemptions from import tariffs on production-related equipment, such as

computers. • Cash grants for training. • Subsidized space in 10 industrial parks. • Possibility of acceletated depreciation allowance. Manufacturing and export industry incentives: • Full tax exemption on corporate profits for up to 10 years. • After 10 years, a low tax rate of 2.5 percent thereafter. • Full exemption from import duties on equipment patts, raw materials, and production machinery. • Simplified customs procedures. • Factory space in modern industrial parks available at significant subsidies. • A worker training grant program that reimburses employers a maximum of 75 percent of wages paid to ttainees during the first six months of a startup business's operation. Reimbursem*nt is paid by the Barbados Investment 6k Development Corporation. • Free coordination and speedy investment approval procedures. T h e Investment 6k Development Corporation offers liaison services with all other government agencies. Incentives for international service companies with offshore operations: • Full tax exemption fot U . S . foreign sales corporations. • Full tax exemption for captive insutance companies. • A tax rate of one to 2.5 percent on profits of investment companies. • A tax rate of 2.5 percent on international business firms and information

technology service companies. Incentives for foreign investors: • A low maximum tax rate of 2.5 percent on profits. • Exemptions from all local taxes on dividends, interest, fees, royalties, management fees, or other incomes paid to non-residents. • Exemptions from local taxes on transfers of securities or assets, with the exception of real property located in Barbados or equipment used on the island. • Exemptions from taxes and duties on machinery, computer equipment, taw materials, goods, and othet articles imported into Barbados. • Exemption from exchange controls. 2 1 6 Investments • Exemption from public filing of financial statements. • A guarantee of all the above benefits for a period of 15 years. C o n t a c t s • Barbados Government: • Barbados Investment and Development Corp. Offices: - 800 Second Ave, 17th Floor, New York, NY 1 0 0 1 7 4 7 0 9 , U.S.A. Tel.: +1 212 867 6420. Fax: +1 212 682 5496. - 5160 Yonge St, Suite 1800, North York, Ontario, Canada M2N 6L9. Tel.: +1 416 512

0700, F a x : + 1 416 512 6580. - Princess Alice Highway, Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies. Tel.: +1 809 427 5350. Fax: + 1 809 426 7802. • Barbados Government In/ormation Service, Bay Street, St. Michael, Barbados, West Indies. Tel.: + 1 246 426 2232. Fax: +1 246 436 1317. • Chancery of Barbados, 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 202 939 9218 or 939 9219. Fax: +1 202 332 7467. Consulates: Miami, New York, Los Angeles. Chile: Government Pays 75 Percent of Your Business Expenses The Business Havens Report, 1 9 9 8 Chile is a stable nation with the second oldest constitution in the western hemisphete ( 1 8 3 3 ) , where industrial growth is set to double in the next few years, and where the government welcomes foreign investors with inducements seen nowhere else. Chile is a country where the future means economic opportunity. Already well known among international investors fot its open trade policies, encouragement of investment and pro-business outlook, Chile is on the rise. T h e country's leaders see a growing economy as fundamental to better living standards and prosperity for all Chileans. Outstanding investment opportunities abound in many sectors including: manufacturing, forestry products, software design and production, fisheries, farming, mining, paper production, infrastructure expansion, and energy production. To encourage investment, Chile has a Foreign Investment Committee, the putpose of which is to simplify the process for interested investors and to

provide information on financing, insurance and legal requirements. Government red tape has been cut to a minimum. In an environment of certainty and ample guarantees, foreign investment has made a significant conttibution to economic development. With an annual GDP growth rate of six percent in tecent years (one of the world's highest rates), direct foreign investment accounted for an average of 20 percent of GDP. Exports generated by foreign investment projects currently represent 25 percent of the total. During 1993-1997, foreign investment contributed mote than 7 percent of total new employment. T h e success of the Chilean economy has greatly increased its competitiveness in world markets. T h e prestigious World Economic Forum ranked Chile fifth among emerging economies, ahead of South Korea. Given Chile's low risk (an Arating from Standard 6k Poors), many local firms have issued significant amounts of financial instruments abroad, principally American Depository Receipts. But Chile is much more—a stable, democratic country whose constitution of 1833 is the second oldest in the Americas. It is a land of spectacular scenery and vast natural resources, populated by 217 Investments an energetic people of various European, Asian and Indian ethnic groups, all of them proud to live in one of the world's most beautiful countries.

Geography Chile is located in southwest South America. It shares a common border with Peru to the north, Bolivia and Argentina to the east. Its west coast meets the Pacific Ocean, and its southern-most point ends at the tip of the South American continent. Several islands and archipelagos are included in the country's overall area of 292,258 square miles (756,945 square kilometets). Chile is a narrow country, extending north and south along the west coast of South America. Its length is about 2,650 miles (4,270 kilometers) and its width is less than 110

miles (180 kilometers). E c o n o m y From half a century aftet 1900, Chile's economy centered on the mining and export of copper. In the late 1940s, government finally began to encoutage industrial growth and diversification. Today Chile is one of the leading industrial nations in Latin America, and still temains one of the continents largest mineral producers. Chile is absolutely committed to free trade. T h e country's leaders see economic success as dependent on international trade, and exports to mote than 150 nations form a vital sector of Chile's economy. Along with raw materials such as mining and forest products, Chile's major exports include fresh fruits and juices, fish, delightful wines, soft drinks, liqueurs, vegetables, leather goods, furnitute, clothing, footwear and textiles. Chile also exports various services, including engineering, advertising, design, printing and film animation as well as high-tech products such as computet software. Below are economic sectors deserving of special mention. • Mining. Deposits of copper are among the world's largest and Chile is one of the wotld's leading copper producers. Copper accounts for nearly 50 percent of total annual exports. Extensive oil and natutal gas deposits, located in the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, make natural energy production an important industry. Chile also has major deposits of iron ore, coal, sulfur, silver, gold, manganese, molybdenum, nittates and iodine. • Manufacturing. Much industry is related to refining and processing of minerals, forestry products and agricultural products, but Chile also is a leading producer of steel in South America. Other important products include cement, textiles, glass, chemicals, pulp and paper, electronic equipment and automobile assembly. Many manufacturing companies are investing in high-tech production methods to increase

productivity. • Forestry. With forests covering about 12 percent of the total land area, forestry products are a big part of Chile's economy. Lumber, wood pulp and paper are the mainstays, and the forestry industry is expected to double in size in the next decade. • Fishing. Taking advantage of the rich waters of the Pacific, Chile's fishing industry is one of the most productive in South America. Sardines, salmon, swordfish, sea bass, mackerel, hake, lobster and anchovy are the species most sought. T h e catch is processed in Chilean plants for worldwide distribution. Chile is the world's second largest exportet of salmon, and its salmon, swordfish and sea bass appear on tables as far away as the U S , Europe and Asia. • Agriculture. Chile produces wheat, potatoes, corn, rice, sugar, beets, tomatoes and oats. Fruits and vegetables are exported worldwide. Fine wines, which have gained an excellent reputation, are produced in the Central Valley. Overall, farm products account for about 10 percent of Chile's GDP. While these sectors offer superior investment opportunities, in recent years foreign funds have flowed into new infrastructure projects, especially electric generation and energy and the development of the natural gas deposits in Chile's southern cone. I n f r a s t r u c t u r e 218 Your Finances and Estate Planning While Chile's infrastructure is considered to be adequate for the country, the government has encouraged infrastructure development and modernization. In 1994, for example, communication and transportation systems showed the highest tate of growth in the country's economy after the fishing industry. Chile's telecommunications system is able to handle the needs of any modern company.

Reliable telephone, computer data links, and facsimile lines ate available to businesses located in any of the majot cities. Remote areas in the far south and north, of course, offer more limited services. T h e country has a variety of communications media, including numerous periodicals, over 80 newspapers, over 3 5 0 radio stations, and several independent TV stations. Cable TV is available in some areas, particularly around Santiago. During the last few years, Chile's roadways have been extended and improved substantially. T h e country has over 50,000 miles of roads (about 8 0 , 0 0 0 km). T h e investment in roadways has been in response to the significant overland cargo shipped to nearby trading partnets, including Petu, Atgentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. With continued growth of the economy, it can be expected that further improvements in the country's roadways will be undertaken. Like the roadways, both air and sea traffic have responded to the country's growing economy. Chile has several airports. T h e major international airport is located in Santiago, and several airports offer regular domestic setvice. Several American, European and Latin American airlines maintain ditect flights from the U.S., Europe and Latin America cites. While some goods are transported by air, over 90 percent of exports are shipped by sea. To adequately handle this demand, shipping companies are investing in new ships and equipment and many seapotts are modernizing their facilities and operations. Chile has numerous seaports, Valparaiso, Talcahuano, Tome, Antofa*gasta, San Antonio and Punta Arenas are the principal ones, from which businesses may ship their products.

Financial System Chile's financial system is fully equipped with services investors and entrepreneurs require to establish a business. T h e Central Bank of Chile has extensive powers to regulate monetary policy. T h e country also has a state bank, commercial and development banks and financial services companies. T h e system is solid and dependable. Duting the tecent Asian ctisis and its continuing aftermath, skillful actions by the Central Bank prevented a run on short-term capital investments.

These policies keep Chile free of the monetary troubles that have engulfed nations like Brazil, South Korea and Indonesia. Incentives for I n v e s t m e n t Chile has put in place a stable legal framework based on principles such as nondiscrimination, neuttality, openness and equal treatment of foreign investment. Investors have flocked to a nation where an environment of safety and certainty prevails. Since 1974, the Foreign Investment Statute has been a principal attraction for foreign capital. This law created a framework of confidence and credibility in the international economic community so that today more than 60 countries have investments in Chile. T h e Foreign Investment Statute offers a framework of special guarantees. T h e investor signs a legally binding investment contract with the government which cannot be changed except by mutual consent. This is a most important guarantee for the investor because the Government, even by a new law, cannot unilaterally modify the terms of the contract.

F r e e Zones There has been increased emphasis on exports, plus the signing of a series of bilateral economic agreements, including trade and the promotion and protection of investments. Currently Chile has signed a total of 33 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements, and others are being negotiated. 219 Investments Despite Chile's robust economy, the government maintains various incentives to encourage foreign investment. T h e primary objective is attracting investment that will sustain economic growth.

These incentives fall into three broad categories: Free Zones, Regional Incentives and Forestry Sector Incentives. Free Zones: T h e towns of Iquique and Punta Arenas have operated as free zones since 1975. Free zone businesses include manufacturing, assembling, packing, display or deposit fot transshipment. Imported goods remaining within a zone are not subject to any value added tax (VAT) or custom duties and zone companies are exempt from VAT on sales and services that occur within the zones. Regional Incentives: Companies or investors with commercial operations in Chile's remote areas are eligible for exemptions on income tax, VAT, custom duties and similar charges. Special subsidies and fiscal bonuses may also be available. Forestry Sector Incentives: Investors and companies with commercial activity within the forestry sector, and those that own land deemed suitable for forestry, may be eligible to benefit from specific incentives, including: • A 75 percent subsidy of costs related to the planting of forests. • Specific properties deemed suitable for forestry are exempt from real estate taxes. • A 50 percent reduction in petsonal progressive income taxes on income gained from commercial forestry activities. It should be noted that companies that contract with the state to exploit oil teserves and atomic materials also may be eligible fot tax teductions and exemptions. T h e authority to giant such reductions oi exemptions tesides with Chile's piesident. Noimally, the deteimination of any reductions or exemptions is done on an individual basis.

Living in Chile Today In and around urban areas, Chile's culture is quite cosmopolitan. Santiago is a modern city by any standards, and its residents have access to all the wonders of our technological age. T h e city is filled with parks and wide streets, excellent

hotels and fine restaurants that offer world class menus. During Chile's winter, from June to September, Santiago's people may wish to ski in the mountains to the east, or, throughout the year, they may visit marvelous beaches that lie an hout and a half to the west. In the mote isolated areas, the culture is dominated by a mixture of Spanish and Indian heritage. Life here is slower and centets around the land. It may be said that Chile has something to offer everyone. Indeed, many investors find that to be true in the country that has been called South America's land of opportunity. C o n t a c t s Chile is committed to attracting investment, and the country maintains several agencies whose purpose is to assist investors who may wish to learn more about the country's business opportunities. • ProChile is the Chilean Trade Commission within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has 35 commercial offices worldwide. T h e organization's role is to support and advance business by assisting development of exports, establishing international business relationships, fostering the exchange of goods and services, attracting foreign investments and forging strategic alliances. ProChile New York, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 302, New York, NY 10017, U S A . Tel.: + 1 212 207 3266. Fax: +1 212 207 3649. • National Chamber of Commerce of Chile, Santa Lucia 302, Piso 4, Santiago, Chile. Tel.: +562 639 6639 or 639 7694. Fax: +562 638 0234. • U.S. Embassy Commercial Bureau, Av Andres Bello 2800, Santiago, Chile. Tel.: +562 232 220

Investments 2600. Fax: +562 330 3710. • AMCHAM-Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce, Av Americo Vespucio Sut 80, Piso 9, P 0 Box 82, Santiago 34, Chile. Tel.: +562 208 4140. Fax: +562 206 0 9 1 1 . • Consul General of Chile, 801-2 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M 4 W 3E2. Tel.: +1 ( 4 1 6 ) 924 0 1 7 6 . Fax +1 ( 4 1 6 ) 924 2627. E-mail: [emailprotected]. United Arab Emirates: Tax-Free Business/Residency By Mark Nestmann, The Sovereign Individual, January 2003 Continued pressure by high-tax countries and organizations such as the FATF/OECD against "traditional" tax havens has in many cases made them less attractive as bases for international business. But a few haven countries have successfully resisted these ptessures. One such jurisdiction is the United Arab Emirates ( U A E ) . Due to its immense oil wealth, strategic location and substantial industrial and financial infrasttuctute, the U A E has successfully withstood the pressures imposed on haven countries to dismantle theit tax advantages and eliminate financial secrecy. T h e U A E imposes no taxes on sales, profits, incomes or capital gains on onshore or offshore companies. It has zero taxes because it does not need tax revenues. Oil royalties are more than sufficient to fund the country's budget. There are no foreign exchange controls, quotas or trade barriers. T h e U A E dirham is freely convertible and is linked to the U . S . dollar. No revaluation has occurred since 1977. Tax-advantaged residency programs for foreigners and

their families are also available. Foreigners may own 100% of U A E companies, which are ideal vehicles through which to pursue international business and commerce in a tax-free environment. And while anti-laundering laws are now in place, they have not ended the UAE's longstanding tradition of bank secrecy. T h e U A E borders the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Atabia. Strategically placed, the U A E is of vital importance to Western countries. It is also a gateway to over 1.5 billion consumers in countries surrounding the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. According to Ken living, a U A E offshore services provider: "The U A E has a sophisticated and wealthy indigenous and expatriate population that demands the highest level of financial and commercial confidentiality. A long tradition of commercial secrecy exists. Since there are no personal or corporate taxes (except on foreign banks and oil producing companies) the government takes no interest in the putsuit of legitimate business. T h e government has no tax information exchange agreements or mutual legal assistance treaties in effect with any other country. In the post OECD/FATF world, the U A E offers significant tax advantages along with substantial banking and commercial confidentiality. These advantages are not being challenged due to the geopolitical importance of the U A E to the West. T h e U A E is as good an ally as the West has in this region (U.S. aircraft carriers and warplanes are based here). Therefore the West leaves offshore activities alone. In contrast, few of the offshote jurisdictions under assault by the OECD/FATF have any strategic importance. Substantial I n f r a s t r u c t u r e , G e n e r o u s Incentives Comprised of seven emirates, the most commercially developed of which is Dubai, the U A E is politically stable and staunchly pro-Western with a liberal and tolerant lifestyle. However, the U A E is not a democracy. It is ruled by powerful families and has neither elections not political parties.

Many multinational companies, from Microsoft to CNN to Cisco have established tax-free operations in one of the UAE's 10 free trade zones (FTZs). In a survey by Euromoney magazine, the U A E was found by business executives to have the least political or economic risk of any Middle 221 Investments Eastern nation. Indeed, the U A E has been so successful in demonstrating its international stability that the government of land-starved Jersey is considering moving some of its offices to the U A E . Many smallet offshote centets have little to offet in the way of a financial infrastructure consisting of a substantial network of banks, trust companies, fund managers with laws and courts set up to enforce property rights and contracts. T h e U A E , and in particulat, Dubai, is practically unique in having such a network along with an extensive industrial infrastructure (state-of-the-art port facilities, telecommunications, etc.). Dubai's Jebel Ali, home to more than 1,400 companies, is the largest FTZ in the Persian Gulf. Its harbor is the most important port in the Middle East and is tanked among the world's top 15 in terms of container throughput. Dubai's international airport, itself a FTZ, is the second busiest in the world (next to Tokyo) in terms of passenger volume and second only to Seattle as a sea-air hub. E-commerce is rapidly developing in Dubai. In 2002, the first phase of the government-funded Dubai Internet City was completed. Hundreds of companies have already taken out licenses to locate in this FTZ due to its highly developed technical infrastructute. Investors can use FTZs as jurisdictions from which to conduct tax-free business in a secure and confidential environment. FTZs are administratively separate from the U A E and are governed by regulations set out by their individual boards of directors. All FTZs offer a guaranteed tax-free period ranging from 1020 years as well as exemption from import duties (as long as products are not impotted into the U A E ) . Within the FTZs two types of entity may be established. A Free Zone Entity/Establishment (FZE) is a limited liability

company, which can be owned 100% by non-residents. It must be re-licensed each year. Alternatively, a branch of a company from any jurisdiction may be registered in the FTZs. Both FZEs and branches may conduct business internationally. T h e licensing process can be completed in three to five working days including bank account opening. FTZs and branches must appoint a local manager (agent) who is responsible for the conduct of the business. T h e local manager may act as nominee for the beneficial owner. FZEs and branches registered in the free zones may conduct any and all activities undertaken by international business companies in other offshore jurisdictions, including trading, financing, holding interests in subsidiaries, owning property outside the U A E , professional services, etc. Dubai's Beneficial T a x Treaties Despite being a zero-tax jurisdiction, Dubai has a substantial netwotk of taxtreaties, in no small part due to its strategic location and economic clout. Tax treaties are in effect with Jotdan, Sudan, Syria, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt, Finland, France, India, Pakistan, Poland, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Romania, Singapore, Algeria and Turkey. Tax accords were signed by the United Arab Emirates and Sudan in 2 0 0 2 . Since Dubai does not impose taxes, its tax tteaties are designed to reduce any tax levied in a foreign jurisdiction on profits remitted from Dubai to that jurisdiction. Under these treaties profits derived ftom shares, dividends, interest, royalties and fees are taxable only in the conttacting state where the income is earned. In principal, this means that such profits generated in Dubai can be remitted taxfree to treaty countties. Therefore, dividend income paid by a Dubai company to its corporate parent in a country that has a tax treaty with Dubai may potentially be received tax-free. However, many countries have inserted "anti-avoidance" provisions in tax treaties that require that companies seeking to benefit from a tax treaty pay some minimum amount of tax. Review both relevant tax law and the treaties themselves before assuming that such income is tax-free. Dubai: "Epicenter of T e r r o r i s t F i n a n c i n g ? " In 2002, Dubai gained a degree of international notoriety after being labeled by the U . S .

Treasury Department as the "epicenter of terrorist financing." T h e justification for this designation appears to be the fact that informal money transfer networks, or hawalas, are prevalent in Dubai. 222 Investments At least some funds wired to those persons who carried out the September 11, 2 0 0 1 , attacks on the United States appear to have originated in Dubai hawalas. Dubai is also an important center for gold trading and terrorist money is allegedly converted to gold through local merchants. Indeed, a "gold and diamond park" exists within the Jebel Ali FTZ ( gold.asp). However, despite these allegations, neither Dubai nor the U A E have been placed on the FATF money laundering "blacklist." This is no doubt is due to theit economic and strategic importance, but the U A E also made money laundering a crime in 2002. U A E financial service providers are also required to report "suspicious transactions" to a newly formed Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit. In addition, the U A E Central Bank has begun a mandatory registration of hawalas operations in the U A E . All international money transfers carried out through Hawalas must now be reported to the Centtal Bank. Local sources tell us the government is serious about enforcing the new laundering law, but determined that it not hinder legitimate international business or the long tradition of confidentiality prevailing in financial services. T a x Advantaged R e s i d e n c y in Dubai A significant percentage of Dubai's population is comprised of foreigners working in its rapidly expanding economy. T h e emirate also welcomes investors, entrepreneurs and wealthy retirees, all of whom are invited to benefit ftom the tax incentives offered in the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Dubai imposes no

personal taxes other than import duties (mostly at rates up to 1 0 % ) , a 5% residential tax assessed on rental value and a 5% tax on hotel services and entertainment. T h e emirate offers an excellent lifestyle with year-round swimming, sailing, waterskiing, scuba diving, golf, soccer, cricket, tennis, and horse racing. Superior hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs are available. T h e quality of health care in Dubai is among the best in the Gulf. T h e ethnic makeup of Dubai's foreign residents varies, but most come from India, Iran, Europe and other Arab countries and reside in the cities. Nationals from any member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman) and British nationals with the right to reside in the United Kingdom do not need visas to enter the U A E . G C C nationals can generally stay permanently. Britons can stay for a month and can then apply for a visa for a further two months. For More Information: • FTZs: Link: ad.asp. • Dubai free trade zones. Link: Information on Dubai residency is also available from this web site. • Doing business in the UAE. Link: • Dubai financial services providers. Link: A Dubai corporate services company familiar with the work of T h e Sovereign Society is Connaught Asset Management. Contact: Ken living, Connaught Asset Management FZE, 41st Floor Emirates Towers, P.O. Box 31303, Dubai, U A E . Tel.: + ( 9 7 1 4 ) 319-9328. Fax: + ( 9 7 1 4 ) 330-3365. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: Malta: Crossroads for Government-Business Partnership The Business Havens Report, 1998

Here's a Mediterranean island where business is welcome, business loans are available at only 3 percent interest, and you won't have to pay any corporate taxes for 10 years. T h e government will 223 Investments even pay to train your staff! In the centet of the Mediterranean Sea, with Italy to the north and Africa to south, lie the Maltese Islands, the crossroads of East-West sea trade. Malta is an ancient nation, but one with a thoroughly modern outlook. In recent years the Maltese government has actively coutted foreign capital with an attractive program of incentives aimed at investors and entrepreneurs. It includes generous tax incentives and inducements such as soft loans, ttaining grants and customized facilities at subsidized costs. This pro-business policy seeks to build on Malta's many existing strengths: favorable trade relations with countries around the world; a strategic location on world shipping lanes; a high quality, productive, English-speaking workforce; an excellent climate and quality of life; and modern health care and educational systems. E c o n o m y In the last decade, Malta's economy has averaged an annual growth rate of over 7 percent. T h e nation has maintained a surplus balance of payments, stable currency and low inflation (less than one percent), all impressive numbers. They reflect the overall strength and diversity of the Maltese economy. Traditionally agriculture was important, but the economy has undergone significant change. Manufacturing, especially high-tech industries, now accounts for over a quarter of Malta's GDP. About 26 percent of the labor force works in services, 22 percent in manufacturing, 37 percent in government and 2 petcent in agricultute. Major

industries now include textiles, machinery, food and beverages and high-tech products, especially electronics. Tourism is also a growing and increasingly important sector. Key sectors that provide exceptional investment opportunities include trade, tourism, manufacturing, maintenance services and international financial services. T h e Maltese government favors expansion in the following areas: high technology products that require sophisticated production skills; expertise in the areas of marketing and exporting; manufacturers requiring a high degree of quality control or specialized production ptocesses; and re-engineering services. T h e Maltese government has enacted legislation to increase the islands' role as a leader in international finance services. These laws provide a variety of tax and financial incentives to banks, insurance companies, fund management firms, trading companies, trusts and investment companies. As an historic trading centet throughout history, Malta has favorable trade relationships with many countries. Maltese-produced goods are exempt from customs duty or restrictions with the countties of the European Community. Special access has also been obtained with markets as fat ranging as the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia. Malta's open and free business environment promotes growth and enterptise. T h e official attitude toward business is progressive. Red tape is minimized, capital for most companies is readily available, and foreign investment is welcomed. Incentives Official Maltese incentives for investors, include: • A 10-year tax holiday for industries that are at least 95 percent export-oriented. • An exemption from local and municipal taxes. • Special thtee percent interest loans for investment in new factories, machinery and fixed assets. • Investment tax credits, acceletated depreciation allowances, reduced rates for reinvested profits.

• Special allowances for costs associated with tesearch and development and fot costs of export promotion. 224 Investments • Ttaining grants provided by the Employment Training Corporation to employers for one-half the minimum wage for up to 48 weeks for training new employees; also training for existing employees can be eligible for a tax deduction equal to 120 percent of the training cost. In addition, Malta offers investors and businesses several othet important advantages, including: • Duty-free importation of materials or parts when used in export products. • Duty-free shipment on various ptoducts shipped to the EU. • Reduced tariffs on products exported to the U . S . • Free repatriation in any currency and to any country of profits, capital and dividends. • Modern production facilities ftom the Malta Development Corporation including made-to-order factories based on needs. • Low-cost development land. • Work permits for expatriates get quick approval, allowing businesses with special needs to bting in required expertise.

T a x e s Malta has three types of taxes: income, corporate and estate taxes. There are no property ot real estate taxes in Malta. Income tax rates for expatriates range from two to 30 percent and expatriates do not pay capital gains tax.

Though the corporate tax rate is 35 percent, tax incentives and tax holidays teduce that rate significantly. Companies may also be eligible for exemptions from local and municipal taxes. Transfers of interests in a Maltese company from one expatriate to another who is not domiciled in Malta are exempt from estate taxes. C o n t a c t s • Malta Development Corporation, Malta Development Corporation, P.O. Box 141 G P O 0 1 , Marsa, Malta. Tel.: +356 4 4 1 8 8 8 . Fax: +356 4 4 1 8 8 7 . In the U.S., contact Ms Paula Calamatta, 1 202 4 6 2 - 7 9 9 1 . Fax: 1 202-462 0927. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Website: ht tp ://www. • Embassy of Malta, 2017 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008, U . S . A . Tel.: +1 202 462 3 6 1 1 . Fax: +1 202 387 5470. Portugal: Foreign Business Always Welcome The Business Havens Report, 1998 Portugal is a beautiful land with an official welcome mat out for all kinds of business investment. They'll give you substantial cash grants, just to help you get started! Portugal is one of the world's oldest countries. It became an independent nation in 1143, and has maintained its independence and national boundaries from the thirteenth century to this day, save for a brief period under Spanish domination between 1580 and 1640. Portugal became a republic on October 5, 1910, and today is a strong democracy. Portugal's geographic location at the southwest corner of continental Europe assures quick and easy access not only to the European market but also to the eastern seaboard of the United States and the African continent. Nearly half of the 10 million population is economically active. Population density is highest in the Lisbon area, in the northern city of Porto and other

coastal cities. Portugal's territory is twice the size of Switzetland and about the same as the State of Indiana in the United States. T h e new era for Portugal began in 1986. It was then the country enteted the European Union 225 Investments (EU) and launched a series of bold business reform initiatives that opened up the economy to the world. T h e results are significant. Many international experts view Portugal as one of the best investment choices in all of Europe. Today's Portugal courts foreign and domestic capital, ptovides alluring financial and tax incentives and encourages investment in all sectots of the economy. T h e fact that global companies, including Ford, Siemens, Pepsico, Texas Insttuments, Samsung, Microsoft, General Motors and Volkswagen, have invested heavily in the countty, and others have expressed genuine interest in establishing opetations, indicates Pottugal has arrived as a business haven. It may be just the place for your business or investments. Pottugal wholeheartedly welcomes investors and entrepreneurs. F a s t G r o w t h , L o w Inflation Portugal is one of Europe's fastest glowing economies, with one of the highest G D P growth rates among all industrialized countries. Direct foreign investment has also increased from U S $ 1 6 4 million to U S $ 4 . 4 billion in less than a decade, an enormous sum. No less important, inflation has stayed under control and the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the EU. Economic growth rates are expected to average between three and four percent through the end of the decade and beyond. Portugal has made great strides in positioning itself as one of the world's best business havens. T h e country invested substantially in infrastructure, transport and telecommunications systems.

T h e service sector has grown, the financial system is modern and the manufacturing sector has responded with its own expansion and modernization. With all this, Portugal also offers investors political and social stability, an industrious people, and an interesting culture and heritage. A Modern E c o n o m y Portugal's opportunities for business are virtually boundless. As an EU membet since 1986, Portugal has adopted laws and policies that have restructured its economy, opening its domestic markets and encouraging foreign investment. One of the first European colonial nations 5 0 0 years ago, Portugal pioneered trade throughout the world and still has strong ties to the rich markets of Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. T h e country's sound economic policy is built on four guidelines: 1. Governmental budgetary discipline and spending controls. 2. Maintaining stable exchange rates while resttaining the rate of inflation. 3. Promoting structural economic reforms to increase productivity and competitiveness. 4-Cteation of a favorable environment for investment and competition. T h e results are noteworthy. T h e inflation rate decreased from 12.6 percent to 5.4 petcent, the best reduction of any other European country during the same period in the eatly 1990s. T h e economy has expanded and diversified, foreign investment has increased dramatically and the process for foreigners establishing a business has been streamlined. While Portugal favors any new business enterprise, its privatization program and investment policies created exceptional opportunities in the key sectors of banking, financial services, telecommunications, petroleum, petrochemicals and steelmaking. N o C o m p a r i s o n When investors compare Portugal's pro-business advantages and benefits with

those offered by othet nations, Portugal wins. Here's why: • Extremely competitive tax and financial incentives. • An open economy that permits companies to establish operations in all private sectors. 226 Investments • Guaranteed protection for international transfers of dividends, capital gains, and proceeds from sales of investments. As Portugal's economy has grown, the mix has changed considerably. In the past, agriculture played the major role. Currently, agriculture accounts for about nine percent of the GDP, with industry at 30 percent, and the service sector 61 percent. T h e work force has also been transformed. From 1982 to 1992, the proportion of labor in agricultute dropped from 25.2 percent to 11.6 percent, while workers employed in industry rose from 21 percent to 32 petcent. Service sector workers increased from 37.3 percent to 55.2 petcent. T h e service sector has boomed. Financial and retail services have increased steadily and tourism is now a major part of the economy. Portugal's manufacturing sectot includes chemicals, plastics and rubber, which account fot 20 percent of total industrial output. Othet important industries include clothing, footwear, textiles, foodstuffs and beverages, most notably wine. Foreign investment has been particularly heavy in the automotive and paper sectors, but also construction, especially in infrastructure improvement. Overall, much of Portuguese industty is characterized by small-and mediumsized films keenly aware of the need to remain competitive. Although Portugal's imports exceed its exports, the latter is growing, with about 75 percent going to other EU countries. Many products ate manufactured or

assembled by multinational companies with facilities in Pottugal. Beyond the EU, Pottugal has trade ties to countries around the world. Investor G u a r a n t e e s Portugal's expanding economy is impressive, but what attracts foreign investots and new business is a host of government incentives guaranteed by law. These include: • A non-discriminatory policy that treats domestic and foreign investors on an equal footing. • Asset protection and security for both foreign and domestic owned companies. • Financial and fiscal incentives with statutory guarantees. • An unrestricted tight to transfer abroad dividends and profits on sales or investments. • T h e right to organize a corporation entirely with foreign capital, control and management.

Financial Incentives Portugal's financial system has expanded in response to demand for services. T h e Bank of Portugal ( B O P ) and Ministry of Finance are the operating agencies in this sector. T h e BOP, the centtal bank, regulates the banking system by controlling financial policy and foreign exchange. Portugal has a host of commercial banks, savings banks, investment companies, brokerage houses, investment advisors, venture capital companies, investment fund management companies and finance companies. Foreign investment is encouraged, especially in the following sectots: toutism, manufacturing of electrical and electronic components, agricultural and food processing, motor vehicle production, mining, fisheries and fish farming, and projects deemed to contribute to industrial development of a region or the nation as a whole.

T h e two broad categories of incentives ate tax breaks and investment guarantees. Majot tax incentives include: 1. An eligible entrepreneurial or venture capital company incorporated is exempt from corporate income tax for the first eight years of operation. Bank deposit interest, however, is subject to a 20 percent withholding tax. 2. An eligible teal estate holding company enjoys a reduced corporate tax rate of 25 percent for a period of from seven and ten years. 3. Fifty percent of dividends on shares purchased from the government in a privatized business are tax-free for five years after the date of acquisition. 227 Investments 4-Large investment projects designed to increase exports may be eligible for tax incentives. Projects are evaluated on an individual basis. T h e Portuguese Foreign Trade Institute (ICEP) administers the comprehensive program of fiscal and financial incentives. It provides expertise and information about the economy, laws and tegulations, guiding companies as they establish operations and functioning as investment consultants. Major incentive programs include: P E D I P II (The Strategic Program for the Improvement of the Internationalization of Portuguese Industry) Purpose: increase competitiveness by fostering technology and diversification in the industtial sector. Primary focus on investment in manufacturing and mining. 1. Cash grants for 30-70 percent of the cost of initiatives to modernize, implement new technologies, conduct tesearch and development, train staff in new methods or processes or conduct sttategic or feasibility studies.

2. Loan rates teduced 4 0 - 8 0 percent for new machinery, construction and startup capital. 3. Cash grants to small investment projects by companies employing fewer than 250 people. S I R (Regional Incentive System) Purpose: Encourage job creation in designated underdeveloped areas. Cash grants and reduced rate loans for companies investing in manufacturing, mining, tourism and trade. R E T E X (Program for Regions Dependent on the Textile and Clothing Industties) Purpose: This EU associated program promotes industrial modernization in regions strongly impacted by changes in the textile and clothing industries. 1. Subsidies for 40-60 percent of total investment costs for increasing productivity by modernizing processes in established companies. 2. Subsidies for 4 0 - 6 0 percent of total investment costs of programs aimed at increasing global competitiveness, participating in international trade fairs and promotion of Portuguese products. 3. Reduced loan rates for establishing Portuguese-owned companies in other countries. Other programs aimed at specific companies and projects include: FRIEs—investment capital for companies or their foreign branches that implement restructuring or internationalization. S I F I T II—reduced-rate loans to support and stimulate projects in the tourism sector. SIF1T 111—also finances tourism projects, with long-tetm, interest-free repayable subsidies including investments in new building, installation, extensions, remodeling, and re-conversions of hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions.

PAMAF—loans and grants for investment in Portuguese agriculture. PROCOM—reduced rate loans for retail, wholesale and distribution companies, with subsidies of from 35-70 percent of total investment costs, based upon preapproved specific projects. There are also special credit lines for small-and medium-sized companies provided by the European Investment Bank, with reduced interest rates and extended grace periods. While these incentives primarily are for mainland Portugal, othet specific incentives are available for the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira. P o r t u g u e s e Lifestyle Portugal offers a mix of modern cities, delightful countryside and a fine climate. T h e country combines mountains, grasslands and beaches with both new and ancient cities connected by modern highways. Lisbon, the capital, a charming city of old world beauty and modern facilities, is also 228 Investments a city of business that welcomes investors, entrepreneurs and corporations. T h e country's southern coast, the Algarve, has a Mediterranean culture with Moorish influences, and is one of the favotite vacation retreats for Europeans. C o n t a c t s • Official government website: • Portuguese Foreign Trade Institute (ICEP), Avenida 5 de Outubro 101, 1016 Lisboa Codex, Portugal. Tel.: +351 1 793 0 1 0 3 . Fax: +351 1 793 5 0 2 8 . • Portuguese Trade & Tourism Office, 4th Floot, 22-25A Sackville Street, London W 1 X 1 DE, England, Trade and Investment Office. Tel.: +44 171 494 15 17. Fax +44 171 494 15 08. E-mail: [emailprotected].

• Portuguese Trade Commission, 590 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036-4702, U S A . Tel.: +1 212 354 4 6 1 0 . Fax: +1 212 575 4737. E-mail: [emailprotected]. • Portuguese National Tourist Office, 590 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036-4704, U S A . Tel.: +1 212 354 4403 or 354 4 4 0 4 . Fax +1 212 764 6137. E-mail: [emailprotected] Portuguese Trade 6k Tourism Offices • 1900 L Street NW, Suite 310, Washington DC 20036, U S A . Tel.: +1 202 331 8222. Fax: +1 202 331 8236. E-mail: [emailprotected]. • 88 Kearny St., Suite 1770, San Francisco, CA 94108, U S A . Tel.: +1 415 391 7080. Fax +1 415 391 7147. E-mail: [emailprotected]. • 60 Bloot Stteet West, Suite, 1005, Totonto, Ontario M 4 W 3 B 8 , Canada. Trade 6k Investment Office: Tel.: +1 416 921 4 9 2 5 . Fax: +1 416 921 1354. Tourist Office: Tel.: +1 416 921 7376. E-mail: [emailprotected]. • Delegation Commerciale et du Tourisme du Portugal, 500 Sherbrook Street West, Suite 940, Montreal, Quebec H 3 A 3 C 6 Canada. Tel.: +1 514 282 1264. Fax: +1 514 499 1450. E-mail: [emailprotected]. 229

Your Finances and Estate Planning C H A P T E R SIX Your Finances & Estate

Planning Part One—Financial Philosophy The Tycoon Mentality 231 T h e Tycoon's 10-Point Credo 234 Kinds of Assets & Their Relative Immunity . . . 235 New Age Planning: The Eutopean Way to

Protect Your Assets 236 How to Avoid Lending Money 237 No-Money-Down Deals 238 The Beauty of Back-to-Back Financing 240 Protect Your Assets with Alternative Investments 241 Part Two—Your Estate Plan Grave Consequences: Offshore Estate Planning 243 Offshote Variable Annuities: Asset Protection 6k Tax Avoidance 244 Offshore Life Insurance: Four Key Tax Advantages 248 Foreign Trusts: Ultimate Offshore Asset Protection 249 Unique Benefits of Offshore Asset Protection Trusts 253 Liechtenstein's Unique Trusts 256 Hybrid Trusts 259 Choosing an Offshore Trustee 260 All About Foreign Corporations 261 T h e Limited Liability Company 263

Charitable Giving: Tax Avoidance, Asset Ptotection and Dynastic Wealth Control . . . . 264 Saving U . S . Taxes with Trusts 267 Do You Need a Lawyer? How an Attorney Can Help in Offshore Planning 269 This chapter describes the available legal mechanisms you can use to protect your wealth, such as the offshore trust and other trusts, the international business corporation and the limited liability company. Most impottant, we present the philosophy and mind set of people of wealth, the tycoons who have made it and who "have it made." And we tell you who the experts are and how to contact them. Part One—Financial Philosophy

The Tycoon Mentality from Think Like a Tycoon, 1997 What makes people of great wealth "tick"? How do they differ from their fellow man? What special talents and thinking characterize the successful entrepreneur? Here the philosophy of wealth is explained.

2M Your Finances and Estate Planning If you sincerely want to become a tycoon, you must think like a tycoon. You can learn to think like a tycoon by reading this very carefully. T h e principles covered here apply to all forms of managing your money. Living a good life or being exceptionally successful in business requires more than a can of beer, a TV set and wishing for a winning lottery ticket. Tycoon is a Japanese word meaning ty - great and coon - shogun, a military

leader. A tycoon is someone with ambition and drive who has placed himself in a position of importance. In the case of a great general like Patton or a great politician like Winston Churchill—or anyone great—one characteristic is universal: Great people thoroughly enjoy what they do. To be gteat at what you do, you must believe that what you do is fun. An episode of the "Peanuts" cartoon strip once showed Charlie Brown playing with half a yo-yo. It was broken. But he was having a good time dangling it, bouncing it up and down the wall and playing "fetch" with Snoopy. Suddenly Lucy comes along. "You stupid dummy," she says, "you can't have a good time with half a yo-yo. Everybody knows that." Dejected, Charlie Brown throws his toy on the ground: he hadn't known that. This story has a moral for prospective tycoons. Fuzzy-thinking leftists and other depressing types like Lucy have convinced many people that doing something that makes a lot of money is abnormal, immoral or, at best, dull. They would like to make U.S. capitalists feel guilty for becoming rich and—shudder—actually having fun making it. Albert Einstein, when asked on his last birthday what he'd do to benefit the world if he could live his life over again said, "I'd like to go into business and make some serious money." So ignore the socialist do-gooders. They don't produce products or services. All they want to do is make us feel guilty. Fuzzy-thinking leftists fail to realize that capitalists don't just take in money and count it—bank clerks do that. A tycoon is involved in something creative and beautiful. He (ot she) must invariably bring forth upon the world a product or service that people want. A "something" that people willingly part with their earnings or savings for. He's not ashamed to take theit money because (unlike forcibly extracted tax money, which pays for dubious social services or more tax collectors that nobody wants) a capitalist exists for the people. He works for the people. He serves them only so long as his products or services meet their needs. A tycoon needs the people as much as they need him. However, being creative—like an artist, musician ot new mothet —a tycoon has fat more fun at living than the wage-slave at his routine job. Tycoons enjoy doing what they can be great at, providing an abundance of goods and services that people want and can afford. Every tycoon has an invisible directive flashing like a neon sign in his brain: Find a need and fill it.

Find A N e e d A n d Fill It A tycoon doesn't count his money every day to measure his success. Dollars or pounds are just evidence of votes from the previous day, votes of confidence in the particular goods or services that the tycoon is providing. A tycoon gets his confidence from within himself, not through these monetary votes. Any businessman who wants to keep on being successful, however, must continue to deliver needed goods and services or the people will vote their money for a new tycoon. Some individuals, of course, can never become tycoons. They thwart themselves right from the beginning. They make excuses: "I'm not smart enough." "I don't have enough money to start." "I have no business sense." These are all cop-outs. With the right attitude, anyone, including you, can become a tycoon. If you think you're dumb—relax. Most tycoons have average IQs. T h e straight-A students are too busy getting PhDs and looking for teaching jobs to make it in business. You can begin with little or no money and become a multi-millionaire. Most of today's industrialists wete poor a few years ago. So not having any money to start with, the second excuse, doesn't wash either. As for having no business sense—well, you're reading this report. That's pretty sensible. Whatever acumen you lacked before today, you'll have by tomotrow. Othet individuals wait until they ate already tycoons before they thwart themselves. All people should learn from their own mistakes, but you can benefit mote cheaply from other people's mis-2 3 2

Your Finances and Estate Planning takes. It helps to look at what some successful tycoons who failed have in common. Businessmen who have made it big once and then went downhill have frequently over-expanded. They got care-less and didn't attend to emergencies or details. They didn't have time anymore. In contrast, a successful tycoon leaves nothing to chance. He makes time to watch over his investments or hires competent help to do it for him. It's much easier to be extremely successful on a small scale when you're starting out in familiar territory than it is when you have the riches of a Howard Hughes. Does that surprise you? Allow me to illustrate.

Once a business deal was proposed to me in Reno, Nevada. T h e big selling point was that one of the richest men in the world, Donald Trump (who made his fortune in real estate), had taken 25 percent interest in it. Therefore (I was told) I should be willing to take 10 percent (ten "points" in tycoon-talk), because Trump was pretty smart and wouldn't have had a 25 percent intetest in a deal if it wasn't any good. T h e deal went sour shortly after that. I should have known it would! Now when I hear that extremely rich people have an interest in a project, I run the other way. A "red ribbon" deal usually won't make money for anyone but the promoters. Super-rich people seldom have time to investigate new ventures; they are too busy keeping what they have to be effective in fields outside theit immediate area of expertise. I am sure that if Ttump had a good deal that he investigated and put together personally, he would have taken all of it fot himself and not sold any points to outside investors. But the fact that Trump, a super-rich New Yorker, was investing in a Nevada property deal, probably meant that he relied on someone else's judgment. That "someone else" would not have sought me out as an investor if it had been a super deal. Tycoons who have been very successful often make bad investments. They don't attend to the details of investigating a situation as thoroughly as they would have done when they were starting out. T h e best deals are the deals that you go out and find yourself. They are not prepackaged "no work, no worry" deals all wrapped up with a red ribbon, where all you do is write a check. T h e ted ribbon deal will only tie you in financial knots. T h e Red Ribbon Rule: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true! Anothet common characteristic of a tycoon destined to go downhill is that he feels "too important" to attend to humble work. He passes by one of his properties, for example. In the old days, he would have taken time to pick up junk spilled by the tubbish collectors and put it in proper cans. At the very least, he'd have given the janitor or the tenants a gentle reminder to clean up their act. But now, looking at the mess, he doesn't notice. He's too busy whizzing off to negotiate a pie-in-the-sky deal or fighting his wife in a divorce case. A lack of pride in ownership means the start of decline—

the beginning of the end. W h e n you're no longer concerned with detail (and willing to see to it yourself), you're heading for trouble. If an owner doesn't care anymore, his business goes to pot. Another characteristic of aging tycoons is a sudden fear of competition. W h e n new at the game, competition is a challenge. T h e embryo tycoon steals his competitots' best ideas and avoids their mistakes. Determined to beat the competition one way or another, the upstart comes up with innovative methods. He works at it all day and Christmas too. However, once on top, some tycoons start to wotry about all the young upstarts moving into "their backyards" as if it were an exclusive preserve. In the case of manufacturers it is "cheap foreign goods." "Why," they worry, "are those Sayonara Sleeping Pills becoming more popular than my Yankee Doodle Doze?" Instead of trying to ptoduce a new or better product, some old tycoons retreat into deep leather chairs at the Old Fogy Club. Old, has-been tycoons never die, they just become ineffectual aristocrats. At worst, a formerly successful tycoon these days becomes a "gold bug." A "gold bug"is someone who buries or stashes most of his assets in a Swiss bank in gold. Of course in a nation run by irresponsible politicians who print and spend money like toilet paper, building one's personal gold reserves, to a reasonable level, is only prudent. But when you start concentrating on reducing the size of your business operations and finding ways of becoming 100 percent liquid, then you can produce no products, no progress and no profits. Your Finances and Estate Planning T h e entire French nation nearly collapsed economically in the pte-de Gaulle era because a large number of French people (perhaps for good reasons) chose to take their wealth, convert it into gold coins and bury them in their gardens. Buried gold coins (while providing some degree of safety and security in times of political turmoil or revolution) will not make you rich. A business operation is like a vine. Once it stops growing, it dies. What are the characteristics that help a tycoon succeed? A tycoon on the way up is always able to motivate his staff, partners and the people who work for him. When he makes it big, an enthusiastic, loyal staff will be needed more than ever.

But sometimes a tycoon forgets his staff. Don't for* get—when you become valuable in terms of dollars, your staff becomes equally so in terms of support. Some employees respond best to praise and titles, others, to money. Imaginative gifts or bonuses can score you more points than money! How about a round-trip ticket to Hawaii for your secretary or property managet? T h e successful tycoon always keeps thinking of ways to put a smile on the faces of his team. Some tycoons believe that inspiring fear in their associates is an effective method of getting them to work. I strongly disagree. Fear is good only for incompetents, because only incompetents are afraid of getting fired. If an employee or business associate is good enough, he can always find work with the tycoon down the road. Thus, if you can't make the wotk situation pleasant for those who contribute to your success, something is wrong. You can never get the best out of employees through fear. Remember: Motivation is better accomplished by carrots than the stick. On the home front, the same rule applies. Keep the peace. Give recognition and daily compliments to the people around you - your children, your spouse, your friends. Make the people you know feel good about themselves. Act like a loving, concerned human being—even if you are really a selfish slob. Donald Trump took his wife for granted and is said to have ordered her to "go and fetch" things like a dog. His inconsiderate behavior cost him half his fortune—besides breaking up his once happy family. If your staff and family feel good about themselves, they'll work harder and feel better about you. If you're making a compliment, don't make the mistake of taking it back. I've heard people say things like, "Gee, you look younger. Are you dyeing your hair?" Say it and mean it. If you personally get a compliment, don't argue. Accept it graciously, a simple "thank you" will do. Make the people in your family or organization feel secure. If you feel it, say, "I love you." Give praise and recognition generously! Tell them, "I really like being with you." Or, "I like working with you." Give the teasons. Your own life will be bettet if those you live and wotk with know that you like them. Tell them often. If you have to be critical, try to be positive in your criticism. When the toast is setved burned to a crisp, say, "1 really enjoyed the bteakfast, honey, but next time around could you set the toaster a bit lightet?" For business associates just substitute different words. Try it—it works.

The Tycoon's 10 Point Credo Think Like a Tycoon, 1997 A tycoon is: 1. Organized: I will schedule a written program of my activities and objectives and stick to it the entire day. 2. Dedicated: I will do at least one thing I should have done, but have been putting off. 3. Confident: I will feel as good as possible and achieve a sense of well-being by meditating 15 minutes every day. I will exercise or jog anothet 15 minutes. 4- Appreciative: I will tell my family, friends and business associates "I like you" and mean it. I will be generous with praise and compliments. 234 Your Finances and Estate Planning 5. Optimistic: I will not dwell on past failutes but will think positively about the present and the future. 6. Educated: I will read something to improve my mind each day and will keep away from non-productive and time consuming people and activities. 7. Thrifty: 1 will not be a consumer or a taxpayer any more than is absolutely necessary. 8. Sociable: I will be charming and agreeable to everyone and speak badly of no one. 9. Alert: I will be open to new ideas, expetiences and people who might teach me something new. I will not let myself fall into a rut or routine.

10. Dependable: I will meet all my business, social and moral obligations punctually, honestly, and honorably. Kinds of Assets & Their Relative Immunity PT, 1996 Assets that are easily located, subject to court judgments, attachment, seizure or a lien: The simple title to property. Where you actually live is your most easily discoverable asset. It can be discovered by questioning neighbors or searching public records. Many town directoties have a symbol that indicates whether a property is owner occupied or tenant occupied. Trying to hide ownership through a third party will usually offer no protection, as a creditor will have the right to all details of ownership. Similarly, properties held in company names or through other cover stories may not hold up. Accotdingly for the true PT, home should always be just a rental. Leaseholds. In all common law countries, in order for a leasehold or other interest in property of more than one yeat to be valid, it must be publicly tecorded. Public records are indexed in various ways, such as through name of party, date of transaction, location of property and category of property. A search through public documents, now usually carried out by computers, will turn up any recorded transactions in your name. Any lease at below market value rents can be taken over by a creditor. Any interests in real property including mortgages owned. These are recorded and thus discoverable and can be seized, as above. Partnership interests, automobiles, yachts, aircraft, dogs, horses or any property that requires a license. Owner lists, as above, are public or quasi-public records. Normally, only local records are searched. If no one knows that you have a home and yacht in a remote place, it will probably be safe. Bank accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, corporate stocks or bonds or assets held in partnerships. In many countries, each individual is required to have an identifying number for financial transactions. Normally this

number or the name of the holder is circulated to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions. Any accounts can then be frozen pending legal action. Even accounts abroad can be tied up if they either are or become known to creditors. Assets more difficult to locate, but not immune from legal discovery or judicial seizure, include cash, gold, ttavelers checks, bearer bonds, paintings, stamps, coins, beneficial interests in trusts, out of town property and property owned in company names, alternate identity names ot straw names. This type of property can be located in several ways. T h e most common is by obtaining copies of all financial statements ever made in connection with bank loans, ctedit catd applications or income tax teturns. Newspaper articles are also checked for clues as to assets and known haunts abroad. Once the location of an asset is known, a creditor may physically seize property by court order, even if it is in a safe deposit box or outside the country. Assets immune from judicial seizure or legal discovery: 235

Your Finances and Estate Planning Assets in foreign countries that are forgotten or overlooked. Do I have to spell it out? Consider the wondrous benefits of bank accounts or the contents of safe deposit boxes in a country with true bank secrecy. Assets controlled by others for your benefit, i.e., various types of trusts. For instance, a wealthy person can donate his money to a Liechtenstein trust. In doing so, he would give up control of certain assets to ttustees whose duty it would then be to manage the money or property and dole out, for instance, a monthly allowance to your favorite grandchild, or to you. If the amount of the allowance is at the sole discretion of the trustee, a creditor will not be allowed to seize the assets of the foundation if it is established properly. Once again, thete are a few exceptions, such as if the assets in a trust wete gained by bank robbery, criminal dealings or fraud. Other assets not subject to seizure because they are in the sole discretionary

control of others include annuities, pension plan assets, entailed life estate or homestead property, the cash value of life insurance policies and the beneficial interests in irrevocable trusts. However, once a check is issued to a debtor or any payments are out of the control of the trustee, such assets are fair game and may be seized. Depending on local laws, certain small amounts of property may be exempt from seizure by creditors. For example, in Texas, the law makes "tools of the trade, forty acres and a mule" traditionally exempt from creditot claims. In Florida, a person's homestead (the place he actually lives) is exempt ftom seizure, no matter how great its value may be. Normally, an individual is protected ftom being stripped hate. Howevet, the rules differ widely. In Switzerland, there is no such thing as bankruptcy as it is simply illegal for a Swiss not to pay a court award (judgment debt) to another Swiss. New Age Planning: The European Way to Protect Your Assets By Marc-Andre Sola, The Sovereign Individual, October 2001 Rather unfamiliar to many offshore investors is an investment structure called a "Portfolio Bond." This type of investment combines the best of two worlds, banking and insurance, and can be located in a safe offshote jurisdiction. H o w I t W o r k s T h e Portfolio Bond can be considered as a simple holding structure through which the investot (or his/het adviset) can direct the insurance company to invest in a wide range of investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or cash deposits. T h e underlying investments can be selected freely. Specifically, the investor signs a conttact in his name with an insurance company, usually domiciled in an offshore tax haven. T h e insurance company opens an account with a bank selected by the investor, who in turn receives a policy from the insurance company. From a legal standpoint, the investor is the client of the insurance company and the insutance company is a client of the bank. T h e policy value consists precisely of the value of the assets placed thete by the

insurance company on the investor's behalf and that amount grows as investments ate managed properly. Legal entities and/or natural persons can be designated as beneficiaries. With certain annuities and insurance companies, the policy owner also may be a legal entity, such as a trust or corporation. T h e person insured, however, must in all cases be a natural person.

Overview of Benefits Asset Protection: Properly structured and established in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, for example, insurance policies enjoy legal protection from creditors. This protection is very strict. Even where a foreign judgment ot court order decrees the seizure of such policy, or its inclusion in an estate in bankruptcy, the insurance policy may not be seized undet the laws of Switzerland or 236 Your Finances and Estate Planning Liechtenstein or included in a bankruptcy, unless the policy is proven to be a fraudulent conveyance. In case of bankruptcy of the owner of the policy, protection is also guaranteed since the ownership is transferred to the beneficiaries automatically when the bankruptcy is filed. Any insttuctions from the original policy owner attempted to be imposed by a bankruptcy court will be ignored by a Swiss or Liechtenstein court. Separate, Simple Estate Planning Device: A Portfolio Bond is also well-suited for making distributions separate from the policy owner's personal estate. Neithet power-of-attorney, nor last will nor certificate of inheritance is required for payments to be made upon the owner's death. Beneficiaries get immediate access to the funds according to the payment method chosen by the policy owner. Confidentiality and Privacy: In Liechtenstein, for example, a separate insurance secrecy law protects the privacy of policy owners. With the recent inttoduction of U . S . withholding taxes on U.S.

assets held in foreign accounts and with the tough reporting tequirements for investments made through offshore trusts, offshore insurance vehicles, if correctly structured and located in the right jurisdiction, can add strong privacy to your existing investments made through an offshore trust or a bank account. Tax Advantages: Unlike many offshore investments and structures, Portfolio Bonds are, in certain jurisdictions, completely free of local taxes. As far as income, capital gains, estate or withholding taxes are concerned, the law of the investor's tax domicile is decisive. In many countries insurance policies enjoy substantial tax benefits if correctly structured, i.e., the Portfolio Bond can be tailor-made to fit the U . S . legal requirements for privileged and deferred tax treatment. C o n c l u s i o n Either in combination with offshore or domestic planning structures or alone, a Portfolio Bond is a useful and cost effective tool to upgrade an existing portfolio of investments. A portfolio's features can be expanded or improved with tegard to asset protection, confidentiality, repotting burden, insurance coverage and flexibility, teducing costs and taxes, including transfer and estate taxes as wealth passes from one generation to another. Whether concerned with taxes or the threat of litigation or looking to diversify assets globally, with the Portfolio Bond, high net worth individuals can address those concerns, as well as have access to leading investment managers and to investments otherwise not available to the public.

How to Avoid Lending Money Think Like a Tycoon, 1996 If someone approaches you with a request to borrow money, always assume that one or more of the following will happen: 1. T h e person pushing the deal is involved in something illegal and soon will be in jail. 2. Within 10 minutes of getting yout money, your new partner or debtor will:

a) Be abandoned by a lover. He'll decide life isn't worth living and will split the scene (with your cash) for Brazil. Or perhaps he'll go to an even more celestial region by jumping from the top of a skyscraper. b) Have his mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, and children simultaneously afflicted with terminal leukemia ot another fatal disease and meeting their medical bills will become far more important than returning your money. c) Turn into a certified lunatic or have an accident that will make him a vegetable. d) Be murdered or fatally injured. e) Learn that a person he trusted with the investment will turn out to be a thief and will disap-2 3 7

Your Finances and Estate Planning pear not only with your money, but with your partnet's ot debtor's alleged life savings, those of his widowed mothet and so on. f) Tell you that the business deal that was so highly touted in the initial meeting just "didn't work out." After hearing those stories in at least 50 deals, 1 vowed never again to invest in a red ribbon deal or lend out money without being physically in possession of the secutity for the loan. A basic rule to temember in dealing with other people is, if anything can possibly go wrong, it will! Assume that all of the above (and more) will really happen in every deal, loan or investment. Protect yourself in advance. With a little bit of luck, you'll do a lot bettet than I did, particularly if you meet an inventor. T h e most dangerous person you'll ever meet in yout business career is not a robber, murderer or even the infamous tax man. T h e most dangerous person you'll have the misfortune to encounter will be an inventor. Once an inventor has you believing in his new product or process, your entire fortune and all your

prospects will go down the tubes. T h e time demanded of you to promote the invention and attract furthet investors will become an endless tteadmill. Your money will go into a bottomless pit! I want to repress all memories of the time I became involved with the inventor of a solar panel. The small-scale prototype was convincing. It produced useable heat and energy in arctic climates with only a few hours of sunlight per week. Once installed, fuel and opetating costs were almost nil. Because of tax credits and a financing package available to the buyer, any user of these panels would actually make money from day one. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Wealthy Arabs (he said) had already been after the patents for U S $ 3 million, but the inventot didn't want them shelv-ing his project in order to sell the world more of their oil. That was his story anyway. It seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. T h e inventor's projections showed that my U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 investment would return a million a year. At least! Of course once production began, there were a few "minor bugs" to be worked out. Three more U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 contributions were required, each one to "turn the corner." To my sorrow, the corner never was turned and probably never will be tutned. I kissed my U S $ 4 0 , 0 0 0 goodbye. What went wrong? In my case, the invention in large size just never worked nearly as well as the doll-house sized prototype. But with yout inventor friend, it might be anything. Go over my points on "How to Avoid Lending Money" on the previous page. These are only a few of the things that can go wrong. Dealing with a product that works is tough enough, but backing an unproven item—a new invention—will give you what I got from my solar panel: a lot of useless hot air. DuPont or IBM can afford research and development. They can afford a dead loss on 99 out of a 100 ideas because of the one product that makes it big. You are not in that league. Don't be a pioneer! A sound rule to follow is that if someone wants your money (inventot or otherwise) ask the magic question. If you can't be placed in a 100 petcent secured position, run like hell in the opposite ditection! T h e sad truth is that most inventions, like most movies, most oil wells, most property syndicates,

most new products, and most commodity options never make the novice investor a penny. T h e only "sure thing" in an investment is probably in your backyard. Or your neighbor's backyard. Something that you think up, promote and control 100 percent. No-Money-Down Deals Think Like a Tycoon, 1997 My definition of a "no-money-down deal" is any acquisition of property or a business where you don't put up significant sums of your own money. That includes buying property for cash with an 238 Your Finances and Estate Planning unsecured loan, then after the closing settlement, arranging for a combination of first, second and possibly third loans on the property so that none of your own money remains tied up in the deal. Many deals require several steps until you get your money out by refinancing. Others require little or no cash to begin with. Let's look at them in the order I regard as most preferable to the buyer: 1. Seller gives buyer option to purchase at a reasonable price for a lengthy period of time. T h e contract provides that buyet gets possession at a low rent during the option period. 2. Outright sale with seller carrying back a loan for the entire purchase price. Often sellets will insist that this be done with a contract of sale by which the seller retains title as security for buyer's meeting his obligations. 3. Sale with seller taking as down payment the buyer's personal or secured note —or a legitimate property in trade. T h e balance of financing (usually 70 to 95 percent) comes from a lending institution. 4- Down payment borrowed from an outside lender by seller who refinances the property. Buyet assumes loan and sellet catries balance due him in the form of another note or I O U . 5. Down payment borrowed from outside lendet either on an unsecured note or

secured by the property buyet already owns. 6. Property is 100 percent (or more) financed by an institutional lender. T h e most common ways of obtaining such a loan are: a) Outright fraud by manufacturing phony documents, which establish a higherthan-actual sale price. This practice is emphatically not recommended, although you will probably find it to be quite common. b) Over-valuation of property ot oddball assets used to put together a trade. c) Rebate for repairs from the sellet or other imaginative schemes to transfer part of purchase price back to buyer at or shortly after closing. d) Drastically increasing value of property by some action taken by buyer between time of contract and closing, for example: favorable re-zoning, lot split, or issuance of building or planning permits; evicting undesirable tenants or establishing new and favorable leases; sub-dividing; establishing higher and better use fot property. I petsonally prefer this option. 7. Property bought with substantial down payment (or all cash) with this cash recouped shortly after purchase by refinancing. 8. You use investor-partners for cash. They get half the profits on the deal for putting up all the money. Why should you try to make no-money-down deals? T h e answer is that with this method it is possible to acquire a large number of properties having a high dollar value in a relatively short time. In the western U . S . , the laws of many states make purchase-money loans nonrecourse, meaning that if the deal goes sour you can walk away. There is no downside risk. No one can claim your other assets. In eastern states, Great Britain and other countries, the same risk-free status can be obtained using land trusts, straw men, corporations and other legal entities to insulate you as the buyer from personal liability. By acquiring large amounts of property over a short petiod of time, you will quickly become a millionaire. All you have to do is buy lots of carefully selected property, sit back and wait. Your debts, reduced by the declining value of papet

money, will become insignificant. Rents and property prices will go up. Your equity will soon grow to a million or more. 239

Your Finances and Estate Planning The Beauty of Back-to-Back Financing Banking in Silence, 1997 Here you learn about a unique way to bring offshore funds home without having to pay a cent in taxes on your money. You may even be able to claim part of the money as a tax-deductible expense! There are a number of advanced offshore strategies that may help you in your search for financial privacy. Some require working through an offshore corporation or trust. Others avoid the expense and hassle of such legal entities. Still othets are the pet projects of certain offshore "expert advisers" who discovered they can earn a tidy living offering bogus advice about the "virtues" of a particular privacy strategy. What follows is not bogus. It's a unique way to bring offshore funds home without having to pay a cent in taxes on the money. In fact, using this method, you can even claim part of the money as a tax deductible expense. B a c k - T o - B a c k L o a n s Lynden Oscar Pindling, the late ptime minister of T h e Bahamas, for years lived mainly on such loans. Most come ftom foreigners seeking government favors. Records show the prime ministet and his wife received nearly U S $ 1 7 million in gifts and loans from foreigners in the years 1977 to 1989. In his case, the difference between a loan and a gift seemed unclear. Pindling kept scant financial records and although he did keep up interest payments on some loans, most lendets never expected tepayment. All loans were unsecured, poorly documented and usually did not require the payment of intetest. Sir Lynden, knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1983, passed away in 2000, but he

lived in Lakeview in a property best described as combination villa and a palace. His mortgage payment was U S $ 4 , 5 0 0 a month, plus interest payments on bank loans ranging from U S $ 7 , 0 0 0 to U S $ 8 , 0 0 0 per month. As Bahamian PM, his annual salary was a relatively modest U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 . So constantly obtaining new loans was essential to keep his head above water. For a former prime minister of T h e Bahamas, however, loans were not hard to come by. A few years ago the Miami Herald chronicled the state of T h e Bahamas in an atticle titled "A Nation for Sale." One conclusion: "You can buy an airstrip, or an island. You can buy citizenship. You can buy protection. You can buy justice. And should your drug cargo get seized by police, you can even buy it back." For those of us with less influence to peddle, loans don't come easy. However, what I call "back-to-back loans" ate always a sure thing. Back-to-back loans—borrowing against your own funds held on deposit—is also low cost. Instead of the usual full interest rate, you pay a "spread" to the lending bank or financial institution. That's the difference between the highest deposit intetest rate and the lowest rate at which the bank lends to its most solid customers. T h e major selling point of a back-to-back loan is that it is tax neutral. You can bring home these offshore loan proceeds in privacy, without paying a penny in tax for the privilege. But be sure to meet any applicable cash reporting tequirements. Back-to-back loans, also called "arms length" loans, are a preferred way of moving cash back to your home country while legally avoiding taxes. It's rumored some people who earn "black money" from moonlighting or selling goods abroad in the informal economy put their cash into offshore accounts held in the name of an offshore corporation. T h e bank then obliges them by loans, not to the corporation, but to the one who controls it. T h e loan may be from the offshore bank itself, or from one of its

correspondent banks in a home country. Back-to-back loans are used to borrow for personal or business reasons. If you are like ex-Prime 2 4 0 Your Finances and Estate Planning Minister Pindling, living off your loans, you don't have any personal property eligible to be seized ot attached in court proceedings. That's strong protection from creditots, ex-wives, bankruptcy, fore-closure, IRS liens and othet ills of the world. H o w I t W o r k s Back-to-back loans usually are rather low cost. If you make the right arrangements, when you send U S $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 of untaxed money abroad, $99,000 will come back as a loan. Of $10,000 paid in interest, $9,900 is for interest on the offshore loan. In a normal case, business loan interest is tax deductible. Thus even though a back-to-back loan appears to cost about one percent interest, you might make money on the deal because of a tax deductible expense. Because the loser is your government, which always thinks you never pay enough taxes, keep yout loan activity strictly quiet. T h e IRS bureaucrats view back-to-back loans as a gray area of finance so don't flaunt your good fortune. When negotiating loan terms, which you can pretty well dictate, don't become too outlandish or exotic. That draws unwanted attention to yourself. Back-toback loans are best negotiated ditectly with a reputable offshore bank, one with an established name that lends substance and credibility to the arrangement. What you want is a personal loan secured by funds in a blocked deposit in the bank. That the blocked funds belong to a company you personally control should not be an obstacle. Cteating the loan package is uncomplicated, but don't expect the bank to have a standatd loan form ready. You must tell them what you want and how you want it done. And don't swallow fee costs from a set list. You should negotiate fees individually.

In an optimum arrangement, your offshore company's funds are on deposit earning tax-free interest. This is the money that secures your loan. A taxpayer can usually deduct interest payments to a bank, depending on the exact local tules and the loan provisions. Most foreign banks constantly deal with the private international community and thus are familiar with back-to-back loans. But never expect tailor-made solutions. Depending on local customs, it may take some time. Reduce as little as possible to writing, at least concerning the exact mechanics of the deal. If you are a resident of a high-tax country where stamp duties on loan contracts are the norm, be sure your loan agreement is signed in the offshore bank's offices to avoid that tax. It is always best to work exclusively with banks located in foreign jurisdictions, rather than an offshore bank's branch offices or correspondent banks located in yout home nation. For added financial privacy, have your local resident agent make the loan arrangements with the offshore bank. You might even have your offshore corporation formally authorize deposit funds to be pledged for a bank loan to a third party associated with the company, rather than in your own name. That petson can then convey the funds to you. It may require a little extra paper work, but it can be well worth the trouble. Protect Your Assets with Alternative Investments By Dr. Erich Stoeger, The Sovereign Individual, December, 2 0 0 2 Do you believe that the current financial turmoil is just a short-term phenomenon? If you do, I have a bridge that crosses over the Limmat Rivet in downtown Zurich to sell you! In this, the worst bear market since the Great Depression, US$7.7 trillion in value has disappeared from global equity markets. It is not hard to see why: double dip recession in the world's largest economy, the United States. Impending war in the Mideast. A 1 0 % drop in the value of the U.S. dollar on the world currency markets. T h e view of America from Switzerland is that these uncertain times will be around for some time to come. So, turn off your radio! Tune out C N B C ! Forget your stockbroker! Listen to what the 241

Your Finances and Estate Planning market is telling you. T h e writing is on the wall. We are in the midst of a once or twice-in-a-lifetime hear market, the wotst since the 1930s. The glohal economy is in dire straits, and unlike past tecessions, Ametica is in no condition to res-cue it. Here's the mainstteam tenot from a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal: "Stocks narrowly escaped a four day rout as enticing prices helped investots shake off another accounting-telated setback that had sent the Dow Industrials tumbling mote than 200 points earlier in the session...." Admittedly, corporate ethics—or lack thereof—are important factors. Trust in the underlying rules of the markets is a prerequisite for those markets to properly function. And surely, that trust has been injured severely. However, accounting scandals are but anothet symptom of deeper, more fundamental issues and problems. T h e worst problem for America—and for the global economy—is its horrendous balance-of-payments deficit, which in 2002 is likely to exceed U S $ 4 0 0 billion. T h e United States is now the wotld's latgest debtor nation, with more than U S $ 4 trillion owed by the United States to other countries. This situation will eventually be resolved, most likely by a progressive devaluation of the U . S . dollar. Yet if this occurs, U . S . investments will be even less attractive than they are now. We recommend the following urgent steps towatds an improved and "crisiscompliant" personal asset strategy. 1. Get liquid. We mean readily available cash for transactional everyday purposes. This goes for all readers everywhere. 2. Get out of debt that you are not sure you can handle, and do it now. 3. Get out of stocks if you can. For stocks that you cannot sell, considet

employing put option hedges for at least one year. 4. Get some real money, e.g., physical gold, and store it in a safe location. 5. Create a wealth preservation plan that ensures asset protection of the highest possible grade, supreme institutional safety, and continuous investment flexibility that will allow you to reallocate your assets, possibly back into the stock markets, when the market is right for that. 6. Adjust your allocation towards safety. This will dramatically reduce the risk of loss. 7. Decide and then take action. This is not a time to think in national or patriotic terms. Think for yourself and think of your family. Here are five strategies that you can implement immediately: 1. The Perth Mint Certificate ( P M C ) . This is the world's only government guaranteed precious metals certificate program. EurAxxess is the first approved dealer of the Perth Mint Certificate Program in Eutope. T h e PMC is an excellent vehicle to own and store gold, silver, platinum and palladium abroad. It is guaranteed by the government of Western Australia, which holds a A A A rating from Standard 6k Poors. While achieving geographical diversification, your overseas relationship is with a non-bank vault and under U.S. law, is not considered a foreign bank account. T h e PMC is evidence to your legal title to a specified amount of precious metals physically stored in Australia in your name. It can be bought and sold through a worldwide network of approved dealers. You can arrange for physical delivery any time. T h e metals price through the Petth Mint is very competitive and the minimum transaction is only U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 initially and U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 thereafter. 2. Swiss annuities, endowments and insurance wrappers. These investments offer solid asset protection, are offered in a variety of currencies, provide multicurrency capabilities, flexible estate planning features, tax deferment and more. 3. Bear market annuity policies. These include a personally tailored and professionally managed mix of bear market oriented assets in the currency of your choice such as the euro, Swiss franc or Norwegian kroner. 242

Your Finances and Estate Planning 4. Bear market asset allocation and management. Unlike many other advisors, EurAxxess does not manage portfolios based on obsolete asset allocation models that assume equities are the unquestioned investment of choice. Our investment choices are based on dynamic investment models based on evidence that the global economy is entering a long-term bear market in equities. 5. Global services for U.S. retirement accounts. It remains perfectly legal for Americans to invest their IRA in foreign currencies and other types of non-U.S. investments without giving up tax deferral. Things might get worse before they get better. Be prepared and contact your Swiss connection fot long-term wealth ptotection. Part Two—Your Estate Plan Grave Consequences: Offshore Estate Planning by Derek R. Sambrook, The Sovereign Individual, August 2 0 0 0 "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done things which we ought not to have done." — B o o k of Common Prayer This mournful reflection introduces a subject which most of us instinctively wish to avoid: death. Thete are many ways of expressing it—demise, departure, expiration, passing on, and the more pithy, bite the dust or kick the bucket (mote about this receptacle later). But thete is only one way of desctibing the condition when someone dies without leaving a will: intestate. This is best avoided for the sake of those left behind. If any of yout assets (estate) are offshore, the problems are usually compounded. Let's take a simple example, for which the names have been changed to protect the innocent and, in this case, also the foolish. T h e bank in the Cayman Island only knew that their client was dead when his widow atrived at the offices. Mr. Schubert had established the account only two years ago. Mrs. Schubert showed the last account statement and produced her late husband's canceled passport. She wished to close the account and transfer the U S $ 6 0 0 , 0 0 0 in it back to Eutope.

Although her husband had left her a house and movable property, there was little cash available once all debts had been cleared. T h e bank manager recalled Mr. Schubert's visit, remembering how the bank's trust officer had advised him to establish a trust to cover the contingency of death. Mr. Schubert had said that he would be doing something, perhaps on his next trip. T h e banker conferred with the trust officer Wouldn't it be all fight to give the money to the widow? T h e response was an emphatic "No!" Only the executor of the estate could give proper instruction to the bank. Otherwise, the bank would be at risk. There are many legal precedents that have found non-executors liable for creditors, tax and beneficiaries' claims. I could relate many similar tales of woe drawn from my 25 years of experience as a trustee and an executor. In any estate—even if it's insolvent—someone has to settle, at least, with the creditors. A will is a fundamental necessity, after which the need for a ttust can be considered in the light of the nature and location of assets. Trusts and wills can be domestic ot offshore and there can be more than one. It is often wise to have either a will or ttust dedicated to your offshore assets. But most people never execute even a domestic will. Of those who do, a good 50 percent rarely review them on a regular basis. T h e greatest neglect, however, seems to be reserved for our offshore estate. It is an irony that assets cultivated and protected like orchids in a hothouse during life are abandoned and neglected at our demise. With offshore assets, an executor will need to appoint agents in each country. Until the foreign courts have accepted the executor's authority, the foreign assets will be frozen. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before an executor's authority is confirmed—especially where all supporting documentation must be officially translated into another language. If there is no will, the delay 2 4 3

Your Finances and Estate Planning before an executor is appointed will have a domino effect offshore. All this adds significantly to the costs of winding up the estate.

Most sophisticated offshore investors manage their assets through an offshore company. These companies are like buckets into which assets are poured—real estate, investments, business agreements, bank accounts, etc. T h e trick is to keep everything in this metaphorical bucket without having it kicked ovet and spilling the assets. This is best provided for by living trust. T h e holding company shares are ttansferred to a trust established and active during a person's lifetime and managed by a trustee. A properly drafted trust deed will guarantee a smooth ttansition of ownership, whoever dies and when. I hope that some readers who fall into the category of will-evaders are provoked into action. They should get advice ftom a qualified practitioner experienced in the administration of estates and trusts so that the only tears shed at the grave side are ones of sadness, rather than anguish and frustration. Incidentally, Mrs. Schubert left the Cayman Islands empty-handed. Her late husband had died intestate which ptoduced a line of succession that reduced her inheritance significantly. It was only aftet two years of family squabbling that the funds in the Cayman account were finally released. Since then, the bank has identified a few foreign inactive accounts with holdmail instructions and no contact details. Will someone eventually claim them if the account-holder is dead? What if the customer told no one about the account? Depending on the jurisdiction, unclaimed monies in most cases eventually pass to the Treasury. Sad. This article started with a somber preamble, so let me end with a personal maxim, which conveys the same message, but without the gravity: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; Wherever the cash is, have a will ot trust. Offshore Variable Annuities: Asset Protection & Tax Avoidance by Robert E. Bauman, J D , The Sovereign Individual, June 1999 As the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union continue to tighten the tax and financial reporting screws on wealth, a worldwide search is on for private, profitable, yet strictly legal ways to protect and invest assets.

Here's a financial product that fits the bill. T h e offshote trust is the oldest and arguably the most effective means of preserving assets. But offshore trusts are becoming more conttoversial and the reporting requirements connected with their formation and operation are becoming increasingly onerous. Concurrently, many of the world's best investments are denied to U.S. persons caught in a tangled net of government regulations that tepulse foreign brokers and securities dealers. For instance, a recent survey shows that U . S . investors are effectively locked out of 80 of the world's top 100 most profitable mutual funds. A n Old Alternative Made N e w An offshore variable annuity is one of the easiest, least expensive methods to invest in these otherwise unavailable offshore funds. Moreover, you obtain complete tax deferral until funds are actually withdrawn and your investments can be transferred from one fund manager to another with no tax consequences. Plus you achieve significant asset protection. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Offshore annuities are becoming an investment vehicle of choice for those who have oodles of money they want to shelter from taxes." Offshore variable annuity investments typically start at a minimum of U S $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 , commonly exceeding US$1 million or more. (In contrast, the average domestic U . S . annuity buyer's initial investment is U S $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 or less.) 244

Your Finances and Estate Planning Hywel Jones, an insurance service advisor in T h e Bahamas summarizes what investors are seeking: "The primary objectives in purchasing insurance offshore are asset protection, greater wealth accumulation and access to international investment opportunities." Because they ate offshore, away from restrictive U . S . laws, foreign insurance

companies can be flexible in negotiating fees. Typical annual fees tange from 0.65 percent to 1.25 petcent of the net assets in the annuity account. Fot large accounts, fees of less than 0.65 percent are negotiable. In addition, unless eliminated by a tax treaty, a one-time one percent federal excise tax is levied on all life insurance and annuity contracts issued to U . S . persons by foreign insurers. Defer T a x e s W i t h an Offshore Variable A n n u i t y Foreign or domestic, a variable annuity is a contract, usually denominated in U.S. dollats, between you and an insurance company that provides tax deferred savings. It can serve as a savings or retirement vehicle using investment structures much like mutual funds, sometimes called "sub-accounts." Here is how it works: you buy a variable annuity contract (policy) for an agreed upon sum, often referred to as a "single premium." These monies are invested by the insurance company in one or more investments that you approve, such as an offshore hedge fund. T h e annuity contract requires periodic payments by the insurance company to you teptesenting the increased value of investments on which the annuity is based. T h e money compounds, tax-deferred, until you withdraw part or all of it, at which time it is taxed as regular income. This tax deferred accumulation can continue until the contract's maturity date, usually when you are 85 or older—usually a time when total income is lower. An annuity is not "life insurance," so you need not take a medical examination to detetmine "insurability." In most cases when the annuity matures, it either must be surrendered or converted to a life annuity that pays out a specified sum, at least annually, for rest of your life, or for some othet agteed period of time. Because most investors buy variable annuities for their tax deferred savings features, withdrawing funds as needed, most variable annuities never convert to a life annuity. Strong A s s e t P r o t e c t i o n Variable insurance annuities offer significant asset protection, shielding the cash

invested and the annuity income from creditors and other claimants. Practical asset protection exists since 1) the policies are issued by offshore insurance companies with no affiliates in the United States; 2) the policy's underlying assets are held entirely outside your home jurisdiction. Any domestic investments are made in the name of the insutance company, not your name. Statutory asset protection exists in many jurisdictions for annuity contracts as well. In the Isle of Man (a jurisdiction that is home to 192 insurance companies), claims by creditors only can be made through the local courts. T h e Bahamas recently adopted legislation that exempts the proceeds of any annuity or insurance policy from claims by your creditors or claims against your estate or any beneficiary under the policy, including an associated trust. T h e law blocks attachment, garnishment or any legal process. A special clause forbids annuity redemption or cancellation "during any period where the owner is acting undet dutess imposed by any lawful authority or otherwise, other than lawful authority in T h e Bahamas." T h e Bahamian law also protects annuity investors from claims against the offshore insurance company itself. It requires companies to establish "segregated accounts" on their books in which individual policy owner premiums must be held separate and apart from other insurance company assets, and from assets of other policy owners. When a variable annuity is issued, the investment assets must be placed in this account and used only to satisfy the variable annuity obligation. If the company has financial problems, these segregated assets cannot be reached by insurance company creditors or creditots of other policyholders. 2 4 5 Your Finances and Estate Planning T h e Cayman Islands, home to many leading offshore insurance companies, has a similar "segregated accounts" law. In Switzerland, according to Swiss attorney Urs Schenker, "A life insurance policy... is protected from the policy owner's creditors if the policy owner has irrevocably designated a third party as beneficiaty or if the policy owner has

irrevocably or revocably designated his spouse and/or his descendants beneficiaries." T h e Swiss Insurance A c t prevents a properly structured insurance contract from being included in a Swiss bankruptcy procedure. T h e law also protects the contract from foreign seizure orders or orders including them as patt of foreign estate ptoceedings. Under Swiss law, if you are unable to pay your debts ot file bankruptcy, all tights under the contract are assigned to the beneficiaries. Other offshore jurisdictions with a well-developed insurance sector provide statutory protection against creditor claims fot insurance policies. Offshore Variable A n n u i t i e s & T a x e s Section 72 of the U . S . Internal Revenue Code treats both foreign and domestic variable annuities the same. But the IRS tules must be followed by an insurance company in order for accumula-tions to qualify for tax deferral. Always obtain a copy of legal opinions an insurance company has concerning U.S. tax treatment of annuities issued by that company. Check with your tax advisors if in doubt. To the extent that the funds you withdraw from a variable annuity represent deferred income, they are taxed at ordinary U . S . income tax rates. A loan against a variable annuity from the issuing insurance company to the ownet, or a third party loan secured by a pledge of the annuity, is a taxable distribution. Cettain unsecured loans, however, may be tax-free. Also, borrowing against an annuity when it is purchased is not taxable since no deferred income has accumulated. Thus you can acquire a U S $ 2 million annuity contract and borrow up to U S $ 1 million of the purchase price, pledging the annuity to secure the loan, with no advetse tax consequences. Under U.K. tax laws, up to five percent of a "bond" (annuity) value can be withdrawn annually as income and taxes are not payable until the bond is finally "encashed" upon termination. However, the Inland Revenue apparenrly believes that these requirements are not always adhered to. In 1998, the National Irish Bank was placed under investigation by the Inland Revenue for allegedly assisting more than 2 0 0 investots to conceal £ 3 0 million ( U S $ 4 8 million) of income using offshore annuities. T h e bulk of the funds were invested in annuities sold by the Isle of

Man based company, Clerical Medical International ( C M I ) and promoted in Ireland by N I B . Structuring an A n n u i t y with an Offshore T r u s t Variable annuities can be used alone to hold assets or in conjunction with a trust. T h e trust can provide significant estate planning opportunities. An insurance contract that you hold in your name will at your death have its cash value paid to one or more named beneficiaries. Your estate will be liable for both estate taxes and income taxes on any deferred income at death. But if you place ownership in a trust, the value of the annuity at death can be excluded from your estate. Another tactic to reduce U . S . taxes is to name a charitable remainder trust ( C R T ) as the beneficiary of an annuity. This strategy avoids taxes on the incteased value of the annuity at the owner's death and allows an estate tax deduction for part of the annuity value. T h e C R T can invest tax-free and make annual annuity payments to its life beneficiaries who pay income taxes on these distributions. When the C R T is dissolved, the remainder must go to a qualified charity, which can include a family-controlled private foundation. Another possibility is to use a "defective" grantor trust in conjunction with the annuity, thereby allowing the annuity to be treated as an immediate gift to the beneficiaties. That eliminates the 246

Your Finances and Estate Planning annuity's value from your estate. Long-term tax benefits also are possible by electing the US$1 million "generation skipping tax exemption" when the trust is created. This election means the annuity proceeds can serve as the asset base for producing benefits for several generations free of estate taxes. Consultation with a qualified professional is essential to achieve these results.

Information on Offshore Variable Annuities Federal securities laws and state insurance laws prohibit companies offeting offshore variable annuities from soliciting U . S . investors. These laws do not,

however, prevent U . S . tax advisors, attorneys, estate planners or accountants ftom explaining the potential benefits of offshore annuities to theit clients. Nor do they prohibit you from making your own inquiries. Many offshore insurance companies require that you sign the annuity contract outside the U.S. If you don't wish to travel, you can designate an agent with a power of attorney who can sign for you. W a t c h Y o u r Step Before you purchase an offshore variable annuity, carry out your own personal "due diligence" concerning the insurance company, the laws of the jurisdiction and the proposed insurance conttact itself. Reportable or Non-Reportable? Although the U . S . requires citizens and residents to disclose an intetest in offshore financial and bank accounts that in aggregate exceed U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , there is controversy about whether annuity contracts fall within either classification and therefore need to be reported. Most companies that offer offshore variable annuities claim that they ate nonreportable. However, an opinion letter from the U . S . Treasury Department and a widely cited book on the Bank Secrecy Act quoting the letter claims that annuity contracts are reportable. According to an attorney in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's Office of Legal Counsel, the letter remains a "valid" statement of Treasury policy on this matter. However, the opinion letter does not have the force of law and there are no official Treasury regulations with the force of law published on this matter. Further, there appears to be only one teported case where a person was prosecuted for not reporting a foreign account that was cleatly not a bank account. A key operative in the Iran-Contra affair had an offshore company set up fot him by U.S. intelligence. A Swiss fitm that provided "a broad range of

financial and investment management services," but that was not a bank under Swiss law managed the company. However, the firm made disbursem*nts ftom the account at the defendant's direction. T h e court concluded that it would not be bound by the definition of "financial institution" in the Treasury regulations since the defendant used the firm to make transactions typically made through a bank. T h e conviction was upheld on appeal. In contrast, thete is no practical way to use a variable annuity to make transactions "typically made through a bank." In light of the failure of the U.S. Treasury to issue a definitive official pronouncement on the reporting status of offshore variable annuities, it seems relatively safe to merely report and pay tax on taxable distributions you receive and not separately report the existence of the contract itself. Consult with yout own tax advisor for further guidance. For more information on offshore variable annuities, contact: Vernon K. Jacobs, CPA, CW, Research Press, Inc., Box 8194, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208, U . S . A . Tel.: +1 913 362 9667. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Website: (Jacobs is a certified life underwriter and offshote insutance advisor, and a member of the Sovereign Society's Council of Experts). 247 Your Finances and Estate Planning Offshore Life Insurance: Four Key Tax Advantages By Selwyn Gerber, CPA, The Sovereign Individual, January 2002 T h e combination of income tax and estate tax, can, upon the death of U . S . citizens or residents, consume 5 0 % ot more of their estate. Avoiding these ruinous tax consequences is a key consideration in U . S . estate planning. To this end, offshore life insurance offers several key benefits when optimally

structuted: Tax-free buildup of cash values, including dividends, intetest and capital gains. Tax free borrowing against cash value. Policyholders have easy and tax-free access to as much as 9 0 % of invested funds (including appreciation) through policy loans. These loans need not be serviced with interest payments and are deducted from the proceeds at death. Used in conjunction with an irrevocable life insurance trust, tax-free distributions (in the amount of the loans) to beneficiaries are possible. Tax-free receipt of the death benefit. Freedom from estate and generationskipping taxes. If structured properly, taxes on the investment appreciation within the insurance framework are eliminated since beneficiaries are not taxed upon receipt of the death benefit. Only life insurance can claim these four advantages. Essentially, the investor saves the costs of income taxes on pottfolio income and transactions (depending on portfolio turnover, anywhere from 2 0 % to 5 0 % of the annual pre-tax returns) in exchange for the cost of insurance; approximately 1-3% per year. An all-domestic solution is sufficient in some circ*mstances. However, for larger estates, a foreign insurance company and possibly, a foreign trust, ate often employed. Benefits include: • Increased asset protection. Many offshore jurisdictions provide statutory asset protection for the death benefit and investments held by an insurance policy. In the United States, such protection exists only at the state level with coverage varying significantly between states. And, as a practical matter, it is much more expensive for a creditor to bring a claim before a foreign court than a domestic court. • Decreased opportunity for the estate to he contested. It is far more difficult for a family member or othet claimant to challenge estate arrangements made offshore, rather than domestically. • Access to international investments. Offshore insurance policies provide taxadvantaged access to international asset managers and to offshore funds that ate otherwise not easily accessible to U . S . investors. • Increased privacy. T h e confidentiality statutes of some jurisdictions (e.g.,

Switzetland) give insurance policies the same protection against disclosure as bank accounts. Even where no secrecy statutes exist (e.g., Bermuda, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man), confidentiality still applies. This protection can be an important shield to frivolous claims and investigations. What's more, assets held offshore are off the domestic "radat screen" and cannot easily be identified in a routine asset search. • Non-existent disclosure requirements. Neither the acquisition of an offshote life insurance policy nor income or gain within it is reportable to the IRS. Although these advantages apply to all offshore life insurance policies, the most flexible form is "private placement variable universal life insurance" ( P P V U L ) . This form permits complete customization to ensure that individual needs are met. Underlying investments can take virtually any form, including offshore funds that, without the use of an insurance framework, would be exposed to unfavorable U . S . tax treatment. Investors can nominate trustees, custodians and asset managets. In addition, the underlying investments are not part of the insurance carrier's general account. Rather, the assets are placed in separate accounts that are legally segregated from claims of the 248 Your Finances and Estate Planning insurance earner's creditors. There is no risk to these assets in the event of carrier bankruptcy or reorganization. As PPVUL structures represent a customized solution to international tax planning, there are many possible applications. In the case of a U . S . person who both funds the structure and is the individual insured, a U . S . or foreign trust could be set up to hold the life insurance policy. For larger estates, this trust is set up outside the grantor's estate. This means that distributions from this trust after the grantot's death will not be subject to estate tax. Properly structured and funded, there could be no income or estate tax levied fot 100 years or even

longer. It is also possible to provide tax-free income to a U . S . beneficiary using a nonU.S. donor/insured person. However, this sttucture faces onerous IRS compliance requirements and is suitable only if a bona-fide offshore donor is available. Other variations are also possible; e.g., to provide tax-free income to non-U.S. beneficiaries using a U.S. or non-U.S. donor/insured person. To preserve tax benefits, there must be a minimum level of insurance and investments must be made in a series of annual installments. While policy owners can choose among investment managers, they cannot direct a manager into a particular investment or strategy. If these guidelines are not followed, the IRS taxes any withdrawal or borrowing as ordinary income. Initial fees for this structure include set-up fees of 2% to 3% of premium dollars contributed. Recurring fees include investment management fees, insurance company administration and overhead charges and the cost of insurance cover. Total annual costs exclusive of asset management fees are typically 1-3%. Contrary to widespread belief, the costs relating to the establishment and maintenance of a PPVUL strategy are surprisingly inexpensive. This approach is therefore an important option for those seeking a flexible tax advantaged comprehensive estate plan providing tax efficiency and access to a wide selection of international asset management options. However, the strategy is most cost effective for estates that can invest U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 or more in the offshore insurance policy. Foreign Trusts—Ultimate Offshore Asset Protection

by Robert E. Bauman, JD, & David Melnik, QC, The Offshore Money Manual Offshore trusts—especially the asset protection trust—can place your wealth beyond the reach of claimants, creditors, irate ex-spouses and even the government of your home country. If you ever ask a lawyer to define a "trust," your eyes may glaze over as you listen to something like this: A trust is a legal device resulting when a person who creates the ttust (variously called the "grantor," "donor," "trustor," or "settlor") conveys all and every legal and equitable right, title and interest that he or she holds in certain real property (the "corpus") to a second party (the "trustee"), pethaps a faithful friend, professional financial manager or a bank trust department, who holds the assets for the benefit of one or more named persons or entities known as "beneficiaries," according to the terms of the gtantor's basic trust contract, called a trust "declaration." Impressive. Overwhelming. At least it wasn't in Latin. Simply put, a trust is a three-way legal device. It allows one person (the trustee) to take title and possession of any kind of property to be held, used, and/or managed for the benefit of one or more other persons (the beneficiaries). T h e person who creates the trust (the grantot) decides what it will do and donates property to fund it. More simply: the grantot gives money to the trustee to administer for the benefit of a stated beneficiary, being careful all the time not to attract gift and capital gains taxes. T h e possible variations on this basic theme are endless. There can be any number of grantors, trustees and beneficiaries. Two parents can entrust four people with money intended to benefit their 249 Your Finances and Estate Planning six children. T h e assets placed in the trust can also be varied. You can choose

cash, stocks, ot any other vehicle you possess. Whatever the arrangement, the trust must have a reason for being. To create a trust, the grantot signs a lengthy written declaration or indenture describing what he ot she has in mind. This document spells out specific details of trust opetation including income distribution and trustee powers. These instructions are binding both during and after the grantor's lifetime. Thousands of court rulings have given unique definition to almost every word and phrase used in a trust declatation. Drafting one correctly requires expert legal advice. Before creating a trust, all estate planning must be coordinated and reviewed; the right hand must know what the left hand is doing. W h a t a Trust C a n Do A trust may be created for any legal purpose that does not run counter to public policy. That is a broad spectrum by any standard. T h e government constantly attempts to narrow the choices, but the fact temains: you can create a trust for almost any purpose. A trust can conduct a business. It can hold title to and invest in real estate, cash, stocks, bonds, negotiable instruments, and any other kind of property. Trusts are often created to care for minor children or the elderly. Others are established to pay medical, educational or legal expenses. Again, the possibilities are endless. For our purposes, there is one very important role a trust can serve, especially an offshore trust. In carefully arranged circ*mstances, trusts can serve as excellent wealth and asset protection devices. Trusts G o W a y B a c k Before explaining how you can benefit from a trust, let's take a look at the history and progres-sion of this all-important investment device. Trust arrangements stretch all the way back to ancient Egypt. Ancient Germanic and French law recognized the trust as well. From the time of Mohammed, it was a fundamental principle of Islamic law. In the Middle Ages, the quasireligious order of the Knights Templar acted as international financiers. They

used ttusts to help toyal and ecclesiastical investors shield their financial activity from the public and one another Citizens of sixteenth-century England used them to avoid feudal taxes on property inheritances and restrictions on land transfers. In fact, the trust is probably the world's oldest tax shelter. Over centuries, the trust has been refined repeatedly by practical use and development, especially in England. This process was later carried on in the British Commonwealth nations and in the United States. American judges have played a large role in perfecting modern domestic trusts, producing significant beneficial legal and tax consequences fot U . S . citizens. Trusts are now used most often in personal estate planning. They allow you to pass property title to heirs while minimizing probate coutt costs, legal fees, and inheritance taxes. Nationally, probate fees (exclusive of taxes) average from one percent to 15 percent of estate value, a substantial chunk. Probate in some states like California can drag on for years while legal fees pile up and beneficiaries are left in limbo. T h e Foreign A s s e t P r o t e c t i o n T r u s t In recent years, an asset-protection device in trust form has gained worldwide popularity. T h e foreign asset protection trust ( A P T ) is a personal ttust created and based in a foreign nation. It will shield your assets better than any domestic trust ever can, simply because it is located outside the United States. Distance makes the trust grow stronger. This trust shields business and personal assets against demanding creditors, litigation and other unpleasant financial liabilities. T h e key to creating such a trust is simple: planning. T h e A P T must be planned and created 250 Your Finances and Estate Planning long before you really need it, at a time of personal financial calm. As a belated response to a imminent financial crisis, it will achieve little. Last minute attempts to create an offshore trust can lead to civil liability for concealing assets or fraud under the "Fraudulent Conveyets" legislation found in Ametican bankruptcy law. In litigation-crazed America, you should not wait for trouble before taking offshore precautionary measures.

As a practical matter, placing title to property in the name of an offshote A P T cannot really protect any assets that physically remain within an American court's jurisdiction. Assets actually transferred to the APT's foreign jurisdiction, like funds moved to an offshore bank account, are usually safe from a U.S. creditor, even if he knows the account exists. Locating Y o u r A P T Certain countries tailot their laws to welcome foreign-owned APTs. Although these nations may be diminutive in geographic size and total population, their capital cities have well-developed, efficient banking and legal communities. Banking and legal officials undetstand A P T law and finance. More importantly, they want your business and are eager to please. Thete ate established A P T havens all ovet the world. From the Cayman Islands to the Isle of Man, investors looking for the perfect investment location have a wide variety of options. Strong C r e d i t o r D e t e r r e n t While the A P T concept may be new to you, thousands of American citizens have successfully followed this international road to wealth protection. Here's what makes an offshore A P T so attractive: • Start Over: Courts in asset-haven nations usually don't honor or even recognize the validity of U . S . court orders. A foreign creditot ttying to collect must relitigate the claim in a local court, use local lawyers and obtain another judgment. Sheer legal complexity and cost are likely to produce a quick and satisfactory compromise with all but the most determined adversaries. • Minimal Needs: To operate your APT, you'll need little more than a trust account in a local ot multinational branch bank. T h e bank can provide trustees and working staff experienced in ttust matters. With modem communications, conducting business will be much like having an account in another American city. Most banks offer US dollar-denominated accounts, often with better interest rates than American financial institutions offer. • More Control: As grantor of a foreign asset-protection ttust, you can exercise far greatet control over assets and income than American trust law permits. U . S . rules that discourage you from creating a trust for your own benefit do not

apply in these countries. In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, a trust with the grantor as beneficiary won't protect against creditors. It will in these foreign jurisdictions. • Fast Acting: Foteign law usually does not support strict application of U . S . fraudulent conveyance and bankruptcy laws. Some countries have a sttict statute of limitations on creditor suits; a claim must be filed within two years from the date the A P T was established. T h e Cook Islands has a one-year limit. It may take a creditor longer than that just to discover the existence of an offshore APT. • Investments: An offshore A P T is great for diversified international investments. Yout trustee handles the paper work, while you give long-distance directions. You can take advantage of the world's best investment opportunities without worrying about testrictive U.S. securities laws. • Flexible: An A P T provides added flexibility in the case of personal disability, when transferring assets, or avoiding domestic currency controls. Your foreign A P T trustee can even make your mortgage payments and other personal bills on a regular basis. • No Insurance: An A P T is a good substitute for, or supplement to, costly professional liability insurance. Such a trust can even be used as an integral part of a prenuptial agreement. 251

Your Finances and Estate Planning • Quick Change: Often the trust declaration contains a force majeure clause that allows the situs, or location, of the A P T to be changed at any time. Originally meant to be used in time of war, civil unrest ot major natural disastets, this clause can also be activated if the offshore haven decides to change its APTfriendly laws. A complimentaty feature in many APT-haven countries is a provision that allows instant acceptance of a transfer of an existing A P T from one country to another with no break in legal operation. This can be done merely by filing a registration form and paying a filing fee. Creating a n A P T

T h e legal structure of a foreign A P T differs little from an American trust. You, as grantot, create the APT, transferring title to assets that are administered by an offshore trustee according to the trust declaration for the named beneficiaries. In some nations the law requires the naming of three trustees, two located in the grantot's home country, and one independent managing trustee located in the offshore country. Most countries do not permit the grantot to serve as a trustee, but they do allow a grantor to retain an unrestricted right to remove the trustees at will. This assures that trust administration reflects yout wishes. Foreign trust law, unlike strict American "arm's length" requirements, allows you to be a beneficiary while maintaining effective control over the investment and distribution of the ttust principal. T h e trust declaration can give the grantor a large measure of conttol, including the tight of ptior approval of investments or distributions. Many of these nations require appointment of a local "trust protector." This individual acts as a neutral party who ensures trust objectives are met and the law is followed. A ptotector does not manage the trust, but can veto trustee actions in some cases. P r i v a c y is P a r a m o u n t Most of these countries require very little information about an A P T at the time it is tegistered with the government. T h e terms of the ttust agreement and the patties involved need not be disclosed, and any information filed is not available as part of a public record. T h e only public record is a registry of the A P T by name, date of creation and the name of the local trustee. In these privacyconscious countries, a trustee is allowed to reveal information only in very limited circ*mstances, and then usually only by local court order. This offers a distinct ptivacy advantage over offshore corporations (usually called international business corporations, or IBCs). At least one person involved in organizing a corporation must be listed on the public record. So must the cotporate name and address. Some countries require corporate directors to be listed as well. This gives privacy invaders a starting point. Another issue that wotries most people is physical distance. How can you rest easy when yout money is thousands of miles away, in a foreign nation, controlled by an unrelated trustee? This concern is justified, but can be easily overcome. T h e trick is to choose reliable people to manage your trust. T h e

experts in the legal and banking industries in these nations have extensive experience with APTs. References are in order, and each one should be checked carefully. We suggest a few reliable contacts below. Call them, and they will be able to set you on the right path. One thing is certain: your offshore trustee should have no connections that might subject him to pressure from U . S . courts. If you are considering an international bank trust department as your trustee, ask them bluntly what their policy is in such situations. It is better to go with a local, in-country bank or trust company. These will be less likely to buckle under pressure from a U . S . court. W h a t D o Y o u P u t into Y o u r Foreign A P T While you need not physically transfer your assets offshore, it is wise to do so. If you don't, it will be easy fot U.S. courts to seize them. T h e best vehicles for trust investment are cash and evidence of intangible assets. Easily portable assets, such as precious metals, coins, jewelry or gem stones also can be transferred offshore for storage in the APT's name. But remember, if you transfer 252 Your Finances and Estate Planning something other than cash, and you are not the beneficiary, you run the tisk of attracting substantial gift and capital gains taxes. Be sure to consult with a professional before moving your assets. We repeat: simply transferring title to real estate or a business located in the United States to an offshore trust does not remove those assets from the reach of American creditots and courts. A P T Combined W i t h a Limited P a r t n e r s h i p One popular option is to combine an offshore A P T with an American-based family limited partnership. Because limited partnerships give maximum asset protection and management control guaranteed by law, they are one of the most effective asset protection devices in the U.S. today. In a family limited partnership, husband and wife might control one percent of

the pattnership as managing general partnets, with title to 99 percent of the shares transferred to your children as limited partners. You can continue transferring property to yout children a number of years after the partnership is established. Each parent can give up to U S $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 per child exempt from U . S . gift taxes when counting partnership value transfers. Part of the combined U S $ 1 . 2 million estate-tax exemption can be used as well. (Again, this will increase to U S $ 2 million by 2006.) This is not a drastic surrender of wealth to your children. As limited pattners, your children have no control over the assets. You and your spouse, the managing genetal partners, have all the control. You decide how the money is invested and how the cash is distributed. Although limited partners do own the assets, they are considered inactive owners. An extra-tough layet of asset protection is achieved when title to the 99 percent limited partnership interest is transferred to an offshore APT. That extra layer of legal distance will make potential creditors think twice before pursuit. To get to your assets they would not only have to show the partnership formation was somehow illegal, but also crack the A P T title in the foreign court. An excellent place to utilize this strategy is Scotland, which charges no income taxes on foreign owned limited partnerships. Unique Benefits of Offshore Asset Protection Trusts:

An Interview With Gideon Rothschild The Sovereign Individual, October 2002 [Ed. Note: Of all domestic asset protection structutes and techniques available for U.S. persons, the "spendthrift trust" offets the greatest asset ptotection. However, a person forming a domestic spendthrift trust generally cannot be a beneficiary of that trust and still have asset protection. With a foreign trust, you can obtain both asset protection and benefit from the trust. New York attorney Gideon Rothschild, a member of T h e Sovereign Society's Council of Expetts, explains. T S I interviewed him on August 23, 2002.] TSI: Could you briefly summarize the options that a U.S. person has to protect their assets in the event of judgment or bankruptcy? Rothschild: There are many types of assets protected under either state or federal law. State homestead statutes, for instance, may protect some or all of the value

of a person's residence from creditors. Texas and Florida are well known for such statutes. T h e fedetal E R I S A statute protects qualified retirement plans. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) ate not included under this statute, but many state statutes protect IRAs from creditors. My web site contains two articles that discuss state exemptions for retirement plans, insurance and annuities, along with a state-by-state chart for each separate set of rules. T h e articles are posted at Unfortunately, exemptions at the state level generally protect only individuals living in that 253 Your Finances and Estate Planning state. For instance, to benefit from the Florida homestead law, you must live in Florida for at least six months and physically reside in the residence you wish to protect. A new federal bankruptcy law now pending in Congress may extend this period to 40 months. TSI: What about domestic trusts? Rothschild: Ttusts have been around for hundreds of years, and every state recognizes the "spendthrift trust" rule. They provide highly effective asset protection. So long as the assets remain in trust, the beneficiary's creditors can't reach them. To qualify for this protection, the trustee must not be required to distribute the assets to the beneficiary at any particular time. Nor can the beneficiary have the right to withdraw the assets. Retaining property in trust for the entire lifetime of a beneficiary is much more effective to protect that beneficiary from creditots than outright bequests. Parents often worry that their children will have to beg for distributions from the trustee. But there are many ways of providing the children some degree of control without giving up asset protection benefits, although the more control the

beneficiaries have, the less protection there will be. A middle ground may be to give the children half the estate outright and keep half in trust T h e Limitations o f D o m e s t i c T r u s t s TSI: What limitations exist to the protection provided by a domestic spendthrift trust? Rothschild: There are cases where domestic courts have ordered that a distribution be made from trust for the benefit of certain pteferred classes of creditors. Howevet, even this result could be avoided with ptopet drafting. Apart ftom poot drafting, the primary limitation of domestic trusts is that you must give up all rights to the assets you place in trust to obtain asset protection. Otherwise, you have what is called a "self-settled trust." A long line of case law stipulates that such ttusts can be invaded for the benefit of your creditors. There are othet potential problems with domestic trusts. What happens if you set up a ttust for your spouse, and he or she dies before you do? What happens if you and your spouse become divorced? T h e only effective way that you can both benefit from a trust and protect the assets you place into it is to use an offshore asset protection trust ( A P T ) structute. T h e Cook Islands was the first jurisdiction to enact such laws, followed by Nevis, the Turks & Caicos Islands, St. Lucia, Gibraltar, etc. Each statute differs slightly. Some jurisdictions stipulate that they won't recognize foreign judgments. If a U . S . creditor tries to enforce a U . S . judgment against a foreign APT, the creditor will have to start an action all over again under the foreign jurisdiction's laws, which are generally less sympathetic to expansive theories of liability than U.S. courts. Most offshote A P T statutes stipulate that if the creditor loses, it must generally pay the defendant's legal fees. T h e creditor may even be required to post a bond for this purpose, before litigation begins. I should emphasize that there are no tax benefits to APTs, although there are many promotets who claim that if you purchase one of "their" offshore trusts, you'll never have to pay taxes again, etc. Falling prey to such promoters can get you into a lot of trouble—avoid them. (See fraud/index.htm. ) TSI: In recent yeats, APTs have come under attack in the courts. Some attorneys now say that such trusts are ineffective. How do you react to this criticism? Rothschild: What the courts have criticized isn't the A P T concept so much as the way it has been misused. APTs (and all asset protection planning) should be employed to protect wealth against claims by unknown future creditors, not against claims by petsons to whom you currently or foreseeably owe money. If you try to avoid current creditors there are remedies available under state and federal fraudulent conveyance statutes. In some cases that have reached the courts, the person forming the offshore trust (the "grantor") made fraudulent ttansfers. In others, the grantor retained 2 5 4 Your Finances and Estate Planning too much control ovet the trust assets. But even here, the creditors still haven't been able to get the assets, although in the Lawrence case, the grantor has been in jail for more than two years for contempt of court. If you move assets into an offshore A P T when thete are no claims pending, I don't believe you will be exposed to a contempt of coutt situation. Indeed, I've had judges on several seminar panels indicate that if you create an offshore ttust before a creditor has a claim, they would be unlikely to hold you in contempt. Now, it's not impossible that another judge might feel that the only way to get even with you for making your assets unavailable to future creditors is to throw you in jail. However, the vast majority of cases involving offshore trusts never reach a judge. They are almost always settled out of court because the creditot realizes that most any judgment won't be collectable. Lawyers working on a contingency basis don't want to waste their time going after someone who is judgment-proof. A r e State A P T Statutes Effective? T S E In the last few years, several U . S . states have enacted so-called A P T legislation. What is your view of these statutes? Rothschild: Nevada, Alaska, Delaware and Rhode Island have adopted statutes

intended to provide the same protection as those in the Cook Islands, etc. Howevet, these laws ate untested. If you live in one of these states and form such a trust, and a claim against you originates in that state, the trust might survive. But if you live in Florida, form a Delaware APT, and are sued in Florida, a Florida court might well rule that since the trust is "self-settled," the assets are available to creditors under Florida law. Then the creditors could seek to have the judgment enforced in Delaware, under the U . S . Constitution's "full faith and credit" clause. Why take that risk? T S I : What percentage of a person's wealth should be placed in a foreign trust? Rothschild: This isn't something that can be expressed in percentages. In general, the most conservative approach is the "nest-egg" strategy; keeping sufficient assets in an offshore trust so that in the event of financial catastrophe, you aren't wiped out. Transferring all your assets to an offshore trust might be viewed with skepticism by a court. T S I : You've discussed primarily offshore trusts so far. Some attorneys are now recommending that U.S. persons use offshore insurance structures for asset protection instead of a foreign trust. What is your opinion of this suggestion? Rothschild: For individuals with smallet estates, foreign single premium fixed annuities or variable annuities may be appropriate, although U . S . persons aren't permitted to purchase such contracts in most countries. Usually, you'll have to form a foreign entity such as an international business company ( I B C ) , and doing so creates its own tax problems. (Ed. Note: Switzerland is an exception— individuals can purchase insurance conttacts there). In larger estates, we may recommend the putchase of a foreign life insurance policy through an offshore trust. This provides asset protection and with proper planning, the income earned within the policy is income tax free. T h e client can designate his own investment manager and depending on how the trust is structured, the death benefit may even be estate tax free. T S I : Can you provide a few examples of individuals who may be able to benefit from offshote trusts? Rothschild: My clients have a net worth ranging from U S $ 1 million to over U

S $ 1 billion. They include doctors who can no longer purchase malpractice insurance because it's no longer offered in their state or because it's become so expensive. Or their carriers have gone bankrupt and they're going "bare." This has become a serious problem in many states. With the post-Enron scandals, persons who serve on the board of directors of a public company 255 Your Finances and Estate Planning ate at risk of becoming targets of class action lawsuits. With stock ptices dropping, it's not a question of fault, but of "where is the deep pocket?" Also, and this is a point that T h e Sovereign Society has made for years, an offshore ttust is an easy way to diversify investments internationally. An offshore trust can purchase foreign currencies, foreign securities, etc. Nor should one forget history. It was only 60 years ago that Hitler was expropriating assets of wealthy Jews. Today in Zimbabwe, Mugabe is confiscating property from whites. In Great Britain, it was against the law to move assets outside the country until the 1980s. In many Latin American countries, persons perceived as wealthy ate at a much higher risk for kidnapping. If the United States ever experiences a significant financial crisis, with the stroke of a pen, the President can prohibit the movement of funds abroad. If you don't have assets offshore in some form, you're defenseless. You also have greater privacy. Yes, you have to comply with tax laws, but the assets are "off the radar screen" to ordinary creditors. I think the best testimony as to whether APTs are effective came from a bankruptcy attorney with whom I served on a panel at a legal conference. This attorney is an outspoken advocate of "creditor's rights" and finds the entife concept of APTs abhorrent. However, even he admitted that they are basically inviolable!

(Qideon Rothschild is a partner in the law firm Moses & Singer, LLP. He specializes in domestic and international estate planning and asset protection for high net worth individuals. The immediate past Chair of the Committee on Asset Protection of the American Bar Association, Rothschild is a nationally recognized authority on the use of offshore trusts and other planning techniques for wealth preservation. Contact Rothschild do Moses & Singer LLP. Tel.: +1 (212) 554-7806. Fax: +1 (212) 554-7700. E-mail. [emailprotected]. Website: Liechtenstein's Unique Trusts by Reinhard Stern, Austria & Liechtenstein Report, 1997 T h e Principality of Liechtenstein (in German, Fuerstentum Liechtenstein, thus the FL stickers on its cars) is one of the world's smallest countries. Investors often call it the "mini-Switzerland within Switzetland." Liechtenstein's fiscal fame is based on bank secrecy laws even strictet than those of Switzetland and on the vast number of letter box firms and holding corporations administered by Liechtenstein attorneys. Because the country is so small, it depends heavily on outside investment, a situation which works to the advantage of international investors and foreigners with accounts there. Relative to its size and population, Liechtenstein is the world's most highly industrialized country, with concentration in the metal, chemicals, pharmaceutical, textile and food sectors. Liechtenstein lies nestled between Switzerland to the west and Austria to the east, slightly off the most heavily traveled highways. It is easily accessible by both autobahn and the main train line between Zurich and Chur, which lie just to the south. It's also on the main route to the most popular destinations in the Alps, including St. Moritz in the Engadin area. For travelers on their way to Austria's Atlberg region, for example to St. Anton in Tirol, Vaduz is just a short detour. Liechtenstein's total land area is only 157 square kilometers (62 square miles), the same size as Washington, D.C. T h e Rhine Valley occupies one third of the country, and the Alps covet most of the rest, leaving only one quarter of the land arable.

B a n k Secrecy

Bank secrecy is the same as in Switzetland. There is no sharp delineation between simple failure to pay full taxes and tax evasion, and non-compliance with foreign tax regulations is not punishable by law. According to a European treaty governing legal obligations in criminal matters, Liechtenstein authorities are only obliged to provide information normally protected by bank secre-256 Your Finances and Estate Planning cy laws if a criminal offense, including tax fraud, is being prosecuted in a foteign court of law, but not if the prosecutors ate tax or fiscal authorities. As in Austria and Switzerland, violations of bank secrecy are punishable by law in Liechtenstein. Foreign tax investigators who try to circumvent bank or tax secrecy laws while within Liechtenstein territory take a great risk. [Ed. Note: Under pressure from the Financial Action Task Force of the G-8 major nations, Liechtenstein adopted a stringent anti-money laundeting law in 2000 and began enforcement in 2001. T h e law allows the government to freeze assets and conduct investigations based on allegations of criminal financial conduct made by foreign governments. It also allows limited information sharing in such cases.] T h e T r u s t (Stiftung) One of the most attractive financial options for managing and protecting yout funds is the famous Liechtenstein Stiftung or trust. Undet the law, a trust is looked upon as a person with all the rights and the responsibilities of an individual to whom you give your assets as a gift. T h e emphasis is on the word gift. T h e trust statutes include a ruling covering the succession of heirs or beneficiaries. As the founder of the trust, you can designate your heirs in a bystatute of your will and later make any changes you want at no further cost. Your corporate statutes must include a clause stipulating your right to cancel the trust at any time. Without this stipulation, the trust could revert to the Principality of Liechtenstein in the event of your death. Liechtenstein levies an annual capital tax of one pro mille on trust funds. In other words, a trust worth one million Swiss francs—

U S $ 8 2 0 , 0 0 0 , a financially workable figure—pays Sfr. 1,000 or U S $ 8 2 0 per year in taxes. A minimum initial investment of roughly U S $ 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 - 6 0 0 , 0 0 0 is advisable; the breakeven point of a trust is U S $ 4 1 0 , 0 0 0 . T h e C o m m e r c i a l Trust ( A n s t a l t ) While a Sti/tung-type trust can only administer your funds, an alternative form called the Anstalt or commercial trust functions like a company and can both manage your money and conduct business. A commercial trust requires a minimum base capital of Sfr50,000 and must produce a yearly balance sheet. At the end of the fiscal year, it also has to pay one pro mille capital tax. Although Austria and Liechtenstein have a double taxation agreement, authorities of the two countries do not exchange information on business activities. As the owner of a Liechtenstein commercial trust, you can enjoy tax-free resident status in Austria because as long as you don't work in the country, you are not liable to Austrian taxation. Your firm, however, is located in Liechtenstein, and all yout commercial transactions are done there. You can live on the funds you funnel to Austria, and Austrian fiscal authorities have no access to information on your business activities. Here's an example of how the commercial trust can wotk. A couple named Kramer owned and resided in a villa located on a desirable 25,000-square-meter piece of property on the Attersee, a lake in Austria. They hired a lawyer in Liechtenstein to registet the Kurt Commercial Trust there. Two years later, the foundation bought the Ktamers' estate for one million schillings, about one tenth of its real value. T h e significance of the transaction between the Kramers and the Kurt Commercial Trust is that it was completely anonymous. No one knew that the Kramer family was behind the trust. By selling their property to the trust, the Kramers protected it and kept it away from their heirs. They also saved a great deal of money, because the trust bought their estate at a very low appraised value. It was exempt from normal taxes on the income from a sale which would have automatically moved the Ktamers into a much higher tax bracket. In short,

commercial trusts are very advantageous in real estate dealings, for example buying property in Austria. 257

Your Finances and Estate Planning Obviously, then, a commercial trust offers you several advantages when it comes to managing funds, buying real estate and saving on taxes. First, by naming a Liechtenstein lawyet as a trustee and yourself as a beneficiary, you establish anonymity. T h e only visible documentation is the certificate of ownership (Inhaberpapier). You also eliminate the need to report this inheritance to the fiscal authorities later; consequently you will pay no gift tax on it. If the beneficiary of a commercial trust is a trust tathet than a person, there is no way to trace the owner. Fiscal authorities are satisfied with the explanation above. Second, your investment grows at a much faster rate because capital taxes are so low in Liechtenstein. An important note: as founder of the trust, you should not have any further influence on the management of the money you have "given away." This is a point Austrian tax authorities have been checking very closely. Third, as the owner of the trust, you should stipulate in the statutes that dividends are always to be reinvested in the trust rather than paid out. This way there is no income tax to be paid on the money you funnel to Austria. Naturally the beneficiaries only have to pay taxes on this money if it is btought to Austtia. Fourth, in Austria nobody owns or has to pay taxes on this money, so it is not subject to estate taxes. Another very important and widely used arrangement is the family trust. If your wife or children can be named as the second, thitd or fourth beneficiaries, you don't have to pay a gift tax when their money is transferred. What does a trust cost? Instead of high taxes, you have to pay certain costs in Liechtenstein, including the expense of setting up the trust and the lawyer's fee. These costs are not dependent on the amount of money invested in the trust and usually amount to around Sfr4,000 or U S $ 3 , 0 0 0 . Yearly costs for trust administration run between Sfr3,000-3,500, or roughly U S

$ 2 , 0 0 0 - 3 , 0 0 0 . T h e capital tax in Liechtenstein is one pro mille of the capital of the trust, and there is a four percent tax on returns. Total costs can thus amount to U S $ 5 , 0 0 0 . There are no inheritance taxes to be paid if thete is a stipulation that the trust is to be dissolved upon the death of the founder. T h e cost is the same for a commercial trust. However, you have to invest Sfr. 30,000 as the founding capital and pay an annual one pro mille capital tax for trust administtation. Since it is a commetcial business, you also have to pay the fee for the fiscal report at the end of the year.

T h e Trustee To found a trust, you must retain the services of a trustee, called a Treuhaender. Liechtenstein lawyers can have power of attorney to conduct business in their client's name, while Swiss lawyers cannot. T h e most important aspect of such an arrangement is for you to remain completely anonymous. That's why you need a petson the bank officials know and respect to manage your assets. T h e trustee will handle all the initial legal arrangements, including helping you with the wording of your trust statutes and delivering your money and securities such as deeds, stock certificates, etc. to the bank. He then manages your ttust funds accotding to your wishes as stipulated in the trust, collects the interest from the bank in cash, and turns it over to you in the privacy of his office. In other words, the lawyer or trustee acts as a middleman, ensuring the complete anonymity of the trust's founder. T h e first step, of course, is to locate and hire a lawyer. One possibility is to find an Austtian lawyet who agrees to act in your name. There are several competent, experienced lawyers in Vienna who offer this setvice, but theit fees are high because they have to work through a colleague in Liechtenstein. T h e second, more viable option is to retain the services of a lawyer right in Liechtenstein— someone who is thoroughly familiar with the procedure and knows the right people. Liechtenstein has ovet 90,000 registered accommodation addresses, and more than 400 of them are administered by a single lawyer. 258

Your Finances and Estate Planning It is vital for you to know that when you set up a trust, you are in effect turning all your money over to the trustee. You have no legal recourse if he should mismanage or misappropriate yout funds; you cannot take him to court or sue him. You must therefore be extremely careful in your choice of a trustee.

Considerations Before you decide to go to a Liechtenstein trust office to start a trust or commercial trust, you should know the answers to the following questions: 1. Should you have only one beneficiary—yourself—or should your spouse or your children be included? 2. W h o will succeed you as the first beneficiary in the event of yout death? 3. W h o will be the final heir if all the othet beneficiaries die at the same time? 4. Should the profits be reinvested or paid out annually? 5. Should interest be paid to each beneficiary or only to you? 6. Should the funds be recoverable only after a certain date, for example your child's thittieth birthday? (This applies only to the trust.) 7. Have you made provisions for a cancellation clause in your trust? Without it, the trust will be perpetual and your money inaccessible. T h e A c c o m m o d a t i o n Address Now let's discuss the institution called a Briefkastenfirma. This German term translates literally as "letter box firm" but is sometimes called an accommodation address. It is an entity geared to the specific needs of the client. It allows the owner of the company to enjoy problem-free capital growth in a foreign country and funnel his money back to the country where he currently resides. T h e accommodation address receives commissions, a percentage of the profits, license fees and patents - all income which is usually taxed by the fiscal

authorities. It also charges fees for all kinds of services, for example consulting, inspections, audits and mediation, and can set the prices on the invoices. In short, the services of a company which has its seat in a fiscal paradise exist only on paper. Although the accommodation address is a very old practice, it is still forbidden. That's why all these fees are moved back to Austria as loans. If the capital gains and profits in Liechtenstein are too high, they are funneled to Panama by means of a document called a "profit-transfer contract"and your primary investment stays in Liechtenstein accounts. Naturally, issuing falsified statements and bills is both unethical and illegal.

Hybrid Trusts by Robert E. Bauman, JD, & David Melnik, QC, The Offshore Money Manual You can use a Liechtenstein trust to control a family fortune, with the trust assets represented as shares in holding companies that control the relevant businesses. Liechtenstein's trust laws are very practical and theoretically interesting. This is due to the country's unusual combination of civil law and common law concepts. Enacted in 1926, the Liechtenstein Diet adopted a fairly faithful reproduction of the English-American trust system. They even allow the trust grantors to choose governing law from any commonlaw country. This places the Liechtenstein judiciary in the unique position of applying trust law from England, Bermuda or Delaware when addressing a conttoversy regarding a particular trust instfument. Even though it is a civil law nation, a trust located in Liechtenstein can be useful in lowering taxes, sheltering foreign income, and safeguarding assets ftom American estate taxes. T h e law 259 Your Finances and Estate Planning allows quick portability of trusts to another jurisdiction and accepts foreign trusts that wish to re-register as a local entity.

T h e trust instrument must be deposited with the Commercial Registry, but is not subject to public examination. (A trust has the option of requesting full commercial registration, in which case the document is open to inspection). T r u s t , A n s t a l t & F o u n d a t i o n Services • Administrust Services Reg, J. Rheinbergerstrasse 6, PO Box 634, FL 9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Tel.: +41 75 2323021. Fax: +41 75 2325040. • Asphaleia Truhand Aktiengesellschaft, PO Box 1130, FL 9490 Vaduz, Leichtenstein. Tel.: +41 75 2323878. Fax: +41 75 2323882. • Agenda Truuntemehmen Reg, Landsttasse 3 6 , Postfach 1608, FL 9490, Vaduz, Leichtenstein. Tel.: +41 75 2328332. Fax: +41 75 2320064. • Industrie und Finanzkontor (founded 1948), Altenbach 8, PO Box 339, FL 9490, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Tel.: +41 75 2322135. Fax: +41 75 2375859. • PrasidiaiAnstnlt (founded 1 9 3 1 ) , Aeulestrasse 3 8 , PO Box 583. FL 9 4 9 0 Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Tel.: +41 75 2365555. Fax: +41 75 2365266. Telex 889 277. • Government Official Registrar's Office, House of Parliament, Fl 9490, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Tel.: +41 75 2366111 (for all registrations except banks). Fax: +41 75 2365266.

Choosing an Offshore Trustee By Derek Sambrook, The Sovereign Individual, March 2 0 0 3 T h e alarming increase in litigation and jury awards, particularly in the United States, has fueled interest in offshore trusts. Dozens of competing offshore

centets have drafted trust legislation purporting to ptovide "asset protection." The popularity of offshore trusts has led to a proliferation of companies promoting offshote trusts. Indeed, advertisem*nts in leading financial magazines offer for sale offshore trust companies that are "legal, legitimate and affordable." That tag can apply equally to firearms, which, like trust companies, are potentially hazardous in the wrong hands. Amateuts managing trusts can be like children playing with guns, unable to perceive the dangers present. These include not only errors in drafting or administering a trust, but the improper use of other structures that may be connected to the trust. We live in a complex world of elaborate strategies and exotic products, the use of which is dangerous in the hands of the novice trustee. T h e glossy advertisem*nts for offshore trust companies neglect to inform prospective trustees of these dangers. Critical errors can be made even before the administtation of a trust begins. Trustees may cut corners by cannibalizing pre-existing trust deeds and presenting a defective document to the client. Concealed defects often have a long incubation period and may not become apparent for years, by which time the problems may have compounded. A "boilerplate" deed prepared by an offshore trust promoter will not necessarily provide for your special needs. Such a deed will, however, remain a convenient option for the novice trustee who, more often than not, is also involved in the marketing of the product. In seeking protection offshore, you do not want to go from the frying pan into the fife. You need the help of specialists and not salesmen. A qualified and seasoned trustee can serve as a safety net by attempting to provide remedies or divert disasters resulting from zealous marketing. In my 30 years as a trust and estate practitioner, I have seen many such disasters. In one case, 2 6 0 Your Finances and Estate Planning

inexperienced trustees tampered with a boilerplate trust deed and in doing so, omitted a crucial clause that covered the "rule against perpetuities." This rule, in those jurisdictions whete it is observed, does not allow a trust to exist in perpetuity, and if the deed omits the vital provisions, the trust will be void ftom its inception. T h e error only came to light several years after execution of the trust deed and the resulting tax consequences fot the trust settlor turned out to be extremely costly. T h e corporate trustee was faced with a resulting lawsuit, which practically put it out of business. In another case, a trust deed provided for a discretionary class of beneficiaries, any one of which could be chosen by the trustees to receive assets from the trust. Crucially, the list of beneficiaries could not be altered: no new names could be added and no existing names could be removed. By misinterpreting the straightforward provisions of the deed, the trustee created a new trust, but only included two instead of five of the names in the class of beneficiaries recorded in the original trust deed. Practically all the assets, which were substantial, were transferred to this new trust. T h e trustee had never made any distributions in the past, but now did so from the new trust. In exercising its discretion, but excluding some of the original beneficiaries from the process, a breach of trust resulted, and the bank trustee found itself in court. T h e lesson from these experiences is that just as you should weigh the virtues of an offshore jurisdiction against the level of regulatory competence it offers, so should you select the trustee in a jurisdiction by first judging his ability. It is, in my opinion, more important to choose the right trustee than it is the jurisdiction. After all, this is the age of electronic wizardry where, with qualification, the physical location of the trustee becomes more and more academic. So, if you are confronted by a trustee who believes that a bare trust is associated with nudity, that an exptess trust is somehow quicker to manage than a normal one and that the legal definition of the three essential elements of a trust is a client, his checkbook and a pen, I suggest a hasty departure.

I subscribe to the observation made by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, 'though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.'" If you find yourself eithet on an arduous journey into Tibet or slashing your way through the Centtal American jungle, but sure of finding the right trustee, console yourself with the thought that it will be well worth it. I also think that the choice of ttustee should be made after a personal visit to a short-list of practitioners. T h e initial meetings themselves will normally send you positive or negative signals, although it is very important to see through the fog of pleasing personalities and smiles when trying to determine the quality of management. "What are your trustee qualifications and what is your experience?" These are the two most important questions to ask when choosing an offshore trustee because all other considerations or concerns should be secondary in importance. T h e Watergate moment, as I describe this intetroga-tive approach, has been known to make some offshore trustees very uncomfortable when providing the answers.

All About Foreign Corporations January 1 9 9 8 As our world becomes smaller, we think, plan and work with an eye toward expanding our hori-261

Your Finances and Estate Planning zons both at home and abroad. T h e use of a corporate vehicle as a means of this expansion is nothing new. What is new and what must become second nature to PTs of all types is the idea of "foreign" corporations. No longer will a domestic corporation satisfy one's needs. T h e average business

person today is far more sophisticated than the business petson of even 10 to 15 years ago. Corporate structuring and planning have achieved higher levels of complexity than ever before, while the need fot anonymity remains strong. Professionals must keep pace and be constantly on the look out for new ways to assist clients. One way is to have a clear understanding of the charactetistics of foreign corporations and how they may be put to advantageous use. Foreign coiporations are used outside of the place of incorporation for a variety of activities including trading, trade financing, holding assets, manufacturing and tax minimization. They are often used for trading with or in countries where satisfactory local commercial or corporate law is deficient or absent. Joint ventures often use foreign corporations when the participants are from different countries and prefer to incorporate in a jutisdiction neutral to all of the patties. Foreign corporations can also setve to isolate or separate activities, assets or profit centers fot tax, accounting or liability reasons. Where assets are cumbersome or expensive to transfer, like patents, copyrights or trademarks, it is sometimes feasible to have such assets held by separate corporations allowing the individual to transfer the shates in the corporation tathet than the asset itself. In some cases, a foreign corporation, tecognized as a citizen or national of the place of incorporation, may confer a ttade advantage or may help avoid a disadvantage. It may also be used as an integtal part of a trust structute. Certain countries, moteover, seek to make it attractive to incorporate in their jurisdiction, even when activities are to be conducted elsewhete. In fact, there are so many "tax efficient" jurisdictions that an initial problem for most users is how to select ftom the available options. When selecting a place to incorporate, most professionals emphasize the following criteria: • the legal and political attitude of the jurisdiction toward commercial activities; • features of the corporate law that facilitate incorporation and continuing management;

• the level and speed of service obtainable in and from the jurisdiction; and, • cost. Generally, a desirable jurisdiction should be politically neutral, follow a policy of free trade, not interfere with the commercial activities of coiporations established theie, and be politically acceptable to othet countries and places in which the corporation may be trading. Formal diplomatic tecognition as well as commercial recognition and acceptability are important. Commercial recognition is a featute of an offshore jurisdiction that is earned. Use of a jurisdiction in financial ttansactions allows banks to become familiar and more comfortable with its legal system and fotms of corporate documentation. Most popular jurisdictions have a legal system derived from a major western country and greatly favor corporations which are nonresident in nature. Professionals prefer their western style legislation since it provides a familiar basis for legal interpretation and facilitates undetstanding of their laws in international practice, particulatly in developed countries. In addition, there is inherent in the western ttadition the protection of ptivate property and the promotion of international trade. In order to be successful, a corporate law must provide those entities under which it is formed with the legal capacity to conduct all forms of commercial activity anywhere in the world, allow for a simple management structure and provide the corporation with broad financial powers. In addition, they should be highly confidential and have minimal requirements for maintaining the legal existence of the corporation in compliance with the laws of the place of incorporation. 262 Your Finances and Estate Planning All jurisdictions have at least two maintenance requirements: 1) maintaining an agent for the service of process; and 2) paying an annual franchise fee or tax. In jurisdictions patterned on United States law, there are generally no further requirements. This should be considered when choosing between a United States or a United Kingdom style jutisdiction.

U.K.-style jurisdictions usually tequire annual filings regarding directors end officers and at a minimum will request that the annual accounts of the corporation be maintained in the jurisdiction. Such accounts may be subject to review by the Registrar but in some cases need not be filed. This is one majot advantage of the U.S.-style jurisdictions over those following the U.K. model. Finally, formation services should be easy to obtain and should guarantee corporate existence in one or two working days. T h e level of service between jurisdictions varies. There can be variation within the jurisdiction in a situation where there is competition between rival franchises engaging in the business of incorporating "offshore" companies. An organization able to offer a wide range of services is undoubtedly able to provide the best service; one that is most adequately equipped with trained personnel to handle questions informally, and that has a larger base of experience upon which to draw when answering these questions. Costs may vary considerably, with incorporation fees varying from U S $ 5 7 5 to U S $ 3 , 5 0 0 . Minimum annual fees vary from U S $ 3 5 0 to over U S $ 1 , 0 0 0 , depending on the jurisdiction and the local maintenance requirements. There should be no othet mandatory fees or charges either upon incorporation or for the maintenance of the corporation.

The Limited Liability Company March 1996 T h e limited liability company (also called L L C ) is a form of business entity increasingly popular in the United States and some tax haven jurisdictions, although a similar entity has been available in Germany, France, and many othet countries for decades. Until its recent acceptance by a numbet of U . S . states, the business executive had three common choices when forming a business: the sole proprietorship, the corporation, or the partnership. T h e LLC is a hybrid between the partnership and the corporation. It has all the

flexibility of a partnership to define its own management structure, rules of procedure, voting tights, distribution of profits and a myriad of othet details. T h e structure is created by a contract among all the parties. At the same time, if structured properly all the members and the management will enjoy limited liability typical of a corporation. It is generally assumed that the combination of these two elements will be the reason most LLCs are formed, although there is a great deal of latitude with tegard to the structure. Because it has partnership elements, in most jurisdictions that do not tax partnerships as entities but pass the tax liability through to the partnets, the LLC is an attractive option. T h e origin of the modern LLC laws allowing limited liability companies is in the German law of 1892 which created the GmbH (Gesellscha/t mit beschranker Hafiung). In the 60 years which followed, almost 20 countries adopted similat laws. In France, for example, the same type of company is known as the S A R L (Societes de Responsabdite Limitee). In Central and South America it is known as the Iimitada. In the U.S., the first state to adopt a modern limited liability company statute was Wyoming, on March 4, 1977. Florida followed in 1982. Legislation was passed in Delaware in July 1993 that now provides for Delaware corporations to convert their status to LLC by merging the old corporation into a new LLC. T h e LLC may take the same name as the corporation. T h e IRS gave assurance the entity could qualify to be treated as a partnetship on Septembet 2, 2 6 ! Your Finances and Estate Planning 1988, in Revenue Ruling 88-76. In February 1993, the IRS issued four revenue rulings describing the classification standards that apply to LLCs that desire partnership tax treatment. As the LLC steadily gains popularity as people learn its benefits, it could replace the pattnet-ship and the corporation as the preferred entity. Now the LLC is being adopted by various tax haven jurisdictions, including the Turks 6k Caicos

Islands, Nevis, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. An LLC is taxed in substantially the same mannet as a limited partnership in most jurisdictions that have both limited partnerships and LLCs, without the disadvantages that limited partnerships have with regard to liability. A limited partnership must have at least one general partner who is liable for debts of the partnership, while all of the members of an LLC may be protected from such liability. T h e participation of limited partners in the management of a limited partnership can result in a loss of limited liability protection, while such participation by membets of an LLC will not have such effect, provided such management does not violate the applicable LLC statute. Generally, each patty to an LLC must agree to a contract with all the other members that will become the "constitution" of the company. This document may be called a company agreement, articles of organization, or even minutes of the fitst meeting of members, depending upon the jurisdiction. Companies planning to operate their business in a jurisdiction that does not currently recognize LLCs should seriously consider the consequences of possibly losing their limitation on liability in that jurisdiction, before forming an LLC. T h e corollary of this is that since the form is well recognized in a number of civil law countries, foreign investors may find it a useful vehicle for making investments in those countries, since the legal and tax status will be relatively clear. It is important to remember that in those countries to which the entity is new, this is a rapidly evolving area of law and it may be a while before matters are fully settled. Sole owner companies cannot be LLCs (except in Texas, which petmits one member, but it is not known yet if that will be recognized for federal tax purposes). An LLC must have two members, by definition, or it automatically dissolves. ( O f course, the second owner could be a children's trust or a family limited partnership holding one percent.) And most jurisdictions have allowed two corporations, both owned by a single patent, to be the members of an LLC. Keep in mind the laws of individual jurisdictions are still evolving, as is the tteatment by the tax authorities that deal with LLC entities. Charitable Giving: Tax Avoidance, Asset Protection and

Dynastic Wealth Control by Mark Nestmann and Robert E. Bauman

T h e old saying, "you can't take it with you," is true. Yet, using both domestic and international charitable structures, you can do the next best thing: set up a pool of wealth that will not only survive your death, but support whatever lawful cause in which you believe passionately. Many of the world's wealthiest people already know this. For instance, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has already transferred a staggering U S $ 4 0 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Depending on where you live, charitable giving can generate huge tax savings. Charitable giving can also provide you and your loved ones a lifetime income virtually immune to attack by creditors. Larger estates can form theit own charitable structutes so that after death, families have the opportunity to control the disposition of wealth over generations, while minimizing ongoing tax liabilities. T h e use of a chatitable structure doesn't necessarily mean that your heirs will receive a smaller inheritance. Combining the charity with a life insurance structure can replace what was "lost" in making the original charitable contribution. In most countries, the social function of charities makes them relatively noncontroversial to 2 6 4 Your Finances and Estate Planning tax authorities, an important virtue when tax collectors are aggressively seeking new sources of revenue to fund the soaring cost of the welfare state. T h e United States, reflecting its long tradition of private responsibility, is particularly generous in the tax breaks it provides to charitable giving. T h e law allows income tax deductions for cash donations up to 5 0 % of your adjusted gross income ( A G I ) . Generally, a deduction for full fair market value of property, such as stock, with no capital gains tax paid, allows a deduction of up to 3 0 % of adjusted gross income. Nationwide, there are about 700,000 "qualified" nonprofit charitable groups. Charitable gifts also teduce the size of your estate for estate and gift tax purposes.

A B l o c k b u s t e r Charitable Trust Trusts offer an efficient means of passing ptopetty title to your spouse, heirs or your favorite charity. At death, a trust avoids lengthy and complicated ptobate court procedures required when the estate must be administered under a will. A properly written trust declaration can avoid payment of most estate, gift or inheritance taxes. One of the most useful charitable trusts is a charitable remainder trust ( C R T ) . T h e trust takes its name from the fact that the charitable entity (called the "remainderman") eventually gets title to the ttust property when the trust ends. T h e C R T is also called a "life income" or "wealth accumulation" trust, because the gtantor who creates the C R T (as well as othet possible beneficiaties) receives continuing lifetime payments from this trust. Here are some of the benefits a C R T gives back to its creator: * Achieve personal philanthropic goals. * Take a large charitable deduction (for the value of the donated assets) against your current year income tax liability. * Avoid all capital gains taxes on donated appreciated property, regardless of the original cost basis. * Guatanteed retirement income for life (your choice, immediate or deferred). For instance, you can convert your low-yield real property into a high-income investment guaranteed to provide you and your spouse (the "non-charitable beneficiaries") financial security. You can also have your C R T serve as a legal recipient for "roll-over" of your qualified pension plan or individual retirement account, which will boost both your retirement income and tax savings. Nor is there any need to deplete the size of the estate that you leave your heirs. For instance, your estate can purchase life insurance coverage for your life or for you and your spouse's joint lives to replace the monies going to your favorite charities. T h e one C R T drawback is its complexity; in order to be certain your structure qualifies undet tax laws an expert should draft it. Our experts say that

the donated C R T statt-up assets should be valued at least at about U S $ 5 0 , 0 0 0 to make the plan feasible. A C R T trust is an irrevocable living trust. T h e "living" refers to the time when it is created-while the grantor is alive (as compared to a testamentaty trust created in a will). It is "irrevocable" because your control over the donated assets ends once the trust is cteated and the assets are formally transferred. As in any irrevocable trust, the C R T also serves as an ironclad asset protection device. Once the ttust gets the assets, the grantor no longer has title to not any ability to reacquire those assets. A timely placement of assets into a CRT, well in advance of any claims against you, is an absolute defense against claims ftom future unknown creditors. Once you have created your CRT, the institutions or groups lucky enough to be the objects of your generosity might want to teward their benefactor with a seat on their board of trustees. T h e C R T possibilities of immortality carved into stone are endless: libraries, hospitals, the arts, muse-2 6 5

Your Finances and Estate Planning urns, symphony halls, campus buildings, etc. Here's a real-world example of how a C R T can benefit you: Suppose you own a building worth U S $ 1 million currently, with a fully depreciated basis of US$40,000-meaning a taxable capital gain of U S $ 9 6 0 , 0 0 0 when you sell it. This means a federal-state capital gains tax ( C G T ) liability (if you live in California) of U S $ 3 4 4 , 8 3 2 ! Still, your net is US$655,168-not bad for an original U S $ 4 0 , 0 0 0 investment. If you reinvest your profit and earn a 10% return in the first year, you would get U S $ 6 5 , 5 1 7 in income, fully taxable at current fedetal and state income tax levels. If you don't reinvest, the full U S $ 6 5 5 , 1 6 8 becomes personal income. But if you create a charitable remainder ttust, then donate the building to the taxexempt CRT, you pay no capital gains tax. Nor does the C R T trustee who latet sells the building pay any C G T

because the entite sale proceeds go into the trust for reinvestment-US$l million, tax free. Nor have you received any of this money as personal income. In addition, as grantor of C R T property you receive an immediate charitable tax deduction for the total value of the donated property, applicable to the income tax year in which the transfer occurs. T h e total income tax deduction, to the allowable maximums discussed earlier, is measured by a complex IRS formula, including present appraised fair market value of the projected remainder interest. G e t An Immediate T a x Deduction U s i n g a C h a r i t a b l e L e a d T r u s t With interest rates near historical lows, some experts recommend the use of a charitable lead trust (CLT) rather than a CRT. One is Sovereign Society Council of Experts member Gideon Rothschild. A CLT produces an immediate tax deduction and helps the charity of your choice for an extended period. It eventually passes assets to family members with a minimum payment of estate and gift taxes. Because the present value of the charitable interest at the time of the donation is deductible, gift or estate taxes are significantly reduced. T h e resulting income or estate tax savings depend on when this technique is used: 1) An immediate income tax deduction is available to a grantor who establishes a CLT during his or her lifetime, the deductible amount being measured by the present value of the income stream going to the charity for the stated period. 2) If the CLT takes effect at the grantor's death, his or her estate receives a charitable deduction for the present value of the future income that will go to the charity. T h e CLT is established when a donor transfers income-producing property to a ttust. T h e trust, in turn, will provide the charity with a guatanteed annuity or annual payments equal to a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust property that is computed each year. W h e n the specified period ends, the remaining property is returned to the donor, or it goes to a non-charitable beneficiary of the donor's choice, often an heir or other younger family member. Charities as P a r t of an International E s t a t e Plan

As with many other aspects of long tetm financial planning, setting up an offshote chatitable structure can provide additional benefits. T h e primary benefit is that an offshore configuration provides greatly improved prospects for setting up a dynastic structure that can control the disposition of wealth over generations, in conttast, e.g., to the laws of the United States. Wealthy individuals usually have more assets and income than they need. However charitably minded they are, they may not wish to give up family control over the assets, both in life and after death. This may be true, e.g., when the assets being donated are shares in a private company owned by the donor. In the U.S. context, a domestic irrevocable ttust such as a C R T generally will not permit such a degree of conttol to be exercised. Additionally, in the many U.S. states and foreign jurisdictions with an English common law background that have not eliminated the "rule against perpetuities," dynastic control through a trust may not be possible, as the ttust will eventually be required to dissolve. In conttast, by using an offshore charity, the stock can be donated to the chariry-perhaps one established by the donor. T h e charity is so structured as to ensure that, in perpetuity, the control of 266 Your Finances and Estate Planning the charity temains in the hands of the donor and his descendants. Not only can the charity (which is not subject to any rule against perpetuities) be used to perpetuate control, but it will also take the assets concerned outside the tax net. According to Charles Cain, who heads up Skyefid Limited, an Isle of Man based international financial consultancy, "For a U.S. person to create a dynastic structure, an overseas charity is more effective than a U . S . charity. This is particularly true if the U . S . petson wishes to avoid the very tight U.S. rules that effectively prevent the donor of assets into a charity from controlling that charity, or deriving benefit for his family from that charity. Nobody else has such strict rules." Along with the benefit of greater control, there are potential drawbacks to an international charitable sttucture, the most significant one being that most greater complexity and higher costs.

One source of complexity is the need, often using some rather esoteric mechanisms, to create a structure where a U . S . donor can both obtain a charitable deduction and shift the assets into an overseas charity. Obviously, sttuctures of this type require sophisticated planning by experienced international tax practitioners. This is not a job for an amateur. F o r M o r e Information If you plan to name a domestic charity as a beneficiary of your estate, that charity may be able to provide assistance. Most major charities have "planned giving" departments eager to provide extensive help to your lawyer or CPA. T h e National Committee on Planned Giving is an association of varied professionals active in planned gifting advice with 78 local chapters. Tel: + 1 (317) 269-6274. Fax: +1 ( 3 1 7 ) 2 6 9 - 6 2 7 6 . E-mail: [emailprotected]. Link: Two attorneys, both members of T h e Sovereign Society's Council of Experts, who have extensive experience setting up the charitable remainder trusts described in this column are: Michael Chatzky, Chatzky & Associates, 6 5 4 0 Lusk Boulevard Suite C I 2 1 San Diego, CA 92121 Tel: 858.457.1000 Fax: 858.457.1007 E-mail: [emailprotected]. Gideon Rothschild, Moses & Singer LLP, 1301 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10019. Tel.: (212) 554-7806. Fax: (212) 554-7700. E-mail: [emailprotected] If you are interested in setting up the type of international dynastic structure discussed in this article, an expert in this area is: Charles Cain, Skye Fiduciary Services, Two Water St., 1M8 1JP Ramsey, Isle of Man. Tel.: +(44) 1624 816117. Fax: +(44) 1624 8 1 6 6 4 5 . Email: [emailprotected]. Link:

Saving U.S. Taxes with Trusts

Vernon Jacobs, C P A , C L U , Offshore Tax Strategies, June 2001 Once upon a time, before Congress changed the law in 1986, wealthy families established multiple irrevocable trusts that were designed to accumulate income at low tax rates. Each trust was treated by the IRS as a separate taxpayer and the trust tax brackets were similar to the brackets for individual taxpayers. Today the tax brackets for trusts are very compressed. T h e first $1,750 of annual trust income is taxed at a rate of 15 percent. Any income in excess of $8,450 is taxed at the top rate of 39.6 percent. As a result, trusts are no longer used as devices to accumulate income. I n c o m e Splitting However, trusts can be used to divide income among family members, each of whom may be eligible for a separate set of lower tax rates. Unlike a partnetship, the income of a trust is not taxable to the beneficiaries until it is distributed. At that time, the trust treats the distribution as a deduction, the beneficiary treats it as taxable income. Because of the compression of trust tax rates, most trusts now provide for current, rather than deferred, distributions of trust income to beneficiaries. 267

Your Finances and Estate Planning O t h e r T a x Saving Methods Additional tax savings for income from a trust will depend on the nature of that income. If some of the income is an allocation of interest or dividends, there are tactics that may be useful in minimizing some taxes on that income. T h e majot factor in detetmining the amount of trust income is the manner in which the trust assets are invested. T h e trustee can choose between interest bearing investments and high dividend yield stocks, or various capital growth investments. In some limited cases, a trust can defer income by investing ttust assets in a tax deferred annuity, something that definitely should be considered. Foreign G r a n t o r Trust In the case of a foreign grantor trust, the U . S . grantor (settlor) of the ttust is

subject to tax on all the income of the trust, whethet it is distributed to the beneficiaries or not. Generally, distributions to the U . S . beneficiaries will be treated as gifts by the trust grantor. Gifts are not taxable to the recipient but may be subject to a gift tax by the donor. When and if the estate and gift tax are actually repealed, this strategy may tequire reconsideration. Until then, it's an effective way to ttansfet assets to your heirs at a minimum estate and gift tax cost. Foreign Trust A c c u m u l a t i o n Distributions If a foreign trust does not have a living U . S . beneficiary, then distributions of current income to the beneficiaries will be treated as the income of the beneficiaries. If distributions exceed 125 percent of the current income of the trust, then thete is a complicated "throw-back" tax computation in which the excess income is allocated to the years in which the income was accumulated as a non-grantor trust. There is an "additional tax" on such distributions that is like an interest charge on the deferred income of the trust. This tax can be minimized by making distributions equal to 125 petcent of the current year's income of the trust. [Ed. Note: In every case, detailed tax advice from a seasoned professional should be obtained in advance. This is especially true because of the 2001 U.S. estate tax repeal law and related revisions which contains phase in provisions for various tax estate tax exemptions and reductions.] R e c o m m e n d e d A t t o r n e y s • Graeme W. P. Aarons, Solicitor, FM Trust S.A., rue du Pommier 12, Case Postale 406, 2001 Neuchatel, Switzerland. Tel.: +41 38 247979. Fax: +41 38 2 5 4 6 6 4 . • Michael Chatzky, J D , Chatzky & Associates, a Law Corporation, 4 2 5 0 Executive Squate, Suite 660, La Jolla, California 92037, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 858 638 4530. Fax: +1 858 638 4535, E-mail: [emailprotected]. Web: • Alan Jahde, LL.M., Anderson 6k Jahde PC, Suite 1000, 950 S. Cherry Street, Denver, CO

80222, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 303 782 0003. Fax: +1 303 691 9719. • Rainelda Mata-Kelly LLM, Suite 305-307, 3rd Floor, Balboa Plaza, Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Republic of Panama, P.O. Box 0 8 1 8 - 9 0 1 2 , Panama 6 (Bethania), Republic of Panama. Tel.: (Int. access code+507) 263-4305. Fax: (507) 264-2868. Cell: ( % 0 7 ) 612-5139. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Website: • Samuel M. Lohman, J D , Lohman, Schwab, Flaherty 6k Associes, 11 rue Verdaine, CP 3377 Geneva 3, Switzerland. Tel.: + 41.22.317.8020. Fax: +41.22.317.8030. Mbl: 41.79.409.3841. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Web: • James McNeile, Solicitor, Farrer 6k Co., 66 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London W C 2 A 3KG, U.K. Tel.: +44 171 242 2022. Fax: +44 171 917 7431. • David Melnik, D C , Suite 3 1 1 , 3 5 0 Lonsdale Road, Toronto, ON M5P 1R6, Canada. Tel.: +1 416 488 7918. Fax: +1 905 877 7751. E-mail: [emailprotected]. • Marcell Felipe, J D , Goldstein 6k Felipe, LLP 888 Brickell Ave., 5 Floor Miami, FL 33133. Tel.: (305) 381-8500. Fax: ( 3 0 5 ) 381-6225. E-mail: [emailprotected]. 268

Your Finances and Estate Planning • Jeffrey J. Radowich, JD, Veneable, Baetjer & Howard, Suite 800, 2 Hopkins

Plaza, Baltimore, MD 21202, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 410 244 7516. Fax: +1 410 244 7742. • Rothschild, JD, CFP, Moses & Singer, LLP, 1301 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 212 554 7806. Fax: +1 212 554 7700. • Timothy D. Scrantom, JD, 180 East Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 843 937 0110. F a x : +1 843 937 4310. E-mail: [emailprotected]. Do You Need a Lawyer? How an Attorney Can Help in Offshore Planning By Robert E. Bauman, JD, The Sovereign Individual, April 2004 In 1592 William Shakespeare wrote that oft-quoted line: "The fitst thing we do; let's kill all the lawyers." And of course, lawyer jokes are a favorite American past time. But it's no joke when you need a lawyer. And if ever there is a time that legal advice can be helpful, it's when you're co