Sunday, July 5, 2015

Second Piece of the Puzzle - the Texas Bullion Depository

(a) The Texas Bullion Depository is established as an agency of this state in the office of the comptroller.
(b) The depository is established to serve as the custodian, guardian, and administrator of certain bullion and specie that may be transferred to or otherwise acquired by this state or an agency, a political subdivision, or another instrumentality of this state.

(a) The depository may receive a deposit of bullion or specie from or on behalf of a person acting in the person's own right, as trustee, or in another fiduciary capacity, in accordance with rules adopted by the comptroller as appropriate to:
(1)  ensure compliance with law; and
(2)  protect the interests of:
(A)  the depository;
(B)  depository account holders;
(C)  this state and the agencies, political subdivisions, and instrumentalities of this state; and
(D)  the public at large.

(a) The following persons may invest the person's money in a depository account by purchasing precious metals and depositing the precious metals with the depository or a depository agent:
(1)  a fiduciary, including an administrator, executor, custodian, guardian, or trustee;
(2)  a political subdivision of this state or an instrumentality of this state;
(3)  a business or nonprofit corporation;
(4)  a charitable or educational corporation or association; or
(5)  a financial institution, including a bank, savings and loan association, or credit union.
(b)  An investment by an insurance company in a depository account is eligible to be applied as a credit against taxes payable under Chapters 221 and 222, Insurance Code, in accordance with rules adopted by the comptroller after consultation with the commissioner of insurance.
(c)  An investment by a school district in a depository account may be made instead of an investment as provided by Section 45.102, Education Code, and the depository may be used by a district instead of a depository bank for the purposes of Subchapter G, Chapter 45, Education Code.

Sec. 2116.022.  CERTAIN ACTIONS PROHIBITED. The depository may not take any of the following actions, and any attempt by the depository to take any of the following actions is void ab initio and of no force or effect:
(1)  entering into a precious metals leasing, sale-leaseback, forward transaction, swap transaction, future transaction, index transaction, or option on or other derivative of any of those, whether in the nature of a cap transaction, floor transaction, collar transaction, repurchase transaction, reverse repurchase transaction, buy-and-sell-back transaction, securities lending transaction, or other financial instrument or interest intended to or having the effect of hedging or leveraging the depository's holdings of precious metals, including any option with respect to any of these transactions, or any combination of these transactions, except that the limitation provided by this
subdivision does not apply to a transaction entered into to limit the depository's exposure to post-signature price risks associated with executory agreements to purchase or sell precious metals in the ordinary course of depository operations and does not apply to policies of insurance purchased to insure against ordinary casualty risks such as theft, damage or destruction, loss during shipment, or similar risks;
(2)  crediting the depository account balances of a depository account holder, or disposing of any precious metals, if to do so would cause the aggregate depository account balances with respect to any precious metal represented by all depository accounts to exceed the aggregate quantities of such precious metal held by or for the benefit of the depository and the depository's depository agents;
(3)  entering into or maintaining a deposit, trust, or similar relationship for the custody of precious metals by a third party outside this state, directly or indirectly, for the account or benefit of the depository if the comptroller by rule establishes that:
(A)  the custody or intermediary arrangements in question do not meet the comptroller's standards of safety, security, and liquidity; or
(B)  except in those cases where such relationship may be incidental to the performance of or preparation for purchase and sale transactions with counterparties located outside of this state, suitable alternate arrangements for physical custody of the precious metals inside this state have been established and are available;
(4)  extending credit to a person, including credit secured by a depository account or other assets, except an extension of credit incidental to the performance of the functions and responsibilities otherwise provided by this chapter; or
(5)  engaging in a business or activity that, if conducted by a private person, would be subject to regulation in this state as a banking or savings and loan function.

Sec. 2116.023.  CONFISCATIONS, REQUISITIONS, SEIZURES, AND OTHER ACTIONS VOID. (a) A purported confiscation, requisition, seizure, or other attempt to control the ownership, disposition, or proceeds of a withdrawal, transfer, liquidation, or settlement of a depository account, including the precious metals represented by the balance of a depository account, if effected by a governmental or quasi-governmental authority other than an authority of this state or by a financial institution or other person acting on behalf of or pursuant to a directive or authorization issued by a governmental or quasi-governmental authority other than an authority of this state, in the course of a generalized declaration of illegality or emergency relating to the ownership, possession, or disposition of one or more precious metals, contracts, or other rights to the precious metals or contracts or derivatives of the ownership, possession, disposition, contracts, or other rights, is void ab initio and of no force or effect.


High Plateau Drifter said...

Depository receipts issued by the Texas Depository will constitute a 100% gold backed currency not subject to confiscation by FedGov. Thus for emergencies that extend over a long period of time, this currency will be be better than Federal Reserve Notes under the mattress and exempt from bail ins. One does not need to be a resident of Texas to make a deposit. You or your organization can reside anywhere on the planet. Thus, in effect, it sets up a stable currency alternative to the U.S. dollar backed and guarded by the state with the most military power in the U.S. This depository is the sine qua non of a successful alternative to the dollar for those countries, institutions and investors who might want to unload treasury debt and hedge against default or hyperinflation, which ever comes along. Long overdue in my book!

Confiscation by Fed Gov will be nowhere near as easy as just waltzing up to the Fed's vault in NYC or at West Point with a brinks truck. It sets up the possibility of the Governor ordering the state highway patrol and rangers to defend the facility by force, and to call up the Texas National Guard to do the same at a time when an order federalizing the Texas National Guard might be disobeyed.

Such a federal-state confrontation lacks any of the moral force commanded by sending in the Army to integrate U. Alabama. It is fed gov greed against the savings and financial security of individuals, corps and governments.

CP said...

That's why it is the second piece of the puzzle.

The first piece was what was going to cause the bond bull market to end; ridiculous, impossible amounts of borrowing for consumption -

The second piece is - what does an institution with a billion dollars walking around money buy instead of USD cash (which is really an investment, via banks with a tiny capital cushion, in treasuries)?

For the dollar/bond market to crash, there has to be an alternative.

CP said...

Piece One:
"It is very, very nonlinear, because once bonds lose momentum, who will want to own them? Professional asset management and retail investor sentiment are both all about momentum. And every credit - government or corporate - looks much worse with rising interest expense. I think we will come to realize that a lot of stuff in the economy (junk bonds, private equity) was part of a virtuous interest rate cycle."

CP said...

By the way, imagine how much different Greece would have been over the past five years if it had a province (with its own military) that had its own de facto hard currency.

Anonymous said...

Various men under arms in Texas:

Anonymous said...

“To address concerns of Texas citizens and ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15”

“During the Operation’s eight-week training period from July 2015 to September 2015, I expect to receive regular updates on the progress and safety of the Operation.”

Mr. Gotham said...

While the TX National Guard might make fascists like Obama think twice about storming the gold depository, I think you guys are overestimating the power of this. They can throw you in jail for having an unreported overseas bank account today, what is to stop them from arresting individuals who refuse to turn over their gold certificates? I'm sure Roosevelt saw to it that a few holdouts where perp walked into jail when he confiscated the gold, why would it be different this time?

I think history is replete with examples of governments changing the rules to allow them to confiscate wealth when they need to, and Obama has certainly demonstrated that the law is no barrier to anything he sets his mind to doing, or not doing.

Pay your exit tax and think Switzerland instead.

Anonymous said...

High Plateau Drifter said...


It is true that fedgov can go against U.S. based depositors, and demand that they surrender ownership of their deposits in the Texas Depository, thus making fedgov the depositor free to make withdrawals.

At the moment it is clear that most of the Republican legislators thought of this bill as a symbolic gesture. But then it has fascinating implications for non U.S. residents as a depository from which your gold cannot be "Corzined" and is not in the vault of a highly leveraged bank or an unreliable government. Texas politics is very different from that of the U.S. govt, the U.K. Switzerland or any Asian government, and may present, once this thing gets going, as an interesting venue for diversifying one's physical gold holdings and transferring those holdings from the N.Y. Fed and West Point to Texas.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a high trust society like 1934. Attempting to confiscate gold/guns would lead to the most bloody civil calamity in history, it would be big enough to disprove Pinker's thesis

Mr. Gotham said...


I'm not sure sure about that. Look at how the Chrysler BK holdouts were treated, look at how the bondholders in the Stockton and Detroit cases were treated. By ex-ante established law, those out both outright thefts and there hasn't been a peep about it anywhere other than a few fever swamps like this blog (kidding, CP).

Or take a look at this story:
Here's a guy who did absolutely nothing wrong, had his cash confiscated under completely bogus pretenses and had to wait two years and go to court to get it back. He wasn't even awarded any kind of sum for violation of his civil rights. Here about this on the news?

Or this absurd treatment of pro-Israel groups by the IRS, with a lawyer arguing that the IRS can discriminate among groups based on viewpoint. Which of course follows the Lois Lerner witch hunt, which has been followed by obstruction of justice, the likes of which haven't been seen since the Nixon administration, and you hear not a word about it.

The assault on civil rights in this country, particularly among those of the conservative persuasion is gobsmacking in its breadth and its brazenness, and the press can't even be bothered to turn its head, much less work up any outrage. I don't share your optimism that there is any kind of revolt brewing. Collectivism and the power of the government to shackle the individual seems to be running rampant.

Mr. Gotham said...

@High Plateau

I agree with the comment about Texas politics, but the vault is still IN the US, and as independent minded as the Texans are, if it comes down to a showdown over who is going to control that vault, the Texans aren't going to win. If I wasn't a US citizen, I certainly wouldn't be exposing my wealth to the point of a gun held by the IRS specifically and the US government more generally.

Given the voraciousness of the US gov't appetite for revenues, I'd be inclined to find a lower profile vault in a place where the rule of law was well established and where the chances of a sovereign bankruptcy and thus outright wealth confiscation were not so high. I'll grant you it is a short list of places, but the standing of private property in this country seems to shrink by the day.