UK uses Anti-Terrorism Legislation to Seize £4 Billion from Iceland

Legislation originally drafted to prevent terrorist financing has been used by the UK government to seize around £4 billion from two Icelandic banks, according to a report by Bloomberg. British PM Gordon Brown has reportedly threatened to seize more Icelandic assets in the UK.

In what the Financial Times described as an ‘ill-considered invocation of anti-terror laws’ the UK Treasury seized assets in an attempt to protect British creditors who held deposits in failed Icelandic banks. One of the assets seized was the UK bank Singer and Friedlander (also a major offshore player through its Isle of Man subsdiary) which was owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing. This pre-emptive move, according to the Icelanders, was what precipitated Kaupthing’s failure, as loan covenants on the British subsidiary were activated.

What do we learn from this? Iceland went in about a week from a small, respectable Western European nation to being brought to its knees and having it assets seized under anti-terrorism laws. We’ve heard of private individuals being wrongly accused and having their assets seized. Now we see Western banks getting the same treatment.

“I think it’s terrible. Much as in theory I wouldn’t mind the government seizing the bank’s assets, to do it under laws we were told were there for our protection from terrorists is horrific and terrifying,” says a commentator from Hampshire, England, commenting on a student discussion board. But other opinions on the same discussion, and press coverage in the right-wing tabloid News of the World, paint a picture of Britain happy to see its anti-terrorism laws being used in financial disputes. The media spin has given broad public support to the misuse of legislation.

We are not surprised at all by this action – on the contrary we expect to see more like this happening. Not so long ago even we considered it far fetched when we heard rumors about the “Amero” or two parallel US dollar currencies, one for internal transactions and one for international use. Now, however, we see two gold prices – an official one, and a free market one. It is clear that the markets are being misled and manipulated.

As always, we are being told that government action is for our own good. The Icelanders may have made some bad business decisions, but we can hardly blame this tiny economy for the world financial crisis, and using anti-terrorist legislation to seize their assets is an extremely worrying precedent. Expect to see things like this repeated. With 99% of US assets (yes, you read that right, see this article about DTCC for more details) owned by a company you have probably never heard of that is bigger than Google, Microsoft, GM and GE – combined! – the abuse of power now going on is quite simply frightening.

The governments of the world are out to steal your money – and your gold. You need to take action to protect your assets and your family. This may be an uncomfortable thought, but if you research this matter further and open your mind to what is going on, you will be in a much better position to come out of this crisis with profits.

If you would like to discuss this with the Q Wealth Experts in person, sign up right away for Recipes for Success in Panama next month, the week after the US election. If not, then I would urge you to sign up for a Q Wealth Report subscription right away. We will bring you news that matters like this, together with expert analysis to protect your wealth and your purchasing power.

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