On April 5, 1933, under the pretext of a national emergency, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102, making it illegal for U.S. citizens to own gold.
The decree forced Americans to sell their gold at an artificially low “official price.” If they refused, the government could hit them with stiff penalties: a $10,000 fine (equivalent to $180,000 today) and/or up to 10 years in prison.
The government blatantly stole wealth from the American people.
Many worry the U.S. government might confiscate gold again if it becomes desperate enough. I don’t think those fears are unfounded. The U.S. government’s abysmal financial situation is only getting worse.
But would it really do a 1933-style grab again?
I don’t think it will. However, there is another growing threat to your gold.
More Likely Than Outright Confiscation
Today, only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population owns gold. Heck, I’d bet most Americans have never even seen a gold coin, much less appreciate its value.
This wasn’t the case in 1933, when the U.S. was still on a variation of the gold standard. That’s why the government probably won’t repeat the 1933 rip-off. It’s simply not worth the effort.
If the government wants to confiscate wealth, it’s far more likely to go for the easy option… steadily debasing the currency by printing money. It’s a stealthy way to confiscate from savers.
That doesn’t mean gold owners are in the clear.