History repeats: Just as in 1933 America, Greeks today cannot access their safety deposit boxes in banks

In the prepper community, as well as in alternative finance, there is a constant belief… if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it.  And in the Greek crisis that is raging right now in Southern Europe, and between the German establishment, the un-elected Troika, and the impoverished Greek peoples, the history of 1933 America is once again proving itself out as the bank holiday occurring right now in Greece is prohibiting depositors the power to access their rightful possessions held in safety deposit boxes.

 We have warned about this for many years and warned as recently as April this year that people should avoid using safety deposit boxes in banks.

“Greeks cannot withdraw cash left in safe deposit boxes at Greek banks as long as capital restrictions remain in place”, Nadia Valavani, a Deputy Finance Minister in Greece told local television station according to a Reuters report.

The report (Greeks cannot tap cash in safe deposit boxes under capital controls) was little noticed at it was published on the less trafficked ‘Bonds’ section of Reuters.com on Sunday July 5th at 1:58 pm EDT or 6:58 pm GMT. Sunday afternoon and evening is a time when traders, investors and even eagle eyed news junkies are likely to be taking a well earned break.

The notion that safe deposit boxes – facilities that are used by many precious metals investors and others seeking to safeguard their wealth and valuables – need to come under capital controls to protect against bank runs is a dubious one. - Zerohedge

When President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 in 1933, it provided the means in which the government could open, access, and confiscate the contents of a depositors possessions stored within a bank held safety deposit box.  Millions of dollars worth of gold and other items were confiscated from the people at that time, leading to distrust between the people and the government, and a generation who no longer trusted banks to be the holders of their wealth.

And while the 1933 bank holiday and confiscation could in some ways be justified because of an extreme financial and economic crisis, this precedent has even passed into the 21st century when the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 issued a proclamation to the banks that under the Patriot Act they have the power and the right to inspect the contents of all safety deposit boxes whenever they see fit, and confiscate these possessions if they believe they are tied to any nefarious or terrorist activity.


While it is understandable to use a vaulted and secure location such as a bank safety deposit box to protect one’s valuables from theft or other mishap, the sad truth is that putting one’s wealth into a centralized location that is under the ultimate control of the government is a recipe of confiscation, legalized theft, and your inability to get to these valuables in a time of crisis.  And as we are seeing now in Greece, this can and will be used in the future once again in the U.S., and in almost any country that experiences a future banking or monetary crisis.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.comExaminer.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.

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