Introduction: Ron Holland is a contributing editor to several newsletters dealing with political and investing topics and author of several books, including Escape the Pension Trap. Originally from North Carolina, Ron lived in Geneva from 2003 to 2004 and divided his time between the US and Europe until 2012 when he moved to Toronto. Ron has developed and introduced several innovative investment products to investors in the US, including the first Swiss-franc denominated variable annuity portfolio licensed in the US. In his writing and conference presentations, Ron emphatically advocates global investment diversification into foreign currencies and non-US markets as essential for protection from the US government's growing debt. Holland is particularly concerned about the vulnerability of retirement funds in the US, and consults to leading financial solutions providers seeking to provide viable options for citizens seeking protection. Ron's latest book is Restoring Our American Legacy.
Daily Bell: Hello, Ron. Good to speak to you again. Tell us about your upcoming book, Restoring Our American Legacy. It addresses the threats to our liberties, wealth and retirement benefits, how we should protect and grow more wealth with the new JOBS Act and suggests the potential for a boom in private equity and IPO business. Expand on that, please. What are the threats? Where's the promise?
Ron Holland: Well, your question provides a lot of answers. This is a 19-chapter free digital book that talks about confiscation threats to our wealth from both the lawyer-infested legal system and from a financial or military crisis-driven presidential executive order, and threats to our private qualified plan and IRA retirement funds. Bank robber Willie Sutton said he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." This is the same reason that governments across the West are already confiscating and forcing retirement funds into government debt – because that is where the liquid funds are.
Daily Bell: You write about the next four years being a unique time of final opportunity and crisis and list four points:
Ron Holland: There will be a dollar and Treasury debt crisis probably started by China and/or Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates because they are stuck with way too many US dollars. China has all of these dollar debts because we are the largest buyer of their exports and they get paid in dollars. For the oil producers, it is the forced petrodollar system that requires oil be bought and sold in dollars or else we invade and force the local government from power.
The JOBS Act is a fortunate accident and break for American capital growth and investors that allows new companies and ventures including private equity to advertise these opportunities to accredited investors and others. This will allow accredited investors, in addition to the former friends and family, to get in early on private opportunities that could leverage an IPO market that's poised to explode over the next few years as some of these private equity financed firms go public, i.e., IPOs.
You must protect a percentage of your existing wealth legally and by doing all of the numerous filings and government reporting requirements outside the jurisdiction on your home country and in some of the few jurisdictions that still provide a measure of asset protection and rule of law to honest earned private property and wealth.
Finally, in the United States any opportunity remaining for meaningful political action or change will be over within the next six years or sooner if a major dollar, government debt, terrorism or foreign affairs crisis develops. So do it while you can. Let's face facts: One could still vote in Nazi Germany after the Reichstag Fire in 1933 but it was totally meaningless.
Daily Bell: A recent poll showed that only 13% of Americans believe our nation is heading in the right direction. It would probably be safe to say most of our readers are among the 87% who disagree. What's going on?
Ron Holland: I think readers of the Daily Bell, LewRockwell.com and other alternative news sites and students of Austrian economic theory intuitively know what is happening based on knowledge and research. Also, that is about the percentage of support for Ron Paul last time around, although GOP and establishment media efforts to destroy his candidacy and hold down vote totals were somewhat successful.
The bottom line is if you read alternative news, laugh at the propaganda and fairy tales from the major cable channels, know real history and Austrian economics and aren't stupid, how could you believe we are heading in the right direction?
But the problem is self-interest often trumps what's right and one's philosophy. And yes, statistics show most Americans are willing to support expanding government debt, borrowing from future generations in order for us (their parents) to live better today.
Almost 40 million people, 17% of the American labor pool, owe their jobs to some level of government, or as contractors live off the taxpayer. Now, I don't know if this includes the almost 50% of Americans that get benefits from some level of government but in any case, to be crudely blunt we are screwed. So, yes, as a nation we are willing to destroy the economic future and liberties for our posterity in order to live better today. Multi-generational theft is a form of wealth genocide like animals that eat their young when they are hungry. Maybe we shouldn't and don't deserve to survive as a nation or a free people.
Sadly, there is a zombie apocalypse happening in America today and the zombies are voters. An example is the lady in the news a couple of weeks ago who blamed Obama for her food stamps being cut by $64 a month. She is quoted as whining that Obama is "taking food out of my kid's mouth."
Yes, in America today self-interest makes it okay to steal from others or to accept stolen loot from the minority who work in exchange for voting. Simply disgusting. What about the money and food taken out of the mouths of productive, working Americans in taxes to fund these benefits?
Daily Bell: You have 40 years in the investment and retirement consulting business and created the first gold IRA, headed up a registered broker-dealer licensed in 47 states and developed several US registered Swiss franc and global products for American investors. What's the investment and regulatory environment like these days?
Ron Holland: Frankly, the regulatory environment really sucks in the US for investors. Remember, the regulators didn't even catch one of their own, Bernie Madoff, who served as vice chairman of the NASD, a member of its board of governors, and even chairman of its New York region. The truth is most regulations exist only to protect the mega financial firms from foreign and domestic competitors. This stifles competition, new product innovation and individual initiative. Lets face it: Wall Street and the big investment firms have been churning out the same worthless crap for years.
Actually, the only good news on the investment front from Congress in decades has been the JOBS Act, which really was just a payback bone to the hedge fund industry, as 90% of their political contributions go to the Democrats. Somehow, due to the desperate need for more capital formation in the US or to hide the hedge fund special favors, this benefit remained in the bill for private equity. This is positive for capital formation, for America and for investors seeking real opportunities instead of the same old drivel.
Daily Bell: You have an apt description of modern governments. You believe they resemble organized crime. How so?
Ron Holland: Resemble organized crime? No. They are a form of organized crime just like the central banking cartel. Organized crime members do whatever they want without any interference from those they loot and force protection money from. It is the same for most governments; the only difference is the degree of threat and violence and the amount of theft.
Do you really think for an instant that more than a tiny minority of politicians think, care or heed the wishes of the citizens they are supposed to represent? Even if they did, the structure of the system and need for massive contributions to win elections almost guarantees they have to be in the pocket of the big money interests to survive.
Speaking of organized crime and criminal enterprises, consider the Fed that is charged with maintaining stable markets and a stable dollar. When have they ever done that? The answer is never. Since the creation in secret of the Federal Reserve at Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1913 where they hid away to create this monstrosity, more than 95% of the value of the dollar has been lost, we had the Great Depression and endless booms and busts ever since.
Even now, due to the federal deficits and unpayable national debt, the Fed only increases the money supply through QE, Quantitative Easing – another name for creating worthless dollars and buying our own Treasury debt to prevent financial collapse and a run on the dollar and Treasury debt.
This will not turn out well and, in fact, will end in collapse and the end of the dollar as the world reserve currency. We will be lucky if the dollar doesn't fall 50% in value before this madness ends. Imagine foreign imports, e.g., your automobile, electronic goods, clothes, food imports, beer and wine, rising 50% in cost and how this will impact the poor and under-employed. We will suffer massive inflation that can't be hidden by the fake statistics out of Washington.
How about the GMOs killing us with the junk we eat for profits and Big Pharma creating a society of dependent drug users? Look at what we eat in America, though much of it is outlawed in many foreign nations.
Consider a nation that outlaws natural substances like weed and then creates a prison gulag greater than any other nation on the planet, where 50% of the inmates are in jail for drug offenses. The US is number one in the world in population percentage in jail compared to Canada just to our north at 132nd. Heck, the US has more people in jail than high school teachers and engineers. Also who do you know that isn't on some prescription medication?
Big Pharma has made most of the US population as dependent on powerful drugs as the British drugged up China with opium. Look at who funds most of the advertising on cable television – in spite of the endless list of extreme side effects they're required to include in every commercial.
Daily Bell: What do investors need to do to protect themselves?
Ron Holland: First, investors need to stop watching the Wall Street propaganda channels commonly known as Fox Business and CNBC. This is like trying to learn about true love and healthy relationships on a porn channel.
Second, as much as Wall Street and the US insurance cartel want you to believe the best investments are in the US, get a healthy percentage of your investment and real estate portfolio outside the US. In my book, Restoring Our American Legacy, I go into a lot of detail about US confiscation risks from a real or contrived crisis, the US dollar and Treasury debt risks and resulting presidential executive order, the coming theft of your retirement funds and terrorism risks to the NY markets, gold and your wealth.
Finally, the question really shouldn't be, "What do investors need to do to protect themselves?" It should be, "Do they know how to do what they should?" Most are just mice in a maze surrounded by hungry cats and they'll be picked off one by one because they have neither the knowledge nor experience to develop an escape plan.
My question is what those of us who are experts in economic threats and US investment markets should do to provide a safe haven for US investors. Yes, if you work for a major bank or investment firm you'll probably lose your cushy job, salary, commissions, stock options, etc. but somebody needs to develop a store of value for Americans because the dollar is going down.
Remember, bitcoin wasn't developed by a bunch of government losers or Wall Street bureaucrats and apparatchiks but by a pseudonymous creator known as "Satoshi Nakamoto." The Silk Road developer is now in jail. It's obvious the powerful elites will never allow either a secure currency nor a private marketplace in the future.
What investors need around the world – and especially in the West outside of China that will join others as part of the new world reserve basket of currencies that in the end will not include the faithless American dollar – is a secure store of value. This is not rocket science but rather quite simple.
Think of it this way: What goes up in price when paper currencies go down? Gold and silver, reserves in and out of the ground, oil reserves and access, agricultural food producing land, coal, alcohol, wine, ammunition, secure vaults for storage, access to self defense weapons and/or manufacturers, food stuffs and a means and place of escape – even diamonds, although this is controlled by another criminal cartel. World history is full of currency collapses because all fiat currencies eventually end. The question of what goes up in value during economic turmoil is already known, based on this past history.
Freedom-loving investment people – and there are damn few of these – need to develop a corporate or LLC entity outside threatened areas that can invest and build a store of value in what is required during economic collapse, and then sell shares or ownership in such a venture. It must be domiciled in one of the few national jurisdictions that still have independence and the rule of law from the powerful empires and interests that would oppose wealth theft and confiscation. Finally, it must be suitable for retirement plan investments, as this is where most of the remaining money is, outside of real estate. This is the real solution for investors to protect themselves and a great business idea whose time has come – that is, if we have the time.
Daily Bell: Are government confiscation risks growing?
Ron Holland: Yes, of course, because all governments and politicians are desperate for more money to buy votes and pay interest and principal on national debts.
Daily Bell: Interestingly, you write about a "secret history of government theft." This has been left out of the history books along with much else. Why?
Ron Holland: This was even the case in Voltaire's day. He said, "The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to the other."
Since the beginning of recorded history the business of government has been wealth confiscation. Today the economic interests of our financial services industry, the legal profession and the political establishment guarantee this trend will accelerate in scope and intensity. Investors should accordingly act now to defend their wealth.
Most history comes from apologists on the payroll writing a fairytale for the public. It's done at the behest of politicians attempting to hide the main purpose of government, which is theft, and the transfer of wealth to their supporters and special interests. Always remember that the winners get to write the history.
After World War I a British propaganda expert was asked why totally fabricated charges of German soldiers bayoneting babies, using human skin for lamp shades and dead bodies for soap were promoted. Feeling no remorse but rather pride in the deception, he answered something to the effect, "If we hadn't said those things our solders wouldn't have fought and died for the empire and won the war." His answer was truthful and brutally honest even though it showed he, too, was a victim of his own wartime propaganda. Such is the reason for most government propaganda and public relations campaigns.
Theft by government and its supporting economic special interests has and will always be with us. Wealth and property confiscation are the hidden part of history no one writes about. It has always been the major function and activity of all governments; hence, it is not very well documented in history because most historians either work for or are subsidized by government political entities or the special interests behind and benefiting from such acts of pillage.
Daily Bell: You're worried about the growth and abuse of executive orders. Can you expand?
Ron Holland: Consider the top headline on Drudge just yesterday: "OBAMA EYES EXECUTIVE ORDERS AS SECOND TERM CRUMBLES." This is what happens to a republic when it crosses the Rubicon in the case of Caesar or under the Weimer Republic when things only got done by decree, later used by Hitler to take total power after the burning of the Reich chancellery. I watched the new movie "White House Down" yesterday, all so plausible and possible, whether by rouge elements or a black-ops force inside or real terrorist from outside. Let's face it – even today we don't know who really burned the Reich chancellery, who really had John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. killed or, for that matter, what really happened with 9/11.
Daily Bell: What happened to the American Dream?
Ron Holland: It is dead unless we can restore productive citizens' control over Washington over the next few years. In the 100 years since 1913 the patriot dream of our founding fathers has died a little bit at a time by each piece of legislation, bureaucratic regulations and crisis action.
Daily Bell: You conclude that Western-style representative democracy began with the best of intentions as a people-based self-government solution to overcome slow travel and information flow. But it has been bastardized into a flawed government structure now used to control most of the world. What exactly is that structure?
Ron Holland: This domestic and world control goes by many names – regulatory democracy, debt democracy, money power, etc. Representative democracy is a scam promoted by powerful special interests and families that offers the illusion of citizen control and impact on government actions where there really isn't any. Everything of substance and importance is controlled behind the scenes of the rigged game that is the democratic political system. In the book I offer real alternatives like direct democracy and confederation used in the most successful government structure in world history, the Swiss Confederation.
Daily Bell: How can people receive the book?
Ron Holland: First, they can email me today to request a copy of the digital version of the book once it is completed, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We expect the eBook and pdf formats to be done in about a week.
Here is the table of contents of Restoring Our American Legacy:
Part 1: What Went Wrong: Why Your Wealth Is Threatened
1. Relax – I Don't Have Anything to Sell You
2. 9/11 Really Did Change the World
3. How US Political and Foreign Policy Threaten Your Wealth and Liberties
4. Traditional Risks to the Wealth of High Net Worth Americans
5. Government Confiscation Risks
6. The Secret History of Government Theft in America
7. Beware Arbitrary Executive Branch Decrees
8. The Final Executive Order: Death of the Republic, Case Study 5
9. The Empire Risk
10. Paradise Lost: What Happened to the American Dream?
Part 2: How To Secure and Build Wealth and Liberty In America
11. So Where do We Go from Here?
12. The Swiss are Right on Direct Democracy and Foreign Policy
13. How to Enhance the GOP Base
14. Time for a New Paradigm in Foreign Policy
15. Gun Confiscation, Drone Attacks and TSA Assaults Threaten Liberty
16. Social Issues and Victimless Crimes Should Be State and Local Issues
17. New Private Equity Opportunities Are Here Thanks to the JOBS Act
18. Surviving the Dollar Payback
19. Final Thoughts and Call to Action
Daily Bell: Let's get your reaction to some international news. What's going on with the European Union and the euro?
Ron Holland: The EU is really led and ruled by Germany and is just trying to survive for now. I believe it will survive in some form at least for the wealthy European countries. I like the euro and feel the greatest threat to this currency is probably destabilization attempts by the US in order to generate investment inflows to the dollar and US markets.
Daily Bell: We keep waiting for a final euro crisis that will generate a real news event. Is the eurozone going to shrink?
Ron Holland: Yes. Hopefully once all of the transferable wealth has been taken from Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, etc. and paid back to the German banks – with, of course, a cut to Goldman Sachs that originated the scam – these nations will be allowed to leave, restore their respective currencies at a severe discount and begin to prosper again. This whole charade is sort of like the US exit tax on Americans who want to expatriate and get a new citizenship. They can leave but not with most of their wealth or future earnings.
Daily Bell: What do you make of the new political parties abroad, UKIP and the expansion of Le Pen's party in France? We think they're part of a trend that we've often described as the Internet Reformation.
Ron Holland: There really is no reason that productive people from individual countries should have any allegiance to the European Union. After all, this is just another set of crooks and thugs on top of their existing political leadership that generally forced the nations into the EU after being bought off by EU money and threats.
People are different and nations, cultures and religions are different and there is nothing wrong with being nationalistic and putting your country, or what was your country, first. Still, this should not be an excuse for racism, prejudice or ill treatment of others.
Every people should have the right for a government, big or small, of their choosing, as long as minority rights are protected and advocated. Individual towns, states and regions should decide national boundaries not distant government bureaucrats and powerful banking interests.
For example, Catalonia should have the right to decide if they want their own government or remain under the distant dictates of an existing central government. The same for Scotland, northern Italy, Wales, Quebec, Alberta, Bavaria, Texas and yes, even South Carolina and Vermont, which secession opponents before the Civil War said was too small for a country and too big for an insane asylum. In fact, thanks to the Internet Reformation, I believe the world may well be heading back towards far smaller governments like the old Italian city-states such as Florence, Venice etc. that gave the world so much. Look at Singapore, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, etc. Small works better today.
Daily Bell: What's going on with China – implosion, growth? They've been printing a lot of yuan, haven't they?
Ron Holland: I'm betting on growth rather than implosion, as they do seem to be doing far more that's right, at least in economics, than wrong and this is far more than I can say about most nations in the West.
Daily Bell: Any thoughts on the rest of the BRICs – Brazil, India or Russia? They seem determined to create a non-dollarized world.
Ron Holland: Why would the BRIC countries, or for that matter any country or even the citizens of the United States, want to risk their wealth, liberties and future on such a risky fiat instrument based on nothing but Washington promises? These BRICS are all exciting, newly developing or industrialized countries far different from the US – sort of like Detroit and the Midwestern US in reverse.
A non-dollarized world is probably a smart move for foreign nations. But remember, this is an ongoing process and the dollar in some shape or form will be around for a long time to come. Still, I urge especially American investors to diversify outside of dollar denominated assets, as when the dollar does collapse having to pay $50 for a good foreign beer will not be a pleasant experience.
Daily Bell: Is the petrodollar on its last legs or is it stable for the foreseeable future?
Ron Holland: Actually, it could be on its last legs if Iran survives an Israeli attack and the US doesn't invade. Saudi Arabia appears to be moving outside the Washington orbit and I'm sure the Arab Emirates will soon follow. I'm betting Russia and China have made them a better deal.
Daily Bell: What's going on in the Middle East with all these wars? Is Syria doomed to go the way of Libya?
Ron Holland: I thought so but maybe not. As I wrote in a recent Daily Bell editorial, "Did Putin Quietly Play the Treasury Debt Card Over Syria?" Syria just may survive. After all, the Syria mess is just a battle over which pipeline carries natural gas to Europe, Shia Iran or the Arab Sunni nations.
Daily Bell: Has Putin effectively halted that possibility? Is Russia a bulwark of freedom these days? We're slightly skeptical.
Ron Holland: No. Russia is certainly not a bulwark of freedom but Putin is one smart politician and he is running rings around Obama.
Daily Bell: How about Switzerland? A lot of changes are taking place in Switzerland, not all of them good. Your thoughts?
Ron Holland: Switzerland and Canada are my favorite nations and economic success stories in the world today and this isn't recent, like Asia's prosperity and growth. The cities in these two countries consistently receive the top ratings for quality of life, etc., and I've lived in both. I think what you are asking is why did Switzerland stand up to Hitler during World War Two when totally surrounded by Nazi armies but surrender to the United States over financial privacy?
Well, I can't speak for the people of Switzerland but maybe success has made them weaker and more prone to compromise and surrender than was the case with earlier generations. One could certainly make the same analogy about us Americans who fought the greatest empire the world had ever known all for the fight of political representation and self-government and look at us now. One and all just meek sheep and slaves to the Washington federal government. No Americans have any right to criticize other peoples and nations for their actions until we clean up the mess we have allowed to happen in our nation, formerly a beacon to the world of freedom and capitalism.
Daily Bell: Anything else you want to mention? Anything you want to add regarding this upcoming Wall Street Party?
Ron Holland: On the coming Wall Street Party, you'll play or you'll pay for missing out and if you are a pig and get too greedy and stay in too long, you'll pay again. Wall Street and institutional insiders will surely have a party with IPOs and the new opportunities for private equity regardless of how it turns out for individual investors. They make their money when you buy. We investors, on the other hand, only make money when we sell at a profit. We weren't invited to the party for obvious reasons. I for one plan to crash their party and join in investing earlier rather than, as they would prefer, later as the market peaks out.
Email me at email@example.com and request my book Restoring Our American Legacy and then you'll know what I know and believe may happen over the next four to six years. Now, whether you defend your wealth and liberties or make a profit is all up to you taking individual human action, as was described so well by Ludwig von Mises.
Daily Bell: Thanks again, Ron.
We enjoyed interviewing Ron Holland again, for he has acute perceptions about the way the world works.
Ron's interview is particularly valuable as his insights about larger issues, including international military and political issues, are impressive. There is no doubt that what we call the Anglosphere is having increasing difficulty imposing effective force on the world for purposes of political change.
War may indeed be an extension of politics, but these days it is difficult to see what is being gained by the 50 or more conflicts in which the US and Britain are directly or indirectly involved.
The Internet Reformation is making it increasingly difficult for the power elite to conduct business as usual and it is people like Ron Holland who are leading the way in terms of informing people about what's really been going on.
Ron's insights regarding the Wall Street Party we've been writing about are certainly valuable, not just academically but from the standpoint of creating wealth. There seems to be little doubt that those with the power to print money and inflate markets intend to continue to boost equities if they can.
The resultant boom and bust will likely be an epic one. But if all goes well, those who read The Daily Bell will be well apprised of the possibilities in advance. Ron plans to try to crash the party, and perhaps you can, too. To learn more about what is driving this Wall Street Party, download a free copy of Anthony Wile's latest book, Financial Freedom.