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Against Ukraine War? Obama May Seize Your Assets
 

Against Ukraine War? Obama May Seize Your Assets

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Do you, like 56 percent of the US population, believe that the US should “not get too involved” in ...

Do you, like 56 percent of the US population, believe that the US should “not get too involved” in
the Ukraine situation? Do you think that the US administration putting us on a war footing with
Russia is a bad idea? Are you concerned that the new, US-backed leaders of Ukraine — not being
elected — might lack democratic legitimacy? Are you tempted to speak out against US policy in
Ukraine; are you tempted to criticize the new Ukrainian regime?

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    Against Ukraine War? Obama May Seize Your Assets Against Ukraine War? Obama May Seize Your Assets Document Transcript

    • Against Ukraine War? Obama May Seize Your Assets Daniel McAdams ronpaulinstitute.org March 14, 2014 Do you, like 56 percent of the US population, believe that the US should “not get too involved” in the Ukraine situation? Do you think that the US administration putting us on a war footing with Russia is a bad idea? Are you concerned that the new, US-backed leaders of Ukraine — not being elected — might lack democratic legitimacy? Are you tempted to speak out against US policy in Ukraine; are you tempted to criticize the new Ukrainian regime? Be careful what you say. Be careful what you write. President Obama has just given himself the authority to seize your assets. According to the president’s recent Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine” (first reported by WND’s Aaron Klein), the provisions for seizure of property extend to “any United States person.” That means “any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.” Declaring a “national emergency” over the planned referendum in Crimea to determine whether or not to join Russia, the US president asserts that asset seizure is possible for any US person “determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State”: (i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following: (A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; (B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or
    • (C) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine; The Executive Order is, as usual, so broadly written that it leaves nearly everything open to interpretation. For example, what are “direct or indirect…actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine”? Could that be someone writing an article that takes issue with the US policy that the Crimea referendum is illegal and illegitimate? Could it be standing up in a public meeting and expressing the view that Ukraine would be better off with nationwide referenda to determine whether other regions should become autonomous or joined to neighboring countries? What if a Polish-American appears on a radio or television program suggesting that parts of Poland incorporated into Ukraine after WWII should be returned to Polish authority? Probably the president will not seize the assets of Americans in the scenarios above. But he says he can. As the US government moves ever-closer to war with Russia, it is reasonable to expect these attempts to squash dissent and to remove “threats” to the administration’s position. The historical pattern is clear. Recall Eugene V. Debs sentenced to ten years in prison for his opposition to US involvement in WWI. Recall Japanese-Americans interned in camps during WWII because their loyalty to the United States was deemed suspect. The stage is being set to silence dissent. It sounds alarmist to read this, agreed. Probably the president will not use his Executive Order to seize the assets of Americans who disagree with his Ukraine policy. But he says he can. Careful what you say. Did Russia Just Move Its Treasury Holdings Offshore? Min Zeng wsj.com March 14r, 2014
    • Foreign central banks’ Treasury bond holdings parked at the Federal Reserve dropped by the most on record in the latest week. Some analysts think the crisis in Ukraine is sparking the move. Their theory: Russia is shifting its Treasury bond holdings out of the Fed and into offshore accounts. That way, Russia would be able to buy or sell its portfolio if the U.S. and its European allies impose economic sanctions amid growing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine. Treasury securities held in custody for foreign official and international accounts tumbled by $105 billion in the week that ended Wednesday, according to weekly data released late Thursday. That shrank Treasury bond holdings by foreign central banks to a 15-month low of $2.855 trillion, though still near a record high of $3.02 trillion set in December. Relations between the West and Russia have deteriorated sharply in recent days as Crimea prepares to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to split from Ukraine and join Russia. Ukraine, the European Union and the U.S. view that vote as illegal. The U.S. and Germany warned that Russia could face economic sanctions if the crisis worsens. “The upcoming referendum in Crimea and multiple threats of sanctions could have triggered a significant reallocation of Treasurys to non-US custodians,” said Shyam Rajan, interest rate strategist at Bank of AmericaBAC -2.10% Merrill Lynch in New York. Russian entities held $138.6 billion of Treasury debt as of December 31 which includes both official and private holdings, according to the Treasury Department’s website. “This is only speculation on our part, but it seems likely that the Russian authorities had more than $100 billion of Treasury debt in custody at the Fed, and it doesn’t seem implausible that they moved it to a jurisdiction where it would be less vulnerable to a U.S. asset freeze,” said Lou Crandall at Wrightson ICAP LLC. Foreign central banks can park their Treasury bond holdings at the Fed or other banks that offer custody services. Putting Treasury holdings at the Fed makes it easy to buy or sell dollar-denominated assets, similar to the NY Fed housing gold of many foreign central banks, analysts said.
    • “It’s likely cheaper for the central banks than having other, commercial custodian banks hold the positions on their behalf,” said Anthony Cronin, a Treasury bond trader at Société Générale SA. “If they did transfer these assets out of the Fed, they could have gone to Russian banks or any other offshore bank that provides custodian services.” Some analysts said central banks other than Russia’s could be selling Treasurys to prop up their local currencies. Many emerging-market currencies fell sharply in January as concerns grew about the health of developing economies. Despite the selling by central banks, Treasury bond prices have strengthened for each trading session this week as investors sought protection from the haven market over worries about Ukraine’s geopolitical tensions and China’s slowing economy. The benchmark 10-year note’s yield was recently at 2.633% Friday, down over 0.1 percentage points for the week. It has fallen from a six-week peak above 2.8% made after last Friday’s better-than- expected U.S. jobs report. When bond prices rise, their yields fall. Some traders took the bond market’s strength as a sign foreign central banks merely transferred their bonds to different accounts, rather than selling them. “If central banks were selling that much Treasurys, the market would have noticed and would not have traded as well as it has this week,” Mr. Cronin said. A spokesman from the New York Fed declined to comment Friday. INFOWARS.COM BECAUSE THERE'S A WAR ON FOR YOUR MIND