Disclosure: Our content does not constitute financial advice. Speak to your financial advisor. We may earn money from companies reviewed. Learn more
This past week saw old geopolitical tensions and problems rise again. Great Britain triggered its Article 50 clause of the Lisbon Treaty to begin a two year withdrawal from 45 years of membership in the European Union. Within only a few days of this official beginning to Brexit, the EU had stirred up trouble for Britain with Spain over Gibraltar. A senior Conservative party member even made the insinuation that Prime Minister May could replay the Falkland Islands War, this time with Spain, over the status of the 300 year long U.K. possession in Europe.
Meanwhile, talk of war on another front opened with global actors the United States, China, and North Korea. President Donald Trump claimed he will deal with the North Korean threat to South Korea and U.S. interests in Asia and at home once and for all and even on his own if China will not help him in their upcoming U.S.-China Summit scheduled for this first week of April.
On the European banking front, the second largest global Swiss financial institution Credit Suisse became the subject of a five nation global tax evasion criminal investigation without warning. Countries spanning from the Netherlands and France, to the United Kingdom and Germany, to Australia have joined in on the international probe.
The news headlines are all the reason you need to protect your retirement portfolio with precious metals allowed in an IRA. Gold is the hedge that will never let your down.
Not So Cordial Brexit Process Begins with Threats and Ultimatums
British Prime Minister Theresa May finally invoked the Article 50 clause of EU membership this past Wednesday, March 29. It began the formal exit process for the United Kingdom. It only took a few hours for the threats and ultimatums to begin. EU Commission President Donald Tusk warned:
“There is no reason to pretend that this is a happy day, neither in Brussels nor in London…” There will be”difficult negotiations ahead.”
No one had any idea how hard the EU plans to make it for Britain until only a few days later when they were already stirring up the old divisive issue between the U.K. and Spain over British possession of the tip of Spain— Gibraltar. Prime Minister May had hoped that Spain would be one of her allies in the Brexit negotiations.
Thanks to the EU raising the issue and offering Spain a veto on whether or not a Brexit deal would apply to Gibraltar, it erupted into a rapid war of words that even amounted to a veiled threat of war between Great Britain and Spain over the three square mile British territory since 1713.
The argument prompted former Conservative Party leader (2003-2005) and senior-most important figure of May's party Michael Howard to draw an alarming comparison between the 1982 British-Argentine Falklands War. He began making the rounds of the news talk shows over the weekend and offering a repeated insinuated threat to Spain:
“I can see no harm in reminding them what kind of people we are… Thirty-five years ago this week, another woman prime minister sent a task force halfway across the world to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country. I'm absolutely certain that our current prime minister will show the same resolve in standing by the the people of Gibraltar.”
Add to the global implications from the shocking Brexit leave vote the possibilities of armed European conflict. While few people believe the issue will imminently break out in the first European continental war between major Western powers since the Second World War ended, May did reiterate her and Britain's official position that the status of Gibraltar is not on the table for negotiation.
Spanish government ministers have intimated that they are looking for a shared sovereignty over Gibraltar in the Brexit negotiations. May's United Kingdom has promised Gibraltar territory Chief Minister Fabian Picardo that the interests of Gibraltar (which voted overwhelmingly in favor of “remaining” in the EU) will be protected.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon summed up the May government position best with:
“We are very clear that there cannot be a change in the status and sovereignty of Gibraltar unless the people of Gibraltar agree to it – and they don't.”
It is not only the threat of a potential diplomatic or even armed conflict between the U.K. and Spain that is on the table with the upcoming difficult Brexit negotiations. The Irish are also concerned that there may be a restored border put into place between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which remains an integral part of the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Such a border threatens the fragile peace in Ireland.
President Trump Prepared to Take Care of North Korean Nuclear Threat Alone
For weeks now, South Korea's intelligence services have warned the United States and developed world that North Korea is preparing to test its sixth nuclear bomb during the first week in April. Their hope is to overshadow the upcoming summit meeting between U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi. President Trump has taken a hard line on the North Korean situation with:
“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.” The U.S. can “totally” handle North Korea's nuclear threat alone if China will not help pressure the nation. “I don't have to say any more.”
It was as recently as March 6th when the American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that “all options were on the table” regarding a response to the international pariah regime's latest threat. This took place after the North Koreans fired off four separate ballistic missiles into the Japanese waters.
North Korea has proven it has nuclear weapons nearly half a dozen different time so far. It has also demonstrated it is working hard to construct intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles which could reach the mainland United States. Unfortunately it is also run by a crazed, maniacal tyrant, as this image and quote below clearly show:
Though former President Obama attempted to tackle the issue, he was wholly unsuccessful. His strategy involved bringing sanctions against the outlaw regime, trying to establish parameters for talks with North Korea, and strong- arming China into pressuring their client state to give up their aggression and nuclear program.
This latest threat comes just ahead of the much-anticipated summit between the American and Chinese presidents scheduled to be held this coming week from April 6-7 at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort located in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump has pledged he will discuss the situation with North Korea and any ways the Chinese can cooperate in handling the threat with:
“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't. It won't be good for anyone” if they don't cooperate with the U.S.
President Trump's North Korea options review he originally ordered after he was inaugurated has been completed, just in time for the important America-China summit. This is exactly the kind of black swan event which shows you why gold makes sense in an IRA.
Credit Suisse Stunned in Five Nation Worldwide Probe of Tax Evasion Scandal
It has only been three years since Credit Suisse was forced to pay an eye-watering $2.6 billion in fines to the United States. This came after the second largest Swiss banking giant admitted to helping American citizens dodge their taxes. The troubled bank also had to pay up 109.5 million euros (or $117 million) to Italy in order to conclude an inquiry into the bank's utilizing special insurance policies that assisted their clients in evading taxes. Five years before this they had settled with Germany for a 150 million euros fine on tax evasion on behalf of German clients.
Just as the Swiss bank is trying to shift its focus away from investment banking and to wealth management, they have suddenly been raided by the authorities in London, Paris, and Amsterdam at the same time as an international globe-spanning criminal investigation has been announced by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Australia. As many as thousands of different account owners are involved around the world.
The Dutch police kicked the witch hunt off by arresting two individuals and seizing paintings, a gold bar, and jewelry. They are currently investigating dozens of other individuals they suspect have hidden millions of euros within Swiss bank accounts, per a Friday announcement of the Netherlands' Fiscal Information and Investigation Service.
The announcement of the raids and criminal investigation could not have possibly come at a worse time for the Swiss global banking giant. They are in the midst of capital raising and attempting to conduct an initial public offering on their Swiss unit. To this they now can add the headache of being perceived as a tax non-compliant bank.
Geopolitical instability reigns in the world at the moment. Do not let anyone talk you out of your IRA approved gold insurance. Now is as good a time as ever to think about the top five gold coins for investors.