Q: In the #FATCA Regime, What’s an American Worth ? A: Priceless

With US-Treasury bounties on US citizens at the world’s banks & govts, we calculate market value of an American.

We’ve discussed in the previous article that the 2010 HR 2847 Jobs for Mainstreet Act (or FATCA) placed a bounty upon US citizens. But how much is that bounty? The answer varies, depending if it is a government, a bank, or it might be a loose individual with a thumb drive.

Governments: Look first at UK, where there might have been some problems with a few US Homelanders not telling the US government exactly what they were doing. This was used as an excuse to put a bounty upon ALL of the US citizens living in UK. The census says that there are 177,185 of those pesky little US citizens there. Since they are all suspected of being criminals according to the US crime unit FINCEN, the US Treasury and UK signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) where UK agreed to ferret out all of them living in UK. This effort cost UK’s banks more than 1 billion GBP. A hefty sum. Using simple division, that makes an American in UK worth about $9150.

Looking to Australia, it’s hard to imagine that any US Homelander might want to send their money to Australia to avoid taxation. This makes it quite obvious that the Us Treasury is simply in Australia to ferret out the dual citizens living in the land of Oz. Their government documents were quite explicit. Australia use $482,680,000 to ferret out 77,000 US citizens (54% of whom are duals). To the US and Australian governments, That makes an American worth about $6270 (USD).

Due to synergy effects, an American in Canada comes cheap. Again, there are no Homelanders inside USA sending their money to Canada to avoid taxation. Canada has estimated its FATCA compliance cost at about $1 billion. The number of US citizens resident in Canada is difficult to estimate—it could be one or two million US citizens needing to be identified and located. In Canada, a US citizen might be worth barely more than 500 bucks.

Let’s move to a financial institution in Sweden. The first Qualified Intermediary financial institution which has registered with the US Treasury is Anticemex. It’s hard to imagine how much this one company spent upon FATCA compliance, when so little of its business is in financial products. But Anticemex does offer some insurance products to homeowners, to protect them against homeowner problems. It’s insurance is a side offer in its main business–which is to inspect and treat homes which are infected by dampness, fungus, algae, mildew, termites, or rodents. There is really no telling how much a US citizen might be worth to them. However, we know that customers will pay just about anything to get rid of rats.

Let’s move to the Middle East. Here, there are few governments that are directly involved with their Intergovernmental Agreements with the US Treasury. Instead, the Treasury has been focusing directly upon the individual banks and the US compliance companies located in the region. Treasury has made several trips (Jesse Eggart on at least one trip to Qatar). Here, most or many of the banks are not secular, they are listed as being Islamic. Jesse and his Treasury reps explained to a few hundred representatives of these banks, as to how they were required to ferret out the US citizens living there. And, as in the last article, we see that he has been successful in recruiting 55 bounty hunters in Iraq, 19 in Yemen, 11 in Afghanistan, and 7 in Libya.

In the middle east, it becomes more difficult to calculate the bounty upon any US citizens found at any of those banks in the region. However, we can look at even greater potentials for increasing the value of an American. It takes no imagination at all to envision what is bound to happen here. There is absolutely no instructions for data integrity within the US FATCA demands upon the world’s banks. The only thing that banks must do is to identify US persons, and to collate and store their bank account numbers, social security numbers, bank account values, and their addresses and phone numbers.

There are countless ways for data to leak out of the bank. Simply, any middle level employee may take his FATCA laptop home with him on public transportation, where it is a sure bet for normal theft. Any lower-level IT administrator can easily slip the information onto a thumb drive, and deliver it for cash to any bad guy in the region. Any potentially-corrupt upper officials with unlimited access may use these lists of US persons in any context that corrupt officials do.

In the Middle East regions, personal FATCA data upon US persons can be used a number of ways in the underworld.

It’s easy to see that US citizens in the region could be identified for terrorist actions, either with or without ransom. Those who grew up in the Middle East, but may have acquired US citizenship in US by birth or acquisition are candidates for problems from both their governments and from the population.

Identity theft with the US is a huge problem. Social security numbers are used to gain US credit cards and to empty existing bank balances. They are also used to file false US tax returns and to receive tax refunds in the name of the victim. The value of an American in the Middle East could be infinite.

Next, it must be realized that FATCA was intended to be implemented everyplace in the world that is not USA. This includes places like Nigeria, where banks are struggling to implement FATCA without an IGA. Here, it should be obvious that these banks with limited budgets can leak out data in any form. Nigeria is a center for all of the financial scams imaginable and also known for kidnappings. Dual Nigerian/US citizens are vulnerable as are the many US workers in the Nigerian oil industry. The value of an American in Nigeria could be as much as you might be able to imagine.

When thinking about the media talk about security of the US, security of the homeland, and the great concern for US citizens of the Mideast, it seems unfathomable that the US Treasury is implementing law for banks in troubled countries to ferret out US citizens. But they are.

US Treasury’s bounty value of an American in UK? $9150. An American in Australia? $6270. In Canada? barely 500 bucks. In Iraq or Nigeria? Priceless

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