The price of American citizenship only seems to get costlier – and I’m not just talking about high taxes. For Americans living or working overseas, excessive US regulations are becoming a disruptive burden, as exemplified by this disclaimer from Swiss PKB Privatbank brought to our attention by good friend Dr. Eduardo Morgan of Morgan and Morgan in the Republic of Panama. After being presented this instruction: “U.S. Nationals and Residents please click here due to Legal restrictions applicable to your Country,” we find the following disclaimer:
For reasons of US securities laws (in particular the Investment Advisors Act and the Dodd Frank Act) you are not allowed to visit this website.
We cannot and will not, as a matter of principle, give you any investment advice or solicit broker/dealer services as we are not a SEC registered investment advisor or broker/dealer.
This is a jarring statement to see, though it shouldn’t be entirely surprising. US tax policy has seen a decades-long drift in this direction, beginning in the 1990′s with Qualified Intermediary and Know-Your-Customer rules, and compounded in recent years by new and costly burdens from Dodd Frank and FATCA. These more recent rules, along with Senator Levin’s latest attempt to expand Treasury Department authority to threaten banks that don’t act as deputy US tax collectors, are making US citizenship a toxic asset and US markets a bad place to do business. CF&P has been consistently warning that this trend toward fiscal imperialism would result in disinvestment in the US economy, and sadly events keep proving us right.
Unfortunately, there are many more examples out there just like this one. Many banks no longer can afford to take on US clients or invest in the US economy. Congress must wake up and reverse this trend by making the US an attractive place for foreign investment once again.