Back on Monday, I reported on Anthony Weiner's shocking abuse of power here. Anthony Weiner said that he will hold a hearing on what he calls “TV Gold Dealers -- a Weinerian form of a bill of attainder against Goldline International and Glenn Beck."
That this can even happen in this country is evidence of how the left is completely and utterly shredding the Constitution.
Atlas reader Alan Davidson wrote in:
Yesterday they had the hearing to investigate GoldLine's marketing practices and to forward H.R. 6149
You can watch a video of the hearing at the Committee of Energy and Commerce website.
I watched the entire hearing.
I watched in utter astonishment at what unfolded.
Memo to readers who are liberals/democrats: this is what the Tea Party Movement is about and why you might at least heed what I am about to say.
H.R. 6149 is titled: "The Precious Coins and Bullion Disclosure Act"
Call me nuts, but I have spent days calling coin dealers, the ICTA and the ANA. I, of course, also called the largest coin dealers here where I live, in Washington State.
None expressed anything other than outrage and disgust at the prospect of this bill.
To the nuts and bolts: This bill will require any coin dealer that sells any gold or "precious metal" coin or bullion (other than exempt "rare and collectibles") to disclose the following:
* The "melt value" of the gold as it pertains to the spot gold market that day
* The "reasonable resale value" of the coin or bullion (for example, if the buyer were to turn around five minutes later and sell it back to the dealer who just sold him the coin).
Knowing this, watch the video on the link I provided.
It is a travesty.
Anthony Weiner scolded and attempted to shame Mr. Carter of GoldLine. Others defended him.
Here is what a coin dealer say, here in Seattle would have to do if they were selling say, an American Eagle 1 ounce gold coin: disclose the retail price, the selling price, the "melt value" (based on the Spot Gold Price that day) and a "reasonable resale" value of the coin that day.
Here's the rub: doing so verbally ain't gonna' cut it.
So, little ol' coin dealer has to haul his butt over to Alpha Graphics and get some spanking new forms. Why? Because you are going to want this in writing for the inevitable frivolous lawsuit. What will the form have to include? Well, all of the specifics aforementioned, a place for signatures and a place to write in the description of the coin or bullion. Then you will have to train your sales employees, place "federal compliance" posters and suffer the loss in sales due to this "revealing" of market forces to potential customers.
So regulation is good here right? Mr. Weiner is "protecting the consumer from this endemic fraud being perpetrated on the public", right?
Again, play the video.
Mr. Weiner did not produce a list of 100+ coin dealers who sell unscrupulously to prove this industry is fraught with endemic fraud and poor selling practices.
Again, play the video.
Mr. Weiner contends that GOLDLINE marks up their products way to high. During his testimony, Mr. Carter proved that his company discloses everything including the % of loss that might occur if coins were sold less than five years after being purchased. In fact, his company's disclosures ALREADY comply with the bill Weiner wants to pass!
This bill will not cause GoldLine to lower its prices
Their business model is on based on commissioned sales people, massive advertising budgets, a very nice headquarters in Santa Monica, CA and some nicely paid top executives.
I most likely would not buy from them. I think gold is a nice buffer to protect a portfolio and we have great local dealers here in Seattle.
Again, watch the video, AND visit Mr. Weiner's website. Navigate his site, especially his "on the issues" & "in the news" links. Look carefully at one entry "in the news" called "Weiner takes on shady gold dealers"
See the epidemic? The list of tens or hundreds of coin dealers?
NOPE. Pretty much just GOLDLINE.
Again, watch the video. GoldLine, GoldLine, GoldLine.
So, a Congressman who represents the 9th District of New York thinks a gold dealer in California sells their products with way too much mark up.
In California. Where they have consumer protection and regulatory agencies up the wazzo and an ATTORNEY GENERAL. Who can investigate and fine such "shady dealers" in CALIFORNIA.
But that isn't enough for Mr. Weiner. Why? Because other folks work with GoldLine.
Glenn Beck, Talk Radio and Conservative groups.
Is GoldLine guilty of unscrupulous activities? Lois Greisman, Associate Director, Marketing Practices Division of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission who testified FOR the bill was asked "how many consumer complaints were issued with the FTC last year against GoldLine" Answer: "I do not have the precise number, it is not a large number" (i.e : it could be zero as that is "not a large number, get it?) and "the percentage of complaints in this area (sales of gold coins and bullion, etc.), is less than 1%" NOTE: one would think Ms. Greisman would come to a CONGRESSIONAL HEARING with "precise numbers" of complaints within her own regulatory agency if she was called to testify under oath to forward a bill that would affect thousands of small business owners and their customers......just sayin'.
There are no criminal complaints against them from the AG's office in California.
They have an A+ rating from the BBB.
A Mr. Julius Bazan testified he bought $140,000 in gold from GoldLine in December 2009. He watched the gold market for a couple of months and didn't see gold prices going through the roof, so he called the evil bastards at GoldLine and asked what he could sell the gold back to them for. They said $85,000. Gold was $1.093 when he bought it. It is $1,290 today. He could have held on to it. He could have adhered to the highly suggested advice in the agreement he SIGNED with GoldLine before his purchase and AGREED to, that he should expect a return if he holds the gold for five plus years. He could have shopped around for another buyer. He could have sold them on Ebay. Or, he could have bought 177 of the coins from the US Mint that I list below. Then, sold them the next day and lost $30,000, but then who could he have complained to? Or he could have been a 1st lien bondholder of GM stock
Gee, after reading Mr. Bazan's testimony, let me grab a Kleenex. One of those "Puffs", cause they have that built in lotion. I'm sobbing uncontrollably.
Is it possible there are some aggressive commission based salespeople at GoldLine?
If so, is this bill to get GoldLine specifically to comply with new regulation? Nope. They already would comply today if the bill passed.
So, thousands of small coin dealers suffer. For what?
Because a New York Congressman doesn't like a gold coin dealer in California, Talk Radio hosts and Glenn Beck.
This is the crux of why you see the explosion of the Tea Party. This hearing was not even being broadcast on C-Span. I called them and they said it wasn't on their radar. To be fair to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, they provide streaming video, PDF files of testimony and archive videos very transparently.
But I would not know about this bill or this hearing if not for a coin dealer who expressed his concern to me in conversation.
This is Big Government.
If there were truly terrible sales practices being perpetrated by GoldLine and even a handful of other gold coin dealers, there are consumer protection and law enforcement agencies to address such.
This bill, if passed, will do NOTHING to GoldLine. It will wreck havoc on small dealers.
This is Big Government.
Yesterday, I went to the US Mint website. The US Government sells gold coins too. Right now, if you want to buy an American Gold Eagle from them, guess what they do? They state the demand is too high and pawn you off to a DEALER.
Oh, but they do have some coins. You can buy some of these 1/2 oz gold coins.
I called local dealers and asked, if pressed for cash and I had to sell this coin soon after I bought it, what they would give me? The prices ranged from $625 to $645. Price from the US Mint: $791
The US Mint explained they have mark up too. Weird, huh?
Here's what I would like to ask Mr. Weiner: If I, two years ago, bought 10K worth of coins at retail price from GoldLine and also 10K in stock from GM, Chrysler, Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac, what would my holdings be worth today?
Well, the gold would be worth something. In fact, it was $1,290 today....a record.
All are currently in receivership and owned mostly by the same Federal Government who is currently fleecing, you, the taxpayer, to pay for a hearing so Mr. Weiner can yell at Mr. Carter from GoldLine and say how terrible they are while he forwards a bill that coin dealers fear will cost them much time and money and even jobs.
This is the crux of the movement of the Tea Party. We want limited government. We want to stop the encroachment of regulation upon rule upon law upon tax upon fee upon fine upon the citizenry who pays them to levy such.
Hold a tax payer funded hearing? For what?
A huge new federal regulation that supersedes any state law, laying waste to state sovereignty and will negatively affect small coin dealers nationwide.....for what?
Because a Congressman in New York's 9th district doesn't like the practices of a coin dealer in California.
First.....they came for GoldLine.
After watching the taped hearing again today, I caught this while Mr. Weiner was yelling at Mr. Carter from GoldLine:
"Let me give you an example from TODAY. Anyone in this room; anyone watching at home, can look this up. This isn't me, this isn't Mr. Carter saying this. "one of GoldLine's popular products is the 1/4 ounce Proof American Eagle". They sell it for $685, Mr. Chairman. You can get it from the Mint for $403 available to the public in a bulk purchase of more than 100 coins. Another competitor, Apmex, sells it for $425. You can get it on Ebay for $445. Because it is true, Mr. Carter, that there is not a lot of scarcity of these products"
This is an outrageous example of Mr. Weiner lying through his teeth. Waving his arms, raising his voice in a dramatic way to show how so-called scummy this Glenn Beck sponsored company is.
First of all, a "Proof" coin is more valuable than an uncirculated coin. And a 2010 Proof might be worth more than say a 1995 Proof, which might have had a larger number produced. So prices are based on availability and scarcity.
Let's look at these statements from Mr. "outraged':
* "Because it is true, Mr. Carter, that there is not a lot of scarcity of these products"
* "Another competitor, Apmex, sells it for $425"
* "You can get it on Ebay for $445"
Here are the facts:
There are a total of NINE 1/4 ounce Proof American Eagles for sale at Apmex. The one for $435 is being sold "capsule only" and is a "random date" . "Capsule only" means there is no "COA" which means NO CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY.
Yeah, you can "get it" on Ebay for $445. ONE is available at that price. Only EIGHT 1/4 ounce Proof American Eagles are for sale on Ebay.
Prices? Fixed prices range from $1,049, all the way down to the ONE hero selling one for the "let's win one for the Weiner", "Let's show GoldLine how it done" , basement low, "there's only one being sold on all of freakin' Ebay" price of $445.
The only other item being sold on Ebay where only EIGHT are available are used "Breakin' movies on VHS format.
So, Mr. Weiner, add up all the sources you mentioned to PROVE NON-SCARCITY of 1/4 ounce Proof American Eagles and you get:
Yep, not scarce at all!
But wait there's MORE!
Call the US Mint.
Tell them you took Ol' Mr Weiner's advice and "watching at home" found out you, the public, can "get it from the Mint for $403 available to the public in a bulk purchase of more than 100 coins"
What do mean that isn't true?
But Mr. Weiner said I could buy them in bulk!
What do you mean that bulk PURCHASE PROCEDURES are:
"Gold bullion coins are sold in bulk quantities to BUSINESS FIRMS, approved by the United States Mint, that have met the qualifying criteria set forth in Section V below. Approved firms can purchase in the following quantities:
- A minimum of 1,000 ounces of gold coins, composed of any combination of one-ounce and fractional pieces, in 500-ounce units (the standard packaged quantity). Purchases above the minimum must be in 500-ounce increments"
Mr. Weiner LIED to the public at a hearing in order to smear a lawfully operating company for purely partisan politics and this was paid for by you, the taxpayer!