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 CHRISTmas Musings.....
Mschemeng 180 posts, incept 2010-10-03

Marry Christmas Karl and all
Ive stumbled on this blogger response w/regards to TDAmeritrade, effectively closing accounts of clients living outside of US, She lives in Portugal, but she believes it targeted at Cayman island folksIm wondering what is Karls take on this (or anyone else with a inside), I mostly wonder why now? Here is what Pam said in another blog:

What I can personally vouch for is that TD Ameritrade has without notice effectively closed the accounts of thousands of its clients because of where they live..

A simple one page letter sent by snail mail and dated 8th December 2010 arrived in the customers mailboxes on the 20th or 21st December and told them their accounts were to be closed on the 21st December 2010. I know; I have one of those letters and my account is blocked from all opening transactions and no additional funds can be transfered into the account. Existing positions can be closed but the restrictions on the amount of cash that can be taken out per week is still in effect.

The reasons given in the letter are....

After assessing global requirements for doing international business, TD Ameritrade has decided that we will no longer open or maintain accounts in certain international jurisdictions,

Apparently the list of "international jurisdictions" extends to at least 50 countries.

When Ameritrade is called, most of their people were initially completely unaware of the restriction or how or why it was applied and they tried to transfer calls to the compliance division and/or tax services division, both of which refused to talk to clients (including me).

Ultimately a TD Ameritrade spokesperson has been reported as saying that this the direction had come from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

However the OFAC has denied this.

What is true however is that almost all US based brokerages are closing offshore accounts and refusing to open new ones in any country other than the US. What is also true is that TDA did this in such a manner that provided virtually zero notice of this action to their offshore clients.

Is this a precursor to capital controls and regulations to limit or restrict flows of cash in and out of the US. It seems to be a possibility, as small brokerage accounts would be very hard to control and the US treasury is shutting that door in advance of closing others. If the US is getting ready to introduce currency controls then their market (and the rest of the world's commerce) is in deep do do, not to mention what it would do to the US dollar.

There hasn't been much reported on this yet, but there are news items on it from the Cayman's (who seem to think it was directed at them personally) but it seems to affect most countries including Canada and Australia (ones I have personally asked about."
end quote

Again, my question is why now?
Personally, it effects my future plans somewhatso any insight is appreciated
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