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This is how failing nations pay the bills. Print a bunch of money, and then stop letting people take it out of the country on bogus national security claims.

Capital controls are slowly but surely coming back, it seems.

We're basically in a state of surveillance of nearly all financial transactions.

This is, of course, always a state security goal. Computers make it a lot more scary to me though. Monitoring can be a lot more personal. More individuals can be watched than ever before, with records kept accessible for longer than ever, with better software for reporting than ever before. And it's never been easier to lose control of large quantities of information now that gigabytes can be copied in seconds.

>We're basically in a state of surveillance of nearly all financial transactions.

I am absolutely convinced this is the reason. I'm reading a lot of theories that racist or anti-immigrant motivations lie behind this, but I think it simply is that the priority has shifted between the conflicting motivations of the government to spy on everything and away from facilitating illegal labor for the benefit of large businesses. I have wondered for a while now when this was going to happen because it seemed unreasonable for a surveillance state to leave such a gaping hole in its vision.

> failing nations pay the bills ... stop letting people take it out of the country

No it's not. You have it completely backwards!

Failing nations are delighted for the local currency to leave.

Failing countries won't let foreign currency in.

Almost: failing countries let foreign currency in, then try to prevent it being used for internal transactions or being sent out again. Attempts are made to restrict spending the country's limited supply of forex to fuel.

America's ability to pump its own oil is far more important than its ability to print currency. You can't print oil, and having to import it in large quantities would make the economy unviable.

You do know that the US still imports 1/2 of it's oil, right? (about 6 million barrels per day in imports, http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_neti_a_ep00_IMN_mbblpd_...)

However, all countries in the world without oil have to buy their oil in USD ... so they first convert their local-currency to USD, and then purchase oil, driving USD currency demand.

For some reason I don't think those $50 billion are what is the main concern of the federal gov't

Yes, in fact this could hurt them more significantly. The assets 7.6 million expats are mostly in the US since the US is preventing 'US persons' from investing abroad with the same kind of regulatory interference, that amounts to a lot more than the $50 billion in remittances.

Adding further difficulties to international transfers may encourage expats to recalculate their positions. Then there will be further network damages. I would rank the average US Diaspora as less positive about getting involved with a US based business partner than the average European due to familiarity with the US' regulatory style and its chaotic results.

>and then stop letting people take it out of the country on bogus national security claims.

What is the motive for keeping the money in the country? I'm not disagreeing I'm just unsure why that is a stipulation.

Makes it a lot easier to manipulate the value (especially if you aren't importing a lot) of the money.

Encourages you to spend it locally instead, supporting the nation's economy.

Also discourages its citizens from leaving the country.

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