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A Tipping Point in Texas? It’s Building Its Texas Bullion Depository Bank

May. 6, 2016
by Bob Adelmann

A modest bill, getting little press and clothed in innocuous terms, could spell the end of the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on its “federal reserve note” currency. When Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed it into law almost a year ago, he said:

Today [July 15, 2015] I signed HB 483 to provide a secure facility for the State of Texas, state agencies and Texas citizens to store gold bullion and other precious metals.

With the passage of this bill, the Texas Bullion Depository will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.

When responses to ITBs (Invitation to Bid) on building the new facility started coming in, it made the headlines – at a local radio station, News Radio 1200 WOAI out of San Antonio. The station elicited a similar response from the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Lois Kohlkorst: “We have a number of state agencies which have invested in gold and we have to pay for those storage fees. We would like to bring that gold back to Texas.”

Those various agencies have nearly $1 billion in gold and other precious metals stored in New York City. When the facility is completed late this year, those assets will be repatriated to Texas.

Buried in her bill, now become law, is the option for Texans to store their own personal gold and silver reserves at the Texas Bullion Depository (TBD) and be able, through a separate clearing house set up by the law, to write checks and perform other banking functions, all outside the current Fed monopoly. In addition, the law forbids the facility to engage in loaning out those reserves to other customers, thus eliminating any temptation to engage in fractional-reserve banking.

This has gotten Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center excited. He called the TBD “an important first step towards gold and silver as commonly-used legal tender in the state. By making gold and silver available for regular daily transactions by the general public, the new law has [a] potential wide-reaching effect.” He added that it “would undermine the monopoly of the Federal Reserve System by introducing competition into the monetary system.”

Boldin has support from an unlikely source, a liberal college professor at NYU, William H. Greene. Wrote Greene:

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