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Open a bank account with a U.S. bank from anywhere on EARTH?
From the majority of countries, yes.
The United States of America is an economic and military superpower, a democracy that supports freedom and individual rights for its citizens coupled with free-market capitalism. America is a country that creates many brilliant entrepreneurs; it is also a nation that is providing this global leadership into the knowledge industries of the 21st century. It is this ideology of ‘entrepreneurialism’ that is the backbone of the U.S. economy that fosters innovation resulting in a strong economic environment which then provides wealth and soundness to the U.S. currency and banking system.
For the majority of the last 100 years, the United States has been at the forefront of the world stage with its consumer products, pop culture and military leadership. In short, the 20th century was America’s century. History has provided us with many examples of specific nations dominating certain time frames although quite often resulting in the eventual crash of the currency as the dominant nation falls from power. This happened during the Roman Empire as its own version of the modern day euro currency for Europe at that time crashed in value. France in the 1700’s debased their currency, the ‘assignats’ which too collapsed in value. Both Britain and Germany over the last 200 years have had currency crashes as they fell from the climax of their global power.
Will the United States continue to dominate into the 21st century as the only economic and military superpower? China, India will also rise to be co-superpowers along with the United States. A revitalized Russian economy and defense renewal will see the return of Russia to superpower status.
Today, many countries use the US-dollar (‘USD’) as their currency (‘dollarization’) and/or as a reserve currency. The US-dollar is the unit for which most of the world’s assets and liabilities are denominated in. The US-dollar is fiat money, that is, the market determines the value based upon the level of strength and confidence investors view the United States economy. The US-dollar is no longer backed by gold. A closer look at a US-dollar banknote reveals the words, “In God We Trust”, a simple slogan that expresses that value is determined by confidence. Once a nation for that matter loses its confidence, so goes down the economy and currency. But for the moment, the US-dollar will remain a hard currency that is widely popular in the world today.
Currently, the United States economy is in the midst of a prolonged sluggish recovery from the very deep recession and/or mild depression that inflicted the country in year 2008-09. The country is in debt although public finances are improving at all government levels. It should be noted that America’s current federal debt to GDP ratios are much more favourable than Japan’s. A looming overhang threat to the U.S. economy is the eventual rising of U.S. interest rates as they are currently at historical lows for the Federal Funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent range.
What’s next for America’s economy and the US-dollar?
For all the doom and gloom, America still has powerful options to turn the ship around. Implementation of a national value added consumption tax (VAT) similar to other industrialized countries coupled with higher sin taxes can dramatically lower the fiscal deficit. A VAT can provide surplus budgetary funds as it will provide taxes from the portion of the economy that is underground. A movement towards modestly taxing consumption whilst lowering income taxes in our view is a better way to go.
What if foreign investors lose their appetite for U.S. investments and if positive international capital inflows into the United States reverse direction. This dire scenario could create real vulnerabilities for the U.S. economy and the US-dollar, but in our view, unlikely. Creditors will force higher interest rates in the U.S. bond market and force the politicians in Congress to be accountable to reduce spending programs and/or to make tough decisions such as implementing a national VAT in order to help balance the books.
America for the most part has been a very stable and sound banking system since the great depression of the 1930’s when a large percentage of the nation’s banks became insolvent. During the U.S. banking crisis of 2008-09, there were just over 100 U.S. bank failures. Another major banking crisis did occur in the 1980’s, the collapse of the Savings & Loan (S&L) institutions. The United States banking system is decentralized consisting of the majority of banking institutions being independent and small in size. The U.S. has literally thousands of individual banks and smaller Savings & Loan’s operating within the marketplace. The collapse of the U.S. banking system was for the most part backed up by the U.S. government.
Banks in the United States are not the safest or most conservatively managed banks in the world today. Again, caveat emptor, some U.S. banks have to be researched closely with respect to precarious investments in vehicles such as hedge funds, derivatives and the quality of their loan portfolio. Depositors are somewhat protected with the existence of the government owned Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). FDIC insured deposits are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The basic insured amount of a depositor is 100,000 USD.
American banks tend to be very highly leveraged with reserves that are extremely low compared to their obligations to depositors. With these cautions adhered to, outright large bank failures today in modern day America are still rare events as the market witnessed the U.S. government showing its commitment to back stopping big U.S. financial institutions as noticed in late 2008. It should also be noted that the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act requires a transaction report to be filed for any transaction over 10,000 US-dollars.
The majority of U.S. banks do not allow for non-residents to open a bank account as they require customers to have a U.S. social security number. Unlike Switzerland, only a handful of banks in the United States do offer multi-currency accounts. On the plus side, initial minimum deposits are quite low with U.S. banks.
The United States economic system of relatively low taxation and fairly loose regulations has created an environment for entrepreneurs and industry innovation to prosper. America will remain an economic powerhouse. Over the long term, it is a very safe bet that the United States will NOT fall from power like so many other nations have had happened to them throughout history. The U.S. has had a long successful history of financial stability and has provided a wonderful standard of living for millions of U.S citizens. No economic system is perfect, and America has its vulnerabilities, with that said, the US-dollar will most likely remain as a popular currency going forward but with new company such as China’s renminbi, the Indian rupee, gold bullion and the Euroland euro to name just a handful.
OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT IN THE UNITED STATES?
Foreign bank accounts in the United States for non-resident and citizens of other countries are available if the laws of your locality allow it. Our worldwide clientele are attracted to the U.S. banking system stability and relative strength of the US-dollar. Bank accounts in the United States may work well for your personal or business requirements. If you have relatives living in America, a bank account in your name may provide a convenient way to transfer monies to relatives or even for business matters.
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