In truth, such a US move looks very unlikely. Ahead of needing cross-party support to repair each the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling disaster, it could be obviously partisan. (Not all US gold investors are Republicans, but very few are Democrats in my experience.)
Still, this chitchat does highlight a key point about gold - the truth that, inside residing memory, it got unique ill treatment from government everywhere. Western households were blocked from owning gold bullion for 30 years and more following the end of WWII. Over the 20 years prior, their gold had been variously nationalized, compulsorily bought and stolen.
Not just investment-grade bullion. And not just gold belonging to citizens either. 1935: Mussolini nabs 35 tonnes of gold wedding rings. The United States of America "confiscation"
December 1935 saw popular Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini appeal to the patriotism of Italy's wives, urging them to swap their gold wedding bands for steel rings rather. Yes, really. On Wednesday the 18th, La Stampa gave over its whole front web page to this financing drive: "The most noble rite of 'faith' joins all women in Italy in one heroic will" ('fede' which means both 'wedding ring' and 'faith' - clever, eh?) "The Queen lays down her wedding ring upon the Altar of the Homeland" "The proud and moving offer of the ladies in Turin". Italian women were so "encouraged"
1939: Nazi Germany steals Czech gold in London. You did not need to be a personal individual, nor keep your gold at home, to shed precious metals in the 1930s. Little-recalled today, the Nazis' theft of Czechoslovakian gold reserves triggered such fuss in the British press in mid-1939 that the public was fully prepared for war by the time Germany invaded Poland in September.
The Bank for International Settlement had been established in 1930 to try and manage the fast-collapsing international Gold Standard. Based in neutral Switzerland, it was supposed to be above politics, and even though its senior employees were all senior central bankers in their house nations, they played by a "gentlemanly"
So when, on 20 March 1939, just after the Nazis marched into Prague, a message was sent to the BIS apparently by the Czech National Bank, the BIS duly passed the message on. It asked the Bank of England (then, as now, the world's premier clearing point for physical gold) to move the metal held in BIS account No.2 to a brand new BIS account, No.17.
Never thoughts that the Czechs had already sent word that any directions would come "under duress" and must be ignored. By no means mind that the British parliament had place a freeze on all Czech assets, to defend them against Nazi theft. And never mind that the Bank of England knew BIS No.2 contained Czech gold, and that No.17 was held for the German Reichsbank. Because the Bank of England's governor, Montagu Norman, was also a director of the non-political BIS. And he'd do anything to protect the noble independence of central bankers, applying their "gentlemanly"
The transfer was done prior to anybody outdoors the central banks knew, and also the gold was then sold in just 10 days. From the time the story broke in May, the £6 million in proceeds was long gone. (We are able to find no reference to the transfer, nor to the national scandal beginning in Might, in Norman's individual diary.)
1966: Britain begins prosecuting gold-coin investors. Two decades after the war ended, and 35 years after Britain quit the Gold Standard, its politicians had been busy meddling with gold investment. Because the Pound was falling on the currency markets. So individuals were buying gold, sending cash overseas to buy it and so hurting the UK's already terrible balance of trade. Thereby hurting the Pound yet once more.
To attempt and stem the slide, the Labour government put a block on imports of gold coin, and banned personal citizens from owning more than four gold coins. Anyone having a bigger collection had to tell the Bank of England, whose officers would then judge whether the owner was a true collector, or a speculator.
Speaking in the (very heated) parliamentary debate of 13 June, the Conservative MP for Worthing, Terence Higgins, asked why the Government was attacking gold. "People are holding gold because they have no faith in the Government's policy on the stabilization of the cost of residing and on curtailing the rate of inflation...Will it take action against other specific assets that are a hedge against inflation?" (Indian households may ask exactly the same today.)
But too bad - the "rule of four" went through (as it became recognized by retail dealers). By June 1967 some 4,847 individuals had submitted themselves to the Bank of England's scrutiny, and prosecutions had begun. Exchange controls on gold were lastly lifted from the first Thatcher administration's first budget, in 1979.
The moral of those tales? Because gold is no longer central to the world's monetary system, so-called "confiscation"