As War on Cash Escalates, Cash Lovers Fight Back

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“It would be fatal if citizens got the impression that cash is gradually taken away from them”: Bundesbank President Weidmann.

By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

Over the last couple of days, bureaucrats at the European Commission and European Central Bank have expressed a keen interest in withdrawing the €500-note from circulation – barely a week after former Standard Chartered CEO Peter Sands published a report calling for the exact same measure. Allegedly the currency of choice for organized crime outfits around the world, the so-called “Bin Laden bill,” accounts for close to a third of the total amount of cash in existence in the Eurozone.

Then on Tuesday, Larry Summers, in an effort to keep his name in the media by hook or crook, called for the death of the $100 bill, though he lamented that removing existing notes was probably “a step too far”:

But a moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place. In terms of unilateral steps, the most important actor by far is the European Union. The €500 is almost six times as valuable as the $100. Some actors in Europe, notably the European Commission, have shown sympathy for the idea and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has shown interest as well.

We have warned for over two years (here, here, here and here) that a loose, albeit powerful, coalition of governments, central banks, big banks, credit card companies, fintech firms, NGOs, and large corporations seeks to pull the plug on cash, for their own disparate motives.

Those motives include sustaining and even intensifying the central banks’ nightmarish experiment with negative interest rates, increasing public dependence on big banks, destroying the last vestiges of personal financial freedom and anonymity, expanding government surveillance of and control over the economy, and in the case of credit card companies and fintech firms, doing away with their biggest competitor, physical currency.

The powers that want to kill off cash already have vital technological and generational trends firmly on their side, as a result of which cash’s days as a commonly used payment method may well be numbered anyway. They also have the added bonus of widespread public ignorance, apathy, and disinterest.



Yet despite all the factors stacked in the favor of cash’s would-be executioners, there is a danger of overstating their prospects. All too often we hear about the countries in Europe and elsewhere that are furthest along the path toward a completely cashless existence — countries with high levels of public trust in public institutions such as Denmark, Sweden, Australia and Singapore. By contrast, we hardly ever hear about countries where public trust is low in government and financial institutions and physical cash is still revered. They include many of the nations of the Global South as well as two of the world’s biggest, most advanced economies, Germany and Japan.

In Germany, recent government proposals to ban cash payments above €5,000 have triggered a fierce public backlash, reports The Guardian. The country’s bestselling newspaper, The Bild, published a scathing open letter on Monday titled “Hands Off Our Cash,” while a broad spectrum of political parties has condemned the proposed measures as an attack on data protection and privacy.

“Cash allows us to remain anonymous during day-to-day transactions. In a constitutional democracy, that is a freedom that has to be defended,” tweeted the Green MP Konstantin von Notz. Even the head of the Bunderbank, Jens Weidmann, criticized the government’s proposals, telling Bild (emphasis added): “It would be fatal if citizens got the impression that cash is being gradually taken away from them.”

According to a recent Bundesbank study, approximately 80% of payments in Germany are made in cash. Even among millennials, two-thirds say they prefer paying in cash to electronic means.

Germany’s neighbor to the south, Austria, has similar reservations about the EU’s plans to suppress cash. The Deputy Economy Minister Harald Mahrer recently said that Austrians should have the constitutional right to protect their privacy.

“We don’t want someone to be able to track digitally what we buy, eat and drink, what books we read and what movies we watch,” Mahrer said on Austrian public radio station Oe1. “We will fight everywhere against rules” including caps on cash purchases, he said.

Meanwhile, in tech-obsessed Japan, the country that first popularized mobile wallets and smartphones, cash is king. It is offered and excepted reverentially even when paying for groceries. Every ¥10,000-note is treated with utmost care. As a rule, they’re pristine. Demand for cash remains solid, to the increasing consternation of global credit card companies. In a 2013 report, MasterCard estimated that 38% of the total value of the country’s retail transactions were in cash. That’s almost twice the rate in the U.S. and five times the rate in France.

At ¥90 trillion ($885 billion), or about a fifth of gross domestic product, the value of banknotes in circulation is the highest in the world as a proportion of the economy. Indeed, many small businesses — including two of Tokyo’s 13 restaurants with the highest rating of three stars in the famed Michelin guide — don’t even take plastic, the Wall Street Journal reported a couple of years ago.

It’s impossible to identify, at least with any great precision, the exact reasons for two of the world’s most advanced economies’ continued love affair with cash. In Japan safety appears to play an important role, claims the FT. Given that muggings are rare, people feel quite safe carrying around the equivalent of hundreds of dollars in their pockets or handbags. According to a recent survey in Germany, many people believe that using cash is a better way of keeping track of their personal finances as well as protecting their privacy and anonymity.

As the survey points out, the real point isn’t so much that Germans love cash. It’s that they loathe consumer debt. This is one thing that the people of Japan and Germany both have in common, as is their relatively fresh memory of economic crises and brutally repressive political dictatorships. Perhaps this partly explains their reluctance to embrace some of the more dystopian implications of a cashless society.

But at the very least it may serve as a rallying call for cash lovers around the world as well as a timely reminder that the global technocratic dream of a cashless nirvana is by no means a foregone conclusion. By Don Quijones, Raging Bull-Shit.

The war on cash has been escalating. But now there’s the first major offensive. Read…  It’s Official: Cash is Now Public Enemy Number One



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  62 comments for “As War on Cash Escalates, Cash Lovers Fight Back

  1. Michael
    February 18, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Because cash works when the stupid computers do not. I love it because the bankers do not get a slice of the transaction like lamprey. When I shop at mom and pop stores I always pay cash. Cash in your pocket will always trump a credit card that may or may not be accepted.

    • oldone
      February 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Try paying cash at a TMOBILE or Apple store…

      • Slvrizgold
        February 19, 2016 at 7:48 pm

        Tmobile sucks. HOPE YOU’VE LIQUIDATED YOUR APPLE STOCK ALREADY DRONE….

    • truth
      February 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      I can save ,more using cash. Some retailers charge less for cash than credit cards. Credit processing fees and equipment costs the consumer. How bad has the international banking bastards fleeced the consumer? Simply compare a real dime it will buy me 3/4 gallon of gasoline but the federal reserve dime a fraction of the iou note as stated on its face won’t get you much more than a sniff. Constructive fraud theft in perpetuity. Only fools and mentally ill beleive they aren’t constantly victimised by their use of the federal reserve fraud.

  2. Spencer
    February 18, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Who the hell are these zombies to tell us how to live our lives. Faceless bastards run our country, and we let them. Screw them and their useless plan for us! Cash is king.

    • no bull
      February 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Well said. Electronic payment leaves a complete trail from time of purchase to where and what. They already control us forcing public repayments to arms dealers only necessary because the elite start wars. The fed reserve and bank of england even allow private individuals to print out of freshair public money to enslave its people. Bull shit from start to finish!

      • no bull
        February 18, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        And has anyone noticed that shops dont supply half the stuff available online. Then when they give you change of your £20 its often in coins to further inconvenience the customer. They always say sorry we are out of £1 coins! This is no accident.

  3. Louis
    February 18, 2016 at 10:29 am

    The biggest problem with eliminating cash might not be privacy, though it is nonetheless a valid concern, but the costs–does anyone really think that there wouldn’t be fees involved?

    • Robert
      February 20, 2016 at 5:01 am

      Of course. Have ATM fees ever gone anywhere but up? (not to mention late fees and special charges by credit card issuers, where in the case of the big banks are still, in these “deflationary times,” LOL, double-digit, as in usury, while they get away with paying nothing to savers.

  4. Paulo
    February 18, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Twenties are a nice bill, but then again I’m just a retired guy. People/stores like getting twenties, too. When I pay cash for stuff, a fifty is simply not very well liked. People are pissed off when you give them hundreds. Stores often check them for being counterfeit. My atm, (credit union) only spits out totals in twenties, with a limit of $400/day. (I don’t know if this is common other places)? When I need bigger amounts I am forced to line up and see a teller. The most cash I have picked up has been $2,000, (for building materials). Quite frankly, I am afraid of losing that amount and don’t like packing it around.

    Anyway, the point of this ramble is that twenties are fine for regular people. When I am in town and our cash supply is low and the bank account is okay, I just pick up the max $400 and stick it in our hidey hole at home for emergencies and/or for local cash purchases. The day ‘authorities’ try and limit that behaviour is the day I start totally disengaging with the system. In fact, it will turn me into an overt enemy.

    While I am on the computer I have a ‘price increase’ story. I am rebuilding my truck and needed some steel. My neighbour provided wheels for the town run. I expected to pay about $380 for my steel….it was $584. While I had to wait for my load to be sorted we went for coffee at a local greasy spoon. Two coffees, $5.25. I just about crapped. I don’t mind paying $2.25 for some Starbucks high-test when I need a caffeine jolt, but this was spoon cafe crap, like Folgers or Nabob. And you know what paying that price did for me? I vowed never ever to return to that establishment. Instead, I bought us a later lunch closer to home, the kind of place where they know your name, there’s different lino on the floors, and a woodstove to walk-around to get to your table. I paid cash and gave them a nice tip so it didn’t have to be declared. That’s one reason why they always know our names, I guess.

    regards

    • Petunia
      February 18, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      My atm now spits out both 50’s and 20’s. A fifty doesn’t go far at all these days. Any trip to the supermarket is $50.

    • polecat
      February 18, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      yeah…..20s are fine………until the elite boobaas determine there not !!!

      jeesh !

      • Chuckles169
        February 20, 2016 at 9:11 pm

        …or the daily limit goes to $100. You know, to stop money laundering and such. It’s all for our own good.

  5. memento_mori
    February 18, 2016 at 11:11 am

    they need to get rid of cash by demonizing it (used by criminals, tax evaders) where the real reason behind it is to allow the pervert intellectuals that run our central banks (and never did real work in their lives) to play with negative rates and confiscate your savings.
    If you cant get your money out of your bank in cash, you are at their mercy, they can charge a negative interest rate, or transaction fees at their will, switch you off the system and let you starve if you disobey.
    That this is talked about so much and nobody has shot down this crazy idea, it is a bad omen, outright scary and might as well happen.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever. George Orwell

    • d'Cynic
      February 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      I agree with most what you said, however, I would not insult the intellectuals. I would call them academics or eCONomists which is not the same as intellectuals.

  6. Ptb
    February 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    You can’t tax what you can’t trace. Our overlords need more money. But eliminating cash would cause many problems, so the basic strategy is to just marginalize its usage to a sustainable minimum. I’m guessing the next step will be the elimination of 100 bill notes in both the euro and USD. It’s subtle but meaningful.

    • Jungle Jim
      February 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      I’m skeptical about this having anything to do with the need for tax collection. If they really were serious about going after tax evaders, they would go after the corporations and high net worth individuals that hide staggering amounts of money off shore. They would criminalize the so-called Wealth Managers who cook up the tax evasion schemes. Do they ? Not no, but hell no. So much for the need for taxes.

      The only real advantage to eliminating cash would be control over the people. The problem is that forcing everyone to use a credit card makes us even more vulnerable to interruption in the Internet. Such interruptions could be engineered by other nations such as North Korea, Iran, or non-state actors such as Daesh.

      • Ptb
        February 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        There’s something you probably didn’t consider….Politicians have to run for office and that’s expensive. The groups you mention they should tax all occupy “K” street in DC. Contribute hugely to election campaigns. I doubt they would bite the hand that feeds them. Just dive into tax law and the biases are obvious. These groups own Washington.

      • polecat
        February 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        or the Dist. of Columbia

      • Ian
        February 22, 2016 at 12:18 am

        The politicos will not tax the corporations, firstly because they are the ones who buy the politicos, and secondly because the greatest participants in criminal activity are the very bankers who will be collecting the information for government.

  7. Epeen
    February 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    It is good to hear that there is still some opposition to the banning of cash but I fear that the governments with the MSM behind them, equipped with the “war on terror” will win this battle.

  8. Dave Mac
    February 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    They are petrified of a bank run when the sheeple eventually realise the mess most banks are in. However, no cash means no run on banks.

    Most people are far too busy watching sport or soap operas to notice.

    • Robert
      February 20, 2016 at 5:05 am

      Well, when I closed my account with Big Bank, I had a brief chat with the manager on the way out: “The lack of interest is mutual. I’m taking my money to a credit union.” Try it, it is like Dracula seeing a silver cross and string of garlic coming.

  9. Vernon Hamilton
    February 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Write to your elected representative.

    • Julie K.
      February 18, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      And include a hundred dollar bill as a, uh, tip.

      • polecat
        February 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        Vernon….you hand me therefor a moment…..

        yeah….pull the other one!

  10. Yoshua
    February 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    The nice thing about a cashless society is that hyperinflation would by fun.

  11. buzzy
    February 18, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    You are wrong about Singapore. $3000 atm limit. No one thinks you are a criminal if you withdraw $10k. Unlike the US or Australia. Can you imagine working into a Chase bank and asking to withdraw $50k in cash. Haha I bet you couldn’t get it without some sort of major paperwork / delayed higher approval / cavity search.

    • Don Quijones
      February 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Mastercard begs to disagree, Buzzy: http://www.mastercardadvisors.com/_assets/pdf/MasterCardAdvisors-CashlessSociety.pdf

      (check figures 1 and 2 and compare Singapore’s position with Japan’s)

    • Nicko
      February 19, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Singapore is a hub for Chinese money laundering (and much of South Asia)…of course no one will bat an eye. ;)

      Similar case in Dubai, walk into a store with a briefcase full of cash? No problemo.

      • Jonathan
        February 19, 2016 at 11:13 pm

        Which make sense because there are a TON of retail stores in Singapore that never seem to get any visible business are yet continue to open and afford the sky-high rents.

        And the government is clamping down on cash only merchants because its just so easy to evade taxes without generating a paper trail.

  12. Petunia
    February 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Larry Summers is an embarrassment to the economic community. He has no credibility. Please stop following his propaganda.

    • d
      February 20, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      he is aPOS to humanity

  13. Lotz
    February 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Paulo – yeah burn me once shame on them, not going to that place is exactly how it happens, bad news like that travels fast and greed shuts them down. Voting with your dollars it’s called.

    At the business I work for they stopped accepting Amex years ago because of the excessive fees. They continue to accept Visa and Mcard because people can’t afford things that they “need” so this is a way to keep money coming in that people don’t have.

    I find the cashier lazy about making change and found that to be the case in Europe and USA – no such problem is you provide the change. When a person swipes their EBT card there’s less work.

  14. Cashboy
    February 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    The Swiss still have the 1,000 Swiss Franc note equivalent to US$1,006 for serious money launderers with class.
    30 of those 1,000 SWF notes fit snuggly in your wallet.

    • MC
      February 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      Better bring a large enough wallet or learn how to fold them like paper currency of yore. Those notes are considerably larger than euro or dollars and made from thicker, stiffer paper.
      ChF200 notes are more portable and a bit less stiff. ;-)

      I strongly suspect the bulk of ChF1000 notes are neither in Switzerland nor in the hands of criminal cartels, but safely esconced in eurozone savers’ safes and safety boxes: ever since I can remember the Swiss franc has been the true people’s reserve currency and its popularity skyrocketed once the Deutschemark gave way to the euro. That’s why the SNB effectively committed ritual suicide when it attempted keeping the franc artificially depressed at 1.20.

      Regardless, I predict the mint in Bern will have to put on overtime to print more over the next months as the ECB is dead-set on killing the €500 note. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they took the occasion to kill the €200 note as well: it has never been truly popular and there have never been that many in circulation.
      While Summers is nothing more than a crank struggling to stay relevant, the ECB means business. The chances of interest rates being sent into deep negative territory between here and June are extremely high, with more to come. Taking away high denomination notes is effectively another tax slapped on savers, especially those (like retirees) who refuse to buy equities and financial junk and have been pushed into cash by negative rates on sovereign bonds.
      I do not like David Stockman that much, but I once read a phrase by him that struck me as nigh on perfect in its honesty: “They are pushing grandma into junk bonds just so she can buy food for her cat”.
      Us savers have been slaughtered by the gang of thieves known as the European Central Bank, in the name of stimulating German exports, keeping Italy and Spain fictionally solvent and producing phony growth by subsidizing housing bubbles, corporate debt and car loans.

      Besides my own savings, I manage those belonging to my mother and brother. It’s been a titanic struggle just to find investments that can keep up with (true) inflation and aren’t composed of putrid financial toxic waste waiting to explode.
      What banks have been putting under people’s noses for the past few years as “sure investments” is borderline criminal, like Turkish lira denominated bonds. In just two years they lost over 40% of their value against the euro and the risk of default grows by the day. And they yield less than sovereign bonds used to pre-2008.

      Luckily I have no children because preparing them for a world where you are pretty much forced into spending your last dime and then getting into debt is not something I could do. Because that’s where the world is heading.

      • Toddy
        February 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

        You make me depressed.

        I’m gonna bed a drink.

      • nhz
        February 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        Some Labour politicians in Netherlands are already campaigning for killing the €200 bill too. Certainly this isn’t inspired by ‘criminal use’ but just an easy way to demonize cash and get their greedy hands on even more of other people’s money. Or even better, push people into debt so everyone becomes dependent on the benevolent politicians of the free-money-without-obligations party.

        BTW, very few shops accept €100 or €200 bills here nowadays even for large purchases, which is a shame as officially it still is legal money …

        Keeping your savings up with inflation is almost impossible nowadays. EU interest rates do not keep up with inflation, the euro value was crushed ‘for the good of the savers’ (according to mobster Mario) and on top of that the Dutch government taxes 30% on an assumed 4% return on ones savings every year (a return that hasn’t been possible for many years but you have to pay the tax anyway, so you lose money every year). Effectively ‘saving’ no longer exists since the ECB was established.

        Even gold has proven very tricky over the last few years, no way to hide. At the same time, people with large debts are doing very well and there are probably far more of those (voters) :-(

        • February 22, 2016 at 3:35 am

          Gold is not tricky at all. You merely have to have intestinal fortitude, and patience. It also helps to see it, not as an investment, but as insurance against monetary stupidity…

          I made 4x from 2005 till 2011, now is the time for patience, while I buy more silver at depressed prices.
          When I need some money, I sell a coin…
          Not tricky at all.
          I’m still living on a $50,000 ‘investment’, made ten years ago, can you say that about anything else?
          No.
          Now, I’m getting my pension, and all excess goes into silver.
          It will be the new gold, simply because paper will be destroyed by the Destroyers.
          No, you can’t eat it, but you can easily sell it for cash, same thing.
          PS: Its also wonderful for ‘barter’. People love those nice silver coins… (people with common sense, which defines a lot of small business types.)

      • JT
        February 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        All this spells is disaster. Disaster spelled WAR. The EU is an irony looking for an oven ( yes, not a gaff). The elite tribe are imserting themselves into their own oven of choice.
        Too much inner breeding. Poor tribe bastards. The emporers have neither cloth nor brains.

  15. Chicken
    February 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Very smart to eliminate cash! Along the lines of Americans had no jobs to lose in a global downturn b/c those jobs had already been shipped off to China.

    It’s impossible for these 3rd world countries to compete with the infinite wisdom of our geriatric Congress!

  16. Saylor
    February 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Something else to consider…the ‘need for migration’.

    Imagine a catastrophe like Katrina. People might want to migrate to Houston en mass.

    But tptb want ‘you’ somewhere else. They just shut down the atm and pos systems where ‘they’ don’t want you to go.
    No gas, no food…nada.

    • polecat
      February 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Imagine ‘Elysium’, but without the floating city………..

  17. Lee
    February 18, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Regarding cash in Australia: yes, we have the same ole crapola going on here in regards to the war on cash. A while back there was mini-war against places that only take cash as payments.

    They must be ‘cheating’ the tax man.

    Now the story is that it will save billions:

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cashless-future-will-save-billions-and-requires-red-tape-abolition-alex-hawke-20160216-gmv8ka.html

    or:

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/no-small-change–moving-to-a-cashless-society-is-the-next-step-for-the-australian-dollar-20160215-gmv11x

    Even school cafeterias are going ‘cashless’:

    http://www.theage.com.au/money/her-money/school-canteens-go-online-20160215-gmuy3n

    Here in Australia we have a domestic electronic payments system called Bpay. Yeah, it sometimes takes three days or more to get the money into the payee’s account.

    Contrast this with the money the better half sent to Japan – it was the payee’s account in a couple of hours.

    And yes, in Japan cash is king. When I left Japan you could get 500,000 yen out of an account at an ATM in one transaction and some were even increasing the limit to 1,000,000 yen. Don’t know what the limit is now.

    Get out into small cities and rural areas and you will find that many places will only take cash. No cash – no service – no food.

  18. Nicko
    February 19, 2016 at 12:36 am

    I really have no problem with a cashless society. It makes no difference to me really, I can still access my offshore accounts — at the end of the day, it’s all 1’s and 0’s in a database. ;)

    • JT
      February 20, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Nicko,
      You have such confidence in those powers that control. No problem, you say. I am certain you have the intellect to discover many potential problems. Your digits and devimals and bytes are not under your control.
      Disasters happen. I would hate to be in one without my greenbacks or silver.

    • Claude
      February 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

      It they shut down the ATM’s for “bank holliday”, do you really think your little 1’s and 0’s for any other type of digital transaction will be still available to you? Good luck with that!

  19. Mark
    February 19, 2016 at 4:01 am

    and when the lights go out-for a few hours or few day-EVERYTHING GRINDS TO A HALT

  20. Fred Hayek
    February 19, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    There’s more than just a little problem with the idea of the U.S. becoming a cashless society. Drug money.

    One of the ironies of the justifications for eliminating cash is that a central one is to suppress the drug trade. Yet, the same U.S. and U.K. authorities who have their minions tout this motivation catch HSBC laundering hundreds of millions of dollars for drug cartels and not a single HSBC employee gets so much as a court summons or a traffic ticket. Nothing. But they care so much about suppressing the drug trade. Riiiiiight. As further proof of how untrue that is, how is it that heroin production in Afghanistan has skyrocketed under U.S. control of that country. But they care so much about suppressing the drug trade. We have a war against drugs, don’t we? Riiiiiiight.

    Sure looks like the U.S. and U.K. really want this trade to go on, doesn’t it? Maybe our banks do really really well off of it, don’t you think? Well, what happens if there’s no U.S. dollar? How do the proceeds of the drug trade get washed through the Wells Fargo’s and Washington Mutuals and HSBC’s? This is why I’m skeptical that it well ever come to that in the U.S.

    • Jack
      February 20, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      The drug trade argument against cash begs the question:

      When you’re talking about really big drug crime on the order of that criminals like HSBC and their high profile clients commit, isn’t it a lot easier to just move around a lot of 1’s and 0’s with some fake invoicing or something than to actually have to tote around and pay with big bales of real, hard, cash?

      Except for the small time criminals, like the young ghetto kids I see getting tackled with extreme prejudice by five or six beefy LEOs on “COPS” every night for selling a bag or two of weed, it’s arguable that cash is actually a deterrent to drug crime.

  21. Icarus
    February 20, 2016 at 4:21 am

    If they do away with cash. something will fill the void. My guess is that the shadow economy will monetize gold and silver again. Be careful what you wish for MR TPTB.

    • Argus
      February 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Agreed. There will be a healthy black market in small denomination gold and silver coins, bars and wafers.

  22. Robert
    February 20, 2016 at 4:54 am

    Samuel Johnson wrote, ” “Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging.” The clarity of writing here by Don Quinones, and many other freedom-loving writers the past month is a greatly encouraging development in the face of recent full-scale assaults on personal freedom: the Apple case, the full-court press for a cashless society (but with no comment as to maintaining what replaces it as a store of value, the gang-rape of consumers known as NIRP (simply depriving savers of any return, real or otherwise was not enough; now they have to endure the equivalent of a new tax, but this one going straight into the bankers’ pockets. Well done, Don!

  23. Dick Arens
    February 20, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Why is it that the MSM (and Larry Summers) fails to report that Peter Sands, the author of the subject report, was CEO of Standard Chartered bank, and that during his 10 year term as CEO, the bank paid $667 million in fines and penalties to U.S. regulators for helping Iran launder $250 BILLION. I bet that long prison sentences (1 year for every $1 Billion laundered) for bankers will solve the money laundering problem.

  24. February 20, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Not that I have much faith left in the fiat currency Ponzi to begin with, I find Summer’s use of ‘eliminating criminal behaviour’ to justify the abolition of physical currency little more than a straw man argument. To say nothing of the digital tomfoolery that nefarious organisations and individuals already carry out (just look at what the financial industry and political class do on a daily basis), criminal behaviour and terrorism both existed long before physical currency was widely used and will continue long after its elimination.
    As the-powers-that-be lose control of the global financial system that seems to be reeling from the consequences of bumping up against the limits to growth on a finite planet (particularly the cheap energy that underpins it all and the inability of the planet to absorb any more of the various toxins produced from human activity), I expect we will experience increasing tyrannical behaviour by the political and financial elite. The banning of physical cash will not come close to eliminating capricious behaviour (especially when it could be argued most of such behaviour is carried out by those that hold the reins of power), but it will make certain actions by the elite much easier to implement: negative interest rates on all deposits; confiscation of wealth; monetary system reset; currency depreciation; tracking of all financial interactions; ‘redistribution’; ‘guided’ investments; etc.. This action is merely another in a long line of behaviours by the-powers-that-be to tighten their stranglehold on the planet and its people.
    We are witnessing the death throes of industrial civilisation and as Carroll Quigley stated in his book, The Evolution of Civilizations: “It is clear that every civilization undergoes a process of historical change. We can see that a civilization comes into existence, passes through a long experience, and eventually goes out of existence…
    Beyond recognizing that civilizations begin and end, historians are fairly well agreed that, after they begin, they flourish and grow for a while, that eventually they reach a peak of power and prosperity, and that they weaken and decay before their final end. The Stage of Decay is a period of acute economic depression, declining standards of living, civil wars between the various vested interests, and growing illiteracy. The society grows weaker and weaker. Vain efforts are made to stop the wastage through legislation. But the decline continues. The religious, intellectual, social, and political levels of the society begin to lose allegiance of the masses of the people on a large scale. This period of decay may last for a long time but eventually the civilization can no longer defend itself.”
    It seems to me that it’s a matter of when, not if.

  25. February 20, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Cash is more convenient. Less paperwork. You don’t have to pay the bill again thirty days later. No interest charge. No extra work later. It’s all done at the time, and it’s over.

  26. JT
    February 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, the constitution COMPELS that there be freely flowing currency. They propose a private scipt, and even electronic, thereby susceptable to electronic devices and free flow of power. They further propose an intermediary. With record keeping for all transactions.
    Occurs to me that garage sales and feeding the homeless will be off the table, Off THEIR table.
    Wow, are all amerikans the eqivelent of mental and spiritual drunkards? Or is intellectually stupored addict of modern frolic a better term?

  27. Paul
    February 21, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Cash makes all transactions cost less because good for nothing banks don’t get a slice of the pie, which they don’t earn or deserve. Use cash only for any and all transactions possible. Once the TPTB can turn you off your ability to purchase and there is no cash what are you gonna do? Gov’ts and mega money moniliths don’t give a flying fuck about people.

  28. Useless Eater
    February 21, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    They want a cut of everything. My poker winnings. A friendly bet on a game of pool. A Hondo that I might decide to slip into a slot machine. Anonymously.
    They think they have jurisdiction over your life just because you are a citizen of the system they rule over. Just because you give them consent. Bastards.

  29. Oneyedjack
    February 26, 2016 at 10:49 am

    It would be best to revisit Iceland,where the people threw the crooked bankers and politicians in prison.End of story

  30. Brian
    March 6, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Digits stored on some hard drive are not yours, they are the bank’s , and you allow them to convert your symbols of transactable wealth (cash in this case) into their form of records even though you have only lent them real money. So when it gets corrupted, or hair-cut to fix the asset base of banks playing with derivatives, lying about the gold you thought you had bought, it is going to be your problem. You don’t even know who your bankers are, no copy of passports, utility bills etc. One step further into major corruption are the “central” banks who ” make and engorce the bank rules”. These are the guys who allow your bank to take your $1 loan and charge you banking fees , but lend it out 20 times so they have $20 plus interest on that evety day. And I am being kind on the 20:1 ratio! War on your cash is a conspiracy to control your every move and punish you by confiscation , you better be prepared to fight this to the end.

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