Things Just Got Serious in Europe’s War on Cash

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on RedditPrint this pageEmail this to someone

To protect citizens from threats as defined by apparatchiks in Brussels.

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

The central authorities in Europe just launched their most important offensive to date in their multiyear War on Cash. The new move comes directly from the European Union’s executive branch, the European Commission, which just announced its intention to “explore the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments,” with a view to implementing cross-regional measures in 2018.

Maximum limits on cash transactions already exist in most European countries, and the general trend is downward. Last year, Spain joined France in placing a €1,000 maximum on cash payments. Greece went one better, dropping its cap for cash transactions from €1,500 to €500. In simple terms, any legal purchase of a good or service over €500 will need to be done with plastic or mobile money.

In some countries, the maximum cash limit is significantly higher. For example, in Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, recent attempts by the government to set a threshold of €5,000 triggered a fierce public backlash. The German tabloid Bild published a scathing open letter titled “Hands Off Our Cash,” while a broad spectrum of political parties 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 Bunderbank President 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.”

Germany’s neighbor to the south, Austria, has similar reservations about the EU’s plans to suppress cash. The Deputy Economy Minister Harald Mahrer 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.

In other words, any attempt by the European Commission to set a mandatory continent-wide limit is likely to be met with fierce resistance — at least from some countries. Others are already so far down the path toward a cashless society that they’ll barely notice the difference.




The financial consultancy AT Kearney predicts that by 2022 there will be more cashless transactions in Europe than those using cash. According to a report by Fung Global Retail & Technology, nine of the top 15 “most digital-ready” countries are in Europe. Sweden is hotly tipped to become the world’s first completely cashless economy. It could happen as soon as 2030.

Yet even Sweden has seen an enthusiasm gap emerge, mostly along demographic lines, as the Guardian reports:

Older people in the rural north, tending to be the least tech-savvy, resent the economic power of Stockholm and Gothenburg, now almost entirely cash-free urban zones. The National Pensioners Organisation is a key player in the “Cash Uprising” coalition now campaigning to make sure older Swedes can still deposit and remove cash from banks.

Some experts fear the emergence of a dystopic “two-tier urban realm” in which the poorest become cut off from mainstream commercial life by their continued dependence on traditional forms of currency and are only able to trade among themselves. As financial writer Dominic Frisby explains, “the beauty of cash is that it’s a direct and simple transaction between all kinds of different people, no matter how rich or poor.”

What’s more, there’s no middleman involved. One party pays the other party in mutually accepted currency and not a single middleman gets to wet his beak. And to all intents and purposes, it’s untraceable. Is it any wonder that banks, fin tech firms, credit card companies, central banks, national and regional governments and UN agencies want to pull the plug on physical currency?

They 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. But they still want to hurry the process along, primarily by introducing incremental legislation that makes it harder and harder for law-abiding citizens to pay with cash.

For now, the pretext most often wheeled out for this escalating assault on physical currency is the War on Terror, but there are also the familiar bugbears like organized crime, tax evasion and the informal economy.

These justifications merely serve to obscure the real ultimate goal: the complete — or near-complete — technocratic control over the money supply. In a world where every transaction must be electronic (i.e. traceable) and where biometric authentication systems have become the norm, the influence of big banks, corporations, tech firms and governments over our lives will be virtually unlimited.

Another important perk of cash is that it limits central banks’ ability to continue conducting arguably the greatest financial heist of the modern age, i.e., negative interest rate policy (NIRP). As long as cash exists, there’s no way of preventing depositors from doing the logical thing – i.e. taking their money out of the bank and parking it where the erosive effects of NIRP can’t reach it.

But perhaps the greatest beauty of cash is that it is one of the last remaining things that gives people a small semblance of privacy, anonymity, and personal freedom in their increasingly controlled and surveyed lives. However, according to the European Commission, privacy and anonymity do not constitute “fundamental” human rights:

prevent(ing) the anonymity that cash payments allow might be viewed as an infringement of the right to privacy enshrined in Article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, as complemented by article 52 of the Charter, limitations may be made subject to the principle of proportionality if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognized by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others.

In other words, to protect European citizens from any threats to general interest identified by the apparatchiks in Brussels, the European Commission can quite simply override the non-fundamental rights of over 500 million people to privacy, anonymity and personal freedom. And it’s all set to begin in the next year. By Don Quijones, Raging Bull-Shit.

The UK, whose people have voted to escape this Union, has other ideas. “What they sell is escape: from the laws, rules, and taxes of jurisdictions elsewhere, with secrecy as their prime offering.” World’s Worst Tax Haven Threatens to Expand its Operations




Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on RedditPrint this pageEmail this to someone

  73 comments for “Things Just Got Serious in Europe’s War on Cash

  1. John M
    Jan 28, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Aldous Huxley where are you now? Its 2017 and no longer 1984!

    • John M
      Jan 28, 2017 at 11:50 am

      There’s my ignorance. I must be getting older It was Orwell. Oh Well.

      • Terry E
        Jan 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        Huxley wrote “Brave New World” which is also quite appropriate here.

        • laura ann
          Jan 30, 2017 at 11:37 am

          Forcing cashless is pure communism, no privacy and gov. control freaks monitoring every purchase. People must be able to choose type of payments meaning Debit, credit, cash or checks. I use all methods depending on what I’m buying and where. Stores that have former breaches it is always cash, incl eating out. Prepaid debit cards are safer (gas cards, blue bird Am Ex.,e tc) as these are unlikely to be hacked.

        • d
          Jan 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm

          “Forcing cashless is pure communism, no privacy and gov. control freaks monitoring every purchase.”

          NO

          Its “Totalitarian Dictatorship” (which Communism also is a form of).

          Communists always made sure those they wanted to have it, had food and shelter.

          Totalitarian Dictators, only care for themselves, and their immediate underling’s.

      • walter map
        Jan 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        Both are correct, and neither. The Inner Party appreciates your confusion. It’s been one of their goals. Congratulations on having narrowly avoided thoughtcrime.

        As for ‘backlash’ against financial control, just wait until people are notified that it’s really not their money at all. They’re merely allowed to use it until the real owners, the central banks, decide they want it back. In the U.S., for example, currency is clearly marked ‘Federal Reserve Note’ to ensure there is no doubt.

        Your money, your assets, your children, your time, your work, your life, do not belong to you. They belong to the state, the state belongs to the banks, and it is not enough for you to obey Big Brother, you must love him.

        All doubleplusgood, doncha think?

        • Terry E
          Jan 28, 2017 at 1:24 pm

          Answer this: Why does my Soma dealer require cash?

        • Tom kauser
          Jan 28, 2017 at 9:00 pm

          It’s been since 1998 and LTCM stole 1.5 trillion from the taxpayer and it was neither the first or last time such theft was successful.
          Currently we are experiencing a liquidation of long term collateral which pretends a deflation of asset values?
          The kicker is everybody has no choice but to keep riding because opportunity cost still trumps value destruction?
          Better to own and lose than never have owned?

        • Dan Romig
          Jan 30, 2017 at 7:05 am

          On 6 March 1933, FDR issued ‘Proclamation2039’:

          “Whereas there have been heavy and unwarranted withdrawals of gold and currency from our banking institutions for the purpose of hoarding; …

          Whereas those conditions have created a national emergency;

          That the President may investigate, regulate or prohibit, under such rules and regulations he may prescribe, by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange and the export, hoarding, melting, or earmarkings of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency …

          … and (c) to authorize and direct the creation in such banking institutions of special trust accounts for the receipt of new deposits which shall be subject to withdrawal on demand without any restriction or limitation and shall be kept separately in cash or on deposit in Federal Reserve Banks or invested in obligations of the United States.”

          Neither the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branch of the USA have rescinded or retracted this ‘Proclamation’ since it was issued. As a result, no, it’s not really your money.

          http://emergency-usa.blogspot.com/p/fdr-s-use-of-trading-with-emeny-act.htm

        • Paul Atreides
          Jan 30, 2017 at 8:40 am

          You can’t put in anymore simpler terms! Well done my brother in arms!

        • walter map
          Jan 30, 2017 at 9:32 am

          You’re welcome, Usul.

    • RepubAnon
      Jan 28, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Was there a Brave New World in 1984? ;)

      On a side note – the idea that all transactions should be via credit card / bank transfers depends upon a massive electronic infrastructure. John Dillinger’s spiritual heirs will be robbing banks via phishing attacks – and I predict muggers and pickpockets being replaced by machines that charge passers-by a dollar simply because they came within range. Hard to track micro-thefts…

  2. robt
    Jan 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Blow a fuse, or flip a switch: no more ‘money’. All transactions stop, whether for political resons or economic necessity. Or, an infinite supply of money, bounded by no restraint. We’re part way there now with the advent of electronic/bookkeeping creation of money by banks, and ultimately central banks, but still with the parallel use of paper money which used to have a claim on physical metals of defined quantity but which now has a claim on nothing but faith that someone else will take the ‘money’ based on what it can buy. In the case of the US dollar, the ‘reserve’ currency of the world and accepted universally, its value has declined by 98% in 100 years, since the advent of the Fed. Dozens of other currencies have reduced to zero and had to start over.
    The only way that value of an infinite supply of electronic money can be defined is by the fixing of prices, which always fails, or by fixing to the price of something like gold, which is also price fixing, and must fail because in order for it to work all currencies must be convertible to gold. The alternative is to somehow restrict the supply of electronic money and that can be controlled only from some central single source, e.g. a single world currency.
    Another interesting observation is that money has transitioned from purely physical gold and silver, to representative (paper), to ephemeral, meaning it has no real existence at all. What then determines its value relative to something else? Defining any price amost immediately renders it obsolete.
    Possibly the end of such an experiment is that a return to barter will take place after the collapse of such a system and the use of physical money will begin again. The real market is the so-called black market, and it always wins.

    • RepubAnon
      Jan 28, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      That’ll be the new counterfeiting: creating money via fake transactions.

      • Tannenhouser
        Jan 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm

        Only the banks can create ‘fake’ transactions if your money is digital. Your comment is closer too what happens right now.

        • d
          Jan 30, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          This has already been proven incorrect.

          Starting with the robbery of the Bangladesh CB, using, “Fake transaction’s”

  3. Realist
    Jan 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Maybe DQ or Wolf should take a closer look at the situation in India ? Modi’s policy regarding cash there is quite interesting and the (un)intended effects quite interesting. Somehow I can ‘t belive that Modi could have pulled through his trick if Rajan ( the only sensible central baner of a major CB ) still had been CB in India …

    • Marty
      Jan 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      James Corbett is all over it @ corbettreport.com

    • Cam
      Jan 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      I think the situation in India is a little different to the “war on cash”. The new bills being issued are actually higher denomination than the notes that are being taken out of circulation. (Old 500 & 1000s go, replaced by new 2000 rupee notes) They are trying to get the very old paper out of the system.

      No doubt there is an element of regaining taxation control within the cash economy but I think it is more driven by the huge amount of counterfeit bills in circulation. The execution of the notes replacement has been farcical to say the least, and poorly thought out (in terms of consequence to the average indian citizen) but at the end of the day a sovereign state has to maintain control of its money, cash or electronic.

      Here in New Zealand there is a high degree of electronic money use – probably greater than 90% of all transactions would be electronic but there is no “war on cash” in fact the daily limit of cash withdrawal has in fact increased not decreased in recent years (today it is $2000/day per account, up from a previous limit of $800. It doesn’t take long to accumulate a large amount of cash if you want it)

      What we do differently here in comparison to India is periodically new bills are issued (new design every 20 years or so) and the older notes are progressively removed from circulation, there is a period where both new and old bills are legal tender but at a point in time the old notes will only be able to be redeemed at a bank (deposited or exchanged for cash in new bills) This is where India has tripped up because you can’t just pull all the old bills out of the system in a short space of time.

      We are currently in transition to new banknotes (much higher level of security, I would say impossible to forge) and there has been no change to the denominations available (we still have $100 note equivalent to ~$72 USD today. All cash transactions over 10,000 are reported (deposits at banks, or for purchasing goods) and at the border there is a cash reporting requirement set at this level. Why people try and smuggle cash across the border is beyond me as it is not an illegal activity (but not declaring it is, and the money the becomes subject to confiscation)

      I’m a cash person for privacy reasons and have no trouble obtaining or spending cash and I don’t feel there is any pressure for cash to disappear here anytime soon at all, the periodic cleansing of the cash in the system to new bills does however make it difficult for ultra large hoarders of cash (eg drug dealers) to clean their ill gotten gains when their accumulated bills become obsolete and no longer legal tender. (they could actually convert it at the bank but then the transaction will be recorded)

      When I’ve travelled overseas I’ve never had problems with high denomination bills either, but I will take on board what people are saying and get smaller bills from the bank next time I go to Europe.

      • nhz
        Jan 29, 2017 at 11:53 am

        “It doesn’t take long to accumulate a large amount of cash if you want it”

        If there really is a daily $2000 cash withdrawal limit it is still impossible to quickly withdraw a significant amount of savings e.g. in case of a potential bank run or other calamity. But I guess you can arrange a larger withdrawal at your own bank if you really want to?

        In Netherlands larger withdrawals are theoretically still possible, but strongly discouraged e.g. for withdrawing something like 5000 euros the bank would want a request several days in advance. Some bank offices may have less than 5000 euro in cash available … (in addition to what is stored in the ATM’s).

        Banks no longer exchange cash here e.g. for replacing old bills. You can deposit bills through an ATM on your bank account, and withdraw new cash charged to your bank account if you want to. But of course in this case everything is registered and the tax office may ask proof of where the money came from, and with insufficient proof try to tax it (again). Even when the euro currency was introduced in 2002 they quickly introduced limitations on the amount of bills you could exchange (not as idiotic as in India, but still …).

        • Cam
          Jan 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm

          Yes I should have said $2000 is the daily limit at the ATM. You can get more cash over the counter but you have to order it and it takes a couple of days, same when you’re buying foreign currency.

          There;s no limit on the number of bank accounts you can have with ATM cards though and a sensible man would always have a couple of accounts at least…

  4. Paulo
    Jan 28, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    There are ways to use cash and there always will be. (If not cash then it will be some other means of fair exchange). I know this is Canada, but often I plan to make a major cash purchase in several steps. For example, a friend of mine works as a Faller in the logging industry. He has a side cottage industry, a small sawmill. While he pays very very large taxes on his hourly wage (40% at least), what he does with his side business is between him and his accountant as far as I’m concerned. Furthermore, the money I use to pay him has already been taxed as my past wages, and as interest income while it currently languishes in the bank. Last week I put in an order for a sizeable amount of lumber for some renovation projects slated for this summer. On town runs I hit the bank machine and start to build up my cash supply. When I pick up the lumber I hand him an envelope and a case of beer. Everybody wins.

    I have paid very large tax rates for my entire working life. There is a point where enough is enough. I am sure Europeans feel the same, if not more so. Furthermore, when people like Trump and Buffet can avoid paying their fair share, the Govt functionaries can go after them as far as I’m concerned. Canada and every other country has their versions. Davos was full of them and I could smell them from here; the other side of the world.

    This ‘older little guy’ says enough, already. It isn’t about being ‘tech savvy’, it’s about standing up for oneself against the tyrrany of Govt. that is impossible to control or influence.

    regards

    • nhz
      Jan 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      I share your ‘enough is enough’ but in Europe it is becoming increasingly difficult to do normal cash transactions like this.

      I paid a huge amount in taxes as a business owner, when the tax rate over here was still 70% (it’s way lower now, but with many more loophoes for the elites). At the time I didn’t have a real problem with paying those taxes because the system seemed relatively honest – of course it wasn’t, I just didn’t know what was going on. And is has become far more dishonest, a true tax paradise for many (not just for the elites) and tax hell for others e.g. people with significant savings but no current income.

      I once calculated the amount of tax you pay, going from business income until the moment you can spend it as a private person for some product you need. The total tax rate was 90-95% …

      I also know from experience that cash transactions are often required to grease the economy. When I started in the computer business in the eighties, I quickly found out that spare parts for certain repairs and sometimes even for production of new equipment were only available on the black market, using fully cash transactions. There was no official way to get these goods, or only at totally unaffordable prices, probably because the manufacturers wanted to keep control of the circulation. Although those spare parts were just a tiny percentage of my business in value, they were essential for keeping things going.

  5. walter map
    Jan 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    These issues can be expected to become completely academic once the global economy has been collapsed and most people have no money – currency, electronic, or otherwise.

    Practically everybody will have telescreens of some sort so their reactions can be monitored, though. Apple, Samsung, and General Electric appreciate your business, and so does the Inner Party.

  6. stan
    Jan 28, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    We need a form of cash money that begins expiring in 5-10 years. Then people will not use it for a long term store of value, which it is not. Money is a debt (someone owes you), and all created cash money (physical accounting entries as tokens) would get cleared in about 10 years. But it is control of the accounting system that the bankers want, because that is control of the scoresheet. Did you ever play the board game monopoly as a kid? Remember the first rule of being a banker? All banking transactions had to be done in the open so everyone can see what you are doing. The same as if it were a scoresheet. Nobody can change the player scores unless everybody could see it. If we had that rule in a board game playing with friends, do you think it is wise to let a bunch of complete strangers and known gangsters to control our banking system and allow them to make fake entries in secret?

    • nhz
      Jan 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      why should money expire?

      I have allmost all my savings in a savings account. Being self-employed, normal pension funds (taxpayer backed etc.) were not an option, using pension insurance has proven a sure way to lose everything (the finance professionals steal everything you pay in transaction fees and market losses). How should I save for retirement without cash? Invest it all in RE or the stock/bond markets, at (almost) the richest valuations in history? Is retirement only allowed for government workers??

      In the past you could safely ‘save’ in gold, but this market too is now strongly manipulated by central bankers and has become risky (it might get banned at some point in the future, I guess that’s the next proposal the EU Commission is working on, just to make sure that there is no escape from their terror).

      BTW, cash money already expires plenty fast. In my country the real value of the euro (or pleuro as we say over here) is about 40% of what it was at introduction, just 15 years ago. You won’t see it in the official statistics but it is the truth, almost everything is up 100-200% in price since then and many big items like real estate, mandatory health insurance etc. are up even more.

      • Chicken
        Jan 28, 2017 at 9:22 pm

        Some believe that certain types of bonds or currencies may someday become gold backed.

        Say for instance the IMF was to issue bonds backed by their gold? The IMF holds a relatively large amount of gold among its assets, not only for reasons of financial soundness, but also to meet unforeseen contingencies.

        Or Deutschmark is reintroduced, one mechanism to keep it from rocketing past the Moon on it’s way to Jupiter is to tie it to gold as an anchor?

        Probably the gold sales bugs pushing the yellow metal are parading these ideas?

        • robt
          Jan 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm

          Government gold bonds offer no protection other than the word of the government, which can be rescinded by decree or presidential order.
          US government WWI Liberty Bonds were defaulted on in 1934 after being rolled over several times. In addition, private debt secured by gold was declared invalid.
          Holders unsuccessfully sued the government, who wanted to pay in dollars instead of the gold promised. Roosevelt had just devalued the dollar from 20 to 35 dollars an ounce in gold, so not only did the government default on the gold payment, they paid in devalued dollars.

  7. nhz
    Jan 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    it’s an outrageous and extremely stupid proposal, which means the Europarliar-ment will likely be enthusiastically supporting it soon.

    Doesn’t make any sense for fighting terrorism or crime, the details in the proposal are beyond ridiculous. IMHO it’s indeed all about banning cash, so the raping of savers can proceed much faster (of course, there are many more immigrants waiting for a lifelong vacation in Europe and Greece and several other ClubMed countries need another bailout soon) and 1984-style total control of citizens becomes reality (I’m sure the EC commission members will have tricks in place so their own bribes are not transparent for the general public). Jacking up banking fees might be another objective (basic banking fees are at least 10x higher than 20 years ago, and the service is almost completely DIY).

    In my country (Netherlands) there is no official cash transaction limit that I’m aware of, but depending on who you ask transactions above 5000 (maybe) or 15000 euro (definitely) have to be reported to authorities, and there are lower limits for e.g. money you take with you on a plane. Even though 100/200/500 euro bills are valid money officially, almost no business nowadays accepts bills above 50 euros so paying big ticket items in cash is a bit of a pain. I just experienced that today paying for a big lens at Mediamarkt, but fortunately it is still possible ;-) Of course, if you are a politician, other criminal or wealthy businessman with a suitcase full of 500 euro banknotes, no problem at all – there are financial professionals who are glad to help you with an anonymous transaction e.g. for purchasing real estate or storing it on a bank account in some tax paradise.

    Over here the young also have zero reservations about paying electronically (with smartphones or debit cards) and exposing all their transactions to the government and other criminals watching through the web. I’m anxiously awaiting the day that the internet shuts down for more than a short time, let’s see what people think of all this convenience money then.

    For fighting ‘terrorism’ and big crime syndicates I have a much better proposal: eliminate some apparatchiks in Brussels (EU and NATO headquarters), problem solved. A ‘proportional’ solution without a doubt ;-)

  8. Nik
    Jan 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Aloha Friends…one thing I continually find missing in discussions on ‘Cash-less’ scenario’s…is that few, if any people….Ever Mention the Fact that the amount of Actual cash in Circulation is Minuscule,when Compared to the Amount of Electronic Money slithering hither thither and yon…lolol I think an important point when keeping this fact in mind…the Financial ‘Robber Barons’ also want a ‘Cash-less’ scenario,to Eliminate any future ‘Run’ on True Cash toppling their Financially Contrived ‘Electronic Apple-cart’,thanks for reading,aloha

    • RD Blakeslee
      Jan 28, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Cash in circulation – miniscule.

      Cash “under the mattress” – who knows?

      • Nik
        Jan 28, 2017 at 7:02 pm

        CASH…”Under the Mattress”..while EXTREMELY Wise and Functional..lolol Is still accounted for in the Minuscule Cash in circulation numbers,aloha

  9. harry
    Jan 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I see an underground economy using junk silver or some other medium of exchange coming,

    • Nik
      Jan 28, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Harry…Why do you think China and Russia have ‘robustly’ been acquiring Physical GOLD for So Long…?

    • robt
      Jan 28, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      Yes. The black market is the real market, and junk silver would definitely be a part of it, along with hack silver and gold, and many other things that people value. Pocket balance scales and purity testers would be in great demand.

  10. Allan Ewing
    Jan 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Greece has limited cash transactions to euro 500. And, as I believe, Italy also has got a limit, just a bit lower. However: Can anybody enlighten me how our Southern European champion governments are going to control that???? They anyway pay most things without a receipt. Spain for example got a black economy that totals some 60% of the GDP. All show, no go.

    • John M
      Jan 28, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Allan

      The PIIGS will control the Brussels Technocrats soon enough. Le Pen will make sure that the French will file an intention to bail on Europe by June 2017

    • nhz
      Jan 29, 2017 at 11:39 am

      I remember reading that Greece now has a lottery for citizens where only official transaction receipts from shops (which include the VAT) and small service providers like doctors are accepted. I don’t know the details, but this seems to be working to force companies to at least provide a transaction record. Still, if companies or rich individuals don’t want to pay taxes – as seems to be normal in Greece – banning cash will probably not change anything much.

      This won’t work for business transactions I guess, but in most EU countries those are no longer cash anyway and I would not worry about an informal economy in e.g. fresh food sales from farmers or very basic services like cleaning or simple repairs. From what I hear in my country e.g. car dealers – which used to be mostly cash-based based 20 years ago – are under strong pressure to only accept electronic payment. If companies no longer accept cash, all payment will need to go electronic (= with full government access) and people may no longer want to accept cash because it becomes more difficult to spend it. People could use complicated alternatives like Bitcoin or barter, but none of these can completely replace cash (just look at Argentina).

      Does Spain really have a black economy of 60% of GDP, measured by cash value? That seems a huge amount … do they still pay wages, homes etc. in cash in Spain? I can imagine that 60% of the citizens used the black economy for some of their transactions, but that’s something else ;-)

      • d
        Jan 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

        I accept electronic payments to my account in teh Bahamas.

        If i want to sell high value item in a restricted economy.

        I employ and agent (Straw man).

        I take 30% to my business account for the car, and he takes 70 % to my account in the Bahamas all electronic. Normally over more than 1 day.

        The Japanese have been doing it for decades.

        Cashless society’s make, card company’s, bank’s and GOVERNMENTS, fat, and harm the little people, and only harm the little people.

  11. Barry Fay
    Jan 28, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Some pretty damn good comments! So glad there is a comment section here like there is at Naked Capitalism where the level of comment is sometimes extraordinary – even high enough to foster at least a smidgen of optimism. Only a smidgen, though.

  12. Jan 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Cash gives people a sense of security. The banks and the markets keep people up at night with worry. I worry less about street theives then I do about the FED theives, Banksters and Wall Street shysters.

    • Frederick
      Jan 28, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Me too Johnny Blainkfein is pretty scary and to think he has a house not far from me in Bridgehampton Geesh

    • nhz
      Jan 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      agree; most people have no idea in how many ways bankers, politicians and other criminals can steal their electronic money while most have a pretty good idea how they can protect cash money against theft.

  13. mvojy
    Jan 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I think countries want to turn their currency fully electronic to:
    1. Control the flow of money
    2. Track the flow
    3. Impose taxes and fees which will replace or be in addition to our current sales tax and income based taxes
    The government doesn’t want to concern itself if your company made a net profit last year. They will entitle themselves to their cut and it will be taken through the flow of money, not by what your accounting system says. Later, if the government needs more of your money they will simply increase the fees and tax rates. They won’t do tax reforms or pick winners or losers. They will take from what we make. There will only be taxation without representation. Good luck tossing virtual tea into the virtual harbor.

    • Lee
      Jan 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      They want to control cash because it allows people to be free.

      Free from state control over their lives.

      Free to do what they want when they want.

      Free to keep their location from the state/middlemen that control the transaction.

      Free to transact without a middleman taking a slice of the transaction.

      Here in Oz the war on cash continues as well.

      Hard to think that a country like Japan with all its ‘controls’ now has much more freedom that other countries. But ever there state control is increasing with such things as “My Number”.

      • Frederick
        Jan 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm

        Remember what Aaron Russo said about this subject back in 2000 in reference to his friendship with Rockefeller Always wondered if he was Scaliaed

  14. As
    Jan 28, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    It’s generally the bankrupt nations that lead this cashless push.
    The solvent savings nations don’t care about cash, eg Germany Japan HK Singapore Switzerland

    • Allan
      Jan 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Agree with you.

      However, did you know that there was a cap of SFr 100,000 for cash transactions in Switzerland?

      Plus soon the current SFr 1,000 bank notes will be replaced with new ones. The replacement program is some seven years behind, officially because of problems at the printers (Orell Fuessli). Obviously, everybody knows this just is an excuse of the government. You can google that story.

      An enormous amount of SFr 1k bank notes are stashed away in Swiss bank safes. Once the new ones arrive, you will have to exchange the old ones at Swiss National Bank (SNB) desks in Basle, Berne, Geneva, St Gall, Lugano, Lausanne, Lucerne, or Zurich. Now, what do you think will happen when I go with a Migros paper bag of let’s say 100 old SFr 1k bank notes to the SNB desk in Zurich in order to exchange them for new ones? Nobody knows. They probably will first kindly ask whether I have declared them with the tax man. If I say “yes”, they might want to see of copy of my tax invoice. If I say “I do not want to respond to your question”, what do you think is going to happen? Nobody knows. Also, Switzerland is the only country in the world where old bank notes will loose their value and cannot be exchanged anymore after some 20 years’ time.

      You see. Even the Swiss government subtly started to control cash and by extension the citizens. The biggest question again is: how they will handle the exchange process old / new SF1 k ban notes. It is a highly explosive issue.

      I guess only Singapore and the Republic of China (I mean Taiwan and not communist mainland China) are safe. BTW: The R.O.C. NT$ / SFr exchange rate is about the same since 1996?

      So, you know what to do.

      • d
        Jan 29, 2017 at 4:47 pm

        If I say “I do not want to respond to your question”, what do you think is going to happen? Nobody knows.

        I walk into the local money changer give him the notes and he give me new ones and takes a small fee.

        I own A % of a small Forex business. Most of the profit come from writing cheques for people. We dont bank the cash, we simply use it to make all our small Forex cash purchases.

        Also, Switzerland is the only country in the world where old bank notes will loose their value and cannot be exchanged anymore after some 20 years’ time.

        • Allan
          Jan 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm

          “I walk into the local money changer give him the notes and he give me new ones and takes a small fee.” Good point. Tough we do not have that many forex changers, it is an idea worthwhile to explore, once the issue of the new bank notes start. Thank you.

        • d
          Jan 30, 2017 at 6:09 pm

          Tough we do not have that many forex changers, it is an idea worthwhile to explore, once the issue of the new bank notes start. Thank you.

          Small, pawn shops, payday loan’s, Forex exchanges, precious metal’s traders, Matchmakers, are all over Asian.

          Run often by Grandmothers, open by appointment only.

          They are very useful (particularly for TAX DEDUCTION purposes) operation’s to have established, BEFORE, the financial issue’s arises.

  15. Maximus Minimus
    Jan 28, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Let’s make a bet what survives longer: cash or the European union.

    • Shadow
      Jan 28, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      And how will we settle the bet–cash or electronic funds transfer? ;-)

  16. Chicken
    Jan 28, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Vote out the incumbents, if your system allows the people to choose their destiny.

  17. d
    Jan 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Sometimes I wonder if the people running the Eu want to implode it in chaos, so they can implement something much worse in the process.

    an Eu army and a move to a cashless society (Total EU control of all peoples access to finance.) All before there is a united federated Europe.

    Not good sign’s, not good at all.

  18. Maximus Minimus
    Jan 28, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    During the scary days of FED manufactured crash, I withdrew larger quantities of cash, and stuffed it in my mattress or thereabouts. The thieves do not want you to have that little security, and want to steal it more easily.

  19. Patrick
    Jan 28, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Here in the good old USA we already have a ban on cash. It’s called ‘civil forfeiture’ and the police get to arbitrarily determine whatever amount constitutes as worthy of confiscation..hint it’s any amount they deem worth stealing. Kinda like a bribe but you don’t get the option and you get nothing in return except a lighter wallet. India’s not looking so corrupt after all.

    • Chicken
      Jan 29, 2017 at 12:10 am

      Yes, I suppose if you carry around large amounts of cash, you’re liable to lose it to either: Muggers or Police, assuming they know you have it. Wouldn’t be surprised to learn they train their K9 deputy’s to sniff out cash?

  20. Sporkfed
    Jan 29, 2017 at 12:18 am

    It’s clear they want a tax on every monetary transaction. From purchases to money transfers
    of all sorts. No hoarding cash at all. Looks like bartering will come back in fashion to avoid
    taxation.

    • d
      Jan 29, 2017 at 2:22 am

      “Looks like bartering will come back in fashion to avoid
      taxation.”

      Where have you been, it never went out of fashion.

      One of the commonest barters. Drug’s for Gun’s and ammunition.

    • nhz
      Jan 29, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      of course not a tax on every monetary transaction: the transactions and bribes of the elites using offshore constructions etc. and the HFT machines will probably always remain exempt ;-(

    • Frederick
      Jan 30, 2017 at 4:49 am

      Or gold and silver coins The banker criminals hate them This is why They cannot be printed into existence

  21. Mary
    Jan 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Fascinating post. Caused me to mentally review which transactions remain cash-only. In my life it’s farmer’s markets. Here in Southern California there are year-round markets where big vendors (meaning farms) do thousands of dollars in business on a good day. Yet I’ve never seen a transaction in anything but cash. Wonder if with generational change such cash-only situations will vanish.

    • Allan
      Jan 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Excellent point. That is one of the main reasons given in Switzerland when discussing cash transctions. Also, farmers won’t use an Amex to purchase cattle. Another reason why you need cash. Same goes for used car dealers. Well, I guess too complicated for euro & bureaucrats to understand.

      • d
        Jan 29, 2017 at 5:10 pm

        Amex is to expensive on their low margins and reversible. Both cars and cattle are expensive and difficult to recover when there is a “transaction problem” cash no “transaction problem”.

  22. Markle
    Jan 30, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Russian philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky in the 1800s said, “Money is coined liberty.”
    “Cash” is your PRIVATE PROPERTY. It is the physical representation of your time at work or your intellectual output.
    “The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
    To ban cash is to steal your PRIVATE PROPERTY. People will resort to barter, gold & silver and creating local scripts.
    Plus it is truly “THE Mark of the BEAST” since every tiny transaction will be recorded and a FEE skimmed off by the BANKERS, which is why the BANKERS push it.

  23. Bam Bam
    Jan 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    It is very obvious with cash they cannot COMPLETELY control you. With cash out of the way they can finally RECORD EVERY transaction.

    And become the GOD they always wanted to be. The MARK of the beast to FORCE you to WORSHIP them. The cashless society will become your confession box.

    Only THEY can forgive you and allow you to BUY and SELL. Then you will be SOULED and marked for DEATH!!

  24. R Davis
    Jan 31, 2017 at 1:07 am

    You say that cash transactions are untraceable.
    No one on earth has any idea how much currency .. digital, or, tangible notes are out there.
    No one, no one has a clue.
    What is more .. a / or many persons .. can pull digital currency from thin air at any given moment .. all they need is technological skills & the equipment.
    Every day employees pilfer / reward themselves with digital money, contrived from the company that they work for, or the customer base of that company & the banking system.
    I watched The Corbett Report: Demonatization & you.
    India’s swing into Digital money is thrilling for those who own digital wallet companies like Paytm .. they are the God’s of the Holy Matter from Heaven .. ‘money’ .. & therefore, surely they will become true God’s in their own right .. on planet earth .. as a result.
    Digital money is nothing more than ONE BIG SCAM .. a means of having a hand in the pocket of all the nations economies .. the ability to steal .. ‘other nations money’ .. at will .. 24/7.
    The ability of one nation to .. HACK .. and shut down a whole nations economy at the drop of a hat .. for as long a period as you wish .. or permanently.
    Who needs bombs in today’s world when you can shut down the monetary system & starve the population to death.
    Remember .. no nation is exempt from this type of attack.
    It will be interesting to see who gets blown up first ..

  25. R Davis
    Jan 31, 2017 at 1:20 am

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    “There are those who have a collective death wish for the world.”

  26. R Davis
    Jan 31, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Vodafone
    I can buy a phone from the local supermarket like I buy a loaf of bread .. & activate the account using false ID .. all I need is to remember the information I have used to activate the account .. so as to be able to upgrade the ID when requested.
    I can have as many individual phone lines activated .. with fake ID as I like.
    It is a Teddy bears Picnic out there for everyone.

  27. R Davis
    Feb 1, 2017 at 9:11 am

    reg: India.

    * 98% of all transactions are done in cash.
    * it is estimated that 86% of the paper currency has been taken out of the economy .. with the potential to cripple the Indian economy & it’s population.
    * it would take 5-6 months to put it back into circulation.
    * India’s infrastructure is woefully inadequate, to handle massive increases in digital transactions.
    * India is rated 105th in the world average internet speed, the lowest in the Asia Pacific region.
    * mobile phone connections reach only 50.000 villages, fiber-optics 56.000.
    * Paytm the leading mobile wallet is experiencing regular outages & people are not able to access their accounts.
    * Security is almost none existent – October 2016 .. 3.6 million debit cards were hacked.
    * IN MARCH 2017 TRANSACTION FEE’S ARE DUE & THE PUBLIC HAS NOT BEEN ADEQUATELY INFORMED.
    * These are people who cannot afford to fed themselves & their families adequately & they are paying transaction fee’s.
    This is obscene .. Unless it is a deliberate case of DEMOCIDE / death by government.
    “oohw, look Rajhi, the people are dropping dead right in front of us, what could be causing this strange phenomenon”
    *
    *

    • Robert
      Feb 2, 2017 at 12:40 am

      “people who cannot afford to feed their families adequately are having to pay pay transaction fees. This is obscene .. Unless it is a deliberate case of DEMOCIDE / death by government.” That it is being done by government IS obscene. I am convinced that Modi acted at the bidding of the central bank, which as in every other country is owned by the big commercial banks looking to take a nip out of every transaction. Had small denomination bills been printed in advance to replace the high denomination notes, there would have been no problems, but he pretended that he could not do so or the cat was out of the bag. Take your pick: vicious or criminally negligent.
      But it clearly taught the Indian people that not only was fiat not a store of value, subject to the whim of govt., but that just what the banksters feared, a return to precious metals, is happening: sub-gram or small-gram
      coins are being produced, and they are buying them as fast as possible, legal tender law and limitation on bullion ownership notwithstanding. And I say, more power to them.

  28. Ambrose Bierce
    Feb 4, 2017 at 10:21 am

    outlawing cash simply advances the cause for the use of gold as barter, since gold to a central banker is not currency, although i imagine they will implement a modified gold standard to assuage their customers concerns and possibly label the use of gold as a currency transaction. any sort of gold standard should be huge for gold owners. just as owning cash when cash restrictions are placed, short of outright repeal which is difficult to implement and quarrelsome, such actions make cash worth more.

Comments are closed.