The cancerous virus of freedom-destroying worldwide cash-bans – in the name of fighting terrorism – has reached Taiwan this week. With the aim of ‘preventing money-laundering’, Taiwan may ban cash purchases of properties and luxury goods, Taipei-based Economic Daily News reports, citing unidentified official at Ministry of Justice.
Last week a new phrase was introduced into our lexicon by Trump Adviser Kellyanne Conway. When asked about why press secretary Sean Spicer had made statements that were (according to the press) unverifiable she said that he had used ‘alternative facts’. Continue reading →
As an observation, a lot of news pieces keep mentioning 2018 of late as a turning point for cash and a move towards either a new global currency or electronic currency. It’s a reminder of what The Economist put out in 1988:
QUESTION: Dear Marty,
What could be the true intentions of Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi in India cancelling the currency overnight. I have been suspecting some foul in his demonetisation move but cannot correctly understand why he did it? Counterfeit currency, Black money, prevent terrorism all his publicised motives have been shown false. If this move is any kind of scandal and he has tarnished India image in long run or short run. Almost 90% analysts in India are saying it is a good move in the long run ( 2-3 years) and pain in short term. Is this correct? Continue reading →
Cash is a proxy for the freedom to maintain some privacy in an era of Big Brother repression, surveillance and the suppression of dissent.
Our first question should be: just how big a share of our financial universe is cash? The answer is: vanishingly small. Look at this chart of total credit in the U.S. economy–$63 trillion–and total cash: $1.45 trillion. Cash is the thin red line at the bottom of the chart–it barely registers.
If cash is such a small share of money and assets, why are governments so keen to ban cash?Continue reading →
What should also be interesting to see is how this scandal is going to be used in the war against cash, being that governments are now wanting to ban it to prevent bank runs in a financial crisis.
THE BACKGROUND OF THE LEAK
The source of the Panama Papers leak —the largest in history— is apparently a single individual who contacted the widely respected German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung over a year ago. After receiving assurances that his or her anonymity would be safeguarded, the source proceeded to provide the paper with what eventually amounted to over 11.5 million files. They include company emails, banking transaction records, and files of clients that span the years 1977 to 2015. The source asked for no financial compensation or other form of reimbursement in return, saying only that he or she wanted to “make these crimes public”. Continue reading →
Over the course of documenting the ECB’s push to phase out the €500 note, we stumbled upon something rather interesting that’s taking place at Greek banks.
Courtesy of a reader, we learned that Piraeus Bank (among others) has begun charging a fee to exchange large denomination bills for small. The charge is listed as 0.15% by the bank and Kathimerini would later report that across the Greek banking sector “exchanging one 500-euro note for smaller bills, [will cost you] 3-5 euros (depending on the bank), while the maximum charge comes to 200-250 euros regardless of the amount a customer wishes to exchange.”
This is amusing for two reasons: 1) the ECB effectively gets to charge for the privilege for banning large bills and 2) it means that if you are Greek and you were effectively forced to take your money out of the bank because after last summer you feared a depositor bail-in might be right around the corner, you now have the distinct pleasure of having to pay a fee to exchange your large bills for smaller ones at the very same banks where you withdrew the money in the first place. Continue reading →
Bangladesh has learned a valuable lesson over the past two months: Do. Not. Trust. The. New. York. Fed.
On a quiet Friday morning in early February, a series of instructions using authenticated SWIFT codes was sent to 33 Liberty allegedly from the Bangladesh central bank requesting the transfer of nearly $1 billion from the country’s FX reserves. Continue reading →
16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads,17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
We’ve documented the cash ban calls on a number of occasions including, most recently, those that emanated from DNB, Norway’s largest bank where executive Trond Bentestuen said that although “there is approximately 50 billion kroner in circulation, the Norges Bank can only account for 40 percent of its use.”
That, Bentestuen figures, “means that 60 percent of money usage is outside of any control.” “We believe,” he continues, “that is due to under-the-table money and laundering.”
DNB goes on to say that after identifying “many dangers and disadvantages” associated with cash, the bank has “concluded that it should be phased out.” Continue reading →