Why Is Germany Eliminating Paper Money?

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Getting rid of paper money may help fight terrorism and even help prop up the banks—but is there a more sinister reason for these new financial controls?

Germany is considering abolishing the €500 note and introducing a €5,000 (us$5,600) limit on cash transactions. It is part of a plan proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s partners in the Social Democratic Party to cut off terrorist financing in Europe. Banning the bills will supposedly help make people safer. In reality, it will do the exact opposite.

German Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister told Deutsche Welle on February 3 that Germany would push these reforms at the European level. “Since money laundering and terrorism financing are cross-border threats,” it makes sense to adopt a European Union-wide “solution,” he said. But “if a European solution isn’t possible, Germany will move ahead on its own” (emphasis added throughout).

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Cash Withdrawal Limits and “Bank Holidays” Coming?

Collapsing commodities prices, erratic market turmoil and the bursting of Chinese bubbles are leading to a crisis in confidence in the economic system across the globe. The long-expected crisis to which the global financial and systemic crisis in 2008 may have been a mere prelude may be upon us.

Governments have no appetite for further bailouts. The EU states have passed legislation which will make the banks or rather unfortunate and unsuspecting depositors liable for the bank’s lending and speculative profligacy. Continue reading

Greeks drain ATMs as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calls referendum to decide country’s fate

Greece’s banks may need an injection of fresh emergency funds to operate on Monday as people rushed to pull out money after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a referendum that could decide his country’s fate in the euro.

Two senior Greek retail bank executives said as many as 500 of the country’s more than 7000 ATMs had run out of cash as of Saturday morning, and that some lenders may not be able to open on Monday unless there was an emergency liquidity injection from the Bank of Greece. An official with Greece’s Capital Markets Commission, the markets’ regulator, also warned that the Athens Stock Exchange may be unable to operate on Monday without a cash injection into the banking system. A Greek central bank spokesman said it was making efforts to supply money. Continue reading

‘It’s going to be bad, whatever happens’: Greece on edge as eurozone exit looms

Greece’s spiralling debt crisis saw cash withdrawals total €400m on Monday. While anxiety varies around Athens, few Greeks see benefit in leaving the euro

“Everybody’s doing it,” said Joanna Christofosaki, in front of a Eurobank cash dispenser in the leafy Athens neighbourhood of Kolonaki. “Our friends have all done it. Nobody wants their money to be worthless tomorrow. Nobody wants to be unable to get at it.”

A researcher in the archaeology department at the Academy of Athens, Christofosaki said she knew plenty of people who had “€10,000 somewhere at home” and plenty of others who chose to keep their stash at the office. Was she among them? “If I was, I certainly wouldn’t tell you.” Continue reading