Greece Orders Banks To Record “Personal Data” On Anyone Who Was Hoarding Cash

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

Europe Prepares for the Next Assault in the War on Cash

Europe is perhaps the most centrally controlled political system in the world: a place in which political and economic policies range from socialist (the public sector accounts for 30% of “free market” German’s employment) to extremely socialist (the public sector accounts for 56% of France’s employment).

As such, Europe is where a Central Banker can implement the most insane policy and get away with it. Continue reading

The War On Cash: Why Now?

You’ve probably read that there is a “war on cash” being waged on various fronts around the world. What exactly does a “war on cash” mean?

It means governments are limiting the use of cash and a variety of official-mouthpiece economists are calling for the outright abolition of cash. Authorities are both restricting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and limiting what can be purchased with cash.

These limits are broadly called “capital controls.” Continue reading

Europe Will Soon Impose Border Controls

Europe is imposing capital controls…  next up will be border controls.

How do we know? Because they already suggested this before.

Back in March of 2012, when the EU Crisis first began to spin out of control, then Prime Minister of France Nicolas Sarkozy openly called for the renegotiation of the Schengen Treaty: the treaty that established the 26-nation EU as a “borderless” entity in which individuals could move from one country to another with little difficulty and which also made trade among EU members easier. Continue reading

The War On Cash: Officially Sanctioned Theft

You’ve probably read that there is a “war on cash” being waged on various fronts around the world. What exactly does a “war on cash” mean?

It means governments are limiting the use of cash and a variety of official-mouthpiece economists are calling for the outright abolition of cash. Authorities are both restricting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and limiting what can be purchased with cash.

These limits are broadly called capital controls.

The War On Cash: Why Now?

Why are governments suddenly acting as if cash money is a bad thing that must be severely limited or eliminated? Continue reading