It has become a disconcerting trend that as geopolitical events intensify and keep a majority of people engaged in the latest outbreak of political theatre, the words of central bankers fall on increasingly deaf ears.
Remember when Bitcoin and its digital currency cohorts were slammed by authorities and written off by the elite as worthless? Well now, as the war on cash escalates, officials from The IMF to China are seeing the opportunity to control the world’s money through virtual (cash-less) currencies. Just as we warned most recently here, state wealth control is the goal and, as Bloomberg reports, The PBOC is targeting an early rollout of China’s own digital currency to “boost control of money” and none other than The IMF’s Christine Lagarde added that “virtual currencies are extremely beneficial.”
By way of background, as we explained previously, 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 Authorities are both restricting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and limiting what can be purchased with cash.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.”
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, told a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers in Ankara that a stock-market bubble in his country had “burst,” according to Japan’s Taro Aso. Another official present at the talks said China had presented the country’s situation as a new normal.
China is on the defensive as its slowing economy and market turbulence send shock waves through emerging markets just as the U.S. is preparing to raise interest rates. With the MSCI emerging market index down 18 percent so far this year, a draft communique prepared before the meeting cited “recent volatility in financial markets” and the need to monitor potential spillovers.
The People’s Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policy makers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan’s appreciation.
“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, said in a speech organized by China Economists 50 Forum at Tsinghua University yesterday. The monetary authority will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading range, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in an article in a guidebook explaining reforms outlined last week following a Communist Party meeting. Neither Yi nor Zhou gave a timeframe for any changes. Continue reading