The International War On Cash

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via,

Back in 2008, I began warning of increasing capital controls that we would see in the future, as a component in the decline of Western economies (Western in the broad sense, including Japan, Australia, etc.)

Along the way, it occurred to me that, at some point, governments might collectively attempt to eliminate paper currency in favour of an electronic currency - transferred from party to party solely through licensed banks. Sound farfetched? Well, maybe, but what if the U.S. and EU agreed on an overall plan, then suggested it to other governments? On the face of it, this smacks of conspiracy theory, yet certainly, all governments would benefit from this control and would be likely to get on board. In fact, it might prove to be the only way out of their present economic problems.

So, how would it play out? Here’s roughly how I saw Phase I:

  • Link the free movement of cash to terrorism (Create a consciousness that any movement of large sums suggests criminal activity.);
  • Establish upper limits on the amount of money that can be moved without reporting to some government investigatory agency;
  • Periodically lower those limits;
  • Accustom people to making all purchases, however small or large, through a bank card;
  • Create a consciousness that the mere possession of cash is suspect, since it’s no longer “necessary”.

When I first wrote on the subject, there was considerable criticism as to the possibility that such a programme would ever be attempted, let alone succeed. And, granted, it was so Orwellian that it was understandably seen as a crackpot idea. But since that time, the programme has been developing extremely rapidly. In the last six months alone, it has become so visible that it has even garnered a name - “the War on Cash”.

References in the media have been made that terrorist groups fund their attacks with cash. Dozens of countries have placed limits on the maximum amount of money that can be moved without reporting. Some, notably France, have already begun lowering their limits. Banks in some countries, notably Sweden, are already treating all cash transactions as suspicious. The previously theoretical Phase I is now well under way.

This issue has expanded more quickly than I’d anticipated. Clearly, the governments that are forcing it into being are running out of time. There can only be one reason why they’d rush a programme that normally would be given more time for people to accept, and that’s that they see a crash coming before they can get Phase II of the programme underway.

Although most anyone who’s paying attention recognises that Phase I is in motion, Phase II (as I perceive it) is not yet on the radar, but I believe it will be soon. Phase II will be the second wave of measures and they will be more draconian than Phase I:

  • Create a definitive false flag event that demonstrates how physical cash is the primary means of funding evil acts in the world;
  • Declare a date on which paper currency will become illegal (Until that date, it can be deposited into a bank. After that date, it becomes criminal to possess it.);
  • Once all cash has been deposited in banks, increase negative interest rates;
  • Confiscation of deposits can then be implemented, as desired, by banks (Confiscation of deposits is already legal in Canada, the U.S., and the EU.);
  • Confiscate contents of selected safe deposit boxes;
  • End “voluntary” taxation. All taxation will, in future, be by direct debit;
  • Declare money to be the property of the State that issued it. (The people are allowed to trade in it, but it is not truly theirs. The State therefore can freeze or confiscate the funds in any account, if any crime is “suspected”.).

In recent months, I’ve warned repeatedly that, since confiscations of deposits will take place, we must assume that banks will additionally raid safe deposit boxes, as stated in the above list. Some banks, beginning with JPMorgan Chase, have placed limits on what forms of wealth can be placed in safe deposit boxes. Since then, Greece has taken this one step further. In future, Greek citizens will be required to declare cash exceeding €15,000, jewellery and precious stones valued at over €30,000 and declare the location of the safe deposit box in which they’re stored.

The declaration is fraught with difficulties for the depositor, as he bears the obligation to accurately appraise each item. Should authorities disagree with the appraisal of, say, Grandma’s diamond brooch, the depositor would be suspect and may face confiscation.

State Wealth Control

Once Phase II is completed, state wealth control will exist. And, again, this prediction will seem at first glance to be Orwellian - a mere fiction. But then, less than a year ago, the War on Cash was regarded by only a few as being even within the realm of possibility, let alone right around the corner. And so it is with Phase II. Now that Phase I is in motion, it’s accepted as an unsettling reality, but Phase II is the obvious sequel.

If you have cash in a bank, you think of it as your own. This is not the case. It’s wealth that you’ve loaned to the bank. In the future, the bank (with governmental approval) will have the power to decide if and when they will return all, or a part, of that cash to you. They will set the rules as to how that decision will be arrived at and those rules will be changed periodically. Since those rules will be arrived at by the banks (without need for your consent), the outcome will most certainly not be in your favour.

Those who read this statement might react in one of three ways:

  • “This can’t be happening.”
  • “Okay, it’s happening, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s global.”
  • “There must be something I can do to keep from being robbed.”

The first group will be the largest. They will freeze up, do little or nothing, and become victims.

The second group may complain and even struggle a bit against these developments, but won’t prepare sufficiently and, ultimately, will also become victims.

The third group will seek alternatives, and here’s where the light appears at the end of the tunnel. Yes, this effort will be international, but it won’t be fully global. There will be those jurisdictions that, traditionally, have not been willing to fall into line with the world’s foremost powers. They will not wish to go off the same cliff as the others and will take a different tack. They will be the recipients of those people who seek to escape the collapsing system. But, more than ever before, time is limited; the window is clearly closing.

Escape from Confiscation

The solution is surprisingly simple, although it will take work and dedication:

  • If you’re a resident of any jurisdiction that’s presently going down this road, move your money to a jurisdiction that has a consistent history for stable government, low (or no) direct taxation, and minimal interference or regulation over wealth;
  • Convert your wealth into those forms of assets that are hardest for rapacious governments to confiscate (foreign-held precious metals and real estate);
  • Create an exit plan for your own physical escape, should it become necessary.

Editor’s Note: The War on Cash and negative interest rates are radical and insane measures. They are a sign of desperation.

They are also huge threats to your financial security. Central planners are playing with fire and inviting a currency catastrophe.

Most people have no idea what really happens when a currency collapses, let alone how to prepare…

How will you protect your savings in the event of a currency crisis? This just-released video will show you exactly how. Click here to watch it now.

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So Close's picture

It is happening.  Period.  Cash means freedom.. or less control.   And they won't have it.

agent default's picture

I think that somewhere along the line of these steps a full blown revolution will break out, which will make WWII look like a civilized debate.

GeezerGeek's picture

Or they may back off when the hookers and drug dealers refuse to deal with the politicians pushing the idea.

dchang0's picture

Agreed. If the goal of going cashless is even more state control of the people, then the central planners will only succeed in pissing the people off sooner and more powerfully by shutting down physical cash.

bilbert's picture

Quite possibly, someone could clue the NRA about this trend, and have them spread the word to their members.

They have a large and well trained constituency, who are not real keen on more rights being taken away from them.

Anyone here a member who might begin a dialog?


Unknown User's picture

Not while the NSA is listning. They will simply turn their bank accounts off - instant nonpersons. No way to even beg for money. 

Gonzogal's picture

They can do the same thing with debit or credit cards...not a person, no money and you are SOL

The state can, and will cut-off your electronic financial lifeline should you fall foul of the system. No negotiations, no gray areas – and definitely no place for a free individual in this type of globalist system.

Dicey's picture

'Confiscate contents of selected safe deposit boxes' - This has already been done in the UK, more than once in fact, and under both Labour and Tory governments. In all cases they claimed they were taking items stored in safe deposit boxes by criminals, but in fact they stole everything from every safe deposit box. People had cash, gold, even family items with immense sentimental value stolen.

Dwain Dibley's picture

The U.S.G. retains the sovereign right to coin the money.

They make credit the legal tender, the U.S.G. is instantly out of debt.

The Ban on Cash - Part II


Durrmockracy's picture

Last mistake TPTB make...

scintillator9's picture

Unfortunately, I disagree.

Look at the younger people who pay everything from their iGadgets or cards, and never once think about how much convenience is actually costing them due to the extra costs that merchants pass onto the customers via pass through fees that are charged to them.

Anyone ever wonder why some places offer a cash discount?

It is not rocket science to figure it out.

Most people also never have been in a prolonged power outage due to an ice storm, hurricane, or other disaster. Thus, most people are quite unaware of how things work when the power does not.

Durrmockracy's picture

No, they definitely are looking at those things hence the rise of the crypto-currencies.

BadLibertarian's picture

This all just pushes more people into Bitcoin, imo. Cell phones run on battery power and cell towers are required to have backup power. A cell phone charging solar kit costs about .05 BTC ($20).

Mr.BlingBling's picture

. "Cell towers are required to have backup power."

While that may be true, backup power means diesel generators and those tanks will start to run dry within a day unless there's a concerted effort to keep them filled.  There are a whole lot of cell towers which would need that attention and I doubt that there are enough tank trucks to make the rounds that frequently. 

tmosley's picture

I think you are drastically overestimating the power consumption of those towers. I highly doubt they are resupplied by a truck, more like a guy with one or two 5-gallon jerry cans.

NoPension's picture

How does the guy with the jerry cans get paid? And how does he buy the fuel?
You're wrong about the volumn of fuel by the way, but meh, who cares?

BadLibertarian's picture

A 12kW genset will work and requires about 1 gallon per hour so ~ 24 gallons per day per tower. The scenario posted above concerned a local disruption - tornado, hurricane, earthquake, etc. not TEOTWAWKI, so getting paid isn't really an issue. Sourcing fuel might be, depending on the extent of the damage, but if the damage is that bad (Katrina type situation), then stores probably aren't open anyway.

PhoQ's picture

I'm not worried. Cash will not go away in the US until the CIA figures out a cashless way to sell us their trillion dollars a year worth of drugs.

Maybe Citi will issue a DrugAmerica card or something.

techpriest's picture

Remember those hammers that sold for $500 each?

PTR's picture

Don't forget those silly Swedes. They're just BEGGING to become a cashless society. Blo

ajax's picture



+1000 @scintillator9

Teach your children to pay cash whenever/wherever  possible. Make them understand.

SoDamnMad's picture

Do mean small outage like an ice storm or something juicer like an EMP attack?  Easy for NKorea or Iran (or even our friends like Pakistan or Isreal to EMP us)

two hoots's picture

It all started with the electronic EBT card and slowing fraud.  It is a natural extrapolation from there.

ToSoft4Truth's picture

The biggest is Social Security required direct deposit.

Gift cards are a close second. 

TheDanimal's picture

Lmao at the EBT cards reducing fraud. EBT food benefits go for $0.50 on the dollar around where I live. People need to eat, but they need to get drunk and/or high more. I can't really blame them, the rustbelt is fucked.

GeezerGeek's picture

But won't there be pushback from LEOs? Whither civil asset forfeiture? What will they do when they can't just confiscate a couple hundred (or more) dollars you just happen to be carrying? Will they take cars? That would be harder to pull off than simply taking case. Or would they carry one of those portable credit card devices and force you to 'buy' something from them? (Like protection.)

Unintended consequences, perhaps?

PhoQ's picture

They'll probably just kill you and harvest your organs in the ambulance.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

See, yer problem is yer thinkin' too small!  When all of the currency is digital, they can confiscate your entire bank balance--the whole enchilada.  Good luck funding your criminal defense with empty or frozen accounts.

Lumberjack's picture


In a little-noticed brief filed last summer, lawyers for the House of Representatives claimed that an SEC investigation of congressional insider trading should be blocked on principle, because lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from such inquiries given the nature of their work.

The legal team led by Kerry W. Kircher, who was appointed House General Counsel by Speaker John Boehner in 2011, claimed that the insider trading probe violated the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branch.

In 2012, members of Congress patted themselves on the back for passing the STOCK Act, a bill meant to curb insider trading for lawmakers and their staff. “We all know that Washington is broken and today members of both parties took a big step forward to fix it,” said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, upon passage of the law.

But as the Securities and Exchange Commission made news with the first major investigation of political insider trading, Congress moved to block the inquiry.

The SEC investigation focused on how Brian Sutter, then a staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee, allegedly passed along information about an upcoming Medicare decision to a lobbyist, who then shared the tip with other firms. Leading hedge funds used the insider tip to trade on health insurance stocks that were affected by the soon-to-be announced Medicare decision.

Calling the SEC’s inquiry a “remarkable fishing expedition for congressional records,” Kircher and his team claimed that the SEC had no business issuing a subpoena to Sutter. “Communications with lobbyists, of course, are a normal and routine part of Committee information-gathering,” the brief continued, arguing that there “is no room for the SEC to inquire into the Committee’s or Mr. Sutter’s purpose or motives.”

Wall Street investors routinely hire specialized “political intelligence” lobbyists in Washington to get insider knowledge of major government decisions so that they may make trades using the information. But little is known about the mechanics of political intelligence lobbying, which falls outside the scope of traditional lobbying law, and therefore does not show up in mandatory lobbying disclosure reports.

There are occasional hints, though.

Personal finance forms reveal that from July of 2011 through May of 2013, David Berteau served as a consultant to Height Analytics, the political intelligence firm at the center of the SEC’s current probe. At the time of his work for Height Analytics, Berteau simultaneously worked as a vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent think tank in Washington. Berteau is now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness.

Congressional travel forms show that on December 12, 2012, Emily Porter, at the time an employee of Boehner’s office, traveled to New York on a sponsored trip to meet with JNK Securities for a group lunch with business clients. According to the Wall Street Journal, JNK “has emerged as one of the most aggressive” political intelligence firms on Capitol Hill.

This is hardly the first time Congress has moved to undermine its own ethics rules. In 2011, congressional Republicans quickly abandoned their promise to post the text of bills online “for at least three days” before voting on them.

TheDanimal's picture

If I go ask about this at my credit union, are they going to think I'm nuts? I mean I am broke as fuck, but that just makes it all the more important to keep what little I've got.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture

where is the RBS story?

22winmag's picture

Land of the fee, home of the slave.


For now.

zerotohero's picture

It's just a matter of time - the wheels are already in motion - might as well blow it on hookers and blow

Nero_Hedge's picture

I'd have appreciated more specifics on just where my money would be more safe. In the kind of scenario being discussed, it's hard to imagine anywhere outside of eyesight as safe.

ToSoft4Truth's picture

I think the real answer is, "attack at dawn". 



TheEndIsNear's picture

Simple, just click on the link to "" provided by the author and pay the multi-billionaire Doug Casey $99 for a copy of his booklet "Going Global 2015".  Any article sponsored by "" is nothing more than a sales pitch by snake oil salesman Doug Casey. Although there is some truth to the opinions of the author, always check the source for ulterior motives behind articles on ZH or anywhere else.

Flankspeed60's picture

I don't fully understand the antipathy against those selling their expertise. We seem to accept having to pay lawyers, tax advisors, consultants of every ilk, but Doug & Simon just seem to creep under the saddles of so many. Either their advice is worth something, or it ain't. What is the nature of the squawk here? If you know it for a fact to be 'snake oil,' share it. I don't see an 'ulterior' motive any more than an advertisement for car repair. Remember the 'Car Talk' guys on NPR? They also had a for-profit garage service..................

August's picture

In terms of somewhere that is semi-independent of Zio-Western Banking, but still reasonably secure and user-friendly to Anglophones, I'd say Singapore. 

"User friendly" is a stretch, though:  I started the process of opening an account in Singapore some years ago, but the hassle factor for non-residents ultimately dissuaded me; still it IS possible, with enough effort, form-filling and general machinations.  Fortunately, I'm fairly old, and don't give much of a damn....

If you're serious about international diversification, Simon Black (love him or hate him) is a good place to start.

weburke's picture

td bank wont be confiscating anything.


BarnacleBill's picture

Nice article, Jeff: a timely warning.

CHoward's picture

No cash?  But how will I bribe my local cop or prosecutor or the judge, not to mention how do I buy my drugs from the guy down at the corner?  Damn - I almost forgot about the bribes I have to pay to my state senator and then there's my congressman.  Fuck this shit!

AgainstYourThought's picture

I pay my dealer with PayPal. Maybe I should ask if he'd be willing to start accepting silver rounds instead

pakled's picture

Actually, buying drugs would be an issue. Not only for us, but for the government. Big Brother (and its TPTB subsidiaries) clearly is getting a sizable piece of the action in the drug trade. If they make cash illegal they are likely going to have to make drugs legal to avoid cutting off a major income artery.



ToSoft4Truth's picture

No more losing pallets of cash in a war zone. 

August's picture

USA-issued folding money will be allowed to circulate freely... outside the USA.

Within the borders, a different song and dance.

VWAndy's picture

  They want to take the fiat games to the next level. We could all just walk away. Barter Town should be a hoot for those that actually produce. The free shit army wont like it one little bit. But why should anyone care what them useless tools think? 

AgainstYourThought's picture

I've been converting the dollars in my bank account to phys, Bitcoin, as well as cash, and keeping it in a non-bank vault, to prepare for when the inevitable bank raids begin. Of course if what this article suggests is true none of that will help me.

Kefeer's picture

BitCoin is convertible to another currency; therefore is a non-thing except to what it is attached to.  Those who currently accept Bitcoin do so in order to convert it with few exceptions.  Here is a very smart Mexican billionaire you might want to think consider his views on the subject of BitCoin.


To each his own; not for me as I have seen it as mere speculative by nature and already controls have been put onto it and its origin is a myth.


AgainstYourThought's picture

Interesting, and I respect his perspective. But just because that is the case today doesn't mean it will always be the case. In the event of a fiat collapse, people will still require a medium of exchange and Bitcoin fits that need very well. It has all the compoents of real money, namely it has scarcity, and works as a store of value & unit of account. Bitcoin has the advantage of already being widely accepted as a form of payment by merchants, something you can't say about PMs, and in a currency crisis its acceptance would only increase.

The point the article makes about Bitcoins could just as easily be applied to PMs today. If a person wants to sell their house for gold, the seller would consider the value of the gold in dollars, not the metal's intrinsic value.

Bitcoin has, I believe, many advantages over other assets like PMs in that it's much easier to transfer, can't be counterfeited, can be sent and received discreetly, easy to hide, and when properly secured and backed up can't be stolen. Further, suppose a new fiat regieme is imposed once the dollar collapses. It seems likely to me that people would be willing to exchange the new fiat for bitcoins just as they do with dollars today. And it will be easier to do because it can be done electronically, and can't be confiscated by government agents the way PMs can.

I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket, but I feel that having at least some wealth stored as bitcoin may prove to be good insurance against the coming collapse. Of course there are also risks, such as attacks on the blockchain by governments and banks, but I still feel keeping my wealth in bitcoins is less risky than in frns. 

Precious Hawk's picture

AGT - you must add one more point:  Bitcoin can become worthless overnight (it lost 10% last night).

You should also query some of your assertions.

Can't be counterfeited? Tell me how the original ones are produced.  AN ALGORITHM THAT SOMEBODY WROTE.

Discrete - I think there is a visible auditable trail.  Suppose you had to produce that in court?

Easy to hide?  In plain site maybe.

Can't be stolen.  You'd better think again.  Someone with a gun to your kid's head will get your bitcoins.

However, I have already suggested in print that we should be aware of Bitcoin, have an account with a small amount of bitcoins.

Firstly to understand how it works and secondly for use in a dire emergency.

Over a few minutes, Bitcoin is probably very secure if you take care and understand what you are doing.  A few minutes could save all your wealth and the short time span limits the risk of a collapse in its value.