Germany Unveils "Cash Controls" Push: Ban Transactions Over €5,000, €500 Euro Note

Tyler Durden's picture

It was just two days ago that Bloomberg implored officials to “bring on a cashless future” in an Op-Ed that calls notes and coins “dirty, dangerous, unwieldy, and expensive.”

You probably never thought of your cash that way, but increasingly, authorities and the powers that be seem determined to lay the groundwork for the abolition of what Bloomberg calls “antiquated” physical money.

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.”

On Tuesday we got the latest evidence that officials across the globe are preparing to institute a cashless “utopia” when Handelsblatt reported (in a piece called "The Death of Cash) that the Social Democrats - the junior partner in Angela Merkel’s coalition government - have proposed a €5,000 limit on cash transactions and the elimination of the €500 note. 

Berlin is using a familiar scapegoat to justify the plan: the need to fight "terrorists" and “foreign criminals."

“Limits on cash transactions would discourage foreign criminals from coming here to launder money,” says a paper penned by the Social Democrats. “If sums over €5,000 have to pass through traceable bank transactions, laundering would be severely hampered, it adds.”

On Wednesday, we got confirmation of the plan from Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister who told reporters that Germany is proposing a euroarea ban on cash transactions over €5,000 to combat terrorism financing and money laundering.

“Since money laundering and terrorism financing are cross-border threats,” it makes sense to adopt a bloc-wide “solution”, but “if a European solution isn’t possible, Germany will move ahead on its own,” he added.

This comes at a rather convenient time for policy makers in Europe. Rates are already sitting at -0.30% and are likely to be cut by an additional 10bps in March. But that’s not likely to do anything to curb the disinflationary impulse. Mario Draghi isn’t anywhere close to his inflation target and it says a lot about how ineffective the ECB has been when everyone is relieved to see annual inflation running at the “brisk” pace of 0.4%.

As a reminder, the gradual phasing out of cash strips the public of its economic autonomy. Central bankers can only control interest rates down to a certain “lower bound.” Once negative rates are passed on to depositors - and trust us, that’s coming - people will simply start pulling their money out of the bank. The more negative rates go, the faster those withdrawals will be.

When you ban cash you eliminate this problem. In a cashless society with a government-managed digital currency there is no effective lower bound. If the economy isn’t doing what a bunch of bureaucrats want it to do, they can simply make interest rates deeply negative, forcing would-be savers to become consumers by making them choose between spending or watching as the bank simply confiscates their money in the name of NIRP.

Obviously, banning transactions above €5,000 is a long way from a wholesale ban on cash and several other countries have similar limits on cash transactions. Still, there’s no reason why the same rationale (i.e. fighting terror financing) can’t be applied to smaller sums - or all cash transactions. After all, it’s not as though “foreign criminals” only transact in amounts over €5,000 and since “follow the money” is usually the best way to get to the bottom of a perceived “problem,” having a ledger of everything someone or some group does financially would likely be an effective way to crack down on illicit activity.

We would argue that the cost to society of creating an economy wherein people’s economic decisions are completely dictated by small groups of economists far outweighs any benefits that would accrue from using a centrally planned digital currency to deter crime.

As for how a cash ban would go over in Germany, we seriously doubt the public would take it laying down given that only 18.7% of transactions in the country involve plastic cards.

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MFL8240's picture

Merke needs to pay for what she has done to destroy that country.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Take her to a subway station......and leave her there.


Attach this pic to they know what they're getting.

Looney's picture

Oh, the Double-C word again… Cash-Control  ;-)


_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Soon it will be Crash-Control

NewThor's picture

NIRP Control. 

Look upon the fruits of Sub-Zero Interest rates, yee mighty and despair!

I think Mars is running this anti-human shit show. 



Handful of Dust's picture

As Germany descends into violence and chaos, courtesy of Frau merkul, the PC leaders know Germans will flee and take their cashola with them. Just as Chinese flood out of China with their money, Germans will start to same safer pastures now that their homeland has been invaded. It's similar to "white flight" to get away from the invading rapefugees that merkul has no desire to control evidently.

NEOSERF's picture

Amazing but here we go again with Germany and Japan failing as societies first with Argentina fast on their heels...sound familiar from an Axis perspective?

Gief Gold Plox's picture

Give it a few more years and they'll be calling for cryptocurrency, still in the name of battling terrorism.

two hoots's picture

Look for the $100 and $50 bills to be scrapped here.  Slowly but surely they will fade it all away, train us. 

Antifaschistische's picture

Will drug dealers start using RMB?

roisaber's picture

Inquiring minds want to (strike)stockpile(/strike) know.

peddling-fiction's picture

Planned crash, that is beginning to get out of control and starting to speed down the mountain of debt.

FlipFlop's picture

No worries, average Eurozone citizen will soon not afford transactions of this size, socialists eat everyone on the same level of poverty to feed the new citizens.

Hypothetically, once inflation sets in, this limit will apply the any purchase bigger than an icecream?

Croesus's picture

I hope the citizens of the EU start actively revolting: 

Politicians would not act with total disregard, if they were afraid of their citizens. 

Just need to make a good example out of a few of them, and the rest fall into line. 


Bytor325's picture

Its Europe, what are the peasants going to do.....threaten to blow their 'rape whistles' when the elites are around?

agent default's picture

Last time the peasants blew their rape whistles the Guillotines ended up working over time.

Son of Loki's picture

It's "Change you can believe in" Euro-style!

Croesus's picture

Never underestimate the capability of a pissed-off European. 



CJgipper's picture

To do what?  Ask the Americans to save them from themselves?

CJgipper's picture

To do what?  Ask the Americans to save them from themselves?

Croesus's picture

Give me a break, you fucking idiot. Read a history book. 

Europe's got a much more bloody history than America does. 

You go right ahead and wave your flag, and pray for war. You'd just better pray that the war never comes to you. 



Ghordius's picture

+1 and lots and lots and lots of... revolutions. from the failed ones of 1848 until today, scores of them. I have to count them, eventually, just for this point. after all, the French have their Fifth Republic, for example

Croesus's picture

@ Ghordius: 

The irony of my previous post, is that I'm also an American, with provable ancestry in what eventually became NY (1630), PA (1715), and TX (1835).  




rikiki's picture

i think that you are way "overestimating" the capacities of europeans to reacts to these graduals and calculated actions by "ours overlods".

First, the loss of the industrial and agricultural production capabilities, the mens and womens who spend 10h a day in a factory or a farm are the basis of any revolution because they are usually hardworking, crafty, and  are more resilient to suffering than others.

Second, the transformation of the economy into a huge casino, who promote fraud as a way to succes, most peoples today in europe (and in the western emisphere) are employed in finance, retail, housing and the .gov .... , where most of their work consist in sending Email, manupulating numbers, and of course twitting and facebooking ...

Third, the creation of bogeyman, whether they were refugees, Ebola, ISIS .... to leave enough fear, so that they will be in a state of perpetual concern, but no enough fear so that they start looking for the reals answers and prepare themselves.

Fourth, the dumbing down of the masses, mostly by promoting decadent practices, (gay parents, feminizations of mens ....) do you really think these idiots are capable of taking the burden of reconquering their lost liberties ... i do not see any nation in europe (except for Russia) who is trying to resist this decadent practices.

Their will be no good ending on this one, we are playing against masters deceivers who have centurys of experience of manupilation.

I really think we are plainly fucked and that we are more likely ending like in a Deus Ex (the first) world.

Peace from Algeria.

True Blue's picture

The basis of revolution is a people who have been pushed until they cannot take anymore. More often than not, it has been starving wretches in rags taking on the soldiery with their bare hands and literally ripping up their own streets to weaponize them as 'brickbats' (half of a paving cobblestone.) In many cases they were in fact also unemployed.

It all boils down to hope, hope for the present and hope for the future. Take that away via taxation, oppression, institutionalized theft, corruption etc. and suddenly "freedom is just another word for nothin' left to loose."

As for the dumbing down of the people through an 'education' system that deliberately miseducates.... well, don't expect too much 'enlightenment' from whatever revolutions these sociopaths spark. Also, 'revolution' is probably the wrong term for what will come; I expect something more on the order of the indescribable chaos of the Thirty Years War that devastated Europe once already along religious and political lines; only this time globally.  

What comes out the other side is anyone's guess; but smarter and far more powerful men than I have surely been studying this for far longer than I have; and they want it to happen, which means they have at least some kind of plan for that. Otherwise, why the deliberate train wreck of the West, politically, demographically, financially...?

rikiki's picture

yes i understand your facts freind, but these "starving wretches in rags" are often hardy peoples with a tolerance to suffering and hardships that far surpass us, they were accustomed to hunger, fight and the stress of constantly living on the edge, look at we are today, most of us are a bunch of ignorant and deconnected from the reality lazy fat ass who spend there days sitting behind their office pushing papers and who have no real knowhow, against our overlord it wont be a revolution, it will be a slaughter for us ... :(

i dont think a long term chaos, like the thirty years war, is in their interest (illuminaty, Rothschild or whatever devil's name they have), a long term chaos will let most of us know their plan, we will know their methods and agent and we will slip from their grasp (either in death or by creating our "new world"), what would be logical is a series of extremly brutal actions done by them to instill shock and awe in us (9/11 like false flag, an engineered bio weapon .... ) after this events most of us will even beg to be their slave.

i dont know their exact plans nor their timeline, but i know that it is not only the west that is traiwrecked, we are in a far worse situation here in algeria and MENA region. God i hope im wrong but i fear the worse for us, i will pray for our salvation, but i know it is not enough.

Peace from Algeria.

FlipFlop's picture

No worries, average Eurozone citizen will soon not afford transactions of this size, socialists eat everyone on the same level of poverty to feed the new citizens.

Hypothetically, once inflation sets in, this limit will apply the any purchase bigger than an icecream?

peddling-fiction's picture


Many will be soon be only receiving helicopter money hand outs, by direct deposit (average amount probably around 1000 euros in all of the Eurozone).

sam i am's picture


Anti-Putin opposition leader Kasyanov caught in Strasbourg with his pants down and blames Kadyrov

HowdyDoody's picture

Israel ex-Ambasador to the UK caught with his pants down. This will not be covered by the MSM.

Shades of Lord Janner whose activities were investigated by the UK police but all attempts to raise prosecutions went nowhere.


The best Sun's picture

I thought Soros was paying for what she is doing to Germany?

See what I did there?

Hongcha's picture

They are not already doing it here, like they are not already flooding the country with refugees here, because they know they will be hunted and shot.

That is the reason behind the relentless seige on the 2nd Amendment.

Be ready.  If they don't 'ban all guns' they will 'ban all ammo sales'.  

Think like they do -- as distasteful as that is, it is much more distasteful to wind up like the Germans or the Swedes,

effectively emasculated by government.

agent default's picture

You have made a good point there.  All gun control boils down to is ammunition control.  You can make a decent selective fire weapon at any respectable CNC shop.  The ammo is a problem.

BarkingCat's picture

you can make ammo too..if you have the components.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

You fucking morons are talking trash about Germany while missing the whole point of the article, THIS IS COMING TO THE USA NEXT.

peddling-fiction's picture

The truth sucks and is downvoted. /lol

duo's picture

She's trying to head off what has happened in America with our immigrant population, meaning the huge underground economy based on cash and barter.

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) duo Feb 3, 2016 7:56 AM

Or to prevent gun-running by Germans opposed to the destruction of their country.

booboo's picture

Oh yea, "gun running", that must be it. Bwaaahahaha
I wonder, does Germany have a ban on plastic explosives yet. If not they should. Bwaahahahahahahaha ..........gun running
How's a corrupt politician suppose to take a bribe without cash

skeelos's picture

The low level local politicians still get bribes of low enough value to be in cash.  The high power politicians who make decisions like banning cash, get bribes that are already too high in value to be paid in cash.  For them, banning cash presents no problems.  For example, do you think the Clinton Foundation receives payments in cash?

Allen_H's picture

I was in Penny today, and I noticed the NO 500 Euro sign.

The ONLY criminals using this is the people trying to block it ! The .govs'

I only keep in the bank money for utilities, nothing else.

Ghordius's picture

criminals and terrorists use air, water and food. I suggest we poison all three of them, it will sure get us rid of criminals and terrorists

what is Penny again? isn't that a middle-class British retailer? They do accept EUR generally next to GBP, don't they? I mean, they are already bending backwards by that general principle of accepting a foreign currency, aren't they? That's just good old British shopkeeper common sense

By far not the same as the Danish Parliament freeing Danish shops from accepting cash in general, for example

agent default's picture

Hey Ghordious how do you like the true face of the EU monstrosity you have been supporting all along?

Ghordius's picture

how cute


first, the article here is about Germany unveiling cash controls, not "the EU monstrosity"

second, have a look at my avatar again? the eurozone (19 member club) isn't the EU (28 member club)

third, neither Germany nor the EU can, for example, bashish the 500 EUR note, and both would toy with the idea

look, it's simple: you have a humungous federal government. stop projecting this state of yours unto others who don't have it


everybody: seriously, is this the kind of ZH you want? rah, rah, rah, bs, bs, bs, rah, rah, rah?

agent default's picture

But the EU is aspiring to become a humungous federal government along the lines of the US government.  Subtle difference.  YOU DON'T HAVE THE US CONSTITUTION.  You have nothing to fall back on once they start playing fast and loose with your rights.  So it will be more like the USSR over there once the EU commission and their ilk decide to hand you down one.

Ghordius's picture

well, and I am aspiring in becoming a ballerina at the Bolshoy Theater in Moscow. My knees, though, differ on that, and I presume I look positively silly in a ballerina costume

yes, of course, we do have Federalists. but again, their aspirations have been repeatedly been thwarted by... several other sides

like my side, which wants only confederational style cooperation among sovereign countries

or the Dutch and French electorates when they decided to vote "NO" to the proposed EU Constitution

meanwhile, out of the 28 sovereign members of the EU club, 27 have their national constitutions, don't they? The French have their frigging FIFTH constitution, hence they talk about their Fifth Republic

and the UK... well, they have something too, but anyway, they might leave the EU soon, don't they?