This Is The Real Reason For The War On Cash

Tyler Durden's picture

Originally posted Op-Ed via The Wall Street Journal,

These are strange monetary times, with negative interest rates and central bankers deemed to be masters of the universe. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that politicians and central bankers are now waging a war on cash. That’s right, policy makers in Europe and the U.S. want to make it harder for the hoi polloi to hold actual currency.

Mario Draghi fired the latest salvo on Monday when he said the European Central Bank would like to ban €500 notes. A day later Harvard economist and Democratic Party favorite Larry Summers declared that it’s time to kill the $100 bill, which would mean goodbye to Ben Franklin. Alexander Hamilton may soon—and shamefully—be replaced on the $10 bill, but at least the 10-spots would exist for a while longer. Ol’ Ben would be banished from the currency the way dead white males like him are banned from the history books.

Limits on cash transactions have been spreading in Europe since the 2008 financial panic, ostensibly to crack down on crime and tax avoidance. Italy has made it illegal to pay cash for anything worth more than €1,000 ($1,116), while France cut its limit to €1,000 from €3,000 last year. British merchants accepting more than €15,000 in cash per transaction must first register with the tax authorities. Fines for violators can run into the thousands of euros. Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister recently proposed a €5,000 cap on cash transactions. Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan predicted last month that cash won’t survive another decade.

The enemies of cash claim that only crooks and cranks need large-denomination bills. They want large transactions to be made electronically so government can follow them. Yet these are some of the same European politicians who blew a gasket when they learned that U.S. counterterrorist officials were monitoring money through the Swift global system. Criminals will find a way, large bills or not.

The real reason the war on cash is gearing up now is political: Politicians and central bankers fear that holders of currency could undermine their brave new monetary world of negative interest rates. Japan and Europe are already deep into negative territory, and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the U.S. should be prepared for the possibility. Translation: That’s where the Fed is going in the next recession.

Negative rates are a tax on deposits with banks, with the goal of prodding depositors to remove their cash and spend it to increase economic demand. But that goal will be undermined if citizens hoard cash. And hoarding cash is easier if you can take your deposits out in large-denomination bills you can stick in a safe. It’s harder to keep cash if you can only hold small bills.

So, presto, ban cash. This theme has been pushed by the likes of Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane and Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff, who wrote in the Financial Times that eliminating paper currency would be “by far the simplest” way to “get around” the zero interest-rate bound “that has handcuffed central banks since the financial crisis.” If the benighted peasants won’t spend on their own, well, make it that much harder for them to save money even in their own mattresses.

All of which ignores the virtues of cash for law-abiding citizens. Cash allows legitimate transactions to be executed quickly, without either party paying fees to a bank or credit-card processor. Cash also lets millions of low-income people participate in the economy without maintaining a bank account, the costs of which are mounting as post-2008 regulations drop the ax on fee-free retail banking. While there’s always a risk of being mugged on the way to the store, digital transactions are subject to hacking and computer theft.

Cash is also the currency of gray markets—amounting to 20% or more of gross domestic product in some European countries—that governments would love to tax. But the reason gray markets exist is because high taxes and regulatory costs drive otherwise honest businesses off the books. Politicians may want to think twice about cracking down on the cash economy in a way that might destroy businesses and add millions to the jobless rolls. The Italian economy might shut down without cash.

By all means people should be able to go cashless if they like. But it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the politicians want to bar cash as one more infringement on economic liberty. They may go after the big bills now, but does anyone think they’d stop there? Why wouldn’t they eventually ban all cash transactions much as they banned gold and silver as mediums of exchange?

Beware politicians trying to limit the ways you can conduct private economic business. It never turns out well.

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dimwitted economist's picture

NOT Going to Happen..

i use cash about 100% of the time.

these stupid ideas those fools are coming up with

REEK of deperation.

We're in a DEPRESSION.

duo's picture

When ATM fees go to $10-20, maybe you'll think twice.  Yes, the economy will shrink by 20% nearly overnight.

wildbad's picture

hey tylers,
i would like to know about the level of gubbmint requests for user information on this site.
Please answer in the comments the following questions.

1) do you get regular requests from any fed agencies for posters information?

2) are you required by any law to provide this info?

3) do you provide it?

4) which federal agencies?

5) is there a law which prevents you from commenting on this topic?

stewie's picture

Good legitimate question.

JRobby's picture

If this, finally is not the line that they may not cross, then we will get what IS coming: chaos, revolution, unending world wars.

BobPaulson's picture

Back in the 80s when I travelled to places like East Germany or Yugoslavia, I noticed hucksters would use travellers cheques as cash (never cashing them, just exchanging them). Ban government cash and you force people to barter or make their own coins.

Durrmockracy's picture

Only statist, state-worshipping goofs care about cash and cash's survival.

The rest of us already have our Gold, Silver and Bitcoin.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

only satoshi worshipping goofs have bitcoin.

Durrmockracy's picture

don't think you get it fuckhead... I actually hate the Fed, hate Fed notes, hate bonds, don't buy into Reagan mythology.  Fuck them and fuck you traitor!

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

The reason they think they can herd everyone out of paper cash is because they herded everyone into paper cash a century ago... or more precisely, their ancestors herded your ancestors into paper cash. Until you prove otherwise, they will continue thinking they are the masters.

Durrmockracy's picture

Yep.  And you've been using the "mark of the beast" system for decades now.  What happens when none-too-brights "wake up" and suddenly think they know everything.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Why should a farmer with the capacity to capture a bunch of wild boar and place them in a pen, think he can not move them to a new pen when he's ready?

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Before we actually move into implementation phase I think it will be preceded by several horrendous "terror" attacks on soft targets in America to prime the pumps of emotion; followed by a media blitz describing how cash is being used to facilitate these attacks and suggesting that its elimination would help solve the problem.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Don't forget concentrated cash = gold. Economic terrorist tool # 1 on so many false flag levels.

Durrmockracy's picture

If you hold cash you can burn in the fiat hellfire along with the rest of the sheep!

Mmmm!  Roasted sheep!

83_vf_1100_c's picture

Durr, I hear your Mom calling from upstairs. Lunch must be ready.

I have no problem with going cashless, mostly do that already with my debit card. Cash is good for my weed connection. I'd love an alternative to the present system, something like bitcoin but BC ain't prime time yet and I gotta wonder who is running it. Central banks? Some evil Apple/Google/MSFT conglomerate? Laugh at me but these entities are desperate to squeeze the last pennies from the system so maybe.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

This is NOT the real reason for the War on Cash. The real reason if to complete the system if global consumer slavery and fulfill Bible Prophecy while they are at it.

Cruel Aid's picture

You cant cash out of the bank or make any cash transactions.

Problem solved, we will decide what your currency is valued at and boom, entry click, here's what you are now worth. And not just USD, all of them.



The Durr-head is the shittiest reincarnation of the legendary Fonestar - ever.

Fonestar at least had an I.Q.

Coinhead was a fucktard.

Phoenician star sucker was a zipper head.

Durromocracy is what's left over after a special bus kid is dropped on his head minus the hockey helmet.

Sun fucked onion, that boy is....................

frenzic's picture

I've been quiet for a while about this incarnation but:



the analOG


Waylon Bits


Phoenician Starpuss

Johnny Horsecaulk


Permaban the troll already wtf. Notice all the bitchcon bullshitters can do is hit a downvote button and pretend to matter.




Durrmockracy's picture

Why dont' you produce any EVIDENCE of this "Bitcoin was created by NSA/CIA" bullshit already?  FFS I've only been challenging you for what, HALF A DECADE NOW??

Abbie Normal's picture

Well, last night I couldn't even cash out at the ATM.  The transaction was going along just fine, could even hear the machine counting the bills, but then the cash door didn't open and all I got was a receipt saying transaction cancelled...and then the ATM machine went on the fritz.  Sure ticked off the line of people behind me too.  Is this a preview of Cyprus?

Syrin's picture

ZH forgot to tell us what Jose Canseco, Mookie Wilson and Vince Coleman think of this.

Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

"Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan predicted last month that cash won’t survive another decade."  The way things look neither will Deutsche Bank.

Durrmockracy's picture

What about the Cryptowall Virus (that you've spammed about 4 times now)?  What is your point?

~PS... I still have all my gold & silver but no longer 'self-identify' as a "stacker" because of people like you!

glenlloyd's picture

No shit, how is listening to anyone from DB a good thing? You'd think that at least they'd find a CEO from a bank that isn't imploding...oh wait, they're all going to implode.

Note to politicians, if you start to eat away at the few bits of privacy we have left don't be surprised when the pitchforks come out en masse.

Just sayin....

silverliberty's picture

People have been saying the pitchforks will be coming out if they erode our freedom any more since the first violation.  The politician keeps violating further and further and yet no pitchforks.  Why wouldn't they go the full monty so to speak?

wildbad's picture

hey man, i love that avatar!

Buzz Fuzzel's picture

"Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bank uber alles"


DanDaley's picture

Any politician or banker who seek to remove guns, gold, silver, or cash in any form from anybody, should be given 1 of 3 choices: gallows, guillotine, or firing squad...after a very speedy trial, of course. 

slimycorporatedickhead's picture

I'd like to hear what Ja Rule has to say about all of this... wheres JA to make sense of it all?

Durrmockracy's picture

If you stand for cash, believe in cash, use cash.. you are part of the problem.  You are the beast system and I call you out, identify you as being an enemy.

Tall Tom's picture

The lust for money is at the root of all kinds of evil.


Cash is merely a tool used for trade.


Using a tool does not mean that you are "part of the problem".


How you use the tool, on the other hand, will demonstrate your true nature.



Durrmockracy's picture

Stop using their tools designed to injure you.  We have our own tools, tools that are better, stronger and more capable of doing the job.

Tall Tom's picture

I'd like to believe that Bitcoin was not an NSA creation. But it is.


It is funny.


I refused to have a Cell Phone for quite awhile. But last year my brother mailed me one and paid the bill. I was manipulated by both my brother and my landlord. They wanted me connected. So against my better judgment...


But he missed the bill payment,last month, VirginMobile terminated service, and I told him NOT TO PAY IT, that I was TURNING IT OFF, and that I was mailing the damned thing back. It is evident that he really cannot afford to pay that bill.




Well he paid the bill and begged me to turn the damned thing back on. I refused and told him that it was "in the mail".


I haven't gotten around to mailing it yet.


But the bill came due, again, yesterday.


So VirginMobile REMOTELY TURNED MY PHONE ON, NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE to let me know that a payment was due. NO SHIT. I watched that phone power up by itself.  I turned it off again and powered it down. It happened again the next day, yesterday, at the same time.


(I have since removed the battery.)


And if VirginMobile can remotely operate that can the NSA.


Bitcoin is part of the Beast, also.


IT can be used for evil. It can be used for good.


But you are also participating in their much as I am.



cornflakesdisease's picture

The mark of the beast is not about literal money, it's about thoughts and actions and what we put our faith in, which in your case seems to be your guns, gold, etc.

Despite the hardships Christians may encounter in carrying out such everyday activities as ‘buying or selling,’ we should not allow ourselves to be pressured into letting the wild beast (the attitude and mental dispostion in the world powers) rule our lives.  That mental dispostion is about greed and self first, materialism, and a lack of respect for spitituality, and Christ's principles or morality and princicples.

Accepting ‘the mark of the wild beast in our hand or upon our forehead’ would amount to permitting the wild beast to control our actions or affect our thinking like you have: using profantity, your us Vs. them mindset, thinking you gold, silver, and bit coin will some how pertect you, and so forth.

The mark, whether on the right hand or on the forehead, figuratively speaking, is a symbol that identifies its bearer as one who gives worshipful support to the beastlike political systems of the world. Those having the mark give to “Caesar” that which rightly belongs to God. (Luke 20:25; Revelation 13:4, 8; 14:1) How? By giving worshipful honor to the political state, its symbols, and its military might, to which they look for hope and salvation. Any worship that they render the true God is merely lip service.

In contrast, the Bible urges us: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.” (Psalm 146:3, 4) Those who heed that wise counsel are not disillusioned when governments fail to deliver on their promises or when charismatic leaders fall from grace.—Proverbs 1:33.


Tall Tom's picture

Use your prayer and agree with me that the Spirit will be heal me from my anger, my rage towards the minions that serve the Beast.


That is an interesting accurate one at that.



JRobby's picture

Fuckheads using Bitcoin find it works great without a functioning internet.

Meanwhile, you might want to think about defense and fortifications to hold on to your metals instead of posting flames?

Durrmockracy's picture

Do you think I would be shitting my pants if the internet did go down in your area?  How about a Bitcoiner in Australia?  Should he panic?  Does anyone care what happens to your internet??

JRobby's picture

I think I was referring to your area? Yes, I was actually!

Apparently you own satellites, uplinks and server farms so I am way off base.


You are just a fucking asshole with a big mouth?

Durrmockracy's picture

Haha... actually I do!  Want to buy a C-Band satellite system off me?  And satellites, beacons are exactly why we can feel pretty good about a redundant Bitcoin network.  Even TV towers, cell towers can broadcast the blockchain.

(but I am kind of an asshole with a big mouth too).

JRobby's picture

Ahhhh yes! Those C band dishes are really easy to hide! That rules out an urban location (eventually)

What makes you think cell towers, broadcast, cable and other terrestrial will be operational? 

Durrmockracy's picture

Dude... grap a f'ing brain!  Your entire country and its internet could disappear!  Yeah, maybe we would have some routing issues to deal with and we would deal with them.  Bitcoin would be fine and still nobody would care!

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

Quick!... Right now... I want you to buy a gallon of milk & a dozen eggs (with bitcoin) off the farmer across the street from me...


Tell me how you did...

Tall Tom's picture

You live in Canada, FoneStar.


If the internet crashes in the United States you will be affected adversely.

JRobby's picture

Why worry? You will be perfectly safe and online continuously without interruption apparently? So safe and secure, so warm and fuzzy, ohhhh my bitcoins, my bitcoins ohhhhhh

Durrmockracy's picture

That's right!!  What is so fucking difficult for you dunces to fucking understand??

Bitcoin is a protocol.  If every router on planet Earth goes down, Bitcoin is still there!  Serious question, are you simple or just stunned??

tenpanhandle's picture

I never accept protocol for my oranges.