Swiss Politicians Slam Attempts To Eliminate Cash, Compare Paper Money To A Gun Defending Freedom

Tyler Durden's picture

As we predicted over a year ago, in a world in which QE has failed, and in which the ice-cold grip of NIRP has to be global in order to achieve its intended purpose of forcing savers around the world to spend the taxed product of their labor, one thing has to be abolished: cash.

This explains the recent flurry of articles in outlets such as BBG and the FT, and op-eds by such "established" economists as Larry Summers, all advocating the death of cash, a process which would begin by abolishing high denomination bills and continue until all physical cash in circulation is eliminated, something we warned about when the first made it first NIRP hint last September.

We were s rather surprised by the candor of a WSJ piece overnight which actually told it how it is:

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.

* * *

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.

We were even more surprised when we read that in Switzerland, the place which offers the highest denomination banknote in Europe, the 1,000 Swiss Franc note (and the second highest in the world after the Singapore $10,000 note) two politicians, Philip Brunner and Manuel Brandberg, members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, have proposed a motion that they hope Zug will support for a cantonal initiative seeking changes to the federal currency law.

They argue that the creation of 5,000-franc notes will ensure that the Swiss franc maintains its status as a safe haven currency.

As we reported previously, this proposal is the diametrical opposite of what the ECB hopes to do, and of where the European Union wants to go, where finance ministers have talked about withdrawing 500-euro bills from circulation to deter their use for "financing terrorism, money laundering and other illegal activities", all made up terms designed to give the impression that politicians are slowly eliminating physical currency in circulation for your own good.

They are not.

This is what the Swiss politicians admit too: Brunner and Brandberg maintain that the tendency in the EU and in OECD member countries is to “weaken individual liberties” and to exercise greater control over citizens.

But it is what they say next that may define the libertarian political platforms around the globe for the next several years - also known as the global NIRP period - because it is 100% spot on:

In this context "cash is comparable to the service firearm kept by Swiss citizen soldiers," the pair argued in their motion, saying they both “guarantee freedom”.


In France and Italy already cash payments of only up to 1,000 euros are allowed and the question of the abolition of cash is being seriously discussed and considered in Europe, “ Brunner said on his Facebook page.


The move toward electronic payments allows governments "total surveillance" over individuals, the pair claim.

Of course, the proposal was promptly shot down by the Swiss National Bank: "Walter Meier, a spokesman for the Swiss National Bank, which is responsible for Switzerland’s money, told 20 Minuten newspaper the introduction of banknotes of a higher denomination is “not an issue." 

Keep in mind this is the same central bank which in late 2014 pushed hard against a popular referendum to replenish Swiss sovereign gold by buying gold in the open market, only to generate billions in paper losses months later when it admitted defeat in the currency war with the ECB; a central bank which then lost even more billions when it decided to buy shares of AAPL at their all time high price and is now sitting on substantial paper losses.

As for the Swiss proposal to print higher denomination currencies, we are confident it won't pass now: if it did, there would be an unprecedented rush from around the globe to park savings in Swiss cash, just like in the good old days.

But the time of big currency denominations is coming one way or another: after all, NIRP is the falling Keynesian system's penultimate hope. When it fails, there is just one last option, the one we have said is coming ever since 2009, the one which even the "smartest money in the world" agreed today is inevitable: helicopter money.

And as Ben Bernanke made it all so clear in 2002, once the helicopter money comes, hyperinflation is very close behind. And one thing hyperinflation always brings with it, is very highly denominated bank notes. Just ask Zimbabwe.

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One And Only's picture

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

ACP's picture

I'll take the gigantic, gold 5,000 franc coin instead, but thanks anyway.

Durrmockracy's picture

Woah!  From the mouth of babes or politicians?  Guarantees freedom like a firearm?  Holy shit this is getting juicy fast!

philipat's picture

Why is all the pushback (Common sense?) coming from Central Europe and none from elsewhere?

Durrmockracy's picture

Because they still have had currency collapses within living memory?

Fed Supporter's picture

Where are the men in the USA to stand up for freedom or are there just too many sheep?

NidStyles's picture

The FBI usually sets them up and charges them with terrorism, or just shoots them in the head.


Just kidding FBI, if you can't take a joke, you need to find a job that is less demanding.

logicalman's picture

Making a joke at the expense of an organization known for a complete lack of a sense of humour might not be the best idea you've had today.

May as well skip the disclaimer.

Watch out for black helicoptors!


MalteseFalcon's picture

NIRP and a cash ban will not revive the economy.

Monetary tricks will not do it.

They are destroying the economy and freedom.

Time to stop the banks and reform economies.

Why is no one in the presidential debates discussing ZIRP, NIRP and the ban on cash?  Or FED policy in general?

philipat's picture

Because the great American electorate can't see any further than Kim Kardashian's ass (Figuratively and literally speaking)?

Agree that the problems are structural and no amount of monetary magic is going to solve the problem.

MalteseFalcon's picture

Actually whatever you think of Trump and Sanders, they have brought a lot of new voters and eyeballs to the process.

I expect Sanders to hit these issues hard.

Still waiting on Trump, but the guy never fails to surprise.

True Blue's picture

If they dared, how long until they suffered an 'accident' involving a nail gun or a high window?

jaxville's picture

  Nations that have had currency collapses in recent memory will have the most difficulty in implementing a "cash" ban.  Having easy access to cash allows citizens the opportunity to convert it to tangible goods quickly and privately as it looses it's value.  People who live in high inflation areas understand that reality.

  No doubt the financial authorities would love to get rid of cash in those nations where their currency is being debased at excessive rates. 

nmewn's picture

"Guarantees freedom like a firearm?"

There is no guarantee. They wanted to form a central government, we said no, not if your going to confiscate our guns. They said fine you can keep them, we'll put it "writing".

The only guarantee involved in any of that is if they go back on their word and try to confiscate them, then I can GUARANTEE a bunch of dead cops & soldiers in the street.

The gun itself is the guarantee, not words on a piece of paper like the 18th Amendment ;-)

JohninMK's picture

We might not get 5000F notes but everyone is now aware of the 1000F note.

Also bear in mind that Switzerland is a NIRP implementing country with a central bank that does not have a clue.

The old days of safe money in Switzerland, unless you are one of TPTB, are long gone.

jaxville's picture

  If you can close your Swiss bank account and take it out in your wallet as 5,000 franc notes......I'm OK with them having NIRP.

  It's when you get trapped in the financial sector and cannot access cash or specie.... That is when NIRP becomes an issue.

  The day my bank tells me there is a charge on my savings is the day I close my accounts.  I am presently directly registering the shares I consider long term holds.  I recently discovered that the firm I directly register through can provide share certificates in some cases.  My bank brokerage stopped all share certificates some years back.


Son of Loki's picture

The Swiss are alwasy thinking. They need to since Singapore and HK stole much of their bizniss.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Always thinking, or plagiarizing the concept...

Tue, 02/16/2016 – 12:00 | 7192643   Kirk2NCC1701

Time to crank up the printing press for the 1000 and 5000 RMB, if China wants to make its currency more popular around the world.

Tue, 02/16/2016 – 12:00 | 7192643   Kirk2NCC1701

Time for Russia to print the 10,000 and 50,000 RBL.  It'd be almost as bad as going to a Gold Std.

The current largest denomination is 5,000 RBL (<$100), to complement the large CNY/RMB denominations.  This would totally gut the "cashless" goals of Club Fed, as it would cause an "electronic bank run":  

1. People would electronically xfer their fiats of USD, CAD, EUR, JPY into RMB and RBL, and

2. Get their hands on the cash -- to create a Cash-driven Parallel Economy

- - - -

Bottom line: When Fed & Vassals eliminate large currency notes, as the path to going cashless, it's time for everyone else to do the opposite.  Issue large notes, comparable to $1000 to $5000 USD Notes.

Another trick that countries could use, is to apply large processing fees to credit cards, to encourage stores to offer 10% discount for cash purchases.

What's in your wallet, Fed bitchez?

silverliberty's picture

They didn't steal their business/customers.  Those customers didn't belong to them.  Singapore and Hong Kong earned those customers built their business by not violating the the trust of their customers by compromising good business practices.

nmewn's picture

Whoa! Go Swissies!

Jason T's picture

Good culture over there in Switzerland.  

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

North America + Europe: Time to end the Zionist Occupied Governments!!!

truthalwayswinsout's picture

Banning cash will create an opportunity for a very smart country to create depository banks where people can exchange their digital currencies for hard cash.

All it takes is one "Switzerland" and the war on cash is over.

Normalcy Bias's picture

The Swiss almost always seem ahead of the curve. They take care of themselves. What a concept!

Blue Boat's picture

Hey, get this -- I was visiting Switzerland last Summer and was in Zurich for 4 days. For kicks I checked out what kind of Meetup groups ( they had. They're social/activity or interest groups, for those who aren't familair.

The concept doesn't seem widely evolved there yet but to my amusement the largest group listed BY FAR was the Bitcoin Meetup with over 800 members. The next largest was maybe 80-100 people. They weren't having a meeting while I was there so I couldn't check it out.


Au Member's picture

I always thought barter laws meant I could trade anything for anything else. Nothing legally to do with governments what I transact in unless it's denominated in their currency and then I have to pay tax to them for the privilege. Legal Tender in the UK is coins not notes. Fuck my head hurst following the actions of these psychopathic cunts

herkomilchen's picture

If you try that, we know what will happen based on what people have experienced with gold and bitcoin.  Anything tangible or intangible you attempt to use as barter repeatedly, extensively, or in any centralized way they will assert is functioning as currency.  They will then claim it and you are subject to all currency laws.  Then they will imprison you as a money launderer.  Your government of "laws" in action.

surf0766's picture

What is the Goldman angle here because as Bubba Trump is such a large shareholder in Goldman, I surely do not want this to impact his goal to make Merkia great again.

Collectivism Killz's picture

People in Zimbabwe must be really fuckin free

Soul Glow's picture

Issue the note only after the social handouts commence though.

Helicopter Money Arrives: Switzerland To Hand Out $2500 Monthly To All Citizens -

Collectivism Killz's picture

Anyone with have a brain should be turning that helicopter money in right away for silver, gold or ammo....or booze

Soul Glow's picture

Interesting the Swiss love all of those examples.

krispkritter's picture

Ban Bankers.

Then implement seasons and bag limits on Fed, IMF, ECB, etc. members and their political cronies. 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Given all the Patriots, Libertarians ans Weekend Warriors, I'm surprised this hasn't happened already.

I guess all that shooting and blogging allows for venting that might otherwise be directed at the real culprits?  How do You spell SUBLIMATION?  Heck, it could even be argued that ZH is a "Sublimation Forum par excellence".  Bet ya, you never thought about that.

HopefulCynical's picture

Heck, it could even be argued that ZH is a "Sublimation Forum par excellence".

Now you know why it's allowed to continue.

tyberious's picture

"Banning cash will create an opportunity for a very smart country to create depository banks where people can exchange their digital currencies for hard cash.

All it takes is one "Switzerland" and the war on cash is over."

Until it is liberated or democatized!

Global Douche's picture

Besides PHYZZ, there's always Bitcoin. Interesting how it's moved up in the last 36 hours or so. Just sayin'


jaxville's picture

...and that is the problem with bitcoin.   It is more a vehicle for speculation than one for settlement. I suspect it will be a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions before it becomes a stable currency.

  You might get lucky....then again..?

gwar5's picture

Singapore dollar (SGD) still has SGD 10,000 and SGD 1000 currency notes, equivalent to about $7100 and $710 USD respectively at current FX. Diversity is good.

graftvshost's picture

There you go.  Equate cash with firearms and America NEVER goes cashless.

You can have my benjamins when you pry them from my cold dead hands...

silverliberty's picture

The government will attack buisnesses because it can close them down and force them to use the new digital or the gov will simply yank their LICENSE.  If one believes the US has a free-market economy, then why does one need permission to conduct business.  Just remember one bad intervention always lead to more bad decisions and interventions.  The economy has already slid from illogical and unfair to simply insanity. 

shovelhead's picture

The bright side is that the US has a whole year of "executive orders" to make you turn in your penny jar.

Doing a nice job Congress. Thanks.

silverliberty's picture

The kultural marxists claim to love diversity, but diversity is inherently competitive.  Marxists hate competion.  One can not be both a promoter of competion and be against it.  This is a false premise.  It can not stand. 

rwe2late's picture

 capitalists hate competition.

That is the basic purpose of private property, to restrict and control access.

Same as monopolies, patents, copyrights, etc.

Jack Burton's picture

Agree totally! Everyman has a right to a gun and to hold his wealth in cash or gold.

tarabel's picture



Well, every American has that right.

The rest of them seemingly do not want that right and surrendered it in favor of a series of socially-bestowed privileges so long ago that the very idea of it is alien and deeply disturbing to them.


DOGGONE's picture

Just commented the following at

This is so simple that it cannot be right -- except that I reckon it is right!

"The main enabler of sizable asset price bubbles is keeping the real asset price histories seldom seen." For example:

Further, I take the rarity of these histories being apparent as agreement with my assertion -- by those of the establishment/powers-that-be who benefit from deception of the many.

The Greek horse's picture

I sure hope it does not come to a cashless society because as a Forex trader I have no Job.. He who has the the most GOLD is king like the good old days before the fucking Rothschild 

Demdere's picture

I expect there to many more varieties of scripts to play interesting arbitrage games with, e.g. :

rwe2late's picture

 Obviously, if digital money

(e.g. derivatives, fractional banking, CDS, onerous credit, etc.)

were linked to any important criminal racketeering,

our dear leaders would be pushing for restrictions on that,

instead of the physical cash mostly used by the less wealthy 'folks'.