Europe Proposes "Restrictions On Payments In Cash"

Tyler Durden's picture

Having discontinued its production of EUR500 banknotes, it appears Europe is charging towards the utopian dream of a cashless society. Just days after Davos' elites discussed why the world needs to "get rid of currency," the European Commission has introduced a proposal enforcing "restrictions on payments in cash."

With Rogoff, Stiglitz, Summers et al. all calling for the end of cash - because only terrorists and drug-dealers need cash (nothing at all to do with totalitarian control over a nation's wealth) - we are not surprised that this proposal from the European Commission (sanctuary of statism) would appear...

The Commission published on 2 February 2016 a Communication to the Council and the Parliament on an Action Plan to further step up the fight against the financing of terrorism (COM (2016) 50). The Action Plan builds on existing EU rules to adapt to new threats and aims at updating EU policies in line with international standards. In the context of the Commission's action to extent the scope of the Regulation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the Community, reference is made to the appropriateness to explore the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments.

The Action Plan states that "Payments in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist activities… In this context, the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments could also be explored. Several Member States have in place prohibitions for cash payments above a specific threshold."

Cash has the important feature of offering anonymity to transactions. Such anonymity may be desired for legitimate reason (e.g. protection of privacy). But, such anonymity can also be misused for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes. The possibility to conduct large cash payments facilitates money laundering and terrorist financing activities because of the difficulty to control cash payment transactions.




Potential restrictions to cash payments would be a mean to fight criminal activities entailing large payment transactions in cash by organised criminal networks. Restricting large payments in cash, in addition to cash declarations and other AML obligations, would hamper the operation of terrorist networks, and other criminal activities, i.e. have a preventive effect. It would also facilitate further investigations to track financial transactions in the course of terrorist activities. Effective investigations are hindered as cash payments transactions are anonymous. Thus restrictions on cash payments would facilitate investigations. However, as cash transactions are moved to the financial system, it is essential that financial institutions have adequate controls and procedures in place that enable them to know the person with whom they are dealing. Adequate due diligence on new and existing customers is a key part of these controls in, line with the AMLD.


Terrorists use cash to sustain their illegal activities, not only for illegal transactions (e.g. the acquisition of explosives) but also for payments which are in appearance legal (e.g. transactions for accommodation or transport). While a restriction on payments in cash would certainly be ignored for transactions that are in any case already illegal, the restriction could create a significant hindrance to the conduct of transactions that are ancillary to terrorist activities.




Organised crime and terrorism financing rely on cash for payments for carrying out their illegal activities and benefitting from them. By restricting the possibilities to use cash, the proposal would contribute to disrupt the financing of terrorism, as the need to use non anonymous means of payment would either deter the activity or contribute to its easier detection and investigation. Any such proposal would also aim at harmonising restrictions across the Union, thus creating a level playing field for businesses and removing distortions of competition in the internal market. It would additionally foster the fight against money laundering, tax fraud and organised crime.

And then right at the end, they mention "fundamental rights"...

While being allowed to pay in cash does not constitute a fundamental right, the objective of the initiative, which is to prevent the anonymity that cash payments allow, might be viewed as an infringement of the right to privacy enshrined in Article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, as complemented by article 52 of the Charter, limitations may be made subject to the principle of proportionality if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others. The objectives of potential restrictions to cash payments could fit such description. It should also be observed that national restrictions to cash payments were never successfully challenged based on an infringement to fundamental rights.

Full Proposal below...

* * *

Below are some recent thoughts on the matter from SovereignMan's Simon Black, who detailed previously that the war on cash is happening faster than we could have ever imagined, and predictably, is based on lies.

Every time we turn around, it seems, there’s another major assault in the War on Cash. India is the most notable recent example– the embarrassing debacle a few weeks ago in which the government, overnight, “demonetized” its two largest denominations of cash, leaving an entire nation in chaos. But there have been so many smaller examples.


In the US city of New Orleans, the local government decided earlier this month to stop accepting cash payments from drivers at the Office of Motor Vehicles. As I wrote to you recently, several branches of Citibank in Australia have stopped dealing in cash altogether. And former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers published an article last week stating that “nothing in the Indian experience gives us pause in recommending that no more large notes be created in the United States, Europe, and around the world.” In other words, despite the India chaos, Summers thinks we should still curtail the $100 bill.


The conclave of the high priests of monetary policy almost invariably sings the same chorus: only criminals and terrorists use high denominations of cash.  Ken Rogoff, Harvard professor and former official at the International Monetary Fund and Federal Reserve, recently published a book blatantly entitled The Curse of Cash. Ben Bernanke’s called it a “fascinating and important book”.


And, shockingly, a number of reviews on praise “brilliant” Rogoff’s “visionary concepts” in his “excellent book”. Rogoff, like most of his colleagues, contends that large bills like the $100 or 500 euro note are only used in “drug trade, extortion, bribes, human trafficking. . .” In fact they jokingly refer to the 500-euro note as the “Bin Laden” since it’s apparently only used by terrorists.  


Give me a break. My team and I did some of research on this and found some rather interesting data.It turns out that countries with higher denominations of cash actually have much lower crime rates, including rates of organized crime.


The research was simple; we looked at the World Economic Forum’s competitive rankings that assesses countries’ levels of organized crime, as well as the direct business costs of dealing with crime and violence.


Switzerland, with its 1,000 Swiss franc note (roughly $1,000 USD) has among the lowest levels of organized crime in the world according to the WEF. Ditto for Singapore, which has a 1,000 Singapore dollar note (about $700 USD). Japan’s highest denomination of currency is 10,000 yen, worth $88 today. Yet Japan also has extremely low crime rates.  Same for the United Arab Emirates, whose highest denomination is the 1,000 dirham ($272). 


If you examine countries with very low denominations of cash, the opposite holds true: crime rates, and in particular organized crime rates, are extremely high. Consider Venezuela, Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa, etc. Organized crime is prevalent. Yet each of these has a currency whose maximum denomination is less than $30. 


The same trend holds true when looking at corruption and tax evasion. 


Yesterday we wrote to you about Georgia, a small country on the Black Sea whose flat tax prompted tax compliance (and tax revenue) to soar. It’s considered one of the most efficient places to do business with very low levels of corruption. And yet the highest denomination note in Georgia is the 500 lari bill, worth about $200. That’s a lot of money in a country where the average wage is a few hundred dollars per month. Compare that to Malaysia or Uzbekistan, two countries where corruption abounds. Malaysia’s top cash note is 50 ringgit, worth about $11. And Uzbekistan’s 5,000 som is worth a paltry $1.57.


Bottom line, the political and financial establishments want you to willingly get on board with the idea of abolishing, or at least reducing, cash.


And they’re pumping out all sorts of propaganda to do it, trying to get people to equate crime and corruption with high denominations of cash.

Simply put, the data doesn’t support their assertion. It’s just another hoax that will give them more power at the expense of your privacy and freedom.

h/t @fiatcurrency

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Max Damage's picture

Thieving twats, hopefully with France, Italy, Greece, and The Netherlands the fuckers won't exist soon

VD's picture

when drugs are legalized, drug usage and crime plummets. when cash is outlawed, crime goes up.


this is incontrovertible.

y3maxx's picture

Soon enough, USSA nor RUSSIA will want anything to do with Islamaphobia'd Europe.


AllTimeWhys's picture

Jesus christ, they might as well just plunge the knife all the way into freedoms at this point, stop inching it in, it's pretty damn obvious what they're doing. (Not like the europeans will do anything about it)

Haus-Targaryen's picture

This doesn't surprise me.  The war on cash is only going to escalate and we would all be wise to prepare for it now. 

Keep stacking.  Good luck fuckers, you people are going to need it. 

Pinto Currency's picture

A ban on cash is advertisement that the financial system is toast. You can't even have a piece of paper.

new game's picture

digital tracking from cradle to death. easy money grab, laws already in place. walk the plebs to the chambesr reserved for collectivists with no explict reasoning...


BaBaBouy's picture

GTFO Out Of EU While U Cann ~~~

balolalo's picture


What is bannon's policy ( the real president) on the war on cash?

TYLERS - that includes you guys.  Really no questions about this???? really???? 

seems like an important question......

Manthong's picture

Goddam EU already has one foot in the grave…

This would put the other one a bunch more countries give the finger to Brussels and leave.

jeff montanye's picture

it's like they are blind and deaf.  their world is dissolving because of their own horrible mistakes but they keep doubling down: more mideast wars, more muslim immigrants, more austerity to pay german, etc. bondholders, more bailins, no cash . . . .

perhaps in the tumbrels they will ask each other questions at last.

Manthong's picture

The bloated, flea infested EU overreached and became the plague.

Bring out your Brussels dead… clang

Bring out your Brussels dead… clang


Just like the bloated, flea infested Washington DC Establishment overreached and became the plague.

Bring out your Washington DC dead… clang

Bring out your Washington DC dead… clang


StackShinyStuff's picture

Terrorists and Criminals would never figure out a way around this.  Never.  They would say "Oh fuck!  They passed a law!  I guess we'd better just piss off then.  Time to get a job."

Tristan Ludlow's picture

Absolutely right.  I heard a while back that drug dealers were accepting payment in Tide laundry detergent.  Can you imagine!  Makes sense really.  The government can outlaw the use of cash alternatives like gold and silver rather easily.  But how can they ban laundry detergent?  It would be difficult to transport, but you get my point.  I believe they still use cigarettes in some places and alcohol in others.  There is a myriad of ways to bypass cash. 


When that happens, I prefer single malt Scotch whisky.  Just sayin'.

The Management's picture

Not worried!


This will NEVER work - sorry. The E.U. is still made up of 26 memeber nations which at the very least "believe" they have some form of autonomy.


Having cash taken away from you is way too physical a measure without some form of referendum.


They will never get away with this. AND if they do it will be the end of the E.U. way faster than anything else they could do.

xythras's picture

The globalists are striking back. And now they found China and UE as the usefull idiots

TPP Coup: Globalists May Side with China to Undermine Trump

Dabooda's picture

The cash ban really IS about organized crime:  the banksters are conspiring to steal even MORE of our money through bank fees and bail-ins.  This is ALL about forcing people to put money into banks, where the banksters can steal it.

FreedomGuy's picture

You know the terrorists wear pants, knit caps and shoes. We should also ban clothing because terrorists use it. I bet they drink water, coffee and tea. Better ban those, too. They also use guns so...wait, they are up that one. 

Seems they ban the things that are beneficial to ban by the State. Kind of selective. 

stacking12321's picture

ban cash?


in4mayshun's picture

Ban cash?


OverTheHedge's picture

I'm not convinced that people will rebel. here in Greece the nation has suddenly been pushed into mostly cashless transactions, purely for the benefit of tax authorities. For the most part, people are taking this calmly, and accepting that they will have to pay far more tax than they ever have before. This doesn't mean that rich, affluent middle-class fat people will have to dig in to their pockets a bit more than they expected, it means that people teetering on the brink of financial collapse will struggle to find money for food. And yet, no social breakdown and failed state.

Tax receipts will nosedive shortly, as most businesses are finding that the taxman is making a lot more money than they are from on their businesses, to the extent that it doesn't make sense to trade. Currently we are all required to prove that a certain percentage of our declared income is spent via credit card or bank transfer, whether or not we actually need or want to spend it, but hey ho.

Lies All Lies's picture

"They will never get away with this"

Like India?

The Management's picture

India is a cast system.

Children of low birth are bred into a world where they are literally less important than a holy cow.

Indians are by nature extremely unrebellious and accepting of their station in life, as well as policies past down.

Some nations - i admit - would swallow a cash ban like mine (Netherlands). Others like Poland / Italy / Eastern Europe ? Tough imagining it.

But it is a crazy world - and the fact that they stomached so many "refugees" does not bode well, or speak highly of their testicular diameter!

manofthenorth's picture

"The government can outlaw the use of cash alternatives like gold and silver rather easily."

Yes they can but ENFORCEMENT is another matter all together. This is especially true if you have an unsympathetic and non compliant population.

Let's see, prohibition worked so well to stop booze, weed, prostitution, gun trafficking etc.



Let's get this party started.

Professorlocknload's picture

And the higher the tax on cigs and whiskey, the more valuable barter items they become.

So It Goes's picture

"When that happens, I prefer single malt Scotch whisky.  Just sayin'."

Tristan - MACALLAN 18?

83_vf_1100_c's picture

  I have been thinking about starting a Texas branch of ISIS. I figure it should offer a great return on investment. I am currently in negotiations with a few alphabet agencies for funding and then there is that pesky problem of what to call ourselves. All the good names are already taken. I digress, I'm gonna need drug and WMD dealers who take bitcoin looks like. Fucking .gov makes it so difficult to start a new biz. Yeah, it's sarc.

  If the free world bans cash but the USA keeps printing fiat won't we become the defacto free world currency? If the US bans paper I for one will start taking rubles and yuan.

nmewn's picture

I hear ya.

It's like "This cash thingy is very dangerous to humanity! It doesn't go through the proper the Pentagon, State and Commerce Departments! "  ;-)

DaNuts's picture

When my customers ask me how I want paying I ask for

guns and horses but I am a bit of a cowboy.

GreatUncle's picture

All because they racked up the debt, ran out of other peoples money, and now have to steal everything to keep it all going.

The drug transaction will be for goods instead, same for guns or prostitutes. Items can then be sold as required into the system for cash later if needed. Can see it, buildings full of bartered goods, no point whatsoever for banks after that.

Lol I already started coming up to 12 months now ... dum ... dee ... dum ... it will not help them at all.

Innocenct honest people will be hammered the corrupt government who will then charge more now you can hide your money from them. This is all electronic banking was about, money in the electronic system is theirs they been filling their boots. Now you have no way to hide it so they will continue doing the same.

I reckon in the time left I will get to kill one or more of them, its kind of like becoming inevitable, they steal everything and people then have to kill them because you have nothing left to survive on. The game is on.

Globalists in Davos need to wake up and realise the popularist movement will swell by many millions more after this ... scared now they will be shitting themself soon.


kochevnik's picture

"fight against money laundering, tax fraud and organised crime."

money laundering - Fungibility is fundamental property of money.  Otherwise it is illiquid

tax fraud - Involuntary forced extortion is the crime

organised crime - See government

MrPalladium's picture

Banning paper cash is utterly useless. The gangs and terrorists, as well as loyal citizens, will simply use gold and silver ounces. We all have cell phones and can look up the spot price and then use the PMs as cash which, in fact, they are. Fiat notes - bad money - has driven the PMs - good money - out of circulation. If the governments abolish cash - bad money - then - good money - more primitive tangible forms of cash will begin to circulate, driving up the price of gold and silver and driving down the value of their digital cyphers.

Lies All Lies's picture

"...The gangs and terrorists, as well as loyal citizens, will simply use gold and silver ounces. We all have cell phones and can look up the spot price...."

Dreaming. Never gonna happen.

GreatUncle's picture

Also you can use other countries cash currencies ...

kochevnik's picture

Rouble restrictions made Russia dollarized economy under Yeltsin.  Our case it typical of any economy

R2U2's picture

Ditto gun grabbing and using federal troops on US soil. Already in play for Chicago.


TheReplacement's picture

Chiraq is justifiable. 

1.  It is a war zone.

2.  There are an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members in Chicago.

'To counter the armed and deadly invasion of the USofA in Chicago we have deployed the armed forces...'


lil dirtball's picture

It's a good question, but more importantly, Disney World is having a parade TODAY. All the usual characters will be there, like always.

This is an important parade - and no one in the FMSM is covering it (that's how we know it's important).

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Muslims excluded on the cash ban.......of course.

Diplodicus Rex's picture

When you wake up from your afternoon nap, take a deep breath first. This waking up and immediately screaming blue murder at the top of your lungs just makes you look like an idiot. Have some decorum. Or take your meds like the nurse told you to.

So It Goes's picture

Look dude - I hope ur not a troll.

I'm no Trump apologist - but the guy is doing exactly what he said and is moving change with breath-taking speed.

At a future point in time I'm pretty sure he will address the issue.  Cut him some slack - give him a break.  He appears to be working 18 hours/d.  What more could you ask for?





sprintjump's picture

"and is moving change with breath-taking speed... He appears to be working 18 hours/d.  What more could you ask for?"


Yes. This is how Trump has operated for decades. 

peddling-fiction's picture

Cookie monster was led away. Chuckle.