Love it or hate it, cash is playing an increasingly less important role in society. In some ways this is great news for consumers. The rise of mobile and electronic payments means faster, convenient, and more efficient purchases in most instances. However, there is also a darker side in the shift to a cashless society. Governments and central banks have a different rationale behind the elimination of cash transactions, and as a result, the so-called “war on cash” is on.
Not satisfied with economic distortions resulting from the redefinition of full-time employment to 30 hours for Obamacare purposes but 32 hours for every other purpose, President Obama is back at it. Today, by executive order, Obama doubled the threshold for overtime pay to $47,476 a year. The Labor Department estimates the ruling will affect 4.2 million workers.
Is this why stocks are slipping? Following Hillary's hint last night that she would like to put her husband in "charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it," Bill confirmed the farce this morning, admitting he has asked for an "economic role" in his wife's adminstration. As Yves Smith so eloquently noted, after having institutionalized the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched the 1% and particularly the 0.1% at the expense of everyone else, Hillary Clinton wants to give the long-suffereing citizenry an even bigger dose. Good luck America.
"On May 9, 2016, following the announcement of the board review described elsewhere in this filing, the Company received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)... In the five business days since we announced our review and resignation of our CEO, we have experienced a slowdown in a significant amount of investment capital... The identified material weakness is the result of the aggregation of control deficiencies related to the Company’s “tone at the top,” which manifested in three primary areas described further below."
A certificate for sound money, and quite a bit of it too. Our benevolent modern-day social engineers would be appalled: not only is this a certificate for gold, it is one for 10,000 smackers worth of the stuff! Only über-turrsts could possibly have use for such a thing... it clearly embodies way too much freedom and responsibility for the average tax serf. If you’re not convinced, ask Larry Summers, and if that doesn’t help, think about the children!
In his youth, Morneau completed graduate studies at the London School of Economics and INSEAD in France, where, as Talleyrand would have said: “He learned nothing and forgot nothing.” The result, as might be expected, was a Canadian budget that was pure Keynes/ Krugman, with a bit of Larry Summers thrown in.
Negative interest rates are a tax! Not a traditional tax paid to the government, but an expense paid, on savings. Years of policy designed to encourage spending and discourage savings is likely reaching the end game; the point where those exhibiting prudence must be punished to keep the game going. At some point, and likely soon, central bankers will be forced to realize the efficacy of lowering interest rates is vanishing and is hindering achievement of their goals. When this occurs a paradigm shift in the way monetary policy is conducted will likely occur. Investors that understand this dynamic, and what it portends, will be in a much better position to protect and profit from the asset price adjustments that lie ahead.
At this point, one wonders why any central banker would chase down the NIRP rabbit hole only to find themselves the protagonist in the latest retelling of "Krugman in Wonderland," but alas, the experiment continues. The only question now is this: will the FOMC take the plunge? Here's a chronological list of Fed NIRP commentary.
Just when Sweden was set to become a cashless utopia, a problem emerged...
What this picture shows is that government, economists, and presstitutes are allied against citizens achieving any financial independence from personal saving. Policymakers have a crackpot economic policy and those with control over your life value their scheme more than they value your welfare. This is the fate of people in the so-called democracies. But the greed, fraud, and self-serving behavior of Western financial systems, aided and abeted by governments, could be leading to such a breakdown of economic life that the idea of a private financial system will become as abhorent in the future as Nazism is today.
As the crisis develops, our deeply indebted government will act like a giant wounded beast, lashing out in all directions. It will grow more desperate for control. It will grow desperate for money. And just like FDR did in the 1930s, it will confiscate the wealth of private citizens. But Hillary Clinton (or Donald Trump, or whoever wins the election) won’t go after your gold. Nowadays, the gold market is very small compared to the overall economy. Going after gold would be too much work for the government. The government is going to go after YOUR CASH.
Just look at it as a repo for everyday depositors: post your €500 notes as collateral, take the haircut, get smaller bills in return.
Famous. Last. Words. "... but I think it's going to be so simple that you pretty soon realize that this is a lot easier and better than having cash"
The cracks are starting to appear in the 'paper' gold market.
"central bankers seem ever intent on going lower, ignorant in my view of the harm being done to a classical economic model that has driven prosperity – until it reached a negative interest rate dead end and could drive no more."