Officials would have you believe that all of this talk about banning cash is nonsense - a myth likely perpetuated by fringe bloggers or else by Austrian economists in the early stages of dementia.
The problem, however, is that we get more signs that cash is on the way out each and every day.
Take Larry Summers, who reckons it might be time to get rid of the $100 note in order to “make the world a better place” (the idea being that only criminals transact in high denomination notes). There’s also Citi’s Willem Buiter, and the German Council of “Experts” Peter Bofinger, and Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff, and the list goes on. In fact, just yesterday we learned that Sweden will likely be completely cashless in the short space of 5 years.
As mentioned above, there’s always this amorphous notion of fighting crime built in there somehow as if the world's central banks recently adopted a Batman mandate to go along with price stability, but the real reason is, and always will be, simple: controlling citizens’ economic decisions. Or, put a little more harshly: stripping depositors of their economic autonomy.
Do away with cash and you can set rates as low as you want them. People not spending enough to get the economy moving? Well to hell with those people - set interest rates at -30%. You can bet they'll start spending then. Economy overheating? No problem, jack interest rates on savings up to +20% and watch the personal savings rate rise.
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