Skip to comments.The International War on Cash
Posted on 03/08/2013 4:37:29 PM PST by BfloGuy
The relentless war against cash payments waged by governments worldwide has perhaps gone furthest in Scandinavia. The ostensible reason given by our rulers for suppressing cash is to keep society safe from terrorists, tax evaders, money launderers, drug cartels and sundry other villains, real or imagined. But the actual aim of the recent flood of laws rendering cash transactions less convenient or limiting or even prohibiting them is to force the public at large to make payments through the financial system in order to prop up the unstable fractional-reserve banks and, more importantly, to expand the ability of governments to spy on and keep track of their citizens most private financial dealings. One ingenious friend from Norway has fought to protect his right to use cash by invoking his governments own legal tender laws against it. Here is his story in his own words:
About a month ago I had a doctors appointment at the citys health services emergency ward (government institution).
When leaving, I asked to pay cash. I was told that the cashiers desk was closed, that I would be invoiced, and that they generally did not accept cash. I reminded the nurse(?) on duty about legal tender.
When I got the invoice, I called accounting at the ward. I told the accountant that I wished to pay cash. I was told that was not possible. I asked if she knew about legal tender, referring to the specific legislation. She went completely defensive, as I clearly perceived it. She even claimed that legal issues with the no-cash arrangement had been dealt with. I said I would file a written complaint.
So I did. I called in a few days later to check if the complaint had been received, which she could confirm. Now the accountant was apparently more interested in discussing the issue.
Yesterday, I got the written response. I was given the opportunity to pay cash in this one case if I brought the exact amount. Moreover, no changes in the general arrangements would be made. Today, I made the payment in cash.
Why did they do this? I would suspect that they figured they had a weak legal case, that they were dealing with someone who apparently wasnt going to give up, and that allowing it in this case would avoid having to deal with someone with a formal legal interest in challenging their anti-cash system, the alternatives being changing their system voluntarily and fighting an administrative complaint case or even worse, a court case.
Of course, things would be much better if we werent forced to use this fiat money. However, it is reasonable to expect government institutions to comply with the governments own legal tender regulations.
The war on cash in Sweden may be stalling. The anti-cash movement has been vigorously promoted by major Swedish commercial banks as well as the Riksbank, the Swedish central bank. In fact, for three of the four major Swedish banks combined, 530 of their 780 office no longer accept or pay out cash. In the case of the Nordea Bank, 200 of its 300 branches are now cashless, and three-quarters of Swedbanks branches no longer handle cash. As Peter Borsos, a spokesman for Swedbank, freely admits, his bank is working actively to reduce the [amount] of cash in society. The reasons for this push toward a cashless society, of course, have nothing to do with pumping up earnings from bank card fees or, more important, freeing fractional-reserve banks from the constraints of bank runs. No, according to Borsos, the reasons are the environment, cost, and security: We ourselves emit 700 tons of carbon dioxide by cash transport. It costs society 11 billion per year. And cash helps robberies everywhere. Hans Jacobson, head of Nordea Bank, argues similarly: Our mission is to make people understand the point of cards, cards are more secure than cash.
Fortunately, it seems that the Swedish people are not falling for the anti-cash propaganda spewed by private bankers and Riksbank officials and are resisting the trend toward a cashless economy. It is reported that last year the value of cash transactions in Sweden were 99 billion krona which represented only a marginal decrease from ten years ago. And small shops continue to do one-third to one-half of their business in cash. Furthermore a study of bank customers satisfaction released by the Swedish Quality Index in October 2012, indicated that the satisfaction index was pulled down among customers of Swedbank, Nordea and SEB by their policy of eliminating cash transactions at their bank branches. Even more heartening is the fact that Handelsbanken, the largest bank in Sweden, is committed to serving consumers who demand cash. As Kai Jokitulppo, head of private services at Handelsbanken, puts it:
As long as we know that our customers are asking for cash, it is important that we as a bank [are] providing it. . . . We see places where other banks are taking other decisions, we get customers from them and positive response.
Fewer then 10 of Handelsbankens 461 branches currently do not handle cash and the banks goal is to have cash in every branch by the first quarter of 2013.
Frances state auditing bureau, Cour des Comptes, informed the French government that it was dreaming in forecasting that the French economy would grow this year by 0.8 percent, which would enable it to meet its budget deficit target of 3 percent of GDP. The bureau told French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that a growth rate of 0.3 percent was more like it, which would not be sufficient to meet the deficit reduction target. This was the case despiteor more likely because ofthe fact that a broad based tax increase had just been imposed that would extract another 32 billion euros from overburdened French businesses and households this year. So would a desperate Ayrault finally open his eyes to economic reality and slash the budget of the bureaucratic and bloated French State, a budget that is liberally larded with fascistic corporate welfare subsidies and bailouts? No way, no how. Instead Ayrault convened a meeting of the National Anti-Fraud Committee to crack down on tax cheats and presided over it himselfA first for a head of government, he crowed.
Tax fraud in France has been estimated to be in the range of 60 to 80 billion annually. Buried in Ayraults proposal to crack down on tax cheats and further squeeze more revenue from its fiscal residentsthose citizens and foreigners who have not been driven into part-time exile to escape French taxesis a draconian provision that would lower the maximum cash payment per transaction from 3,000 to 1,000. Under the new limit a French citizen would not even be able to buy a used car for cash. The provision would not apply, however, to citizens and foreigners wealthy and savvy enough to have placed their income beyond the clutches of the rapacious French State by becoming fiscal residents of other countries. They would be subject to a limit of 10,000 per purchase in cash, down from the current limit of 15,000 per purchase. This may come to be called the Depardieu exception because French actor Gerard Depardieu recently caused a public stir by obtaining a Russian passport in order to take advantage of Russias flat-rate income tax of 13 percent.
One commentator perceptively summed up the inextricable link between the war on cash and the war on personal liberties :
With this law, the French government will be able to tighten the vise on its people one more turn, restricting their freedom of choice (how to pay), wiping out any privacy in those transactions, and imposing another layer of government control. Once people have gotten used to the 1,000 limitbased on the great principle of incrementalism with which restrictions of freedom come to pass in democraciesthe vise will be tightened further, until the government can document every purchase made by fiscal residents.
Just as your driving will be recorded by GPS, your spending will be tracked by plastic.
When our accumulated wealth consists of nothing more that digital “credits”, and the government convinces the general public that anyone wanting to use cash must be up to something questionable or illegal, our “freedom” will be a faint memory.
The only people who would need to encrypt their internet communications to block the total surveillance state are drug dealers, terrorists and child pornographers, right?
Everything we have is represented by ones and zeros. One electronic crash and everyone’s poor on the same level.
Mark of the Beast
Hell it is already illegal to carry over a certain amount of cash in some areas....
The Banks are forced to snitch on you if you pull out a certain amount in cash as well....
Whole segments of this country would collapse without cash; here in NJ, as wealthy whites tout the advantages of a cashless society, the staggering illegal population lives by cash and nothing else. These people don’t even officially exist; they will never go to plastic. They are paid in, and shop in Wal-Mart with, strictly cash.
Whole neighborhoods haven’t seen a W-2 in decades.
Same thing with the parish courthouse. Went to go file a petition, and they only take money orders. No checks or cash.
Don't fret. Money orders are OK. There's no tracking of the purchaser with money orders. That's the problem with plastic. I agree, however, that having to buy one is annoying and does involve a purchase fee.
......recently (late last year), I made the mistake of depositing a mid six figure sum of cash in Royal Bank of Canada in St. Maarten in connection with a business deal I was working on. Big mistake. When I went back by the bank a couple months later to buy a Cashier’s Check (with my money) for the amount in RBC, their “manager” (term used loosely) commenced a 2 hour and ten minute interrogation wanting to know what I was going to do with the money, why I am I taking it out and many other questions that were none of her business. Then, she gave me a cashier’s check for MY MONEY that was no good anywhere but on St. Maarten! When I got back to the states, it took a month and over 100 fairly nasty emails to get my money pried loose from Royal Bank of Canada. Needless to say, I will never even think about using RBC again as I would not TRUST them with five dollars!
In effect,and upon reflection, RBC CLEARLY was brazenly acting as a government agent! Exactly who’s government, I have no clue.
At CVS drugstores in CA, you need to show an ID to buy a money order. I'll bet that's not something they came up with on their own.
My neighbor informed us of a problem, his wife works at the police station and hears about details of all calls. Some stores are reporting counterfeiting to the cops. Cops go to the store and check the money and the perp (customer). The money is legit ($20 or $100 bills). Seems that the stores are using new marker pens to detect counterfeits, and the pens only pass new bills as genuine, not older ones! Not good for people like us, who pay cash often and sometimes pull bills from our hidden stash to spend. So now we're rotating our old bills for newer ones.
The situation in the US is almost bizarre. The US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which physically prints all US paper money, has only two printing offices left, in Fort Worth, Texas and Washington, D.C. Even printing around the clock, mostly $1 bills, they only produce enough paper money to support a meager 5% of US daily retail trade.
When they print $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills, they print proportionately less of each denomination. And most $100 bills are shipped overseas to other nations that demand US currency.
Importantly, this has created the potential for a never before seen economic paradox: a currency split.
Because the government can and does create unlimited virtual dollars, the virtual money can easily inflate or even hyperinflate. But paper money cannot, and if there is a currency split, paper money is instantly *deflated* by 20 times. That is, a nickel is worth a dollar, minimum, and probably much more, if virtual money has lost its value.
The government may try and *pretend* that the two are pegged together, but the simple fact is that neither can *more* paper money can be printed, *nor* can they print higher denominations, for the simple reason that nobody could make change for them.
So virtual money can hyperinflate, or be locked up in bank holidays, or frozen by the government. But legally, *nobody* has to accept virtual money in payment of a debt, because virtual money is NOT legal tender.
If retailers refuse virtual money instruments, like credit and debit cards and bank checks, virtual money is worthless, even if Obama orders the Treasury to input a bunch more zeroes to the deficit.
Something I've read often, is to collect as much change as you can. I regularly bring home many rolls of nickels from the bank. If the dollar bill gets devalued, let's say by a factor of ten, your nickel is then worth 50 cents (goes up by a factor of ten). That's because the government will recall paper money but won't bother recalling coinage. May happen again soon.
The ten planks of the communist manifesto pretty much sum up why they want to go cashless.
The first plank states:
“Abolition of private property and the application of all rent to public purpose”
If all your money is in electronic form it is pretty easy to take from you.
Number four states:
“Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels”
So If you try to leave before they get everything in place to trap you they just take all you have saved.
Seems to me it is just one of the steps needed to become a communist country.
I have a relative who is in the Fraud Prevention Dept. of a major gasoline retailer.
The scam artists, mostly foreign mafias, have duplicated the keys to the gas pumps. They block the cameras with large vehicles, and then they open the gas pumps. With this access, they install their own, custom built card readers.
They apparently get the card readers manufactured in China (where else?). The card readers scan and store the IDs and PIN numbers of the people buying gas. The perps come back, plug in, and download all the IDs and PINs.
My relative said, “If you use a debit card to buy gas, sooner or later, your bank account WILL be emptied”.
That’s a good reason to use cash. Plastic opens up your account to mass theft. Note that if you carry a bit of cash, you should be alert and able to defend yourself.
I wouldn't count on that.
But legally, *nobody* has to accept virtual money in payment of a debt, because virtual money is NOT legal tender.
Dollars are legal tender no matter the form they take. Whether they are greenbacks or entries in a checkbook, they are legal tender. The people will lose confidence in both at the same time. Then the hyperinflation ensues.
Now, that's interesting. I was thinking of Postal Money Orders. You just hand 'em the money and you gets your M.O..
The Coinage Act of 1965 states (in part):
United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes and dues....
31 U.S.C. § 5103
All other means of payment, such as credit and debit cards, checks, and other instruments, may be turned down as payment for debts. Likewise, certain types of coinage can be limited for some debts.
This is important, because these virtual instruments have vulnerabilities that paper money does not. For example, during the Great Depression, some “bank holidays” lasted from 3 to 300 days, during which their issued checks were suspended. And within the last decade congress has changed the law so that banks, on their own initiative, may declare up to a two week holiday.
Credit and debit card companies cannot underwrite the billions of dollars in their cardholders’ debts, so issue bonds, regarded as the next safest to US T bonds, for this purpose. If a single bond issue fails, however, they go into panic mode. This happened a year ago, and they were forced to cancel hundreds of thousands of inactive cards, to lessen their exposure.
It is estimated that if five such bond issues failed in a row, they would be out of business.
All that really has to happen for a currency split to take place, however, is for retailers to demand cash. And many retailers have created contingency plans for just that.
Thus virtual money could hyperinflate, but paper money and coins would assume their face value x 20 at a minimum. Instant massive deflation.
Thank you. I did not know about the Coinage Act.
Nonetheless. There will be no differentiation made between checkbook money and actual dollar bills when the purchasing power of the dollar starts to drop. It is not a legal issue; it's psychological.
When your money consists of nothing more than the government's say-so, the faith in money is psychological.
But that is where a very powerful economic law, Gresham’s Law, comes into play.
Simply put, “bad money pushes out good money.” When currencies compete, everybody wants to spend the weaker of the two and save the stronger. And while virtual money can be doubled or trebled with the push of a computer keyboard button, the government *cannot* make more paper money, or even higher denomination bills.
Even if they made $500 or $1000 bills, they would be useless, because nobody could make change for them.
So here are two forms of dollars. Having cash that is completely under your control at home in a safe place, means that you can act quickly no matter what happens.
Virtual money is under someone else’s control, made worse by yet another recent change in the law, so that bank customers cannot even demand “demand accounts”, if the bank doesn’t want to, or has orders not to, relinquish them.
The public seems to be reaching this conclusion as well, because home safes and strongboxes have been flying off the shelves for several years now.
There is a way to see the virtual vs. physical split from an objective viewpoint as well, by understanding the behavior of ‘scrip’. Scrip is a non-legal tender complementary currency that is very tightly controlled as to its value and the price of things purchased with it.
It was created hundreds of times in the US during the Great Depression, and kept local markets and local government functioning when the US dollar had severe deflation and shortage.
The expression at the time was “You could buy a pound of hamburger for a nickel, but nobody had any nickels.” So scrip filled that gap. For example, if a pound of hamburger cost 1 scrip, no matter what the dollar did, it still cost 1 scrip. People bought their scrip with dollars, and could use whichever currency gave them the better deal.
Importantly, on the local level, scrip actually helped to stabilize the dollar.
Once again, there is no difference between checkbook dollars [what you call -- not incorrectly -- virtual money] and paper dollars. They spend the same. People use them in the same way.
Paper dollars have no more purchasing power than the others. You are trying to make a distinction where none exists.
There is one scenario where you might be right. If an electro-magnetic pulse from a nuclear bomb destroys all of our electronics [wiping out trillions of dollars instantly], then paper dollars might become relatively valuable.
But that's not even certain, because the only reason green pieces of paper have any value at all is the confidence of individuals that they will be accepted as payment. After a nuclear attack, I'm not so sure such confidence would exist.
Instead of trying to defend paper fiat money, go study up on why gold would be a better currency.
> Once again, there is no difference between checkbook
> dollars [what you call — not incorrectly — virtual
> money] and paper dollars.
Ah, but there is. You control paper money in your possession. You do not control checks, credit or other instruments. Other people, corporations, and the government does. Any of them can simply refuse it to you.
Likewise, when you purchase something, whoever sells it to you does not have to take credit, debit, or checks. But once the transaction has been made, they *must* take paper money.
Right now, many banks and major retailers are trying to phase out personal checks, because they are expensive to them to process. This leaves credit and debit, which are totally in the province of the issuers and underwriters. If they decide to withdraw your credit they can, and there is nothing you can do about it.
If there is a bank holiday, you might have a million dollars in the bank and have access to none of it. If there is a “cash run” on banks, they would be emptied of paper currency in just a few hours. They would be unable to provide funds except virtually, to *another* such institution. Not you.
While the government might effectively cause hyperinflation, and say that virtual money is the same as paper money, it cannot back that argument. If a retailer is willing to sell you $10 worth of merchandise for cash, yet refuses a check for $10,000, it is all the difference in the world.
After the stock market crashed in 1929 my grandmother had a loan on three houses, rented two out and lived in one. She also had quite a lot of money in the bank. Her bank closed and she did not ever get her money back, but the bank sold her notes on the property to another bank that stayed in business so eventually when she couldn’t pay her payments the houses were foreclosed on.
My grandmother went from being pretty well off to being a penniless, homeless widow with 4 children practically overnight.
“Even if they made $500 or $1000 bills, they would be useless, because nobody could make change for them.”
I know a lot of people, including me, that carried a $1,000 bill in their wallet especially for emergancies in the 1950s.
The car owner gave me one for weekend expenses for the race car in 1957 and by the end of the weekend it was spent.
Exceptions are made for illegals for a variety of laws to include no insurance on vehicles...I am sure a law of some sort would be passed to make them exempt from any law restricting cash.
$500 and $1000 bills have value only as collectibles, and require substantial identification, including a thumbprint, to spend today, except among collectors. Most retailers would just refuse the sale in exchange for them.
What I am talking about is an attempt by the government to reissue them as currency to support inflationary or hyperinflationary policies. Right now, because of shortage, our paper currency is de facto 95% deflated, but our virtual currency is under powerful inflationary pressures.
So even with printing $1000 bills, they would still have to print them in the billions just to make the paper currency on a par with virtual money. On or about 6 billion $1000 bills, which is about two years full production. Assuming no more inflation to the virtual currency in the meantime.
And nobody could make change for them.
I can see why they are such profound advocates of a “cashless” society, because if cash was no longer used, they imagine infinite spending and endless devaluation.
If that were the case, then you'd be right. But that situation doesn't exist and if we reach that point, then all confidence in the government -- and therefore its money -- will have been lost.
Paper dollars are intrinsically worthless. Their purchasing power is based on faith alone. I wish you luck hoarding your paper dollars. I really wish you'd sell them for some gold, though, instead.
“I am sure a law of some sort would be passed to make them exempt from any law restricting cash.”
There would have to be an exemption for them; as more of the leftist northeast is left with only welfare parasites and illegals, there would be no other way to transact business.
Banks aren’t making the case for the cashless society with their security breaches, either.
Sorry, I know way too much about gold to want any appreciable amount. For me it is just a metal. As a thing of value it is far too hard to convert, so in many practical ways it is no more valuable than paper money.
For those who embrace it, though, I strongly recommend that they become learned about scrip, as it is one of the most effective ways to retain gold’s value and convertibility—not by being backed by gold, but by being a very controlled currency that is stable independent of gold. That is, it can make change for gold, and provide it access to the rest of the market.
Stability is the great secret of gold, but only backing something else. It has no great stability when it is used as a currency. The best demonstration of this was the transition, in Weimar Germany, from the hyperinflated fiat currency Papiermark, to the gold backed non-public currency, the Rentenmark, to finally the also gold backed Reichsmark, which even survived the war.
Gold itself could not have done that, but by backing currency, it could.
It’s not really necessary to horde cash, beyond a certain amount, but mattress money can be particularly good insurance against government perfidy.
Study some real economics. Start here. You are trying -- as we all do at one time or another -- to figure out economics without the benefit of those who have gone before us.
And, also, don't be so quick to dismiss people who are offering you sound advice when you don't have any idea of what you're talking about.
Now that’s just aggressive talk. You have no idea of my background or experience as relates to gold, which I would hazard to guess is a lot greater than yours.
I also know it is pretty fruitless to argue with a gold bug, so I’ll pretty much end it here. Good luck with your shiny yellow metal.
I find your theories about the difference in purchasing power between paper money and electronic money unconvincing and I have explained why.
You might find interesting a book that deeply influenced my thinking on the topic of money: The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises.
Your background makes no difference to me at all and I hope you don't find my book suggestion too "aggressive".
All banks are government agents here in the states. All are mandated reporters of transactions above what about 9k and other regular transaction of large amounts. Seems as though these days 1K is a large amount.
They also are mandated to report to the government any on line transfes above the 6 permitted per month.
My bank connects any money order with my account. I cannot get one without giving account numbers.