The Dark Side Of The Cashless Society

the-dark-side-of-the-cashless-society

01-08-20 09:28:00,

Authored by Addison Wiggin via The Daily Reckoning,

Real quick, grab a $100 bill from your wallet.

OK, humor me, any bill will do. What do you see?

I’d tell you what I see, but when I grab my Book Book, which serves as both a phone case and a wallet, there’s no cash in it. There rarely ever is. Please, keep that in mind for today’s foray into inductive reasoning.

I saw this makeshift sign over the weekend:

Seen at the Walgreens three miles from my house.

“At the airport. Very sparse here, ghost town,” reads an email from a colleague’s mom, “No coins.”

One of Agora Financial’s publishers, Doug Hill, had a similar experience flying to San Francisco last week for a meeting with a private equity fund. He couldn’t get accurate change for a pop rag he wanted to read. No coins.

“With the partial closure of the economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell says, “the flow of funds through the economy has stopped.”

Economically-speaking, the national coin shortage is a physical reminder of how slowly the nation’s economy has been; ‘velocity of money’ hit roughly zero.

“We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks,” Mr. Powell contends. ”As the economy re-opens, we are starting to see money move around again.”

Fair enough. What else is he going to say?

Back to the Benjamin burning a hole in your wallet. On it, you’ll see digits… a serial number for each bill.

As those bills are returned to the Federal Reserve from their journey around the country, the bills that have gotten too wrinkled, torn or worn thin get their serial numbers retired. The paper gets shredded.

Here’s what I was thinking while watching the film on Netflix the other day:

Wouldn’t it just be easier, and less expensive, if the Fed didn’t have to go through all the trouble of reclaiming and decommissioning the paper? Why not just track the serial numbers electronically?

Anyway, while fact checking the coin shortage story,

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Say No to the “Cashless Future” — and to Cashless Stores

say-no-to-the-“cashless-future”-—-and-to-cashless-stores

23-08-19 05:19:00,

By Jay Stanley

I went to a counter-serve restaurant recently, and when the time came to pay for my order, took out my wallet, presented a $20 bill, and was told, “Sorry, we don’t accept cash.” I was flabbergasted. What happened to “legal tender for all debts public and private,” as it says right there on the bill?

This has now happened to me at three separate establishments in recent months. The rise of cashless establishments is happening amid continuing hype over the supposed dawn of a “cashless future” and agitation by some very powerful interests that would love to see cash disappear. The credit card companies love it, naturally, and tech industry associations have also pushed for the concept.

Meanwhile, a backlash has prompted several cities and states including San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New Jersey to ban cashless stores (they’ve also been banned in Massachusetts since 1978). One salad chain, Sweetgreen, reversed its decision to go cashless amid criticism, and Amazon, which had reportedly been opposing legislative bans, has since announced that it will accept cash at its automated, cashier-less convenience stores. (As for the “legal tender” statement, that does not actually mandate the acceptance of cash for payment.)

It is great to see this pushback against the supposed cashless future because this is a trend that should very much be nipped in the bud. There are several reasons why cashless stores, and a cashless society more broadly, are a bad idea. Such stores are:

  • Bad for privacy. When you pay cash, there is no middleman; you pay, you receive goods or services — end of story. When a middleman becomes part of the transaction, that middleman often gets to learn about the transaction — and under our weak privacy laws, has a lot of leeway to use that information as it sees fit. (Cash transactions of more than $10,000 must be reported to the government, however.) More on privacy and payment systems in a follow-up post.
  • Bad for low-income communities.

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Big Tech, Big Banks Push for “Cashless Society”

big-tech,-big-banks-push-for-“cashless-society”

25-06-19 04:10:00,

By Stefan Gleason

The War on Cash isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s an open agenda. It’s being driven by an alignment of interests among bankers, central bankers, politicians, and Silicon Valley moguls who stand to benefit from an all-digital economy.

Last week, Facebook – in partnership with major banks, payment processors, and e-commerce companies – launched a digital currency called Libra. Unlike decentralized, free-floating cryptocurrencies, Libra will be tied to national fiat currencies, integrated into the financial system, and centrally managed.

Critics warn Libra is akin to a “spy coin.” It’s certainly not for anyone who wants to go off the financial grid.

Many of the companies involved in Libra (including Facebook itself) routinely ban users on the basis of their political views. Big Tech has booted scores of individuals and groups off social platforms for engaging in “far right” speech. If Libra one day becomes the predominant online payment method, then political dissidents could effectively be banned from all e-commerce.

You can still obtain some degree of anonymity in the offline world by using paper cash. But that will become impossible in the cashless future envisioned by bankers.

Last week, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan touted new developments in digital payment systems while speaking at a Fortune conference. He said, “We want a cashless society…we have more to gain than anybody from a pure operating costs.”

They gain – at the expense of our financial privacy. A cashless society is the end of a long road to monetary ruin that began many decades ago with the abandonment of sound money backed by gold and silver.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named “Best in the USA” by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, The Street, and Seeking Alpha.

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“Cashless” Sweden Suddenly Warns Citizens: Hoard Banknotes & Coins In Case Of Cyber-Attack Or War

“cashless”-sweden-suddenly-warns-citizens:-hoard-banknotes-&-coins-in-case-of-cyber-attack-or-war

10-05-19 08:18:00,

For years, we have commented on the Swedish government and the Riksbank pushing for a “cashless society.”

The Riksbank has over 1,000 articles posted on its website on the “cashless society“. The emphasis worked: between 2013 and 2017, the amount of cash in circulation dropped by 35%, earning Sweden a reputation as the world’s “most cashless nation”:

Many of Sweden’s bank branches had stopped handling cash altogether.

Figures from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm show that only 18% of all payments made today in Sweden are in cash – a 15% drop from the previous year. Meanwhile figures from the Swedish Trade Federation show that most Swedish retailers say that 80% of their commerce is from card payments. A number that probably will be 90% by 2020. Such is the appetite for digital commerce in Sweden that many predicted it could become the world’s first cashless society.

But, now, as The Daily Mail reports,  The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, an arm of the government, has sent guidance to every home telling residents to squirrel away “cash in small denominations” in case of emergencies ranging from power cuts or technology glitches to terrorism, cyber-attacks by a rogue government or war.

Riksbank, the country’s central bank, last week called for an inquiry into the risks posed by a future cashless society.

Officials told parliament that hard cash was important “not just in times of crisis and war, but also in peacetime.”

In December, Britain’s Access to Cash Review warned that Britain too was ‘sleepwalking into a cashless society’, the Daily Mail reported.

Chair Natalie Ceeney said, “If we don’t take action now in this country, we’re only a couple of years away from Sweden.”

“Sweden’s big message to us is, ‘Plan now before you get into a mess’.” Sweden hit its crisis when its equivalent of the NHS declared it was going cashless.”

As the age of NIRP “gradually” comes to a close, much of the excitement about ushering in a cashless nirvana appears to be fading with it.

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The Risks of a Cashless Society | Armstrong Economics

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22-03-19 08:53:00,

QUESTION: Hi Mr Armstrong,

Thank you for continuous education. I hope to get your view on cashless societies.

There are worries that nations will move to cashless transactions in the near future. Do you think this will actually happen? My guess is it will be a failure and there will be “black” markets where transactions in physical notes will flourish. I see this similar to situations where hyperinflation occurs and the respective governments trying to control their exchange rates by declaring them. However, as this happens, black markets having more accurate rates sprout up.

As usual, they can’t dictate anything that has to do with the real world. What do you think?

MC

ANSWER: That is one of the reasons the Deep State is fighting so hard to remove Trump. They simply believe it will take a seasoned Bureaucrat to sign such a bill. That said, a cashless society will be arriving in Europe before it will appear anywhere else. You must understand that all governments are in their death throes. Instead of stepping back and looking at this from a practical perspective, they remain fixated on their debt crisis that is propelling them to raising taxes. They firmly believe if everyone paid their taxes, they would have no problem. Of course, that is a fantasy. Whatever they collect will NEVER be enough to sustain their power.

UK-Cancelled notes

In Europe, there is already the tradition of canceling their currency. This is done to prevent people from hoarding cash and not paying taxes. This was a step in the direction of a cashless society for it was intended to add risk to accumulating cash and not paying taxes. Hyperinflation only takes place when confidence in government collapses. When governments are on the hunt for taxes, you actually get the opposite — DEFLATION. This is when people curb their investments and hoard their wealth. The elimination of physical money presents a new twist to the historical record. Hyperinflation in the classic sense becomes impossible for there is no printing of money to pay bills in that sense. Assets will rise in value reflecting the fear of government. That is the emotional equivalent to hyperinflation. Nobody will buy government bonds and capital will hoard and hide in assets whenever possible.

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The Cashless Society Is A Con… And Big Finance Is Behind It

The Cashless Society Is A Con… And Big Finance Is Behind It

19-07-18 05:22:00,

Authored by Brett Scott, op-ed via The Guardian,

Banks are closing ATMs and branches in an attempt to ‘nudge’ users towards digital services – and it’s all for their own benefit

All over the western world banks are shutting down cash machinesand branches. They are trying to push you into using their digital payments and digital banking infrastructure. Just like Google wants everyone to access and navigate the broader internet via its privately controlled search portal, so financial institutions want everyone to access and navigate the broader economy through their systems.

Another aim is to cut costs in order to boost profits. Branches require staff. Replacing them with standardised self-service apps allows the senior managers of financial institutions to directly control and monitor interactions with customers.

Banks, of course, tell us a different story about why they do this. I recently got a letter from my bank telling me that they are shutting down local branches because “customers are turning to digital”, and they are thus “responding to changing customer preferences”. I am one of the customers they are referring to, but I never asked them to shut down the branches.

There is a feedback loop going on here. In closing down their branches, or withdrawing their cash machines, they make it harder for me to use those services. I am much more likely to “choose” a digital option if the banks deliberately make it harder for me to choose a non-digital option.

In behavioural economics this is referred to as “nudging”. If a powerful institution wants to make people choose a certain thing, the best strategy is to make it difficult to choose the alternative.

We can illustrate this with the example of self-checkout tills at supermarkets. The underlying agenda is to replace checkout staff with self-service machines to cut costs. But supermarkets have to convince their customers. They thus initially present self-checkout as a convenient alternative. When some people then use that alternative, the supermarket can cite that as evidence of a change in customer behaviour, which they then use to justify a reduction in checkout employees. This in turn makes it more inconvenient to use the checkout staff,

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Ron Paul: “A Cashless Society Is Very, Very Dangerous”

Ron Paul: “A Cashless Society Is Very, Very Dangerous”

06-06-18 09:19:00,

As the global war on cash continues to accelerate, outspoken libertarian Ron Paul summarizes the effort to eliminate cash perfectly – as an “attack on individual freedom.”

Restricting and discouraging the use of cash, suggests Paul, has always been a goal of statists as a means to reduce individuals’ independence.

“A cashless society is very, very dangerous,” continues Paul.

Watch the complete interview, which includes an extensive discussion of economic issues and the Federal Reserve, here:

In September of 2015, Paul further discussed the war on cash at the Ron Paul Liberty Report with Joseph Salerno, a professor of economics at Pace University. Watch that interview here.

So we know how is hurt by the cashless society, consider just who is gaining from this war on cash.

The banks, of course, are charging as many fees as they can think of. More importantly, your cash card leaves a wide data trail detailing your buying preferences, used by merchants and advertisers to entice you into more buying. How convenient. These thoughtful companies even offer reward points every time you use the card. Cash offers the ultimate in privacy. Your cash card might as well be a walking billboard.

The government, of course, is extremely interested in your spending habits. The taxing authorities use an electronic money trail to monitor your spending and ensure against tax evasion. In addition, cards save the government the cost and trouble of printing and storing additional currency.

Your electronic purchase trail is nirvana to large corporations. Knowing your spending habits allows them to customize their ads to an ever-larger consumer base. They know what you need before you do and are ready to entice you with specials, sales and “act now” deals.

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