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A Blog About Human Rights
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Dublin Opinion >>
NIRP - (negative interest rate policy) and the war on cash
Friday March 04, 2016 04:34 by EU-nuch
There are a lot of rumblings now about Negative interest rates and the war on cash Lately.
Negative interest rates are when the bank actually charges you interest on the money "resting in your account"
in plainspeak, they will slowly rob your money.
Now anyone with two brain cells will remove all their money from their bank account rather than be a party to this. To do this they will go into a bank and demand all their savings at once in cash.
Hence the "war on cash" angle to this.
Before implementing NIRP, the banksters must first soften us up to the idea of a "cashless society" then somehow get all that cash out of circulation. This process has already begun. The idea of a cashless society is being sold in our media as a great idea. Paying for everything using your shiny smartphone is being painted as super chic and trendy. Meanwhile several countries are making moves to take larger value currency notes out of circulation.
With no option to pay for anything other than cashless methods, we will have no option but to keep our money in a bank somewhere and use our card or phone. Meanwhile the banks will nibble away at it all, and in the case of another bank crash, they can just have a "bail in", i.e. just steal all your money out of your account.
There is also the privacy angle. If all payments have to have a digital trail, then you cannot have a financial transaction without the government knowing what you are doing. This has deep civil liberty ramifications.
Finally, there is the ease with which someone can be cut off from functioning in society if they are persona non grata. For example, we all saw how wikileaks was cut off from receiving donations through paypal and visa. Imagine how such power could easily be abused by the wrong government.
Personally I consider this all a worrying development which we need to discuss
IRELAND – A 2013 paper from the Central Bank of Ireland lamented Ireland’s slow adoption of electronic payments and over-reliance on cheques, noting “Ireland could save up to €1bn per year by migrating to more efficient [i.e. electronic] payment instruments.” Later that year, the Central Bank launched a National Payments plan to help facilitate the transition and kicked off a €1m national marketing campaign to encourage the migration to electronic payments. The scale of the campaign surprised many, with the Irish Independent pointing out that “It’s a major advertising spend in the current climate, where a big-promotion budget spend is considered to be in the region of €500,000 outside of the big global blue-chips.” Late last year the Cork City Centre Forum attempted to take the lead in the cashless transition by launching the “Cork Cash Out” campaign aiming “to encourage consumers to ween off cash and opt-in for electronic-only transactions instead.”
ITALY – In 2011 newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti made cash payments over 1000 euro illegal. “What we need is a revolution in Italians’ thinking” Monti told reporters as he announced the emergency decree which was put into law before it was even formally voted on in parliament.
FRANCE – In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last year, the French government stepped up its war on cash. In March of last year, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin declared it necessary to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy” in order to combat “low-cost terrorism.” As of September 2015 it is illegal for French citizens to make purchases exceeding 1000 euros in cash.
GERMANY – In a rather abrupt turnaround from a 2014 Bundesbank paper on “The Irreplaceability of Cash,” the German Finance Ministry (perhaps egged on by the country’s leading Keynesian economist) is looking into a 5000 euro cap on all cash payments. And although Germany is still a cash-based society, things are changing; a 2014 survey found that 34% of the population makes purchases electronically already and 20% can envision making all their purchases via smartphone payment systems in the future.
SWEDEN – Last year Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology released a report stating that the country is on track to completely eliminating cash transactions in the foreseeable future. Noting that there are now only 80 billion Swedish crowns in circulation in the economy (down from 106 just six years ago), the report highlights how digital person-to-person payment technology “Swish” (developed in collaboration with Danish banks) is already transforming the country’s banking sector, where there are now entire banks that do not accept cash. Meanwhile, the Swedish public is being urged to stop using cash by no less a cultural icon than ABBA’s Björn Ulveaus, who brags that the ABBA museum is now a cashless institution.
UK – In 2014 cashless payments surpassed cash payments for the first time in the UK, with research (from cashless payment provider Kalixo Pro) suggesting that the average Brit only carries £17.79 in cash at any time and 1 in 4 will walk away if a business doesn’t accept card payment. London buses went cashless in 2014 and just last year the Bank of England’s chief economist made the case for negative interest rates and abolishing cash.