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Transparent citizens, negative interest rates and other crazy ideas of economic experts

Transparent citizens, negative interest rates and other crazy ideas of economic experts

In a March paper, Alexei Kireyev of the International Monetary Fund advises abolishing cash without having the citizens aware of the process. First, large banknotes are to be withdrawn from circulation, next limits on cash transactions are to be imposed, then computerization of the world’s financial system and control of international cash transactions are to be enforced and, finally, private companies are to be encouraged to avoid cash transactions The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing.

Kireyev draws on the ideas of former IMF chief Kenneth Rogoff. In his 2016 book “The Curse of Money”, he advocated the abolition of cash. In his opinion, it would contribute to the fight against crime, tax evasion and the reduction of the grey area. The ECB obliged him and promised not to print the 500 euro note after 2018. The government of India did the same thing: on November 9,2016, it unexpectedly devaluated all 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes over the night – a severe blow against the black economy and corruption. The next day, chaos reigned on India’s streets – crowds of people in front of banks, empty ATMs – everyone wanted to withdraw his money, exchange the old rupees for new, valid ones, and there were even casualties.1)

The other governments eagerly followed this ideas of great economic gurus, not worrying about what was happening in the Indian streets: Australia wants to withdraw its 100 notes from circulation,2)and Venezuela has already abolished the 100 bolivar note. France, Italy, Spain and Greece already have ceilings for cash withdrawals, and a ceiling of EUR €5000 is currently being discussed in Germany. In some countries, the renunciation of cash is becoming a means of political struggle. In Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki introduced cashless payments to the state postal service. Soon it will also be possible to pay his tickets directly on the patrol car.

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