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Venezuela Has Gone Cashless (And That’s Not All)

Venezuela Has Gone Cashless (And That’s Not All)

Writing about the current situation in my country is becoming increasingly difficult. Just checking my personal chats with all the information I receive is heartbreaking. People I have known my entire life are having a very hard time and are being harassed.

Collecting information from friends and acquaintances has been very hard for me. Writing about it all without feeling the effect has proven to be very challenging. Keeping the cold shadow over my heart at bay when I talk with people is the reason for the delay in my writing.

One of the biggest pieces of news recently is that Venezuela has gone almost completely cashless. But that’s not all.

What happened to the reported economic recovery?

Disinformation. That is what happened.

National cash is gone. Electronic is the only currency accepted. Some exceptions are made in border cities, like San Cristobal. USD or Colombian Pesos are accepted there.

Gini Coefficient is used to measure inequality. Ranging from (1) 0% to (1) 100%: a higher Gini coefficient means greater inequality. According to Gini, Venezuela is around 39. One of the lowest in the region, with a trend towards equity.

This is absolutely laughable.

Why? Two factors. The first one being the absence of reliable data on Venezuela. The World Bank estimates, due to lack of information, the economic chaos, and total absence of transparency, it is quite difficult to trace the data. Even if some data is found, it’s going to be very hard to verify it and can’t be trusted. The latest national survey on living conditions (Encovi) indicates this coefficient at 51, which would rank it as the most unequal in Latin America after Brazil.

What about the cost of essential items?

These are a few of the most recent food prices. Amidst crisis, chaos and a pandemic they have remained relatively the same.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mapping out the Banking Elite’s Goal for a Cashless Monetary System – Part Two

Mapping out the Banking Elite’s Goal for a Cashless Monetary System – Part Two

In the first part of this article we traced the development of the ‘Utility Settlement Coin‘ – a project that began in 2015 and which has now evolved through the inception of a consortium called Fnality International. Fnality are comprised of a number of the world’s biggest banks including Barclays and UBS, all of whom are shareholders in the scheme. Their objective as stated on the company’s website reads:

Fnality International has been founded to create a network of decentralised Financial Market Infrastructures (dFMIs) to deliver the means of payment-on-chain in tomorrow’s wholesale banking markets.

In practice, what Fnality are seeking to deliver is the construction of a distributed ledger technology based global payment system, one that can ‘facilitate tokenised, peer-to-peer markets‘.

Before we look into this more, let’s examine some of the key figureheads behind the project. First there is the CEO Rhomaios Ram, who for the best part of two decades worked for Deutsche Bank in roles that included European Head of Currencies & Commodities and Head of Transaction Banking in the UK and Ireland. The Chairman of Fnality, Jim Turley, has also worked at Deutsche Bank in various different positions. Outside of commercial banking, Turley once served on the board of the New York Fed Foreign Exchange Committee.

But perhaps the standout name on Fnality’s management team is Daniel Heller, the firm’s advisor on regulatory affairs. Described as an expert in financial sector regulation and financial stability, Heller has a track record of having served at both the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. At the BIS he was head of the Secretariat of the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, whilst at the IMF he was the executive director for Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and four Central Asian republics. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Rush To A Cashless Society Only Serves Globalist Interests

The Rush To A Cashless Society Only Serves Globalist Interests

A fundamental pillar of true free markets is the existence of choice; the availability of options from production to providers to purchase mechanisms without interference from governments or corporate monopolies. Choice means competition, and competition drives progress. Choice can also drive changes within society, for if people know a better or more secure way of doing things exists, why would anyone want to stay trapped within the confines of a limited system? At the very least, people should be allowed to choose economic mechanisms that work best for their particular situation.

This is NOT how our society functions today, and free market do not exist anywhere in modern nations including the US. Whenever I hear someone (usually a socialist) blame free market “capitalism” for the oppressive ailments of the world, I have to laugh. The alliance between governments and corporate monopolies (what Mussolini called national socialism or fascism) makes free markets utterly impossible. What we have today is an amalgamation of socialist economic interference and corporatocracy. Our system is highly restrictive and micro-managed for everyone except the money elites, who do not have to follow the same rules the rest of us do.

Of course, I might be preaching to the choir when it comes to these issues. But, there are some underlying developments being pushed forward by globalists hell-bent on a one world monetary system and a one world government that even many liberty activists are not fully aware of.

In alternative economic circles, the US dollar is seen as the end-all-be-all of fiat currency dominance. Many activists see it as the key to the power of the global elites and they think the Federal Reserve is the top of the globalist pyramid. This is not exactly true.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“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

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, nowas 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.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NIRP, Cash Bans and Wealth Taxes Are Coming to the US

NIRP, Cash Bans and Wealth Taxes Are Coming to the US

If you’re looking for a template for what’s coming to the US during the next crisis, Europe is the place to start.

Europe has already imposed cash grabs via Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP). That’s where banks CHARGE you for the right to keep your money.

Europe is also where ATMs and banks have limited cash withdrawals, so people who try to avoid paying the interest caused by NIRP face obstacle after obstacle as they try to get their money out.

Europe is also where regulators seized over 50% of deposits over a certain amount in order to prop up a failing bank. It’s called a “Bail-In” but it was abject theft.

If you think these things aren’t coming to the US, you’re mistaken. As I detail out in my best-selling book The Everything Bubble: The Endgame For Central Bank Policy the political elite have already been looking into ways to implement ALL of these strategies.

And if you think this will only be targeted at the very wealthy, consider that the IMF has already proposed a 10% wealth tax on NET wealth for everyone.

Retailers Rejecting Customers’ Cash As More Ban Paper Money

“Your cash is not wanted here”, a growing number of retailers and restaurants throughout the US and UK are telling customers. But are reasons being given by companies for the new “cashless” approach — speed, efficiency, and the safety of store employees — valid enough to require something as utterly and downright unAmerican as rejecting cash?

We think not, and unfortunately the trend of “cash not welcome here” establishments is growing, to the point that lawmakers are beginning to take note and could introduce legislation barring the practice, as Massachusetts has done already, and as the New Jersey State House could be set to do next. According to a Federal Reserve survey conducted in 2017 cited in The Wall Street Journal, cash represented 30% of all transactions in America, with 55% of those being under $10.

via the NY Times

Regardless of Americans’ longtime preference for plastic in most transactions, many of which take place online, research by the Federal Reserve found that cash is still king in terms of Americans’ daily lives and usage, and as the study concluded further, this remains true across all income levels:

Not only is cash used frequently for small value and in-person purchases, it is also used by a wide array of consumers. The data on cash use by household income provides two main insights. First, consumers make—on average—14 cash transactions per month, regardless of household income. It is also noteworthy that cash was the most, or second most, used payment instrument regardless of household income, indicating that its value to consumers as a payment instrument was not limited to lower income households that may be less likely to have access to an account at a financial institution.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Money: the silent killer

Money: the silent killer

In Sweden, which is famously on the way to becoming cash-free, you can find signs in shop windows that say ‘we don’t take cash because electronic payments are better for the environment’.

Since cash does require a certain amount of resource use for its production process and transportation, and since in general we’re encouraged to go paperless as much as we can, this idea may seem – at first, anyway – to make sense.

And if electronic money truly required only the modest amount of energy that goes into creating bank cards or whichever payment device is being employed, along with a bit more energy for moving the data around in cyberspace, then it would very likely be true.

Swedish business sign saying “a big thank you for your card payments! From 1 February 2017 we will be cash-free. Better for the environment, secure, quick and easy.”

Indeed, a recent study by the Dutch central bank seemed to back up the Swedish store owners’ assumptions. It investigated the ecological footprint generated by cash and compared it to that of electronic payments, and found that cash was the loser.

However, there’s a very important missing variable in the Dutch study: how the money comes into existence in the first place.

With cash, that’s pretty straightforward. The central bank creates cash and it then gets distributed to private banks. (Corresponding deductions are made to their ‘reserve accounts’ at the central bank. Then it’s put into ATMs.) Apart from the up-front ecological costs mentioned above there is nothing else to worry about.

Electronic money, in its current form anyway, is a very different beast. And since it makes up about 97% of money in circulation, it deserves serious attention.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sweden Is on the Verge of Going Completely Cashless: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Sweden Is on the Verge of Going Completely Cashless: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Sweden is rapidly turning into a cashless society, which seems like the utopian dream of many a government figure. What could possibly go wrong from the government’s point of view? Isn’t it ideal that they could soon digitally control every single person in the country?

Actually, quite a few things are going wrong. So much so that even members of the government are expressing concern.

Sweden is the most cashless society in the world

The change is happening fast in the European country.

“No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across Sweden as payments go digital and mobile…

…Sweden is widely regarded as the most cashless society on the planet. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; many shops, museums and restaurants now only accept plastic or mobile payments…

…Last year, the amount of cash in circulation in Sweden dropped to the lowest level since 1990 and is more than 40 per cent below its 2007 peak. The declines in 2016 and 2017 were the biggest on record…

…An annual survey by Insight Intelligence released last month found that only 25 per cent of Swedes paid in cash at least once a week in 2017, down from 63 per cent just four years ago. A full 36 per cent never use cash, or just pay with it once or twice a year. (source)

Cash is used so infrequently that the government of the country has demonstrated concern. And this isn’t just in the big cities. A source in rural Sweden tells me that even in his remote area, the push to go cashless is omnipresent.

What could possibly go wrong?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Backlash Against War on Cash Reaches the Bank of Canada

Backlash Against War on Cash Reaches the Bank of Canada

A cashless society could have “adverse collective outcomes.”

In recent months, a slew of political and financial institutions have raised concerns about the march toward a cashless economy. They include:

  • The ECB warned that a phase-out of cash could pose a serious risk to the financial system. Depending too heavily on electronic payment systems could expose financial systems to catastrophic failures in the event of power outages or cyber attacks. The European Commission has also backed off is war on cash.
  • The People’s Bank of China announced that all businesses in China that are not e-commerce must resume accepting cash or risk being investigated, and cautioned businesses against hyping the “cashless” idea when promoting non-cash payments.
  • In Sweden, one of the most cashless societies, the central bank and parliament have spoken out in support of cash.
  • Cities too have spoken out, including Washington D.C., whose City Council introduced a bill that sought to ban restaurants and retailers from not accepting cash or charging a different price to customers depending on the method of payment they use.

Now, it’s the Bank of Canada’s turn to sound the alarm. In a paper — “Is a Cashless Society Problematic?” — it outlines a number of risks that could arise if the country went fully cashless.

The premise underpinning the analysis is that at some point in the future individuals and firms decide, of their own volition, to cease using cash altogether. In response, the central bank stops printing physical money because of the large fixed costs inherent in supplying bank notes.

In such a scenario, even though most individuals and firms freely choose to abandon cash, there could be “adverse collective outcomes,” the study warns.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Historic Judgment” As India’s Nationwide Biometric ID Database Ruled Constitutional

“Historic Judgment” As India’s Nationwide Biometric ID Database Ruled Constitutional

As the march toward a cashless (and privacy-less) society accelerates forward, a new high watermark has been reached.

India first introduced its concept for a nationwide biometric ID database more than 7 years ago, which they touted as a necessary “social welfare” program to assist the millions of India’s unbanked, streamline welfare distribution and reduce corruption. At the time, Brandon Turbeville reported on the plan for Activist Post.

Yet, although the justification for the billion person database is the increased ability to accurately disperse social welfare benefits, it will not be just the Indian government’s social welfare programs that have access to and utilize the UIDAI. Indeed, even before the program has been completed, major banks, state/local governments, and other institutions are planning to use the UIDAI for identification verification purposes and, of course, payment and accessibility.

As Aaron Saenz of the Singularity Hub writes:

Yet the UID is going to be used for much more than social welfare programs. The UIDAI is in discussion with many institutions (banks, local/state governments, etc.) to allow them to use the UID as a means of identity verification. These institutions will pay the UIDAI some fee to cover costs and generate revenue. There seems to be little doubt that once it is established, the UID will become a preferred method (if not the preferred method) of identification in India.

Saenz also sees the eventuality of the UIDAI program becoming a means of payment and accessibility. He continues:

Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if the UID, with its biometric data, could be used as a means of payment (when linked to a bank account), or as an access key to homes and cars. Purchase a meal with your fingerprint and unlock your door with the twinkle in your eye. Similar results could be expected in other nations that adopted biometric identification systems.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Credit-Cardholders & Bank Customers Burned Again as New IT Chaos Breaks Out in the UK

Credit-Cardholders & Bank Customers Burned Again as New IT Chaos Breaks Out in the UK

The payments industry deplores it, but cash is starting to look pretty good, and central banks agree: “We do not foresee a totally cashless society”: ECB

This has not been a good year for IT systems in the UK. First there was TSB Bank’s botched IT migration in April, which resulted in millions of customers being blocked from their online accounts. The problems at the bank continue to fester even to this day, 22 weeks later. Then there was the Visa outage in June, which caused chaos across much of Western Europe, but particularly in the UK where consumers are far more reliant on contactless Visa cards. And now there’s British Airways and Lloyds Banking Group.

On Thursday, British Airways announced that up to 380,000 card payments on both its website and app had been compromised during a 15-day data breach. BA says the breach affected bookings made between 10.58 pm on August 21 and 9.45 pm on September 5. The compromised data included the personal and financial details of the passengers that booked during that period.

BA says it was not a breach of the airline’s encryption. “There were other methods, very sophisticated efforts, by criminals in obtaining our data,” BA’s chief executive, Álex Cruz, said.

Some customers have complained of having to cancel cards as a result of the breach while others are considering changing their online passwords. BA launched a massive charm offensive assuring customers who lose out financially that they will be compensated. That didn’t stop the shares of BA’s Anglo-Spanish multinational holding company, International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A., from falling 5% between Thursday and Friday.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GOING CASHLESS?? Someone Better Tell The Federal Reserve As Currency In Circulation Reaches New High

GOING CASHLESS?? Someone Better Tell The Federal Reserve As Currency In Circulation Reaches New High

With all the talk about Central banks going “Cashless,”  someone needs to tell the Federal Reserve.  Why?  Because the Federal Reserve just placed another large order for newly printed 2018 Dollars.  Interestingly, the U.S. Treasury will print the largest number of $100 bills since it came out with the updated anti-counterfeit $100 bill in 2013.

Not only is the Federal Reserve ordering more bills to replace worn-out bills that will be taken out of circulation, but it will also add a percentage for the increased public demand.  And let me tell you, this demand continues to rise significantly.  For example, total U.S. currency in circulation is now $1.57 trillion, up nearly double from the $792 billion in 2007:

Not only has total U.S. currency in circulation nearly doubled since the last Market Crash (2008), the Federal Reserve plans to add a lot more “Paper Notes” this year based on even higher demand.  From the Federal Reserve website on How does the Federal Reserve Board determine how much currency to order each year?:

We use the majority of new notes printed each year to replace unfit notes that Reserve Banks have removed from circulation. For example, we estimate that in 2015, 85 percent of the new notes printed will replace destroyed currency, while the remaining 15 percent will meet increased public demand.

So, the Fed states that they replace 85% of old Notes with new ones and add 15% for increased public demand.  However, in their current 2018 Federal Reserve Print Note order, they published the following:

The nearly 7.4 billion notes included in the FY 2018 order reflect the Board’s estimate of net demand for currency from domestic and international customers. The print order is determined by denomination and is based on destruction rates and historical payments to and receipts from circulation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Backlash Against “War on Cash” Reaches Washington & China

Backlash Against “War on Cash” Reaches Washington & China

The electronic-payments industry, which gets a cut from every electronic transaction, wants to kill cash. But wait…

Not so long ago, it seemed that the death of cash was both inevitable and imminent. The war against physical money was advancing on all fronts. Cash, already with technological and generational trends stacked against it, faced an imposing array of enemies, including private banks, fintech firms, telecom behemoths, credit card giants, assorted NGOs, tech magnates like Bill Gates and Tim Cook, a bewildering alphabet soup of UN agencies and many national governments. All wanted (and to a great extent still want) to accelerate the demise of physical money, for their own disparate motives.

But a study released in June by UK-based online payments company Paysafe confirmed that consumers on both sides of the Atlantic continue to cling to physical lucre: 87% of consumers surveyed in the UK, Canada, the US, Germany, and Austria said they had used cash to make purchases in the last month, 83% visited ATMs, and 41% said they are not interested in even hearing about cash alternatives.

Now, even certain branches of government are pushing back against the cashless trend. In Washington D.C., city councilors have introduced a new bill that would make it illegal for restaurants and retailers not to accept cash or charge a different price to customers depending on the type of payment they use. The bill is in response to efforts by retailers in the city and around the country – like the salad chain Sweetgreen – to go 100% cashless.

Such moves have been decried as discriminatory against the roughly one-quarter of people in the U.S. who would have trouble using a card or some other electronic means of payment, not to mention those who would just prefer to use cash. “Certain underbanked customers have to use cash; they don’t have other alternatives.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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

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.

“Ice Nine” Comes to China

The war on cash has been going on for decades. The U.S. abolished the $500 bill in late 1969. (The old $500 bill featured a portrait of President William McKinley, by the way. I remember seeing a few when I was a kid.)

Today’s $100 bill is only worth 10 cents on the dollar compared with the $100 bill of 1969.

Europe will abolish the 500 euro this year. We all recall what happened in India in late 2016 when India abolished the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes (worth about $10 and $20, respectively); there was mass chaos as peasants lined up to turn in the old notes for digital credit.

ATMs were shut down because the replacement notes were too big for the ATMs!

Now the war on cash is being taken to a new level. China, the world’s most populous country and the world’s second-largest economy, has said that physical cash may soon become obsolete.

China has huge digital payments platforms developed by their own companies Tencent and Alibaba, in addition to traditional credit and debit cards and mobile phone payments.

Movements like this might start slowly, but they gain momentum and end quickly. Cash can be expensive to handle because vendors have to hire armored cars to move it, buy machines to count it, pay premiums to insure it and risk losses due to theft.

Those costs only make sense if they can be spread among a high volume of cash. Once cash usage falls below that critical threshold, the handling costs per unit are too high and merchants quickly abandon cash altogether.

China may be getting close to that tipping point, and will get there sooner if the government pushes cash off the ledge by regulation.

This is consistent with the Communist plan for total control of their people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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