For those concerned about inflation and the reduction in the buying power of a U.S. dollar over the century, their concerns, for now, can be put aside. For those who have been excited about the move to a cashless society going all plastic all the time, their excitement needs to be harnessed and checked.
For those in both groups freedom is at risk and their anonymity is about to be taken from them.
It is bad news for everyone. What is the news?
There are open high-level discussions about eliminating cash, and banks around the world are taking small initial steps to restrict the use of cash. This is a warning.
While going cashless has long been discussed in terms of efficiency, convenience, and cost savings, the new discussion is in response to historic levels of government debt around the world and the unprecedented risk imposed on financial markets by zero interest rate policies and quantitative easing (QE) measures of the world's largest central banks led by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The rapidity with which academics, fiscal and monetary policymakers, banking executives, and global financial institutions have embraced the open discussion is stunning and reveals just how serious the financial risks are around the world as seen in Greece or Switzerland.
Banks are already working towards ending the use of cash as a means of savings and exchange, or in the case of Switzerland, protection from negative interest rates. JP Morgan won't allow payments in cash, nor can customers keep cash in their safe deposit boxes. HSBC is restricting amounts of cash that is allowed to be withdrawn. National governments are using what were once banking laws to battle the drug trade to restrict the use of cash deposits and withdrawals in amounts above $5,000.00; depending on the country. In Greece, the deeply indebted government is openly talking about taxing cash deposits, adding additional fees to cash ATM transactions, and requiring government agencies and businesses to turn in their cash to the central bank.
It would appear interest rates at or below zero for extended periods, printing trillions of dollars by central banks, and unchecked debt accumulation by national governments is bad for the fractional reserve banking system.
At the start of June 2016, with negative interest rates in some countries, near zero interest rates in many more, for the individual consumer and saver, Cash is King. Governments with unsustainable debt burdens are eying their citizen's cash as a backstop. Banks need their customer's cash as liquidity and as a hedge against their portfolios of bad debt, poor investments, and weak loan demand. Consider the control governments, banks, and corporations would have over our daily life and the knowledge of how we conduct it if there is no more cash. Think of the control they would have over our habits and behavior.
While U.S. bank notes and coins have lost a significant amount of buying power over the years due to inflation, cash is still a store of value, a means of exchange, and a method of transaction which maximizes freedom and privacy.
If you wish to choose to stop using cash, no problem. However, we cannot allow banks, indebted governments, or unaccountable globalist institutions making it so. America's elected officials had better be paying attention and be ready to step in and defend the rights of personal freedom and anonymity that comes with using cash.