Control, Tax, Confiscate
BALTIMORE – Harvard economist Larry Summers is a reliable source of claptrap. And a frequent spokesman for the Deep State.
To bring new readers up to speed, voters don’t get a say in who runs the country. Instead, a “shadow government” of elites, cronies, lobbyists, bureaucrats, politicians, and zombies – aka the Deep State – is permanently in power.
Larry Summers – the man with a plan for everyone. An economist whose economic theorizing is truly abominable crap (more on this in an upcoming post), a reliable, crypto-fascist, bought and paid for evil intellectual in the service of the Deep State. His “policy proposals” all have one thing in common: they are apodictically certain to restrict economic progress and individual liberty.
Photo credit: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images
Put simply, it doesn’t matter which party is in power; the Deep State rules. Want to know what the Deep State is up to now? Read Larry Summers.
“It’s time to kill the $100 bill,” he wrote in the Washington Post (another reliable source of claptrap).
The Deep State wants you to use money it can easily control, tax, and confiscate. And paper currency is getting in its way.
France has already banned residents from making cash transactions of €1,000 ($1,114) or more. Norway and Sweden’s biggest banks urge the outright abolition of cash. And there are plans at the highest levels of government in Israel, India, and China to remove cash from circulation.
Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan predicts that cash “probably won’t exist” 10 years from now. And here is Mr. Summers in the Washington Post:
“Illicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds, as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note.”
He proposes “a global agreement to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100. Such an agreement would be as significant as anything else the G7 or G20 has done in years.”
What makes Mr. Summers so confident that a ban on Ben Franklins would be a good thing? It turns out that a research paper – presented by Peter Sands, the former CEO of British bank Standard Chartered, and published for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government – says so.
“High denomination notes,” said the report, “play little role in the functioning of the legitimate economy, yet a crucial role in the underground economy.”
Mr. Sands should know about hiding money. While he was CEO, New York’s top financial regulator threatened to strip Standard Chartered of its banking license. It claimed the bank “schemed” with the Iranian government to hide at least 60,000 illegal transactions – involving at least $250 billion.
If the Benjamin is killed, it will “deter illicit activities” they say, apparently taking us all for complete idiots. Very organized criminals all over the world could be heard rolling on the floor laughing their heads off at this pronouncement. Here’s another idea: if we lock all the peasants up in a small room without doors and windows, they will no longer have to suffer the indignities and dangers inflicted by bad weather! Never again will they be made wet and uncomfortable by rain, and the threat of skin cancer due to excessive exposure to sunlight (as recently highlighted by Hugh Jackman’s withering nose) will soon be but a distant memory. Isn’t such a comprehensive level of security well worth whatever small trade-offs it involves?
Here at the Diary, we don’t pretend to know how to improve the world. We just know what we like. And we don’t like other people telling us what to do. Last year, we traveled all around the world. We went where we wanted to go. We did more or less what we wanted to do. Rarely did we feel that someone was bossing us around. But back in the USA…
“Take your belt off. Take your shoes off. Anything in your pockets? Take it out…”
“Turn on lights. Fasten seat belts. Turn on windshield wipers.”
This morning, walking through the park, we found this sign:
Curb Your Pets
Not just a courtesy to your neighbors
IT’S THE LAW
The unspoken threat behind the “law”, made explicit.
Image credit: Francesco Francavilla
People who insist you follow their ideas are always the same people whose ideas are idiotic.
“Always do the opposite of what they tell you do,” said a friend in France whose father was mayor of a small town during World War II.
“There had been ‘an incident.’” he explained. “I think the Resistance had killed a German soldier in the area. It was that time, late in the war, when the Nazis were retaliating against civilians.
“So, they told my father to get everyone in town to assemble in the town square. Instead, my father told everyone to run for the woods. They all did. They were lucky. They survived the war.”
And now, Mr. Summers wants us to bring our cash to the town square. Instead of $100 bills, he wants to force us to use electronic notations faithfully recorded in a federally regulated bank. Have you ever seen one of these “electronic dollars,” dear reader?
We have not. We don’t know what they look like. And we’re deeply suspicious of the whole thing. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan – along with central banks in Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland have already imposed a negative interest rate “tax” on the accounts commercial banks hold with them (known as “reserve accounts”).
Negative yielding government bonds in Europe as of December 2015 – a monument to the decline of Western civilization
These central banks are hoping banks will pass on this new tax to their customers. This has already happened in Switzerland…
As colleague Chris Lowe told Bonner & Partners Family Office members at our recent annual meeting in Rancho Santana in Nicaragua, Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) will begin charging a negative interest rate on customers’ deposits this year.
ABS will levy an annual penalty of 0.125% on deposits of less than 100,000 Swiss francs ($101,173) and an annual penalty of 0.75% on deposits of more than 100,000 Swiss francs. Essentially, ABS is charging its customers to keep their money on deposit.
If you put $1 million in the bank, at 0.75% negative interest, you come back a year later, and you have $992,500 left. The bank has confiscated the other $7,500. At a negative rate of, say, 3%… you pay $30,000 a year just to keep your money on deposit. It sounds like a scam…
Governments abolish cash. You have no choice but to leave your savings on deposit. And you’re forced to pay banks for storing your money.
But wait. Banks are not really storing “your” money at all. A bank deposit is an IOU from your bank. There is no vault cash backing it up… just 1s and 0s on a database somewhere. If the bank decides not to give you “your” money, you’re out of luck.
It’s as though someone offers to store your cherry pie. Then he goes and eats the pie, promising to give you one just like it when you want it. He then has the cheek to charge you every month for “storing” the pie. And when you want it, he won’t be able to give it to you.
The precedent – no-one can say they weren’t warned.
Cartoon by Harm Bengen
“I don’t have any baking powder. You’ll have to come back tomorrow,” he says. Or, “I’m sorry. But the federal government has declared cherries an endangered species. I’m not allowed to give you your pie back. It was very tasty, though.”
How much could this electronic pie be worth anyway… if you have to pay someone to eat it for you? Imagine the automobile you have to pay someone to drive away. Or the rental unit you have to pay someone to live in.
When you have to pay someone to take it off your hands, you can imagine how much your money is really worth. And when your bank – or the Deep State – wants to confiscate your money, who will stop it?
At least if you have your money in cold, hard cash, they will have to come and physically get it from you. When it is “in the bank” – existing as nothing but electronic account balances – all they have to do is push a button.
Once it’s all numbers in a computer, they won’t even have to point their guns at you anymore. Then it will be possible to rub out your money savings by simply pushing a button on a computer keyboard. At that juncture you’d better not be too uppity, citizen.
Cartoon by Chappatte
That’s what happened in Cyprus. The banks were going to the wall. So, they confiscated deposits to help make themselves whole again. Who will stop the same thing from happening in America?
The judge the Deep State appointed? The police on the Deep State’s payroll? The politicians the Deep State bought and paid for?
When cash is outlawed… only outlaws will have cash. And we intend to be among them.
Chart by: Deutsche Bank
Chart and image captions by PT
The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.
Dear Readers! We are happy to report that we have reached our turn-of-the-year funding goal and want to extend a special thank you to all of you who have chipped in. We are very grateful for your support! As a general remark, according to usually well informed circles, exercising the donation button in between funding drives is definitely legal and highly appreciated as well.
Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke
4 Responses to “When Cash Is Outlawed… Only Outlaws Will Have Cash”
Most read in the last 20 days:
- Free Money Leaves Everyone Poorer
Destroying Lives BALTIMORE – A dear reader reminded us of the comment, supposedly made by Groucho Marx: “A free lunch? You can’t afford a free lunch.” Groucho dispensing valuable advice Photo via imdb.com He was responding to last week’s Diary about the national referendum in Switzerland on Saturday. Voters will decide whether to give all Swiss residents a free lunch – a guaranteed annual income of about $30,000 a year [ed note: the initiative was...
- Free Speech Under Attack
Offending People Left and Right Bill Bonner, whose Diaries we republish here, is well-known for being an equal opportunity offender - meaning that political affiliation, gender, age, or any other defining characteristics won't save worthy targets from getting offended. As far as we are concerned, we generally try not to be unnecessarily rude to people, but occasionally giving offense is not exactly beneath us either. The motto of the equal opportunity...
- How the Welfare State Dies
Hollande Threatens to Ban Protests Brexit has diverted attention from another little drama playing out in Europe. As of the time of writing, if you Google “Hollande threatens to ban protests” or variations thereof, you will find Russian, South African and even Iranian press reports on the topic. Otherwise, it's basically crickets (sole exception: Politico). Gee, we wonder why? They don't like him anymore: 120.000 protesters recently turned Paris into a war zone. All...
- Moving Closer to BREXIT
Polls Show Growing Support for a Break with the EU In the UK as elsewhere, the political elites may have underestimated the strength of the trend change in social mood across Europe. The most recent “You-Gov” and ICM pools show a widening lead in favor of a UK exit from the EU as the day of the vote comes closer. Pro-BREXIT campaigners Boris Johnson (ex-mayor of London) and Michael Gove (UK Secretary of Justice) are in a good mood. Photo credit: Paul Grover /...
- A Market Ready to Blow and the Flag of the Conquerors
Bold Prediction MICHAELS, Maryland – The flag in front of our hotel flies at half-mast. The little town of St. Michaels is a tourist and conference destination on the Chesapeake Bay. It is far from Orlando, and even farther from Daesh (a.k.a. ISIL) and the Mideast. St. Michaels, Maryland – the town that fooled the British (they say, today). Photo credit: Fletcher6 Out on the river, a sleek sailboat, with lacquered wood trim, glides by, making hardly a...
- Toward Freedom: Will The UK Write History?
Mutating Promises We are less than one week away from the EU referendum, the moment when the British people will be called upon to make a historic decision – will they vote to “Brexit” or to “Bremain”? Both camps have been going at each other with fierce campaigns to tilt the vote in their direction, but according to the latest polls, with the “Leave” camp’s latest surge still within the margin of error, the outcome is too close to call. The battle lines are...
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
A Convocation Of Gamblers The Wall Street Journal and BloombergView have just run articles on the shadow banking system in China. This has put me in a nostalgic mood. About 35 years ago when I was living in Japan, I made a side trip to Hong Kong. Asia's Sin City, Macau Photo credit: Nattee Chalermtiragool I took the hydrofoil to Macau one afternoon and the same service back early the next morning. On the morning trip, I am sure that I saw many of the...
- The Real Reason We Have a Welfare State
From Subject to Citizen BALTIMORE – June 5th, the Swiss cast their votes and registered their opinions: “No,” they said. We left off yesterday wondering why something for nothing never works. Not as monetary policy. Not as welfare or foreign aid. Not in commerce. Not never, no how. But something for nothing is what people most want. The future Switzerland just managed to dodge... for now The Swiss voted against awarding all citizens a “universal basic...
- The Problem with Corporate Debt
Taking Off Like a Rocket There are actually two problems with corporate debt. One is that there is too much of it... the other is that a lot of it appears to be going sour. Harvey had a good time in recent years...well, not so much between mid 2014 and early 2016, but happy days are here again! Cartoon by Frank Modell As a brief report at Marketwatch last week (widely ignored as far as we are aware) informs us: “Businesses racked up debt in the...
- A Darwin Award for Capital Allocation
Beyond Human Capacity Distilling down and projecting out the economy’s limitless spectrum of interrelationships is near impossible to do with any regular accuracy. The inputs are too vast. The relationships are too erratic. The economy - complex and ever-changing interrelations. Image credit: Andrea Dionne Quite frankly, keeping tabs on it all is beyond human capacity. This also goes for the federal government. Even with all their data gatherers and...
- Brexit Paranoia Creeps Into the Markets
European Stocks Look Really Bad... Late last week stock markets around the world weakened and it seemed as though recent “Brexit” polls showing that the “leave” campaign has obtained a slight lead provided the trigger. The idea was supported by a notable surge in the British pound's volatility. Battening down the hatches... On the other hand, if one looks at European stocks, one could just as well argue that their bearish trend is simply continuing – and...
- Claudio Grass Talks to Godfrey Bloom
Introductory Remarks – About Godfrey Bloom [ed note by PT: Readers may recall our previous presentation of “Godfrey Bloom the Anti-Politician”, which inter alia contains a selection of videos of speeches he gave in the European parliament. Both erudite and entertaining, Mr. Bloom constantly kept the etatistes of the EU on their toes.] Godfrey Bloom, back in his days as UKIP whip Photo credit: Reuters Before becoming a politician, Godfrey Bloom worked for 35 years...