It has not been more than a few weeks since India stunned the world by declaring war on its largest denominated banknotes. The latest battle in the war on cash has since transpired in the “land down under,” Australia. Swiss banking giant UBS recently proposed getting rid of Australia’s $50 and $100 bills. They had the nerve to declaim this would be both “good for the economy and good for the banks.”
Sadly, this is far from the first instance of a financial institution calling for a society without cash in Australia, or for that matter anywhere other than down under. The first real salvo came with the Australian-based Westpac Bank report they published back in September of 2015 entitled, “Cash Free Report.” In this paper, they suggested that the entire nation would go cash-free no later than 2022.
Then more recently in July of 2016, the Australian payment processing company Tyro sent out a self-benefitting post that bragged about all of the many advantages to attaining the level of cash-free society. They declaimed imperiously that “it’s only a matter of time.” A little over a week ago, the world renowned Citibank sided with this logic when it declared that it would cheerfully be going cashless in some of its own Australian bank branches.
The Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald began publishing a series of articles in February of 2016. Among these were pieces penned by the Australian Department of the Treasury where they insinuated that getting rid of cash will “save billions.” “Moving to a cashless society is the next step for the Australian dollar,” they boldly declared. It is no surprise that the media, banks, academia, and now government are all working together in concert to advance this concept to consumers that going cash-free is optimal for all parts of society.
Is there any truth to this cost-saving idea or is merely another unprovable statement carefully bandied about by the elite of society for their own beneficial dark designs? It is true that eliminating cash would likely save a great amount of money. The cost to print and transport the paper currency safely is enormous precisely because of the need to protect it from potential theft in transit.
The truth is that a cashless society would also be beneficial to banks. UBS astutely mentioned in its article that the elimination of Australian $100 and $50 bills would effectively require any citizens keeping these at home to deposit them into the banks. Ultimately this would grow both bank deposits as well as their subsequent profits.
Governments win from such an arrangement because if all savings are harbored within the banking system, the government already has full regulatory control on the banks. This makes it easier for the government to pursue any needed Civil Asset Forfeiture or capital controls as they so desire. The one party in society that does not secure any benefits from going cashless is YOU.
This is because cash offers you numerous benefits to this day. It provides total financial anonymity. It leaves no permanent record trail for any transaction in which you engage or purchase that you make. It simply allows you to cut back your overall financial system risks.
You can shake your head and surmise that this problem is an Asian or Oceanian one, but do not be so easily fooled. The war on cash is occurring all over the globe right now, most aggressively in Asia/Pacific at the moment, but it is also knocking on your doors in Europe and North America.
Holding cash in hand is a way to reduce your dependence on the governments and banks. Unfortunately, cash has proven itself time and again to be a tragic store of value over any longer term time frame. Fortunately, precious metals provide you with substantially better and still financially anonymous alternatives.
Is your portfolio ready to weather the intergovernmental war on cash?
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