The World’s First Cashless Society Is Here – A Totalitarian’s Dream Come True

electronic-euro-1728x800_cBy Nick Giambruno

Central planners around the world are waging a War on Cash. In just the last few years:

  • Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal;
  • Switzerland proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs;
  • Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000;
  • Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500;
  • Mexico made cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos illegal;
  • Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000; and
  • France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000.

The War on Cash is a favorite pet project of the economic central planners. They want to eliminate hand-to-hand currency so that governments can document, control, and tax everything.


This is why they’re lowering the threshold for mandatory reporting of cash transactions and, in some instances, simply making it illegal to pay cash.

In the U.S., central planners ratchet up the War on Cash every time the government declares a made-up war on something else…a war on crime, a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on terror…

They all end with more government intrusion into your financial affairs.

Thanks to these made-up wars, the U.S. government is imposing an increasing number of regulations on cash transactions. Try withdrawing more than $10,000 in cash from your bank. They’ll treat you like a criminal or terrorist.

The Federal Reserve is at the center of the War on Cash. Its weapons are inflation and control over the currency denominations.

Take the $100 note, for example. It’s the largest bill in circulation today. This was not always the case. At one point, the U.S. had $500, $1,000, $5,000, and even $10,000 notes. But the government eliminated these large notes in 1969 under the pretext of fighting the War on Some Drugs.

Since then, the $100 note has been the largest. But it has far less purchasing power than it did in 1969. Decades of rampant money printing have inflated the dollar. Today, a $100 note buys less than a $20 note did in 1969.

Even though the Federal Reserve has devalued the dollar over 80% since 1969, it still refuses to issue notes larger than $100. This makes it inconvenient to use cash for large transactions, which forces people to use electronic payment methods.

This, of course, is what the U.S. government wants.

It’s exactly like Ron Paul said: “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”

Policymakers or Central Planners?

On stories related to the War on Cash, you may have noticed that the mainstream media often uses the word “policymakers,” as in “policymakers have decided to keep interest rates at record low levels.”

When the media uses “policymakers,” they are often referring to central bank officials. It’s a curious word choice. As far as I can tell, there is no difference between a policymaker and central planner.

Most people who want to live in a free society agree that central planning is not a good idea. So the media uses a different word to put a more neutral spin on things.

To help you think more clearly, I suggest substituting “central planners” every time you see “policymakers.”

The World’s First Cashless Society

In 1661, Sweden became the first country in Europe to issue paper money. Now it’s probably going to be the first in the world to eliminate it.

Sweden has already phased out most cash transactions. According to Credit Suisse, 80% of all purchases in Sweden are electronic and don’t involve cash. And that figure is rising.

If the trend continues – and there is nothing to suggest it won’t – Sweden could soon be the world’s first cashless society.

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Sweden’s supply of physical currency has dropped over 50% in the last six years. A couple of major Swedish banks no longer carry cash. Virtually all Swedes pay for candy bars and coffee electronically. Even homeless street vendors use mobile card readers.

Plus, an increasing number of government restrictions are encouraging Swedes to dump cash. The pretexts are familiar…fighting terrorism, money laundering, etc. In effect, these restrictions make it inconvenient to use cash, so people don’t.

So far, Swedes have passively accepted the government and banks’ drive to eliminate cash. The push to destroy their financial privacy doesn’t seem to bother them. This is likely because the average Swede places an unreasonable amount of trust in government and financial institutions.

Their trust is certainly misplaced. On top of the obvious privacy concerns, eliminating cash enables the central planners’ latest gimmick to goose the economy: Negative interest rates.

Making The Negative Interest Rate Scam Possible

Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland all have negative interest rates.

Negative interest rates mean the lender literally pays the borrower for the privilege of lending him money. It’s a bizarre, upside-down concept.

But negative rates are not some European anomaly. The Federal Reserve discussed the possibility of using negative interest rates in the U.S. at its last meeting.

Negative rates could not exist in a free market. They destroy the impetus to save and build capital, which is the basis of prosperity.

When you deposit money in a bank, you are lending money to the bank. However, with negative rates you don’t earn interest. Instead, you pay the bank.

If you don’t like that plan, you can certainly stash your cash under the mattress. As a practical matter, this limits how far governments and central banks can go with negative interest rates. The more it costs to store money at the bank, the less inclined people are to do it.

Of course, central planners don’t want you to withdraw money from the bank. This is a big reason why they want to eliminate cash…so you can’t. As long as your money stays in the bank, it’s vulnerable to the sting of negative interest rates and also helps to prop up the unsound fractional reserve banking system.

If you can’t withdraw your money as cash, you have two choices: You can deal with negative interest rates…or you can spend your money. Ultimately, that’s what our Keynesian central planners want. They are using negative interest rates and the War on Cash to force you to spend and “stimulate” the economy.

If you ask me, these radical and insane measures are a sign of desperation.

The War on Cash and negative interest rates are huge threats to your financial security. Central planners are playing with fire and inviting a currency catastrophe.

Most people have no idea what really happens when a currency collapses, let alone how to prepare…

How will you protect your savings in the event of a currency crisis? This just-released video will show you exactly how. Click here to watch it now.

Nick is Doug Casey’s globetrotting companion and is the Senior Editor of Casey Research’s International Man. He writes about economics, offshore banking, second passports, value investing in crisis markets, geopolitics, and surviving a financial collapse, among other topics. He is a CFA charterholder. In short, Nick’s work helps people make the most of their personal freedom and financial opportunity around the world. To get his free video crash course, click here.


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35 Comments on "The World’s First Cashless Society Is Here – A Totalitarian’s Dream Come True"

  1. I have no dubt Sweden has completely sold out – blanda upp – video paid for by the government – nothing less than debauchery and hedonism.

    Apparently $2000 is my personal threshold – told this by the U.S. bank.

    The zentral banks must be abolished before any real progress is made.

  2. I never carry that much cash anyway – its too bulky, unless they go back to gold. I know they used to have really big $1000, $5000, and $10000 bills, but those were mostly used for interbank transactions anyway. The big bills were removed for fear of counterfeiting, not money laundering. Can’t even use $100 bills anyway because of it. Got to get rid of the big-spenders in both parties to redress this situation.

    • My son, a registered Republican say he would vote Democrat because he says they are going to screw you anyway. The Republicans lie to you and then screw you. At least you know where you stand with the Democrats. At least you can eliminate the lie. On the subject of carrying large sums of cash, the police can sniff it out and accuse you of a possible drug transaction or terrorist funding. (Guilty until proven innocent) I didn’t think it was supposed to work that way. They will confiscate it and make you prove that you are innocent. You will come out on the short end of the deal after lawyers fees, court costs and other expenses. I haven’t heard of anyone being made whole again after that experience. I think some parts of that law is being changed for the better.

      • If you vote for a democrat, you get the government you deserve. They are by far the biggest liars. Establishment Republicans are a close second.

      • Thinkingman2025 | November 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Reply

        Go ahead and vote for those socialist losers if you want. Republicans (at least the newer ones) are a lot more responsible & careful with other people’s money. Civil forfeiture laws do need reform, as do a lot of other laws and regulations afflicting our economy.

  3. With this new deadly system, another ancient system will also be reborn. The “elites” will NEVER get their version of utopia.

  4. Read the book by Edward Griffin ” The Creature From Jekyll Island” Sounds like a horror book, it is. It tells the tale of the Federal Reserve Bank and it’s evil twin, the IRS. Just the name Federal Reserve Bank is a three part lie. It is not Federal, it has no Reserves and is not a bank in the true sense. It is majority owned by offshore financial interests. I have no financial interest in the book or have ever met the author, just happy I bought it and read it. (Incidentally, to previous commenter bucksdown) My bank says there is no limit that I can withdraw as cash as long as I can cover it. I haven’t tried this yet, the test will be in the doing.

  5. We have a stealth form of NIRP: banks pay .1 to 1% on CD and deposits when inflation is 5 %. You just payed a -4 to -$4.9 % holding your money there for a year.

  6. George Orwell kinda laid it out in his book “1984”. The book, not the movie. The movie was “Dramatized” and a shortened/limited version of what’s in the book.

    • Actually the movie was fart from being even close to the book. Literary license was not only used, but it became a total departure from the book and its premises. The Orwell family should have sued the movie maker for even using the name of the book.

  7. bluefeather6 . | November 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Reply

    WeRe bank may be a solution…
    Peter of England seems a well connected individual and with good intentions, trying to help humanity. What better way to starve the beast, take away the revenue from banksters.

  8. Richard Mace Anderson | November 20, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Reply

    And what about transactions in the private sector? i.e. buying a used car out of the classifieds. I don’t like the idea of the government knowing about every purchaser I make. This goes way beyond socialism.

  9. Removal of cash from business and personal expenditures is just another form of One World Order control of the individual. SLAVERY TO THE STATE.

  10. TARDISOFGALLIFREY | November 20, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Reply

    Have these brainiac central planners thought about what happens to electronic payments when the power goes out during storms and other disasters? Duh!

    • Richard Mace Anderson | November 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Reply

      Only the filthy rich come up with these ideas. They would never soil their lily white hands on the cash that the rest of us have touched. When the power goes out, they pour a bottle of Dom Perignon ’53 into the sink so they can use the bottle for a candle holder. Or their generator kicks on and they’re not even aware that the power is out everywhere else.

  11. One day, all users of fiat money will wake up and suddenly realize they’re all slaves on a global plantation. The ‘great” USA is most evil empire that has ever existed on the face of the Earth, because this is where the Federal Reserve was formed, protected, and festered in the global cancer it is. This private banking cartel has been responsible for an ocean of blood and plague of biblical proportions of human suffering and exploitation.

  12. James E. Rustles | November 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Reply

    In this instance of a cashless society, how does one person make a private sale or transaction with another person? Are they supposed to swipe a card or register the purchase? What if I’m buying a used lawnmower from someone? Or a book? Does this eliminate the flea market/swap meet/garage sale/car boot sale from existence?

  13. A cashless society is the lynch pin for a totalitarian world government. The mark of the beast.

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