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The War on Cash - Why now?

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What exactly does a 'war on cash' mean? It means governments are limiting the use of cash and a variety of official-mouthpiece economists are calling for the outright abolition of cash.

Authorities are both restricting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and limiting what can be purchased with cash. These limits are broadly called 'capital controls.'

Why Now? Before we get to that, let’s distinguish between physical cash - currency and coins in your possession - and digital cash in the bank. The difference is self-evident: Cash in hand cannot be confiscated by a 'bail-in' (i.e., officially sanctioned theft) in which the government or bank expropriates a percentage of cash deposited in the bank. Cash in hand cannot be chipped away by negative interest rates or fees. Cash in the bank cannot be withdrawn in a financial emergency that shutters the banks (i.e., a bank holiday).

When pundits suggest cash is 'obsolete,' they mean physical paper money and coins, not cash in a bank. Cash in the bank is perfectly fine with the government and its well-paid yes-men (paging Mr. Rogoff and Mr. Buiter) because this cash can be expropriated by either 'bail-ins' or by negative interest rates.

Read the full Article at Mises Daily

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