Cashless Society Predictions
In 1913, after several years of financial instability and the fear of a World War, Congress created the Federal Reserve Bank.
Americans were scared and thought that a national bank would protect them from panics.
This happens often.
The government uses a time of fear to grab more power. This happened despite the fact that some of our Founding Fathers were against a Central Bank and thought the concept unconstitutional.
American citizens were told that the Federal Reserve would provide a reserve of liquid assets and also allow for currency and credit to expand and contract with the movements of the U.S. economy.
The Federal Reserve was created on December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law.
The Federal Reserve, as we know it today, has four general responsibilities:
- It conducts the nation’s monetary policy by influencing money and credit conditions in the economy. In other words, the Fed changes money and credit conditions in order to get as close to full employment and stable prices as possible.
- It supervises and regulates banks and other important financial institutions to protect the nation’s financial health and (supposedly) the credit rights of consumers like you and me.
- It maintains the stability of the financial system and contains any type of systemic risk that arises. (Think: fixing extremely low-interest rates during the recession.)
- It provides financial services to the U.S. government, U.S. financial institutions, and foreign official institutions.
In my estimation, however, the Federal Reserve Bank only has two powers:
- To create money out of thin air
- And to lend money they do not have
In my book Fake: Fake Money, Fake Teachers, Fake Assets, I talk about the term “dark money.”
Dark money is money electronically created or “conjured” by the Federal Reserve and other major central banks in the world that flows to big private banks and financial markets.
Where it ultimately goes is untraceable.
The Fed, together with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ), has created nearly $15 trillion worth of dark money. Adding in the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) that figure is a staggering $23 trillion. That dark money goes to the biggest private banks and financial institutions first. From there, it spreads out in seemingly infinite directions affecting different financial assets in different ways.
Dark money represents a new kind of collusion between various governments, central banks, and private banks. They work in tandem to siphon off more power and money for themselves using laws, power-brokering, and quid-pro-quos.
Dark money is a version of fake money because it doesn’t come from the real economy. It is an artificial stimulant to markets that comes from an external source. It can manipulate and distort markets, removing their ability to behave either as free or regulated markets.
As a side note, it’s important to understand that the Federal Reserve Bank is not federal, has no reserves, and is not a bank. Yet, as explained above, the Federal Reserve Bank has the power to control the money supply of the U.S.
There are two main reasons that most people accept as the reason for wanting a cashless society. The first reason is negative interest rates.
Federal Reserve Sets Negative Interest Rates
Let’s pretend the Federal Reserve Bank sets their interest rate at 5%. All the banks who have money reserves with the Federal Reserve Bank have to pay 5% on that reserve of money.
What is important to understand is that the banks are being charged for not lending the money. The banks are being charged for “saving” the money. That is what a negative interest rate means. The banks don’t want to pay the 5%, so they lend all of that money into the real economy. All this money is now in the economy and this boosts consumption and purchases of goods. It also decreases savings.
None of these people borrowing this money from the banks want to lose money because the banks are charging them interest rates as well. So they need to use the money. What do they do? They spend it. They buy new cars, new houses, new everything. They don’t save a penny.
According to Keynesian economists, this will produce a booming economy. As the money keeps flowing through the various hands, the economy is being propped up by the purchases. To a Keynesian, nothing is better for society than for everyone to spend every single dime they earn and save nothing.
But, there is a problem.
The problem, as Richard Werner, economist, and international banking expert has pointed out, is that the banks do not actually lend the reserves that they have on hold with the Federal Reserve Bank. Since the reserves are not being lent out, there is no increase in lending, no increased consumption, and thus, no booming economy.
The Negative Interest Rate Explanation Is A Bust
I believe the Federal Reserve Bank and governments want a cashless society.
A little lesser-known component of a cashless society would be the government’s ability to do “bail-ins.”
If there’s no cash in the system, all of your excess productivity is held in this banking system, in the form of digital currency. Now your money is in danger. You can’t keep it safe under your mattress or in your home safe. Why is that important? Uncle Sam has trillions of dollars of debt. Look at the way governments in debt have acted over history. They take their citizens’ money… your money.
If your money is digital, then there would be no way for you to extract your money from the bank if Uncle Sam wants to come in and take it for himself. He can just swoop in and pay off his $20+ trillion (and growing) debt, using your money.
The Real Reason For a Cashless Society
So what is the REAL reason for wanting a cashless society? Since the banks can’t or won’t lend their reserves, then the Federal Reserve Bank money cannot get out into the economy.
So if the Federal Reserve Bank sets interest rates to negative five percent, that basically becomes a tax that all banks have to pay on these reserves that are stuck at the Federal Reserve Bank.
That makes it so banks only ask for the bare minimum of reserves. This in turn decreases the number of reserves in the system. If there are fewer reserves in the system, that means they are less able to make loans, resulting in fewer loans.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff…
These negative interest rates put tremendous pressure on small retail banks. The negative interest rates decrease the small bank’s ability to lend and increases the small banks’ cost through additional government regulation. This then increases the cost to the consumer making loans even harder to give.
Because the small retail banks can’t make money through traditional lending, they’ve got to nickel and dime their customers to death. This makes them a lot less competitive in the eyes of the consumer.
So why would the Federal Reserve Bank want to create this type of environment for the small retail banks? These negative interest rates and the burden they place on the small banks forces the smaller banks to merge while having to close down many branches. As a result, banks that mainly engage in traditional banking, i.e. lending to businesses for investment, have come under major pressure.
Basically, the agenda of negative interest rates is to drive small banks out of business and consolidate banking sectors in industrialized countries, increasing concentration and control in the banking sector.
What makes this especially problematic is that these small retail banks are responsible for the majority of productive lending in the real economy. These are the banks that lend to small and mid-sized businesses that increase production, economic growth, lower income inequality, and low inflation.
If you wipe out the small retail banks, that means all the business goes to the big banks. The problem is these banks are not interested in small and mid-sized businesses. These big banks are really only interested in doing large transactions that financialize the economy and create asset bubbles.
Whether this spells progress, you can decide. The truth is, we are currently seeing a radical transformation of American culture.
A cashless society, negative interest rates, the Federal Reserve Bank as the only bank left on the planet, and microchips implanted under your skin… it definitely has the makings of a great finance-horror novel, if you ask me.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily