Forget the ‘war on terror’ or even the ‘war on drugs’. There is a new war in town: The ‘war on cash’.
JP Morgan Chase recently informed some of its customers that cash can no longer be stored in their safety deposit boxes. In a letter titled “Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement,” some clients were told: “You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value.”
Earlier this year JP Morgan started restricting the use of cash in certain markets, including greater Cleveland, where customers were hit with a new policy that restricts cash payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines, auto loans and safety deposit boxes.
This rule, of course, flaunts the “inconvenient” fact of what’s blatantly written on our currency, that “The note is legal tender for all debts, public and private”. If you’re one of these JP Morgan customers, you’re out of luck.
But it doesn’t end there for the war on cash.
Earlier this year, JP Morgan told some of their larger clients that they would be charging fees on deposits. It used to be that when you gave your bank money, they would pay you interest. But with interest rates near zero, there is little to be made for banks to hold onto cash.
What does the future hold for a cashless society?
Famed economist James Rickards has made some bold predictions for our future.
For those unfamiliar with Rickards, he’s the guy the Pentagon called to carry out its war game exercises and is a former financial analyst for the CIA. More recently, he published a book titled “The Death of Money”. The guy is in the loop with what the establishment is thinking and has planned.
Rickards predicts a cashless society in which digital money is the new normal. At first, the public may view this as a convenience – no need to carry around that burdensome physical money! – but this view may change if the government were to assert more control. In theory, they would be able to monitor all transactions you make and freeze any of your accounts.
Our governments have already taken a step in this direction. Should we face another global financial crisis like 2008, last November they implemented new rules that allow for bailing in banks, as has already been done in Cyprus.
It’s important to note that this look into the future is merely one possible scenario. No one can predict the future, and over here at Birch Gold Group, our crystal ball is also broken. But Rickards has an established track record, so his view on the trajectory of this current ‘war on cash’ should not be taken lightly.
We already see evidence of this ‘war’ in other parts of the world. In recent years we have seen:
- Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal
- Switzerland has proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs
- Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000
- Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500
- Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000
- France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000
Again, it’s anyone’s best guess for where this ‘war on cash’ will take us. But with what Rickards is predicting, and with what many countries have already done, it doesn’t look pretty.