• The war on cash is more than a decade old
  • Why cash is the antidote to CBDCs
  • What happens to the de-banked without cash?

Back in 2016, while I was still busy working as a flying trapeze artist in Thailand, an old friend was already publishing his book The War on Cash. Of course, you’ve seen plenty of mentions of the phrase since. But at the time, the idea was just a twinkle in the eye of certain politicians and their banker donors… who have since engaged in an ever more absurd orgy of anti-cash policies.

Indeed, the war on cash has become a wonderful example of what happens when big business and government get in bed together.

But why did they do it in the first place?

Firstly, because cash offers us an escape hatch from many of the government’s policies. They can’t track or control it.

So, conversely, without cash, the government can impose all sorts of madness on us – we have no means of escaping them, if our lives are fully digital.

A digital system means the computer will simply say “no” when we want to spend our money. That can’t happen with cash.

As far as the bankers are concerned, a cashless society dramatically reduces the chances of a run on a bank. If you can’t cash out, the banking system can’t experience deposit flight.

For those of you who haven’t realised, money deposited at the bank becomes the bank’s money. It is owed to you, that’s all. And so, without cash, all our money becomes the bank’s money. You no longer own it and have no means of getting your hands on it. You may only use it, not have it.

As they say over at the World Economic Forum, “you will own nothing and be happy.” Well, that’ll apply to your money, too.

Of course, technically speaking, an individual bank can still lose depositors to other banks and go bust that way. But, with the banking cartel lending each other vast sums of money on a daily basis, only a coordinated attack on one of their number could result in such a scenario.

This might seem unlikely. Why would banks turn on one of their own?

Well, I can think of one reason: the failure to go woke, or toe other politically correct lines.

The fact that ten banks refused to bank Nigel Farage is a sign of just how uniform bank “values” and policies have become. Any bank that fails to toe the line could easily be kneecapped by its competitors by refusing to lend to or do business with it.

Anyway, the war on cash has suited both bankers and governments nicely. It forces us to go digital and that means being captured by the government and holding all our money within the banking system, with no means of escape.

And once you’re in, you’ll hear the door slam shut behind you, like in a film about a haunted house. The awkward feeling you get when the door slams shut is about what can be done to you now that you cannot escape any longer.

Some of your money might expire in the attempt to make you spend it.

They could impose negative interest rates, to encourage you to pump up their GDP and, thereby, political polling results.

You might not be allowed to spend money on cigarettes, or anything that emits too much carbon.

Now, consider just how much of an antidote to such control cash really is…

First of all, cash has no counterparty risk – the risk that a person or institution you rely on lets you down. A stock market might shut, a bank might fail or an insurance company might refuse to pay out your claim. In the context of cash, it’s obvious that you can use it without relying on anything or anyone else.

A cheque can bounce and digital transactions require a remarkably long list of institutions to be up and functioning in order to process the transaction, including the internet. And even then, such a transaction may be reversed.

Cash settles the payment, end of story. There is no fear of fudging anything or being reliant on anyone else.

Cash cannot be controlled. There is no way to stop you from spending it how you like. It must be accepted as a form of payment, because it is money.

Cash also cannot be tracked effectively. It has no records. A bank note is the same, wherever it came from and whoever used it for whatever purposes. Governments can’t establish records of people’s spending habits, nor carbon footprints. That means cash cannot be used to control societies.

This is an unacceptable state of affairs for the establishment because it offers an escape hatch from government and corporate policies to control your behaviour. And their various schemes to influence or control your behaviour simply won’t work if you can use cash to escape them. Not if they impose any noticeable burden.

That’s why the campaign to get rid of cash is happening as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are also being developed. The one enables the other. If we had cash, CDBCs wouldn’t function. Not for their intended purpose, anyway. People would just stop using CBDCs once they become a tool for the central bank to squeeze you.

CBDCs are the perfect opposite to cash. They rely on digital systems run by a government institution functioning properly. Some even say we shouldn’t worry about CBDCs because governments won’t be able to get them to work anyway.

Regardless, they provide complete information on users – a record of all spending.

They can easily be used to control users and impose policies.

Agustín Cartens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, which is often described as the central banks’ central bank, put it best:

A key difference with the CBDC [compared to cash] is that the central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that we determine the use of [CBDCs] and also we will have the technology to enforce that. Those two issues are extremely important and that makes a huge difference with respect to what cash is.

Going from cash to CBDCs is about absolute control over how money is used.

The issue of enforcement is especially important because, right now, the governed lacks the ability to actually enforce many of its policies through the inefficient banking system.

But most important of all is the fact that, should the banking system or CBDCs become too good at enforcing painful government policies, we could just go back to using cash. Their mad schemes wouldn’t work because we’d slip through their fingers and return to a payment mechanism they cannot track or control.

Thus, in order for CBDCs to function as a tool of control and enforcement, cash must be dealt with first. You can’t make a horror movie if the front door of the house remains open. The victims will just turn around and run for it.

The importance of this issue has been made painfully obvious by Nigel Farage’s de-banking drama. You see, where does it leave a person like Nigel and his friends, relatives and business associates if they can use neither cash nor a bank account?

And so, the seemingly innocuous step of getting ever more of our transactions online, by carrot and by stick, is really part of something much more terrifying.

We’re calling it The War on You: the fight for financial freedom in Britain. More on that, soon.

For now, consider that you probably already have one foot inside the haunted house. And so, it’s time to start using cash, every day, as much as you can.

But that’s just the first step. To find out more, click here.

Until next time,

Nick Hubble
Editor, Fortune & Freedom