Saturday, August 27, 2016

Harvard Professor Creates Blueprint for Ending Cash in US; Calls for Immediate Phasing Out of $20 Bills

By Robert Wenzel

The attack on cash has entered a new stage.

Kenneth Rogoff, the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is out with an essay this morning in the Wall Street Journal titled,The Sinister Side of Cash.

Rogoff writes:
When I tell people that I have been doing research on why the government should drastically scale back the circulation of cash—paper currency—the most common initial reaction is bewilderment. Why should anyone care about such a mundane topic? But paper currency lies at the heart of some of today’s most intractable public-finance and monetary problems. Getting rid of most of it—that is, moving to a society where cash is used less frequently and mainly for small transactions—could be a big help...

There is little debate among law-enforcement agencies that paper currency, especially large notes such as the U.S. $100 bill, facilitates crime: racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug and human trafficking, the corruption of public officials, not to mention terrorism....

Cash is also deeply implicated in tax evasion, which costs the federal government some $500 billion a year in revenue...

Cash also lies at the core of the illegal immigration problem in the U.S. If American employers couldn’t so easily pay illegal workers off the books in cash, the lure of jobs would abate, and the flow of illegal immigrants would shrink drastically.
In other words,
cash is anti-state, It is about freedom. Rogoff by addressing the above state concerns lays out the true desires of the anti-cash promoters: More state control. It is a further move in the direction of totalitarianism.

How does Rogoff want to execute this anti-cash movement?

He writes:
To be clear, I am proposing a “less-cash” society, not a cashless one, at least for the foreseeable future. The first stage of the transition would involve very gradually phasing out large denomination bills that constitute the bulk of the currency supply. Of the more than $4,200 in cash that is circulating outside financial institutions for every man, woman and child in the U.S., almost 80% of it is in $100 bills. In turn, $50 and $20 bills would also be phased out, though $10s, $5s and $1s would be kept indefinitely. Today these smaller bills constitute just 3% of the value of the currency supply...
The point of getting rid of big bills is to make it harder to carry and store large amounts. A million dollars in $100 bills weighs approximately 22 pounds and can fit comfortably into a large shopping bag. With $10 bills, it isn’t so easy
He also explains how instruments like bitcoin will be thwarted in his statist non-cash world:

Won’t the private sector continually find new ways to make anonymous transfers that sidestep government restrictions? Certainly. But as long as the government keeps playing Whac-A-Mole and prevents these alternative vehicles from being easily used at retail stores or banks, they won’t be able fill the role that cash plays today.

Rogoff  also knows that  cash is a check against the Federal Reserve going serioulsy negative on interest rates:
In principle, cutting interest rates below zero ought to stimulate consumption and investment in the same way as normal monetary policy, by encouraging borrowing. Unfortunately, the existence of cash gums up the works. If you are a saver, you will simply withdraw your funds, turning them into cash, rather than watch them shrink too rapidly. Enormous sums might be withdrawn to avoid these loses, which could make it difficult for banks to make loans—thus defeating the whole purpose of the policy.
Take cash away, however, or make the cost of hoarding high enough, and central banks would be free to drive rates as deep into negative territory as they needed in a severe recession. People could still hoard small bills, but the costs would likely be prohibitive for any realistic negative interest rate. If necessary, central banks could also slap temporary fees on any large withdrawals and deposits of paper currency.
When does he want to launch his program to eliminate $20 bills and up?

" I believe the time has come," he writes.

The elimination of everything but very low denomination bills is one of the most significant statist power grabs in United States history.  It provides the state with unheard of methods of tracking and control.

It is an evil plan that must be objected to loudly and forcefully. This is a battle that must be joined. The anti-cash advocates must be defeated.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert. He is also the author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn.


  1. I'm just waiting for someone on the left to him how "racist" this is and watch the cognitive dissonance happen. There is a very sizable portion of minority communities that only have cash.

  2. Never gonna happen. The gov't just used a few pallets of fresh 100s to pay that 400 mil ransom to Iran. Pallets of cash make things like that, and many other "black" and "off the books" things happen. For the gov't.

    1. If they officially withdraw large notes, it won't matter how many are in circulation globally - they will become simply inked paper.

    2. What's the uproar about? Slaves don't need money.

  3. Would this cause the real value of smaller bills to be valued at a higher price than the nominal value? Making a $20 bill worth $21 for example?

  4. A cashless society would lead to pain and misery. One need only examine those individuals that live on credit cards vs paying cash. It can be argued that a cashless economy has micro and macro economic advantages for business and government but there is serious down sides for individuals who can not manage their finances. And there is the government manipulation or lack of the money supply, not to mention the ability of the government to control personal economic behavior on a micro level, quite Orwellian.

  5. Kenneth Rogoff, Rothschild zionist tool.

  6. I wonder if a cashless world combined with negative interest might simply lead people to use all their bank money to pay off credit card debt...the interest of which would presumably not be negative. And might this actually lead to less spending, the exact opposite of the intent of negative interest rates and the cashlessness that is meant to enforce it?

  7. Rogoff's piece(os) is so full of thinking fallacies, cognitive detachments and purely speculative assumptions on outcomes about the behaviour of people. Nothing but pure propaganda. He wants to subject a larger proportion of the populace (avg people) who are NOT engaged in criminal activity to a rule meant to curtail the activities of a minority (by %) for, allegedly, $500B that would just about close Obama's (new, higher) deficit. How about actually solving the problems that requires our Gov't to grow ever larger in its fiscal needs and that encourages tax cheating bc who wants to hand hard earned $$ to a body of numbskulls (Congress & Executive Branch) who spend it foolishly, only to get us further into debt (stupid hiring/firing rules, an overly complex tax code, false flag foreign interventions/wars, byzantine bureaucracy, congressional horse trading for favours, pet projects, and perks, free benefits handouts/wars/policies with taxpayer $$ - all partly responsible for the rising illegal issue - and corporate name a few). RW is right - this leads down a path to totalitarianism, and anyone who truly cares about freedom, in all of its forms, should join this fight against clowns (Harvard educated or otherwise) writing and advocating for this kind of crap.

  8. I'm a bit slow in commenting, although I saw the story in the Wall Street Journal.

    These are the same silly arguments that were made 47 years ago when the Nixon Administration pulled the $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000 bills from circulation - "They're only used to facilitate drugs, terrorism, money laundering, etc."

    So, now I'm supposed to believe the bad guys are just using $100 bills? B.S.

    This is all about control (as others have already pointed out). Control, control, control. What an evil bastard this guy is.