By Elliott Wave International
Editor's note: You'll find the text version of the story below the video.
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The U.S. economy slowed to a crawl in Q1: GDP (gross domestic product) came in at 0.2%.
When the next full-blown economic downturn arrives, cash will be the ideal refuge.
But savers and consumers face a startling prospect: Some people in high financial positions want to impose a ban on cash.
They advocate negative interest rates as a way to stimulate the economy. But they know this scheme has a problem: Most depositors would in turn use cash to avoid such a charge on their deposits.
A prominent economist has a solution: Simply eliminate cash.
"Cash... gives people an easy and effective way of avoiding negative nominal rates."
[Citigroup's chief economist] suggests three ways to address this problem:
- Abolish currency.
- Tax currency.
- Remove the fixed exchange rate between currency and central bank reserves/deposits.
Yes, [the chief economist's] solution to cash's ability to allow people to avoid negative deposit rates is to abolish cash altogether.
Bloomberg, April 10
If interest rates fall too far, even wealthy individuals and institutions may turn to cash.
The April Elliott Wave Theorist offers this perspective:
People and institutions holding billions of dollars have been trapped into accepting a negative interest rate -- meaning a guaranteed loss on their money -- because gathering, storing and employing an equivalent value of cash notes would cost more than the amount lost to negative interest. But there is a limit to this reverse usury. A large enough disparity would make it attractive even for billionaires to store cash instead of lend it. What is that interest-rate limit? Minus 2%? Minus 5%? If the limit is reached, even wealthy entities will opt for cash. That is, if the men with the guns let them do it. ...
They want to ensure that you have no possible route of escape.
How will they do it? By outlawing cash.
"The Death of Cash" was the title of an April 23 Bloomberg article:
Beginning on May 1, [JPMorgan Chase] said it will charge certain customers a "balance sheet utilization fee" of 1 percent a year on deposits in excess of the money they need for their operations ...
Pause for a second and marvel at how strange this is. Banks have always paid interest to depositors. We've entered a new era of surplus in which banks -- some, anyway -- are deigning to accept money only if customers are willing to pay for the privilege.
Further, for the first time in history, four central banks -- the ECB, the Swiss National Bank, the Swedish Riksbank, and the Danish Nationalbank -- all currently have negative policy rates.
Yet the war on cash has only started. Now is the time to learn how to win.
To that end, we've just put together a FREE report for you titled, "The War on Cash."