Increasingly, governments are becoming more interested in the ability of its citizens to spend uninhibited amounts of money in the form of cash. Cash, although fiat, at least grants the ability of some privacy to its user and is typically readily converted into most other forms of fiat money.
Gold, which also holds these positive characteristics of cash, has already suffered under a long-term campaign by western governments, in which they have sought to discredit and label it as a relic.
Despite their best efforts, gold has persevered and will continue to do so in the future, as it cannot be readily printed into infinity by any one government who wishes to see its destruction.
Unfortunately, fiat money does not possess these qualities that gold possesses. Fiat can and has been in the past, printed into infinity. Inflation has ruined peoples lives and evaporated the savings of its holder, time and time again.
At least compared to the new emerging form of “electronic money” (i.e. debit cards, credit cards, online banking, etc.), cash at least still holds onto that one positive quality, which is the privacy it can offer its user.
Although, that may be set to change. Western governments around the world have turned their eyes in the direction of cash and are pushing forward with laws and regulations to restrict its use.
One country that is leading the charge against its people is France, who hide behind the illusion that the changes they are moving towards are simply an effort to combat terrorism. Again, “the war on terrorism” has become the common scapegoat that western governments have used whenever they are taking away privacy or ramping up control over its people.
Come September, France will begin more closely monitoring its citizens’ transactions and withdrawals of money. People will not be able to make cash payments of more than 1,000 euros in one transaction, this is down from the already low 3,000 euro limit.
Additionally, any withdrawal of more than 10,000 euros in one month will automatically trigger an investigation by the Tracfin anti-fraud and money laundering agency.
Furthermore, the ability to use cash will be further limited by the fact that in order to convert more than 1,000 euros into another currency, you will need to show a valid ID card. This threshold has plummeted from the previous 8,000 euro limit.
Prepaid cards, that have become increasingly popular over the years, will also be under scrutiny, as the French government clamps down on its efforts to “combat terrorism”.
Of course, this is all hogwash. Unfortunately, despite the French government’s best efforts, if a terrorist wants to gain access to funds, then they are going to do so. These laws and restrictions are going to do nothing to stop them. Rather, they are going to hinder even more of its peoples freedom to access and use their own money.
This is the true point of these changes. Western governments around the world have already taken similar actions, although not yet as severe as France. But don’t rejoice yet, more will be following suit.
Western officials know that the global economy is teetering on a cliffs edge. All efforts will be taken to keep their “cash cows” in place and to keep the current system flowing.
If citizens are able to convert their funds into precious metals, or another foreign currency, then governments cannot easily seize their funds in a time of crisis, similar to the bail-ins seen during the crisis in Cyprus.
For those that still have the ability to move your funds, purchase precious metals and diversify your risk and have not yet done so, ask yourself…what am I waiting for?
Source: Sprott Money News
The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.
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