“The Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) caused shockwaves with a letter sent to all clients informing them that it would begin imposing interest charges on deposits in 2016. For current accounts, the bank said it would impose a -0.125-percent rate, while slapping a -0.75-percent rate on client deposits higher than 100,000 Swiss francs. ABS, which grew out of the ideals the 1960’s protest movement, justified the unprecedented development by saying it would provide manoeuvering room for financing ‘meaningful projects’. The Swiss central bank introduced a negative deposit rate in January after it abruptly abandoned its three-year effort to hold down the franc’s exchange rate to protect exports.” Continue reading

“Central planners around the world are waging a War on Cash. In just the last few years: Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal; Switzerland proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs; Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000; Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500; Mexico made cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos illegal; Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000; and France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000. An increasing number of government restrictions are encouraging Swedes to dump cash. The pretexts are familiar…fighting terrorism, money laundering, etc.” Continue reading

“Banknote and passport printer De La Rue is to cut about 300 jobs and halve its number of production lines to four as it battles a global decline in demand for cash. The company, which produces notes for the Bank of England, has set out a restructuring plan that will see almost 10pc of its workforce go as it consolidates its banknote printing operations at three centres. The introduction of plastic notes is causing a revolution in the industry, as printers struggle to deal with he challenges of printing on new materials. The banknote printing industry is facing the challenges of global overcapacity, with many of the printers state-backed.” Continue reading

“The safe deposit box, once a staple of any bank branch, has itself become an antique. Banks are reporting that safe deposit box use is on the decline, with occupancy rates dropping quickly as customers buy home safes, digitize and store documents electronically, and, in this era of conspicuous consumption, prefer to display their valuables rather than stash them away for special occasions. Jerry Pluard, the owner of Safe Deposit Box Insurance Coverage LLC, an Illinois company that insures the contents of the boxes, estimates that nearly half — 45 percent — of safe deposit boxes in the country are empty today.” Continue reading

“Many commentators have noted that mainstream economists are calling to do away with cash entirely. It would be easy to scoff at these proposals as completely insane if the Fed hadn’t published a paper back in 1999 suggesting the implementation of a ‘carry tax’ or taxing actual physical cash using an expiration date if depositors aren’t willing to spend the money. The author of this lunacy is a visiting scholar with the ECB, the Fed, the IMF, and the Swiss National Bank. The fact that two of those groups have already imposed negative interest rates (ECB and SNB) should give warning that these sorts of ideas are actually taken very seriously by Central Banks.” Continue reading

“Cash in hand is different. It is physical. Paper. You can do what you want with it. And you don’t pay a negative interest rate. Which is why the feds want to ban cash… They say it will make it easier for them to stimulate the economy. As long as you can hold physical cash, you have an easy way to escape negative interest rates: You just take the money out of the bank and put it in your home safe. But if physical cash is illegal, you have no choice. You have to keep ‘your money’ on deposit at the bank… and take whatever negative rate the bank imposes on you. Of course, the idea that taking away your money will stimulate economic growth is ridiculous.” Continue reading

“U.S. central bankers not only regularly leak secret information about monetary policy, but the leaks are so predictably timed that a savvy investor without access to the leaked information could make money just by buying stocks in certain weeks. The weeks that have excess stock-market returns are generally the same in which there are closed Fed Board meetings, and increased volatility in short-term interest-rate futures contracts suggests that it is information on monetary policy from those meetings that is driving the pattern.” Continue reading

“The U.S. Government failed to deter them through threats of criminal prosecution, and clumsy attempts to intimidate their families. Now four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen, according to human rights attorney Jesselyn Radack. Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland and Stephen Lewis, who served as drone operators in the US Air Force, have gone public with detailed accounts of the widespread corruption and institutionalized indifference to civilian casualties that characterize the program.” Continue reading

“The Obama administration’s efforts to rein in Wall Street face opposition from members of the president’s own party. Since 2011, after Dodd-Frank became law, Democrats have raised over $330 million from the financial industry, and their party’s presumptive incoming Senate leader, New York’s Chuck Schumer, is considered a close ally of the financial sector. As the year-end legislative wrangling intensifies, here are the other Democrats who have been Wall Street’s key allies in fighting the Obama administration. They have all raised big money from the financial industry.” Continue reading

“While the current rationale for encryption back doors is to fight terrorism, they wouldn’t be used just for that purpose. For proof, just look at the history of the PATRIOT Act. This law gives the US government unprecedented civil forfeiture authority over the US ‘correspondent accounts’ of any bank in the world. If an alleged terrorist or other criminal deposits money at the bank overseas, the PATRIOT Act allows the government to seize an equivalent sum of money in the correspondent account in the US. Proponents justified the law as a necessary escalation in the ‘War on Terror.’ But the very first time the government used its new civil forfeiture authority, it had nothing to do with terrorism.” Continue reading

“Investors who refused to take the speculative bait may have been the first casualties of the Fed’s policies. But now, it is investors who remain fully invested in obscenely overvalued equities and junk credit that have become the unwitting dupes in this game. If the Fed cannot force people to abandon saving behavior with zero interest rates, some members of the FOMC have openly talked about driving interest rates to negative rates to ‘stimulate’ spending. This is not economics, it is megalomaniacal sociopathy. Centuries of economic history warn that this speculative episode, too, will end in a collapse.” Continue reading

“The creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 was the re-establishment of the oligarchs’ lender of last resort. That meant that the federal debt would become the foundation of the entire economy: debt purchased by the central bank to balloon the monetary base. To pay off the debt would create mass deflation and depression. The oligarchs now have immunity. Congress will not order an independent audit of the FED. The model is the Bank of England. It has been the chief insurance agency of the Anglo-American oligarchy ever since 1694. The ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688/89 was in fact the symbolic triumph of the oligarchs over the king.” Continue reading