Monday, April 27, 2015

The War on Cash Keeps Spreading

The war on cash is developing new fronts.  At the end of March, I reported about bank requirements to flag Suspicious Activity Reports for withdrawing as little cash as $5000. 

Several reports are floating around the 'net about new policies at JP Morgan Chase.  A year ago, Chase changed their policy to say that they are no longer accepting cash payment on credit card accounts, if it's not your account that you are paying on.  At first glance, that may sound like something you'd never do, but what if you and your wife or another family member have separate accounts.  The wording is that you must be either the account owner or an authorized user on the account and provide ID to pay cash (remember the old joke about "cash accepted with 3 IDs"?).  You can, however, pay anyone's account if you use a check or other, more traceable payment. 

This April, Chase expanded the prohibition to cash put in safe deposit boxes. 
In a letter to its customers dated April 1, 2015 pertaining to its "Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement,"  one of the highlighted items reads:  "You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value."  Whether or not this pertains to gold and silver coins with no numismatic value is not explained. 
The problem here is that Chase is one of the biggest banks, one of the Too Big To Fail banks, so the policy of not allowing coins in your safe deposit box is likely to be picked up by other banks.

It works the other way, too.  ZeroHedge reports that this weekend, a Swiss hedge fund manager calculated that he could save his clients' money (remember Switzerland is charging interest on savings, not paying interest) by taking out the contents of the fund's deposits as cash and storing them in a vault.  He'd pay less to store piles of paper than the fees to keep it in the banks.  The bank refused.  They didn't have that much cash, nor could they see how they could get it in a timely fashion.
“We are sorry, that within the time period specified, no solution corresponding to your expectations could be found.”
While the bank wasn't named, the Swiss National Bank has expressed concerns about clients wanting to avoid the penalties of negative interest.  They've said on the record, “The National Bank has therefore recommended to the banks to approach withdrawal demands in a restrictive manner.” 
(The Swiss National Bank)

Central bankers have suggested that they'd be able to control the money supply so much better if we just eliminated cash.  In this case, granted that it was probably a very large amount of cash in this case, but the precedent that a major bank would refuse to let customers have their own money, based on some notion of "common good", is a terrifying precedent, indeed. 


  1. I don't need to speculate why they are wanting to eliminate cash, I already know why.
    What these rotten bastards fail to grasp is the concept of cash being whatever form of payment a majority of people in a community decide they want to use as a storage device for portable wealth.

    The Dollar is very quickly being destroyed on purpose, there will be something to take it's place of course but in the mean time it would be easy enough to go back to using the coins we already have and just add a zero or two to their accepted value.
    It's that easy to get around the snake lovin' sonsabitches and the toosmart4U games they like to play with currencies and wealth.

  2. Where I live it really depends on the bank - I recently closed an account at a bank that wouldn't let me take out more than $4,000 at a time. I have an account at a different bank that will let me take out as much as I want (if it is in my account), so I kept that one.

  3. SiG,

    I've been trying to think this through, supposing that the banks get their way. If cash is outlawed and only checks and electronic transactions are permitted, it certainly will give the government total control over your finances, since they can make the banks dance to any tune they choose.

    That would certainly permit them to "weaponize" the flow of money, along with tracking every transaction you make. Donation to the Dead Elephant Party, the Tea Party, or whatever. could have them freezing your accounts on a whim, or as punishment.

    The thing I am uncertain about is whether or not silver would be a viable medium of exchange at that point. It couldn't be converted for cash, but it could be used as a medium of exchange: I give you silver for food, that seller gives another one silver for vehicle repairs, etc.

    But, there are necessary commodities like fuel that the government would track, insisting on the gas station keeping records of every gallon delivered to them and how it was sold. Supermarkets could be forced to sell only via cards (credit, debit, EBT) and maybe paper checks, although I can see that going away, too. There will be many things it will be difficult to barter for.

    If we lose the ability to pay anonymously with cash, it will mean an incredible ramp-up of .Gov's control of us. And I am having difficulty seeing where silver, gold, or even barter would be successful for most people.

  4. I almost never use my credit card. I use it for flight reservations and motels when traveling. I have never used a debit card and I have four of them from four different credit unions. I only use them to get cash from the ATM. Until recently the credit union would issue me an ATM only card that couldn't be used for debit now they claim it cannot be done anymore. I only use cash and haven't written a check to a store or restaurant for over 50 years. I assume I will continue to use cash until they stop me.