Two years ago, on 8 November 2016 at 8 pm, prime minister Narendra Modi declared most cash in India demonetised, starting a period of several months of severe cash shortage, which imposed a lot of hardship and suffering on the people. The National Herald India invited me to write a guest-comment on the occasion.
The Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Leipzig, Germany’s highest administrative court, has set the date for hearing my complaint against the refusal of the German public broadcasters to accept the payment in cash of the “Rundfunkbeitrag”. That is the fee that all Germans have to pay by law to finance public braodcasting. At stake is the meaning of legal tender. Can public institutions refuse to accept the settlement of a money debt by means of the legal tender? Aktenzeichen: BVerwG 6 C 6.18
My book in German* with the translated title: “Brave New Money: PayPal, WeChat, Amazon Go – A Totalitarian World Currency in the Making” has just been published by Campus. I have tanslated the “Introduction and Overview” and part of Chapter 1. I will publish this translation in two parts over the next few days. This is part 1.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington has published a Working Paper on “de-cashing”. It gives advice to governments who want to abolish cash against the will of their citizenry. Move slowly, starting with seemingly harmless measures, is part of that advice.
As an esteemed member of the European public, you might be unaware that the EU-Commission is keen on knowing your opinion on possible restrictions on cash payments. Now you know. You should certainly let the EU know about your opinion, so they don’t make their decision based only on the input of those who make money on digital payments or want your data. You can answer the questionnaire in English or any other official EU-language. There is an opportunity to upload a document, in which you lay out your position on cash restrictions.
The war on cash that is currently being waged in India and other developing countries is the culmination of a “financial inclusion”-campaign originating in the US in the 1990s. The purported goal and the US institutions pushing the agenda are the same as in two earlier financial-inclusion-drives, which have been thoroughly discredited: the subprime mortgage banking frenzy in the US and the microcredit-hype around Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank.
5. 03. 2017 To “prepare the next generation of world leaders”, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will hold its 2017 MIT India Conference, this time on “Digital India”. Members of the Indian government and CEOs are travelling to Cambridge to report on the “success” of the US inspired crackdown on the use of cash. As usual, the plight of the cash-using poor and the data-security and privacy nightmare resulting from mandatory biometric identification are unlikely to be discussed.