On 27 March, the highest administrative court in Germany, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht, has referred my case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. I have insisted to pay my legally required contributions to public radio and TV with the legal tender, euro cash. This is not possible according to their regulations. The Bundesverwaltungsgericht has ruled that there is indeed a requirement for all public institutions to accept cash based on §14 of the Bundesbank Act, which makes euro-banknotes legal tender. However, they will ask the ECJ to clarify, if this law is in agreement with higher ranking European law.
My book “Schönes neues Geld” (Brave new Money: PayPal, WeChat, Amazon Go – A Totalitarian World Currency in the Making) has found a Vietnamese publisher. Korean and Chinese versions are scheduled to be published this year. An English language summary of the book is here.
European Economic & Monetary Union (EMU) is in permanent crisis. The economic strengths of the participating nations are drifting apart instead of converging. This creates great frustration among the governments of countries being left behind and fierce disputes between them and Brussels and governments of core countries.
All too often the power of money seems insurmountable. This is a story that shows that courage, tenacity and solidarity can do a lot. In this case, a powerful, extremely well connected academic and his institute, lavishly financed by Germany’s largest employer, fell because they wanted to silence a critic who fought back.
A year ago, I described how the controversial and well-financed ride-hauling platform Uber pays economists with data and money to do Uber-related research. This research invariably leads to favourable results, which can be used to fend off criticism and regulation. One such study has now been ripped apart in the Industrial & Labor Relations Review (ILR), a top journal in labor-economics.
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