The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the powerful central bank of central banks, has published a paper that is scandalous in more than one respect. They advocate worldwide adoption of the Indian government’s approach to data-sharing, which will result in every Indian citizen being stripped of all privacy. …
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 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.
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.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates is one of the richest and most influential people on earth. He announced in 2015 that his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was aiming at achieving full digitalization of the payment systems of India and other populous developing countries by 2018. This “financial inclusion” program for India dates back to well before Narendra Modi came to power. It was elevated to official US policy by Executive Order in 2012, because the President saw vital US security interests are at stake.