A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Sergey Lavrov?s interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty Thu Jul 18, 2019 19:00 | Scott
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov?s interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty published on July 17, 2019 Original interview in Russian Question: Can an improvement in the relations with the United
Inside the Yellow Vests: What the Western media will not report (Part 3) Thu Jul 18, 2019 03:21 | The Saker
by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog As we come closer to August, when most of France (and Europe) is in holiday mode, I think that it is an apt
Western intellectuals freak over ?Frankenstein? China Thu Jul 18, 2019 01:53 | amarynth
by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission Western economists and intellectuals obsessed with demonization of China are never shy of shortcuts glaringly exposing their ignorance. The latest outburst posits that
IMF who? Lagarde shows ECB is the top dollar job in QE age Thu Jul 18, 2019 01:34 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission) (Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009.
Georgian Rugby Players Kicked Out For Their Russophobic Gestures Wed Jul 17, 2019 23:46 | Scott
by Ruslan Ostashko Translated and captioned by Leo. Into an exile from the Moscow club “Glory” turned for two Georgian rugby players a demonstration of “support for the people of
The Saker >>
A Blog About Human Rights
China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights
Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights
NZ Watchdog On Limits Of Free Speech Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:44 | Human Rights
US Abortion Restrictions Violating The Human Rights Of Women Thu Mar 14, 2019 15:33 | Human Rights
Human Rights Watch Urges the Human Rights Council to Renew and Strengthen Mandate of UN Commission Tue Mar 12, 2019 21:51 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
A minority experience? 10:38 Fri Jul 19, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Co-living? 10:06 Fri Jul 19, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Bad to worse 08:10 Fri Jul 19, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Signs of Hope ? A continuing series 12:44 Thu Jul 18, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Differences of opinion 10:36 Thu Jul 18, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Runaway Train Towards Full Digitization of Money and Labor
economics and finance |
Monday January 01, 2018 14:18 by 1 of indy
This is a repost of an important topic that doesn't get enough coverage by Peter Koenig for the Saker blog and is about the rapid move towards a cashless society which is being sold to us as only positive. This is highly unlikely to be the case.
The other day I was in a shopping mall looking for an ATM to get some cash. There was no ATM. A week ago, there was still a branch office of a local bank – no more, gone. A Starbucks will replace the space left empty by the bank. I asked around – there will be no more cash automats in this mall – and this pattern is repeated over and over throughout Switzerland and throughout western Europe. Cash machines gradually but ever so faster disappear, not only from shopping malls, also from street corners. Will Switzerland become the first country fully running on digital money?
This new cashless money model is progressively but brutally introduced to the Swiss and Europeans at large – as they are not told what’s really happening behind the scene. If anything, the populace is being told that paying will become much easier. You just swipe your card – and bingo. No more signatures, no more looking for cash machines – your bank account is directly charged for whatever small or large amount you are spending. And naturally and gradually a ‘small fee’ will be introduced by the banks. And you are powerless, as a cash alternative will have been wiped out.
The upwards limit of how much you may charge onto your bank account is mainly set by yourself, as long as it doesn’t exceed the banks tolerance. But the banks’ tolerance is generous. If you exceed your credit, the balance on your account quietly slides into the red and at the end of the month you pay a hefty interest; or interest on unpaid interest – and so on. And that even though interbank interest rates are at a historic low. The Swiss Central Bank’s interest to banks, for example, is even negative; one of the few central banks in the world with negative interest, others include Japan and Denmark.
When I talked recently to the manager of a Geneva bank, he said, it’s getting much worse. ‘We are already closing all bank tellers, and so are most of the other banks’. Which means staff layoffs – which of course makes it only selectively to the news. Bank employees and managers must pass an exam with the Swiss banking commission, for which they have study hundreds of extra hours within a few months to pass a test – usually planned for weekends, so as not to infringe on the banks’ business hours. You got to chances to pass. If you fail you are out, joining the ranks of the unemployed. The trend is similar throughout Europe. The manager didn’t reveal the topic and reason behind the ‘retraining’ – but it became obvious from the ensuing conversation that it had to do with the ‘cashless overtake’ of people by the banks. These are my words, but he, an insider, was as concerned as I, if not more.
Surveillance is everywhere. Now, not only our phone calls and e-mails are spied on, but our bank accounts are too. And what’s worse, with a cashless economy, our accounts are vulnerable to be invaded by the state, by thieves, by the police, by the tax authority, by any kind of authority – and, of course, by the very banks that have had your trust for all your life. Remember the ‘bail-ins’ first tested in early 2013 in Cyprus? – Bail-ins will become common practice for any bank that has abused its greed for profit and would go belly-up, if there wouldn’t be all those deposits from customers. Even shareholders are not safe. This has been quietly decided on some two years ago, both in the US and also by the non-elected white-collar mafia, the European Commission – EC.
The point is, ‘banks über alles’. And which country would be better suited to introduce ‘cashless living’ than Switzerland, the epicenter – along with Wall Street – of international banking. Bank’s will call the shots in the future, on your personal economy and that of the state. They are globalized, following the same principles of deregulation worldwide. They are in collusion with globalized corporations. They will decide whether you eat or become enslaved. They are one of the tree major weapons of the 0.1 % to beat the 99.9% into submission. The other two at the service of the master hegemon’s Full Spectrum Dominance drive, are the war- and security industry and the ever more brazen propaganda lie-machine. Banking deregulation has become another little-propagated rule of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Countries who want to join WTO, must deregulate their banking sector, prying it open for the globalized money-sharks, the Zion-controlled banking conglomerates.
Retrenchment of personnel in the banking employment market is increasing. The news only selectively reports on it, when there are large amounts of jobs being eliminated. Statistics lie everywhere, in the EU as well as in Washington. – Why scare people? They will be scared enough, when they are offered jobs at salaries on which they can barely survive. That’s happening already. It used to be a tactic applied for developing countries: Keep them enslaved by debt and low pay, so they don’t have time and energy to take to the streets to protest – they have to look for food and work, whatever menial jobs they can get, to feed their families. It’s now hitting Europe, the West in general. Some countries way more than Switzerland.
Cashless trials are going on elsewhere, especially in Nordic countries, where selected department stores and supermarkets do no longer take cash. Another monstrous trial has been carried out in India a year ago, in the last quarter of 2016, where from one day to another 80% of the most popular money notes were eliminated, and could only be exchanged for new notes by banks and through bank accounts. And this in an almost pure cash country, where half the population has no bank account, and where remote rural areas have no banks. People were lied to so that the sudden introduction had maximum effect.
It caused massive famine and thousands of people died, as they had suddenly no acceptable cash to buy food – all instigated by the USAID Project ‘Catalyst’, in connivance with the Indian rulers and central bank. It was a trial. It was a disaster. If it works in India with 1.3 billion people, two thirds of whom live in rural areas and most of them have no bank account, the scam could be applied in any developing country – see also India – Crime of the Century – Financial Genocide http://thesaker.is/india-crime-of-the-century-financial...cide/
What is going on in Switzerland is a trial with the high end of populations. How is the upper crust taking to such radical changes in our daily monetary routine? – So far not many protests have been noticed. There is a weak referendum being launched by a group of people who want the Swiss Central Bank be the only institution that can make money, like in the ‘olden days’. Though a very respectable idea, the referendum has no chance in today’s banking and debt-finance environment, where youth is being indoctrinated with the idea that swiping your card in front of an electronic eye is cool. Today, most money is made by private banks, like elsewhere in Europe and the US. Worldwide banking deregulation, initiated by the Clinton Administration in the 1990s – today a rule for any member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – has made this all possible.
Digitalization and robotization is just beginning. Staffed check-out counters in supermarkets are dwindling; most of them are automatic – and that happened within the last year. – Where are the employees gone? – I asked an attendant who helped the customers through the self-checkout. ‘They joined the ranks of unemployed’, she said with a sad face, having lost several of her colleagues. ‘It will hit me too, as soon as they don’t need me anymore to show the customers on how to auto-pay.’
Digitalization also includes the cryptocurrencies, the blockchain moneys floating around – of which the most famous one is Bitcoin. It brings digitalization of money to an apex. The system is complex and seems to lend itself only to ‘experts’. Cryptocurrencies are fiat money, based on nothing, not even on gold. Cryptos are electronic, invisible and highly, but highly speculative, an invitation for gangsters and fraudsters. With extreme speculative values, it looks as if cryptocurrencies were designed for crooks and speculators.
Bitcoin was allegedly invented by Satoshi Nakamoto which could be a pseudonym of a man or a group of people, suspected to live in the US. “Nakamoto’s” identity is believed to be commonwealth origin, due to the vocabulary used in his writings. One of his close associates is purportedly a Swiss coder, who is also an active member of the cryptocurrency community. He is said to have graphed the time stamp of each of Nakamoto’s more than 500 bitcoin forum posts. Such ‘forum posts’ exist in the thousands, worldwide. They form an elaborate network based on algorithms.
Bitcoin was formally created in January 2009 with a fix amount of 21 million ‘coins’, of which more than half are already in circulation, and 1 million, or about 4.75% (of the total) can be traced to Nakamoto – which according to the current market value corresponds to close to US$15 billion. Today’s overall Bitcoin market cap is more than US$ 315 billion. The market is highly volatile. Drastic daily fluctuations are common, especially within the last 12 months. If one of the major Bitcoin holders, like Nakamoto, would capitalize his profit by selling a big portion of his holdings, the Bitcoin price would be in free fall, functioning pretty similar to the regular stock exchange.
On 24 August 2010, when Bitcoin was first traded, its value was US$ 0.06. On 24 December 2017, the coin was worth US$ 13,800, an increase of 230,000%. In the last twelve months, its value increased from about US$ 800 in December 2016 to a peak of close to US$ 20,000 in December 2017, an increase of nearly 2,500 %. However, in the last 7 days, the price has dropped by US$ 5,160, i.e. by more than 27%, and the trend seems to be downward; perhaps a sign of quick profit-taking? However, this shows how instable this cryptocurrency is, apparently much more so than trading corporate shares on the stock market.
The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 27 November 2017 is above 1300 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time and by anyone. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is presently the largest blockchain network (database network, storing data in different publicly verifiable places), followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin.
Bitcoin may be the next bubble, bringing down a parallel economy which has already its fingers clawing into our regular western economy. Cryptocurrencies are officially forbidden in Russia and China, though stopping cryptocurrency dealings by individuals is hardly possible. They do not touch the traditional banking system. That’s why major banks hate them. They circumvent the banking suckers, prevent them from making ever higher profits from horrendous commissions, against which the people at large are powerless.
Here is Bitcoin’s positive value. It escapes bank and state controls. If countries’ economies were run on Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency, they would escape US sanctions which function only because western currencies are foster-children of the US-dollar, hence, subject to the dollar hegemony; meaning all international transactions have to pass through a US bank. A typical case is ‘banking blockades’, when Washington decides to stop all international transactions of a country until it submits to the wishes of the empire. It is blackmail; totally illegal, but unless there is a monetary alternative, the (western) world is subject to this system.
A typical case was Argentina, when she was forced by a New York judge in June 2014 to pay a New York based Vulture Fund US$1.6 billion, an illegal ruling according to a UN resolution. Argentina refuse to pay, so the judge, interfering in a sovereign nation, blocked more than US$ 500 million in Argentina’s debt payment to creditors, bringing Argentina to the brink of a second bankruptcy in 13 years. Eventually, neoliberal Macri negotiated a deal with the Vultures of a payment in excess of US$ 400 million.
This US blackmail would not have been possible had Argentina been able to make its foreign transactions in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. Venezuela is currently using a national cryptocurrency for some of its foreign transactions, thereby escaping the sanctions stranglehold of Washington. Had Greek and Cyprus citizens had a cryptocurrency alternative to the euro, they would not have been subject to the cash control imposed by the European Central Bank.
On the other hand, funding of terror organizations, like ISIS, cannot be disrupted, if the terror group deals in cryptocurrencies. – This shows, for good or for bad, Bitcoins, or cryptocurrencies are for now unique in resisiting censure and blackmail, or any kind of authoritarian outside interference in electronic money transactions.
If Switzerland accepts the change to digital money, a country where until relatively recently most people went to pay their monthly bills in cash to the nearest post office – then we, in the western world, are on a fast track to total enslavement by the financial institutions. It goes, of course, hand-in-hand with the rest of systematic and ever faster advancing oppression and robotization of the 99.9% by the 0.1%.
We are currently at cross-roads, where we still can either decide to follow the discourse of a new electronic monetary era, with ever less to say about the product of our work, our money; or whether, We the People, will resist a banking / finance system that has full control over our financial resources, and which can literally starve us into submission or death, if we don’t behave. In order to resist we need an alternative monetary system or monetary network, away from the dollar-euro hegemony.
All the more important is the ascent of another economy, another payment and transfer scheme which already exists in the East, the Chinese International Paymen, totally System (CIPS), effectively a replacement of SWIFT, totally privately run and linked to the US-dollar and US banks. The world needs a multipolar economy, based on the real output of a country or society, as is the case in China and Russia, not one based on fiat money as is the current western economy.
Will Switzerland, the stronghold of world finance, along with New York, London and Hongkong, resist the temptation of increased profit, power and control, offered by digital money? – We, the People, have still the chance to decide either for continuing rotting in a fraud economy, based on wars and greed – for which digital money, exacerbated by cryptocurrencies, is a new tool for a new maximizing profit bonanza on the back of the common people; or do we opt for an honest future and for a life that leaves us free to take sovereign political and monetary decisions in a full cash society. For the latter we must wake up to see the propaganda fraud going on before our eyes, and to resist the robot and electronic money onslaught being unleashed on us