International Man: Australia has proposed a law that provides a $25,000 fine and two years in jail for those who make cash transactions of $10,000 or more. If passed, the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill could be implemented in 2020. Do you see this legislation as Orwellian?
Jeff Thomas: Oh, yes, very much so. The claim by the Australian government’s Black Economy Taskforce is that the law will help stamp out tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes.
Each law will be justified as protection against money laundering, terrorism, tax evasion, a rising black market or a combination of those scare tactic focal points. As such, the populace of each country will welcome them, not understanding that the real purpose is to have the banks determine how much you’re allowed to spend.
By having each country put forth a portion of the laws, then having all the others copy them, they’ll hope to make the laws appear to be less draconian. After all, how bad could they be, if all these countries support them?
Many of these laws will be based on the assumption that cash will be eliminated and all transactions must be undertaken by the banks. Banks will also be authorised to examine what you’re spending the money on. At first the oversight would relate to large expenditures, but later, it would be smaller expenditures, that, together, make up larger amounts. The outcome would be that all outlays would be suspect and could be refused by the bank. Those depositors who had a history of transactions having been in question would find that all transactions would be monitored in future (as though they weren’t already).
In a crisis, your true net worth consists of the amount of wealth that you have already succeeded in expatriating. So, you liquidate all assets and get the proceeds safely out. If things don’t go so badly, the money can always be repatriated, but if things do go badly, you will have kept your family from becoming casualties.
International Man: The trend toward eliminating cash completely is accelerating. In a cashless society, every transaction can be tracked and centrally controlled.
What does this mean for privacy and freedom?
Jeff Thomas: It means three things. First, it means that they can keep tabs on all your transactions. Your financial privacy is gone.
Second, it means that in future, transactions can be refused if they’re “questionable.” Maybe your trip to Panama has been deemed unjustified by the powers that be. Or your transfer to a bank in Singapore has been deemed “invalid.” In this way, they’ll be able to not only monitor your transactions, but limit your monetary freedom. Those who repeatedly operate outside of the accepted norm may well go onto watch lists, where they increasingly must seek permission to make transactions.
At first, this won’t be as simple as an “allowed/refused” programme. It will be more polite. You’ll receive a notice that says, “For policy reasons, we have been unable to complete this transaction. Please provide additional documentation as to the purpose of the transaction for our records.” They’ll bury you in requests for documentation. You’ll accept the idea that you must provide them with information, and very soon, you’ll become accustomed to pleading with your bank to use your own money as you see fit.
Third, because they have a record of all your transactions, your government can change the method of taxation from an annual voluntary tax payment to a direct debit. I believe that they would soon announce that they’ll be performing direct debits quarterly or even monthly “for your benefit.” Their claim will be that they’re relieving you of the hardship of the annual big hit and replacing it with a series of smaller ones.
International Man: What happens once negative interest rates are incurred on deposits?
Jeff Thomas: Well, once you have no choice but to entrust all your transactions to your bank, negative interest rates will be implemented. After that, they’ll rise, again and again. My guess is that you’ll see rates on your bank statement such as 2.371% one month, followed by 2.592% the following month. It will seem very technical and you’ll come to think of it as being like the stock market, going up and down each month “as necessary.” But it will be a scam. It will quite simply be the theft of your money on deposit.
International Man: Do you see any hope for either derailing this system or opting out of it?
Jeff Thomas: As long as the current economic system remains as it is, no. The only escape is to either get out of cash, or move to a country that’s likely to continue to use cash.
Ultimately, this will succeed up until the day comes when there’s a collapse in the system itself.
Some people will try to escape through the use of cryptos. But if cryptos become the one and only loophole, we can be sure that they will be either taken over or outlawed. There’s zero chance that the powers that be will allow for this massive wealth grab to be thwarted by those who deal in cryptos.
Here’s the bottom line…
Negative interest rates and the devaluation of currencies will hurt a lot of people, particularly savers and retirees. But they will also give rocket fuel to the coming bull market in precious metals.