from The News Doctors:
Are we entering a new era where cash is outlawed and a cashless society is becoming an Orwellian reality? The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi recently said that the bank is “considering action” to drop 500 euro notes because of its links to criminal activities. The former treasury secretary and director of the National Economic Council in the White House, Lawrence H. Summers is also calling for the elimination of the 500 euro notes and the $100 bill in a Washington Post article where he referred to Harvard’s ‘Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government’which he is the current director, published a paper by senior fellow Peter Sands and current students for making “a compelling case for stopping the issuance of high denomination notes like the 500 euro note and $100 bill or even withdrawing them from circulation.”
Summers even went as far to mentions a “global agreement” to eventually “to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100.” The main reason Summers is calling for the elimination of the $100 bill is to deter crime or even terrorism. Summers says that the 500 euro note is called the “Bin Laden” within “certain circles”:
The fact that — as Sands points out — in certain circles the 500 euro note is known as the “Bin Laden” confirms the arguments against it. Sands’ extensive analysis is totally convincing on the linkage between high denomination notes and crime
In an interesting turn of world events, ISIS declared that the US dollar is their preferred currency of choice in recent days (I am not saying that it is a conspiracy between Summers and ISIS to ban cash because ISIS can use US dollars to finance terrorism). In the African continent, MasterCard is making its moves toward a cashless society in Nigeria using Egypt (who collaborated with MasterCard) as an example. MasterCard’s Press Release earlier this month‘Cashless Africa Achievable through Partnerships’ quotes division President for sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard, Daniel Monehin, clarified the importance of the public-private partnership meeting called the ‘African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative’ (AMPI) meeting recently held in Dakar, Senegal:
Advancing financial inclusion requires a broad collaboration between the private and public sector, in essence, a cooperation between multinational companies and local players. An example of this can be seen in Egypt, where MasterCard collaborates with the Egyptian Government to extend financial inclusion to 54 million citizens. Through a digital National ID (NID) program, which links citizens’ NID to existing national mobile money platforms and allows Egyptians to participate in the formal electronic economy through a single, easy-to-use cashless program.
“In order for financial inclusion initiatives to be both sustainable and scalable we need to develop fully functional payment ecosystems, as seen in Egypt. Approaching the project holistically, we wanted to ensure the payment technology introduced was interoperable and that all stakeholders across the spectrum were involved,” said Monehin.
In 2013, MasterCard has partnered with various companies and banks including the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) andEtisalat to launch a mobile banking system which allows Egyptian subscribers to visit any of the NBE or Etisalat locations for its banking options without an account.
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