With an honorable mention to Ernest Hemingway for a proprietary concept- I must admit that thirty years seems like a long time. For me, it was 1986.
Some 30 years ago, my best friend who is now deceased, explained to me how he believed that bankers controlled the United States and he said that one day- bankers would desperately try to eliminate cash altogether. Whoever controls the money supply controls commerce and people he explained. Ultimately he said, banker leverage would far exceed the claims on cash in the event of a massive bank run. That would cause a cataclysmic bank disaster not unlike the one that unfolded in 2008. Given their choice, bankers would love to force everyone onto a credit card where the banking industry and government could monitor every transaction, eliminate cash transactions that avoid scrutiny and taxes, skim every transaction, and shut off your card whenever government deemed fit to do so. (We are seeing this with passports right now) In addition, electronic currency would allow banks to operate with impunity. There is no end to counterfeiting and leverage when bankers can convert a tangible form of money into largely intangible, electronic digits. Think about that. No more bank runs. Just add a few zeroes to your card. In an odd way, the currency that bankers created has become a heavy chain and burden around their necks.
I thought Craig was nuts at first but he was simply ahead of his time. And like most people who can see the future- Craig and his family were ultimately ridiculed. When you arrive first with a proprietary idea which speaks truth to power- ridicule, harassment, and prosecution will surely follow and it did.
Craig's father ultimately went to prison for engaging in the the same balance sheet tomfoolery that banks have been engaging in for ever. They called it bank fraud. When stealing money it seems, bankers don't like any competition.
So when I saw a CNN piece about Harvard educated and would be Federal Reserve chair, Larry Summers, suggesting the elimination of the 100 dollar bill- my thoughts immediately flashed back on my old friend. http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/16/investing/hundred-dollar-bill-larry-summers/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom This is how it starts. Seemingly intelligent, credentialed people telling us how it would be a good idea if we eliminated the 100 dollar bill. There must always be some demonstrated need to sell a big change- and in this case Mr Summers uses the "curtailment of crime" as his conduit. Drug dealers and money launderers would be the target. What a noble premise! Well except that...
Getting rid of the 100 dollar bill would actually have the opposite effect. It would enable crime to flourish. It would be the first step in eliminating currency altogether. If eliminating currency and evolving it into something digital become the end game- not only would audits become useless- but counterfeiting would become effortless. Leverage would go bonkers, reserves would never be disclosed. The greatest thieves- the ones in suits- would be dancing in the streets. And crime would just shift from one relatively small group of drug dealers and money launderers- to a giant horde of bankers skimming every transaction with money they don't even possess.
Precious metals would be outlawed. Guaranteed.
And the government? Wouldn't it just love to exert complete control over your bank accounts as it slowly goes broke, withdrawing taxes and shutting off your ability to transact whenever it deemed necessary? The government could simply declare you a domestic terrorist and seize your assets without due process. Kind of like they are doing with passports right now- rescinding them if you owe 50k in unpaid taxes- a number which will surely ratchet down in the years to come until they seize your right to travel altogether.
The sad truth, the one Craig understood, was that all things are accomplished incrementally with a long range plan. You can't simply outlaw currency altogether- you have to do it slow and incrementally- one little piece at a time offering a reasonable explanation for every step. That's been the slow drip of an ever oppressive Federal Government and the resultant erosion of our constitutional rights over time. One day we will be stripped of everything, mostly our freedoms, and while scratching our heads we shall wonder how it came to be.
My friend Craig died in an explosion a few years ago. It was a devastating loss for me. I wish he were here to see this. I can almost see him now- laughing and nodding his head- knowing full well that a nation of gullible and uneducated people might just concede the 100 dollar bill. Buying into some Harvard bullshit offered up on behalf of the banking cartel.
I must give credit to Ernest Hemingway for the general idea and observation which I have re arranged just a little bit... How did we lose our freedom? Two ways. Slowly at first, and then suddenly.