GERMANY - Cash Still King

Arno Froese

“Cash is king” is an age-old saying. For much of Germany, however, the phrase is still up to date.

This may be surprising to some. After all, Germany is Europe’s leading economy and famous for technological know-how. But, even while some of its neighbors in Europe and elsewhere are quickly swapping physical money for new pay technologies, many Germans prefer their euro bills. Cash is quick and easy to use, they argue. It provides a clear picture of personal spending, keeps transactions more private and is widely accepted in the country.

Germany has one of the highest rates of cash use in the European Union. “The most important reasons for the intimate relationship of Germans to cash are their needs for protection of personal data, security and confidentiality of payments and for simple, universal usability,” says Doris Neuberger, head of the money and credit department at Germany’s University of Rostock.

Since the common currency was introduced in 2002, the Bundesbank has issued more euros than the bloc’s other members combined, according to a Bloomberg report.

“In recent years, the trend has shifted toward hoarding money on current accounts. The Germans are also ahead of the rest of Europe in this respect,” says Agnieszka Gehringer, associate professor of international economics at the University of Göttingen.

There is a common German saying, “nur bares ist wahres,” which means “only cash is true.” Reining it in is unthinkable for most Germans. Last year, a plan by the German finance minister to cap cash payments at 5,000 euros was canceled partly because of the public backlash.

Politicians’ and economists’ calls to put limits on cash are often framed as a way to combat tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal activity. But while some countries, such as Sweden, are on their way to going cashless, Germans widely oppose this.

-www.npr.org, 9 June 2019

Arno's commentary

The article lists many reasons for Germans’ reluctance to use electronic devices for payment. However, the article also states that in Professor Gehringer’s survey of her students at the University of Göttingen, 80% responded that they frequently make electronic payments.

One must realize that so-called cash really is not cash but simply printed paper. So, what is the real cash? There financial experts differ in opinion. Soviet communism insisted that money must be based on workers’ production. That did not work. Today, it’s literally up in the air, as money is being created by the billions, virtually out of nothing. Thus, it stands to reason that this progressive system, which is making the world rich, will and must collapse one day.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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