UK - Cash Still King

J. Froese

Cash seems to have been doing fine without pedestrian consumers …in fact it has been booming. According to the National Audit Office, which scrutinizes public-sector accounts, the value of all the sterling-denominated notes in existence has tripled in the past 20 years. It now totals around £75bn.

It’s not just Britain that’s struggling to understand illicit cash movements across its borders. Billions of dollars’ worth of bills are circulating outside America, and €750bn outside the euro zone. This will not all be used for nefarious purposes. But it is clear that there is a vast global shadow financial system over which the authorities have almost no oversight.

Printing a $100 bill—a decorative piece of paper that is worth $100 only because the American government says it is—costs just 14 cents. And every time the Fed sends one out of the door it can invest the remaining $99.86 in something which pays it interest. Printing money, at the risk of stating the obvious, gives central banks a license to print money.

Why don’t most rich countries want to get rid of high-denomination banknotes? …The answer, as with many aspects of regulating the international financial system, lies in the difficulty of persuading everyone to act together. If either the Fed or the ECB committed itself to abolishing its large-denomination banknotes, for example, transnational criminals and kleptocrats would switch to operating in another currency. That would mean all the profit from printing banknotes would accrue to whichever central bank continued to issue those notes—and the other ones would see little benefit from a global reduction in crime. In the absence of a miraculous effort of multilateralism, the current system is likely to persist for the foreseeable future.

-www.economist.com, 18 October 2021

Commentary

The counterintuitive growth in cash holdings described in this article demonstrates that the global movement toward a cashless society is not a linear progression, but rather it is proceeding in fits and starts. Likewise, we have seen other aspects of tighter international cooperation lag and then race ahead. On 8 October 2021, 130 countries agreed to a minimum tax rate of 15% to combat global tax avoidance. 

With increased revelations of corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion—such as those revealed in the recent “Pandora” release of secret documents—we expect a more robust global response to stem the flow of illicit money. This naturally means more control and oversight, eventually fulfilling the prophecy of Revelation 13:17, “…that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Finally, as a practical application, we note elsewhere in the article that holding large amounts of cash at home can erase life savings “…by a house fire, burglary or infestation of rodents.” This reminds us of Matthew 6:19: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” (By J. Froese)

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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