by Brian Maher of Daily Reckoning
Jim Rickards calls them “silent dog whistles.”
Through these signals, in the frequencies beyond normal human hearing… elites communicate with each other.
Their communications are public.
But their language can be so thick, so technical — so innocuous — not one in a hundred can crack it open.
Only the intended audience can penetrate the deeper message within… and that audience is their fellow elites.
Hold this information close when you consider the recent “speech” by a certain Benoît Coeuré…
This Coeuré fellow is a grandee of the European Central Bank (ECB).
He dispatched the following message this week at a monetary conference in Geneva, (and we doff our cap to the folks at Phoenix Capital for alerting us to it):
I would like to share some more general thoughts on the role of the central bank’s balance sheet in the economy. My focus will be on central bank liabilities – that is, money created by central banks to be used as a means of payment and store of value…
What distinguishes the discussion today from previous discussions… are three new facts:
The first is that we are seeing a dramatic decline in the demand for cash in some countries, in particular Sweden and Norway.
Let us interrupt briefly to translate this “fact”:
Cash limits our options as central bankers. Private citizens should not be allowed so large a voice in monetary affairs. Besides, no one wants it anyway. The time has come to discard cash altogether, as we previously discarded the “barbarous relic,” gold.
Pardon our manners, Monsieur Coeuré. Please continue.
The second is that central banks today could make use of new technologies that would enable the introduction of what is widely referred to as a “token-based” currency – one based on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) or comparable cryptographic technology.
Once again, we must break in. The unvarnished message:
Cryptocurrencies are a threat to our control of the monetary system. Unacceptable. We cannot stop the technology, so we must co-opt it. We must ensure that the masses can only use authorized cryptocurrency — ours, that is. We must ban all rival cryptocurrencies.
Please… proceed, sir.
And the third “new” fact, at least from a long-term perspective, relates to the role of central banks in setting monetary policy, and more recently to the emergence of negative rates as a policy instrument and the consequences for the transmission of monetary policy.
The problem comes back to cash. No one will pay the bank to hold their cash, so the masses would withdraw their money from the banking system. Cash therefore prevents us from employing truly negative interest rates. In consequence, cash must go. Once all money is digital, we’ll completely capture the monetary system and can make negative interest rates a reality.
Out of kindness… we spare you the remainder.
Perhaps you think we overweigh an obscure talk by some two-bit corporal of a banker.
But this Coeuré is no understrapper.
There are only six members on the ECB’s Executive Board — the board that sets policy.
Coeuré is one of them.
As Phoenix Capital sizes him:
There are fewer than 100 people on the planet who are as familiar with how central banks perceive the risks in today’s financial system as well as the policies said central banks will unleash when the next crisis hits.
And the implication:
Put simply… discussions of ending physical cash and introducing strictly digital money are taking place within the highest circles of central bankers.
The war on cash.
Jim Rickards has been up on his rooftop, hollering about it for years now.
His message is simply — but deeply — this:
The elites must ban cash so they can herd us all into the “digital pens.”
Only then can they unleash the negative interest rates they believe are necessary to repair a sick economy.
And you, fellow American, are among the flock:
This is of course part of the war on cash. The American people are being led like sheep to the slaughter. They’re being herded into digital pens, which are the banks.
It will not happen at once.
The resistance is too heavy in the center.
These elites intend rather to outflank and surround the sheep, to cut off all escape routes.
Then when the next crisis strikes, it’s off to the digital pen… to be sheared.