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A consortium of powerful interests that include Visa and Mastercard, the International Monetary Fund, billionaire Bill Gates and the US Treasury have been slowly lobbying for cash to be abolished worldwide and replaced with digital only currencies.
Norbert Häring holds a PhD in economics and is co-founder and co-director of the World Economics Association, the second largest association of economists worldwide. Dr Häring is a financial journalist, blogger and author of popular books on economics.
His two most recent books covered the campaign to abolish cash. The latest "Schönes neues Geld" (Brave new money) published in German in 2018 just came out in Chinese.
Dr Häring initiated a lawsuit in 2015 for the right to pay his fees to public broadcasters in cash, which has since made its way to the European Court of Justice (CJEU). The date for the oral hearing at the CJEU is set for 15 June 2020.
In November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on TV declaring all but the smallest denomination banknotes “demonetised” with only 4 hours’ notice. This meant you could not pay with them anymore. You had to bring them to the bank. This led to days of chaos and months of extreme dearth of cash in a country where half the population does not even have a bank account and 90 percent of payments are done in cash.
The pretended goal was to hurt those who hoarded [money from the black market]. That failed completely. Within weeks the government switched to the declared goal of “financial inclusion” and modernising the financial system. They planted stories in the media to make it seem that it was a small group of Indians around Modi who thought of this.