You won’t believe this stupid new law against Cash and Bitcoin

TruthFact
Source: SovereignMan.com
Simon Black
June 14, 2017

This one is almost too ridiculous to believe.

Recently a new bill was introduced on the floor of the US Senate entitled, pleasantly,

“Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.”

You can probably already guess its contents.

Cash is evil.

Bitcoin is evil.

Now they’ve gone so far to include prepaid mobile phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Evil, evil, and evil.

These people are certifiably insane.

Among the bill’s sweeping provisions, the government aims to greatly extend its authority to seize your assets through “Civil Asset Forfeiture”.

Civil Asset Forfeiture rules allow the government to take whatever they want from you, without a trial or any due process.

This new bill adds a laundry list of offenses for which they can legally seize your assets… all of which pertain to money laundering and other financial crimes.

Here’s the thing, though: they’ve also vastly expanded on the definition of such ‘financial crimes’, including failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more than $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’.

Have too much cash? You’d better tell the government.

If not, they’re authorizing themselves in this bill to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but ALL of your assets and bank accounts.

They even go so far as to specifically name “safety deposit boxes” among the various assets that they can seize if you don’t fill out the form.

(Yet another reason to consider storing cash, gold, and silver in an overseas safety deposit box.)

This is unbelievable on so many levels.

It’s crazy to begin with that these people are so consumed by the fact that someone has $10,000 in cash.

But it’s even crazier that they’re threatening to take EVERYTHING that you own merely for not filling out a piece of paper, without any due process whatsoever.

Oh, and on top of civil asset forfeiture penalties, there are also criminal penalties.

Right now according to current law they can imprison you for up to FIVE YEARS for not filling out the form. Five years.

But apparently that doesn’t go far enough to protect us against evil men in caves.

So this bill aims to double the criminal penalty to TEN years in prison.

And if that weren’t enough, this bill also gives them with new authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping (including phone, email, etc.) if they have even a hint of suspicion that you might be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’.

Usually wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc.

Now we can add cash to that list.

It’s not just government spy agencies to worry about, either.

Banks in the US are already unpaid government spies, required by law to fill out suspicious activity reports on their customers.

Then Congress started expanding those requirements to include other businesses and industries that might come into contact with cash.

Stock brokers. Casinos. Currency exchanges. Precious metals dealers. Pawnbrokers. The Post Office.

According to the law (section 5312 of US Code Title 31), those industries are also required to spy on their customers for the government.

But under this new bill, they want to forcibly recruit even more unpaid spies, including any business which issues or redeems ANYTHING that’s prepaid.

Prepaid credit cards. Prepaid phones. Prepaid retail gift cards. Prepaid coupons.

So, Amazon.com, which issues and redeems prepaid gift cards, will be required under this bill to file reports to the government.

For that matter, TGI Fridays and Chuckee Cheese will also become unpaid government spies since they both issue and redeem prepaid vouchers.

Truly these Senators have figured out how to strike at the heart of ISIS.

Further, their bill wants to pull any business which “issues” cryptocurrency under the anti-money laundering regulatory umbrella.

Here’s where these people demonstrate that they have no idea what they’re talking about.

No one “issues” Bitcoin. There’s no Bitcoin central bank. There’s no Chairman of Bitcoin who decides on a whim to increase the supply.

Bitcoin is created automatically amounts that are pre-determined by its code. It’s software.

So the Senate is essentially trying to force the Bitcoin core software to comply with money laundering regulations.

How pathetically clueless.

The bill also…

Continue Reading At: SovereignMan.com

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War On Cash: Demonetization and You

Source: CorbettReport
James Corbett
January 28, 2017

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=21513

Demonetization. Cashless payments. Biometrics. Can you connect the dots? Join James today on The Corbett Report as he uncovers the truth about India’s recent demonetization and follows the trail to the coming cashless biometric control grid.

War On Cash: Europe Proposes “Restrictions On Payments In Cash”

Source: ZeroHedge.com
January 27, 2017

Having discontinued its production of EUR500 banknotes, it appears Europe is charging towards the utopian dream of a cashless society. Just days after Davos’ elites discussed why the world needs to “get rid of currency,” the European Commission has introduced a proposal enforcing “restrictions on payments in cash.”

With Rogoff, Stiglitz, Summers et al. all calling for the end of cash – because only terrorists and drug-dealers need cash (nothing at all to do with totalitarian control over a nation’s wealth) – we are not surprised that this proposal from the European Commission (sanctuary of statism) would appear…

The Commission published on 2 February 2016 a Communication to the Council and the Parliament on an Action Plan to further step up the fight against the financing of terrorism (COM (2016) 50). The Action Plan builds on existing EU rules to adapt to new threats and aims at updating EU policies in line with international standards. In the context of the Commission’s action to extent the scope of the Regulation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the Community, reference is made to the appropriateness to explore the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments.

The Action Plan states that “Payments in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist activities… In this context, the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments could also be explored. Several Member States have in place prohibitions for cash payments above a specific threshold.”

Cash has the important feature of offering anonymity to transactions. Such anonymity may be desired for legitimate reason (e.g. protection of privacy). But, such anonymity can also be misused for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes. The possibility to conduct large cash payments facilitates money laundering and terrorist financing activities because of the difficulty to control cash payment transactions.

 

 

Potential restrictions to cash payments would be a mean to fight criminal activities entailing large payment transactions in cash by organised criminal networks. Restricting large payments in cash, in addition to cash declarations and other AML obligations, would hamper the operation of terrorist networks, and other criminal activities, i.e. have a preventive effect. It would also facilitate further investigations to track financial transactions in the course of terrorist activities. Effective investigations are hindered as cash payments transactions are anonymous. Thus restrictions on cash payments would facilitate investigations. However, as cash transactions are moved to the financial system, it is essential that financial institutions have adequate controls and procedures in place that enable them to know the person with whom they are dealing. Adequate due diligence on new and existing customers is a key part of these controls in, line with the AMLD.

 

Terrorists use cash to sustain their illegal activities, not only for illegal transactions (e.g. the acquisition of explosives) but also for payments which are in appearance legal (e.g. transactions for accommodation or transport). While a restriction on payments in cash would certainly be ignored for transactions that are in any case already illegal, the restriction could create a significant hindrance to the conduct of transactions that are ancillary to terrorist activities.

 

 

Organised crime and terrorism financing rely on cash for payments for carrying out their illegal activities and benefitting from them. By restricting the possibilities to use cash, the proposal would contribute to disrupt the financing of terrorism, as the need to use non anonymous means of payment would either deter the activity or contribute to its easier detection and investigation. Any such proposal would also aim at harmonising restrictions across the Union, thus creating a level playing field for businesses and removing distortions of competition in the internal market. It would additionally foster the fight against money laundering, tax fraud and organised crime.

And then right at the end, they mention “fundamental rights”…

While being allowed to pay in cash does not constitute a fundamental right, the objective of the initiative, which is to prevent the anonymity that cash payments allow, might be viewed as an infringement of the right to privacy enshrined in Article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, as complemented by article 52 of the Charter, limitations may be made subject to the principle of proportionality if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others. The objectives of potential restrictions to cash payments could fit such description. It should also be observed that national restrictions to cash payments were never successfully challenged based on an infringement to fundamental rights.

Full Proposal below…

Continue Reading At: ZeroHedge.com

 

The Indian Demonetization Disaster Explained

Source: Corbett Report Extras
James Corbett
January 23, 2017

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=21501

On November 8, 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a dramatic announcement on live tv: as of midnight that night, the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be legal tender. Indians would have to turn in their old cash for new notes in the coming weeks. This “demonetization” scheme was sold to the public as an attempt to rid the Indian economy of so-called “black money,” but what was it really about? And what are the real consequences of this action? Today we talk to Satya Sagar of countercurrents.org for the Indian perspective on this startling event.

The Sinister Agenda Behind Washington’s War On Cash

The Sinister Agenda Behind the Washington War On Cash
Source: WilliamEngdahl.com
F. William Engdahl
January 21, 2017

It’s kinda sneaking up on us like an East Texas copperhead pit viper. It began to get some wide attention in 2016, with prominent economists and financial media suddenly talking about the wonderful benefits of a “cashless society.” Then the government of Narenda Modi completely surprised his citizens by suddenly announcing withdrawal of larger denomination currency notes from circulation, forcing Indians to put their cash into banks or lose it. Now, everywhere we turn, it seems, someone is arguing the Nirvana benefits of a cashless, “digital” money world. It reminds me in an eerie way of a statement attributed to then US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger in the 1970’s. He reportedly stated, “If you control oil, you control entire nations; if you control food, you control the people; if you control money, you control the entire world.” Consider the following in this regard.

Modi and a USAID ‘Catalyst’

On November 8, 2016 in a surprise televised address, Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi announced that, within a deadline of days, all Indian currency notes of 500 and 1,000 Rupees must be put in a bank account and exchanged for smaller denomination notes. At today’s exchange rate 1,000 Rs is roughly equal to $15. This would perhaps be equivalent to the US Treasury outlawing all cash notes larger than a $10 bill.

Overnight, Modi’s government de facto outlawed an estimated 86 percent of all cash in circulation by value. People had 50 days to hand in the notes or they become worthless. Yet the government, despite stating it would issue new, more secure 500Rs and 1000Rs bills, had nowhere near the equivalent value of new notes ready for replacement. They say it may take up to a year to print enough, which means confiscation, de facto. Faked opinion polls with slanted questions done only via smart phone apps of which only 17% of the population has access, claimed that “90% of Indians approve” the demonetization.

Yet it’s far worse. India is an underdeveloped country, the largest in the world in population terms with more than 1.3 billion people. By demanding Indians turn in all 500Rs and 1,000Rs bills to banks, Modi is forcing major change in how Indians control their money in a country high on the corruption scale where few trust government let alone private banks, and prefer to deal strictly in cash or hoard gold for value. Nearly half the population, some 600 million Indians, do not hold a bank account and half of those, some 300 million Indians, lack a government identification, necessary to open an account.

When he presented his shock announcement, Modi pitched it in terms of going after India’s black economy. Soon he shifted gears and was praising the benefits of a “cash-less society” to enable Indians to enter the digital age, appealing to younger Indians, savvy in smart phones and digital networks, to convince the older of the benefits of online banking and consuming. The drastic demonetization declaration was planned by Modi and five other inner-circle ministers in complete secrecy. Not even the banks were told before. The question is what is behind, or rather who is behind this drastic form of monetary shock therapy?

Beyond Cash

The answer is as sinister as it is suggestive of a larger global agenda by what I call in one of my books the Wall Street “Gods of Money.” The Modi cash-less India operation is a project of the US National Security Council, US State Department and Office of the President administered through its US Agency for International Development (USAID) . Little surprise, then, that the US State Department spokesman, Mark Toner in a December 1, 2016 press briefing praised the Modi demonetization move stating, “…this was, we believe, an important and necessary step to crack down on illegal actions…a necessary one to address the corruption.”

Keep in mind that USAID today has little to do with aiding poorer countries. By law it must follow the foreign policy agenda of the President’s National Security Council and State Department. It’s widely known as a conduit for CIA money to execute their dirty agendas abroad in places such as Georgia. Notably, the present head of the USAID, Gayle Smith, came to head USAID from her post as Senior Director at the US National Security Council.

German economist and blogger, Norbert Haering, in an extensive, well-documented investigation into the background of the bizarre Modi move to a cash-less India, found not only USAID as the key financial source of the project. He also uncovered a snake-pit of organizational vipers being funded by USAID to design and implement the India shock therapy.

USAID negotiated a co-operation with the Modi Indian Ministry of Finance. In October, 2016 in a press release USAID announced it had created and funded something it named Project Catalyst. The title of their report was, “Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership.” Its stated goal it said was to bring about a “quantum leap” in cashless payment in India.

They certainly did that. Maybe two quantum leaps and some.

If we dig a bit deeper we find that in January, 2016, USAID presented the Indian Finance Ministry a report titled, Beyond Cash: Why India loves cash and why that matters for financial inclusion. Financial “inclusion” for them means getting all Indians into the digital banking system where their every payment can be electronically tracked and given to the tax authorities or to whomever the government sees fit.

Astonishingly, the report, prepared for USAID by something called the Global Innovation Exchange, admitted that “97% of retail transactions in India are conducted in cash or check; Few consumers use digital payments. Only 11% used debit cards for payments last year. Only 6% of Indian merchants accept digital payments…Only 29 percent of bank accounts in India have been used in the last three months.” The US and Indian governments knew very well what shock they were detonating in India.

The Global Innovation Exchange includes such dubious member organizations as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a major donor to the Modi war on cash initiative of USAID. It also includes USAID itself, several UN agencies including UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR. And it includes the US Department of Commerce and a spooky Maclean, Virginia military contractor called MITRE Corporation whose chairman is former CIA Director, James Rodney Schlesinger, a close associate of Henry Kissinger.

The USAID Project Catalyst in partnership with..

Continue Reading At: WilliamEngdahl.com

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Totalitarianism, and I Don’t Mean Russia

It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Totalitarianism, and I Don’t Mean Russia
Source: WilliamEngdahl.com
F. William Engdahl
December 13, 2016

If we smell precisely the stench of the totality of steps taken in NATO countries in recent months, especially in the United States and the European Union, we can smell the stench of totalitarian rule or some would call it, fascism, being quietly imposed on our basic human freedoms. Some recent examples give pause for reflection as to where we are allowing our world to drift.

Let’s begin with a most ominous, bizarre, Jesuitical interview that the Roman Catholic Pope Francis gave to a Belgian paper December 7, comparing what he calls defamatory news to what he called the “sickness of coprophagia.” He stated:

QUESTION – A final question, Holy Father, regarding the media: a consideration regarding the means of communication…

POPE – The communications media have a very great responsibility…It is obvious that, given that we are all sinners, also the media can…become harmful… They can be tempted by calumny, and therefore used to slander, to sully people, especially in the world of politics. They can be used as a means of defamation: every person has the right to a good reputation, but perhaps in their previous life, or ten years ago, they had a problem with justice, or a problem in their family life, and bringing this to light is serious and harmful… This is a sin and it is harmful. A thing that can do great damage to the information media is disinformation: that is, faced with any situation, saying only a part of the truth, and not the rest. This is disinformation…Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth. I believe that the media should…not fall prey – without offence, please – to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal…And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, it can do great harm.

Coprophilia is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “marked interest in excrement, especially the use of feces or filth for sexual excitement.” And coprophagia is eating feces by humans, literally, eating shit.

What people precisely, Holy Father, have a “tendency to towards the sickness of coprophagia”? Is this the dominant sickness of the human race? And if not, why do you make such a disgusting likeness between eating shit and citizens who read about politicians and their misdeeds or media that report on same? And who is to judge if factually true dissemination of facts about political figures from their past is relevant or not to help voters judge their character? I would say the comments are a perfect example of what he pretends to condemn.

Were it only a single, off-the-cuff remark by a religious figure, we could dismiss it along with claims such as the papal infallibility declaration proclaimed by the Vatican I on 18 July 1870. However, precisely because of such dogma and of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and its Pope, notably in the countries of Western Europe, the United States and Latin America, such vague and dangerous remarks ought to be taken seriously as a signal of what lies ahead for the public freedom of speech.

“Fake News”

The papal comments on coprophagia and journalism come amid an explosion of charges in the USA and EU that Russia is planting “fake news” as it is now being called, about Hillary Clinton in the US media by way of certain alternative media. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, said “fake news” was “huge problem” the campaign faced in the recent US election: “I still think we have to investigate what happened with Russia here. We cannot have foreign, and I would say foreign aggressors here, intervening in our elections. The Russian were propagating fake news through Facebook and other outlets, but look, we also had…Breitbart News, which was notorious for peddling stories like this.”

Online stories that claimed a Washington D.C. pizza restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, was used by candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta for child sex, the so-called “Pizzagate” Scandal, is now being used to drum up popular opinion for censorship of the Internet as well as Facebook and other social media. Senior New York Times reporter David Sanger wrote a vague, anonymous “according to senior Administration sources,” article on December 9 under the headline, “Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, US Concludes.” What we are seeing is precisely the kind of fake news that Hillary Clinton and the Pope talk about. But it is mainstream establishment media doing the fakery.

The fakery is being orchestrated by the highest levels of the mainstream media in collusion with NATO circles and intelligence agencies such as the CIA, which has saturated the ranks of mainstream media with their disinformation agents according to former CIA head William Colby, who once allegedly said, ““The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” The campaign will continue, likely with some horrendous stories about some psychopath taking a gun and bursting into Comet Ping Pong pizza place shooting innocent customers, because it was said he read in alternative media fake news about the pedophile ring. That already took place, but the man fired no shots. The population is being manipulated to accept extreme censorship of internet and other alternative media, something unimaginable just months ago.

Like clockwork, the “fake news” campaign has spread to the European Union. After announcing she will run again in 2017 for Chancellor, Angela Merkel spoke ominous words suggesting government censorship of independent “populist” (sic) media might be necessary: “Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms and we have to learn to deal with them.” She declared, “we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it…Populism and political extremes are growing in Western democracies..” Her remarks came after Google and Facebook cut off ad revenue to what they declared to be “fake” news sites.

In the EU, especially Germany, populist has an implicit negative or even fascist connotation as in “right-wing populist” parties who oppose Merkel’s open door to war refugees policies, or who these days oppose almost anything her heavy-handed government puts forward.

War on Cash

Now if we begin to see stealth propaganda preparing us to accept severe clampdown on the one remaining free media, the Internet and related social media, we can also see an equally ominous, indeed, totalitarian move to create acceptance for the idea we give up the right to hold paper money, giving private, often corrupt, banks total control over our money, and in turn giving government agencies total control over where we spend for what.

This is the so-called cashless society. Arguments put forward are that elimination of cash will be more convenient to consumers or that it will eliminate or greatly reduce organized crime and shadow economy that evades taxation. In the EU, Sweden has already virtually eliminated cash. Sweden cash purchases today are down to just three per cent of the national economy compared to nine per cent in the Eurozone and seven per cent in the US. Public buses don’t accept cash. Three of Sweden’s four largest banks are phasing out the manual handling of cash in bank branches. Norway is following the same path.

In France today, it’s now illegal to do cash transactions over €1,000 without documenting it properly. France’s finance minister Michel Sapin, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, blamed the attacks on the ability of the attackers to “buy dangerous things with cash.” Shortly after the Hebdo attacks he announced capital controls that included the €1,000 cap on cash payments, down from €3,000, to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy.” In high-inflation Eurozone €1,000 is not a huge sum.

Even in conservative Germany, a leading member of the Merkel coalition proposed to eliminate the €500 note and capping all cash transactions at €5,000. Some weeks later the European Central Bank, where negative interest rates are the order of the day, announced it would end issue of €500 notes by December 2018 arguing it made it too easy for criminals and terrorists to act.

And in the United States, as the campaign to sell skeptical citizens on cashless digital bank payments increases, JP Morgan Chase, the largest and one of the most criminal banks in the US, has a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets. The bank bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and it prohibits storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes. So if you have a rare cold coin collection, you better stuff it in the mattress…

Negative Rates and Cashless Citizens

As long as cash–bills and coins of a national currency–are the basis of the economy, the central banks of the USA and EU as well as Japan, are unable to impose a severe negative interest rate policy much beyond the flirtation today by the ECB and Bank of Japan. If central bank rates were to go very negative, banks would be charging customers the absurd charge to make them pay to keep their cash on deposit or in savings at those banks. Naturally, people would revolt and withdraw in cash to invest in gold or other hard, tangible valuables.

Harvard economist and member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve, Kenneth Rogoff, an advocate of the “war on cash,” noted that the existence of cash “creates the artifact of the zero bound on the nominal interest rate.” In his 2016 book, The Curse of Cash, Rogoff urged the Federal Reserve to phase out the 100-dollar bill, then the 50-dollar bill, then the 20-dollar bill, leaving only smaller denominations in circulation, much like what the mad Modi has just done in India.

Any serious observer of the world economy, especially of NATO nations in Europe and North America since the financial crisis of September 2008, would have to realize the current status quo of zero or negative central bank interest rates to prop up banks and financial markets is not sustainable. Unless cash is eliminated that is.

On April 5, 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, “forbidding the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.” That was rightly denounced by many as outright theft, confiscation of privately held gold, by the Government.

Radical solutions such as done by President Roosevelt in 1933, yet in a monetary order where gold no longer dominates, is clearly becoming more attractive to the major bankers of Wall Street and the City of London. Rather than confiscate citizens’ gold, today the Gods of Money would have to find a way to steal the cash of citizens. Moving to their “cashless” banking, limiting how much cash can be withdrawn and then eliminating cash entirely as Swedish banks are doing would enable tax authorities to have perfect totalitarian control on every citizen’s use of money. Moreover, governments could decree, as did FDR, that cash above certain levels must be taxed under some or another national declaration of emergency.

As such bold, radical moves advance, they would of course be vociferously attacked not on CNN or The New York Times or Financial Times or other mainstream media tied to those criminal financial institutions, but in alternative media. Keep in mind it was the uncritical New York Times and Washington Post that uncritically retailed the fake news that led to declaration of war on Iraq in 2003, namely that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction aimed at Washington. That war has spread death and destruction of a scale unimaginable. No one complained at the time about that fake news.

The protest over moves to confiscate citizens’ bank holdings would come through alternate, independent media such as Zero Hedge or countless others. Recently, US media uncritically republished a purported list of “fake news” blogs and websites prepared by Assistant Professor of Communications at Merrimack College, Melissa Zimdars. Zero Hedge was on it.

This is not about endorsing or not endorsing any alternative blog or website. It is about the essential freedom of us all to be able to read and decide any and all opinions or analyses and not to have government decide what I am or am not allowed to read. It’s about the freedom to keep privacy about what I choose to buy and not leave a digital trail that my bank could release to the tax authorities or to Homeland Security or the FBI, or sell to profiling consumer operations. Controlling public communication and controlling private money would go a long way to creation of the perfect totalitarian state. Not a good idea, I would say.

Read More At: WilliamEngdahl.com
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F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”