WEF Economist Illustrates the Danger of Giving Businesses and Governments Control Over How You Spend Your Money

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At a recent World Economic Forum event held in China, economist Eswar Prasad heralded the potential benefits of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), aka, a “digital dollar.” But, intentionally or not, he actually made the case for why this technology is dangerous and could be abused in authoritarian ways. 

First, let’s be crystal clear about what exactly a CBDC is. It’s essentially a government currency, like the dollar, that is completely digital, and issued by the government through a central bank.

On the surface, having a “digital dollar” sounds like it could boost efficiency. For example, the government wouldn’t have to mail people “stimulus” checks—it could just drop the digital dollars into their account with the press of a button. But that level of “efficiency” comes with complete control, as Prasad explained.

“We are at the cusp of physical currency essentially disappearing,” the economist said at the WEF event. “If you think about the benefits of digital money, there are huge potential gains…It’s not just about digital forms of digital currency; you can have programmability — units of central bank currency with expiry dates.”

By this, Prasad means that your money could be “programmed” so that you must spend it by a certain date or it disappears. The government could also exercise this control over what you can buy with your money, too.

“You could have […] a potentially better — or some people might say a darker world — where the government decides that units of central bank money can be used to purchase some things, but not other things that it deems less desirable like say ammunition, or drugs, or pornography,” Prasad said, “And that is very powerful in terms of the use of a CBDC, and I think also extremely dangerous to central banks.”

— Brad Polumbo in World Economic Forum Speaker (Accidentally) Makes the Case Against Digital Government Currency

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56 COMMENTS

      • Got it. And what’s needed to go with it. But yeah, there are millions of Americans who don’t have a clue. Too bad for them.

    • Downunder cash is still king for purchases of “recreational pharmaceuticals”.

      I still need cash to pay for club and range fees.

  1. ““You could have […] a potentially better — or some people might say a darker world — where the government decides that units of central bank money can be used to purchase some things, but not other things that it deems less desirable like say ammunition, or drugs, or pornography,” Prasad said,…”

    “THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE”

    That’s not negotiable. Violate that contract at your own risk, government… 🙁

    • There are other important aspects to this idiocy. When the lights go out, the money disappears. Here in the north east, there have been several instances where the power was out for days, even over a week in places. Please explain how this will help in those instances of actual real need for money. If you have one of those stupid electric cars, you’re doubly screwed. Now imagine you can’t spend your money on things the fascists don’t want you to have and your car will not take you to places that are off limits (15 min cities), and both are useless when the power goes out.

  2. and could be abused in authoritarian ways.

    *…and will be abused in authoritarian ways.

  3. Never mind the gloom and doom, if you have funds you won’t miss go shopping and buy something firearm related. Aero has a good deal on stripped upper and lower M5 receivers, build or sell the receivers down the line. Components like good .308 BCGs are up in price. Deals on ammo and shooting supplies are better. If you do not have spending money sell stuff you do not need, etc. Just don’t sit there and complain like Jabba the Hutt.

    • The whole world wondered after the Beast. It’s coming soon. At an astonishingly fast pace…

      • READ your bible. “The Beast” was clearly identified by John. The same guy who imprisoned him on Patmos in about 65 or 6 AD. Died April 68. Remember John’s bit about “the number of the Beast”? He went on to say the number of “the Best” is also the number of A MAN. Same identity. There is only one person living in that time periiod whose name, as universally given in greek, the language in which John wrote, when worked according to the then-rules of greek numerology came out to the number Jphn gives. Same name given in hebrew, latin, etc, provdes a different number. The ine John gives fits perfectly, as that is the number he derived from the man’s name. The man who was the very same man universally known as “the Beast” throughout the entire Roman world.
        So why are you still looking for “the beast” when he’s been dead since April of 68 AD?

        • Disagree. God’s plan for Israel is not complete (and wasn’t magically replaced by the church either.)

        • Tionico,

          I encourage you to continue your investigation.

          First point of understanding a text is answering these two ginormously important questions:
          — Who is the author?
          — Who is the intended audience?

          John was the author of Revelation and his intended audience was Jews as far as I know.

          Next, is the Bible some kind of secret code book with numerical codes and such? The answer to that question is an emphatic, “NO!” It is plain text for plain people. The Jews would not have been interested in Greek numerology, much less experts in it.

          Final point: remember when John describes the Beast and the Beast’s number (666)? Ever wonder what that three-digit number is about? The answer is simple if you know John’s intended audience (Jews) and Jewish language construction at that time. The Jews used the number 6 as a stand-in for the pinnacle of Gods creation on the 6th day which was/is man. And repeating that number three times is how Jewish language increased the importance/significance of something. In modern English, we communicate a similar concept with the words, “Good, Better, Best”. Well, in Jewish language, rather than having three different words, they simply repeated the same word three times to convey a similar notion to “Best”.

          Thus, the number 666 means that the Beast will be claiming that he is the ultimate be-all-end-all–meaning that he will claim to be greater than God Almighty. (Whether or not he claims this directly or indirectly is anyone’s guess.)

          Once you understand that and read the Bible carefully in its entirety, you will discover that the Beast is yet to come, as is the Final Judgement.

  4. How weird, today me, the cashier and another guy just had a discussion about using cash over plastic when his plastic didnt work. And just as an addict defends their choice of drugs the credit card user defended his use of his non working credit card.
    Once America has gone totally cashless We The People are fucked. ” Hey Bob, how much you want for that sailboat?” $25 but neither of us have a credit card machine, let’s go to the bank to make the transaction. ” I’d rather the bank or anyone else know I bought that sail boat.”
    Ohhhh, okay , how about a trade?
    .giv has been dreaming of a cashless society since before 1973 and it’s not to save the trees. Its control.
    I just cant wait until .giv installs an Audio Visual device in my home. No use keeping any secrets from my benefactors. Right.
    Are you a law abiding citizen? Then why not have a camera in your home, car or up your ass?
    Progress, loving every minute of it.
    Oh look, mister possum purchased a box of 9mm cartridges yet he has not registered any 9mm firegunms??? Release the hounds of BATFE.
    Keep on keeping on, the system will eventually kno everything we do, and everything we own.

    • (sigh)

      Been saying this repeatedly for years. Cash will be discouraged by TPTB, but it cannot ever be completely eliminated. A physical form of transaction must always exist as a backup.

    • That audio device exists, lots of people have put them in their homes. Amazon sells the thing they call Echo and it spys on hundreds of thousands of American homes. Lots of people have stuck Ring doorbells on the front of their homes.

      • AND play on fakebook, twatter, etc. – “I’m not a criminal and have nothing to hide” – tired moronic BS.

  5. Currency is a store of value measuring the hours of your life you have given in exchange for it.
    Anyone who makes it “expire”, inflates it away, steals it, etc is stealing a part of your life.
    If a government/institution/cabal can control your currency, then you are a slave and they own your life.
    How you spend your life is none of their concern even though they try desperately to insert themselves and control you.

    • Biden and the Dems went on an unprecedented spending spree on completely unnecessary things right after crazy Covid spending. You can’t inject that much money into the economy without inflation. The funny thing is they wanted to spend more! They wanted to spend more in 2020, and Biden wanted to spend trillions more on his insane bills! Then he brags about spending trillions LESS THAN HE WANTED TO SPEND! So Bidenomics means blowing crazy money, but not blowing the amount you really wanted to blow, and then bragging about spending less. It takes a really special kind of idiot to support Democrats.

      Never forget that they lied to us about imminent inflation so they could pass their insane spending bills. Never forget that the “non-partisan” Federal Reserve held off on raising rates (unlike in 2018) so the dems could have a chance to pass their insane spending bills without alerting the sheep to impending doom. Now we’re in the midst of the fastest rate hike in my lifetime so they can play catch up. That caused banks to go under.

      • Before Joseph Biden gas was higher. He ,himself, with nobody’s help, just him got the price of gas reduced to what it is today.
        Had not theBiden🙏 put a stop to Trumps exports of crude oil we would have ran out and then we would have had to come up with a carnival bumper car idea. Biden theBiden is way smart. We should thank the god he believes in that america got him instead of someone who didnt know what country they were president of.

  6. For example, the government wouldn’t have to mail people “stimulus” checks—it could just drop the digital dollars into their account with the press of a button.

    Do we have to keep pretending that direct transfers and deposits of dollars haven’t been a thing for decades?

    I haven’t seen a physical paycheck in something like 40 years. Most purchases are made with Bank cards.

    All the physical convenience of digital currencies already exists with the regular dollar. The only thing it brings is the downsides — the control over and tracking of your money.

    Money that expires if you don’t use it? Money that’s only good for certain purchases? That’s not money, that’s company scrip.

    Eff that.

  7. “Have Gun, Will Travel”

    Wire Paladin – San Francisco

    And “Wire” isn’t his first name.

    (When I worked in banking in the ’80s, wire transfers were still a thing and the first generation of ATMs were being introduced.)

    • Wire transfers are still used for large monetary transactions, such as buying houses and businesses.

      • You don’t say? I though that would have been outdated technology by now.

        Why not just Zelle or Venmo? Nearly instantaneous, wouldn’t be limited to smaller amounts. I used to make insurance claim payments (including total loss settlements on expensive cars) to customers with Zelle and direct deposit.

        • A major reason is IRS requirements for reporting that are sold as reducing money laundering, and the IRS has systems in place to inspect wire transfers “in real time” (jamming them up somewhere for a certain period before allowing them to proceed in most cases). For example, Wells Fargo transfers routed through Miami will be inspected in most cases for amounts over $5000.

          You see this as a delay. But what they’re really doing is checking the account the money came from and doing a cursory examination of how that account is funded. They’re doing the same for the destination account.

          While I’m sure the IRS has systems for things like Zelle that they don’t tell us about, but which we’ll find out about in the evidence of money laundering cases or tax evasion that they bring, they’re certainly not as polished as what they have in place for wire transfers.

          Also, partly because of the SWIFT system’s virtual monopoly and partly because title companies dealing with that much money usually require certified funds which Zelle et al are not considered to be at this point.

          Finally, in most states a title company has to have the legal “equivalent of cash” before they allow a transfer of real estate to proceed. There are laws about what constitutes “cash in hand” in terms of real estate transactions. Zelle and Venmo are considered to meet the criteria.

          Which is to say that, in some regards, regulation and law are behind the tech.

          There are also some ways in which the system of accounting is designed to handle everything from major CRE transactions, which may be many millions of dollars all the way down to a private home. A system meant to cover such a wide array of transactions will not fit all of them perfectly.

  8. What are the odds he just bought a sh!tload of Bitcoin?

    IMHO, this would be a great way to collapse your own currency. The only way it works is if the whole world does it simultaneously and they somehow made Bitcoin, etc. disappear. If the USA did it and Mexico didn’t, all of a sudden the value of a peso would skyrocket. So much for the dollar being the world’s reserve currency if they could just make it expire on a minute’s notice. Or would one dollar have, say a 90 day expiration date and another 365 days? The latter would be worth more than the former. And you could always exchange an old dollar for a new one (for a small fee, of course).

    Sounds like a wannabe commie dictator’s wet dream but it wouldn’t have the effect they think it would. But then communists always fail because they disregard human nature, as if no such thing existed.

    • The concept doesn’t revolve around predetermined expiry dates in most cases. Of course, that’s subject to change later.

      The floated concept is that you’d have “tiers” of currency. Some with long expiry dates, some with shorter ones but most would be the low tier which is subject to the whim of the central bank.

      This, theoretically, allows them to control currency velocity in real time. When the economy is slowing down and they want to speed it up they shorten the time that the lowest tier is available so you use it or lose it, thus goosing spending.

      Higher tiers would either not be subject to this or would be “less” subject to it, via a negative APR assigned by the tier. So if you’re allowed Tier 1, it’s a “saver” class that nothing happens to (until the ToS change) Tiers 2-4 have variable interest rates to promote saving or spending depending on economic conditions. Tier 5 is flat out programmable.

      Of course, now comes the question of what one must do to get a higher tier digibuck as opposed to the pleb version…

      • ‘theoretically’

        Are these the same people who theorized how great it would be to force people to stay home from work for months, print trillions of new dollars and spend them like drunken sailors, then get the Fed to jack interest rates up to collapse the economy to crush the inflation they just created? Brilliant!

        ‘…now comes the question of what one must do to get a higher tier digibuck…’ – Monica Lewinski might be able to provide some insight on that.

        • “Are these the same people who theorized how great it would be to force people to stay home from work for months, print trillions of new dollars and spend them like drunken sailors, then get the Fed to jack interest rates up to collapse the economy to crush the inflation they just created?”

          In some cases yes, in others no.

          Many of these people are proponents of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), hence negative interest rates. The idea being that your attempts at savings are discouraged but they have finer control over inflation because they can just assign a set of rates to these coins, say, -5%, -10% and -15% APR and then *destroy the coins* they’ve taken via negative interest rates. This gives them much better control over the money supply and on a much shorter timeline.

          To boil about ten pages down to less than a page:

          This is an attempt to keep the current system of fiat going.

          The thinking being that the conversion to digibux-only means that they can then undo/coverup the mistakes they’ve been making at an increasing pace since 1971. They’re quite well aware that when adjusted for real assets that people actually care about, Americans haven’t seen a rise in real wages since 1972. They also realize that this creates instability that the plebs might decide to attempt to rectify in a manner similar to the French ~1789. IMHO, this is why they promote generational warfare but that’s a bit of tangent.

          They suspect, and there is reason to believe that they might be right, that they can get away with this because the issues that you’re talking about here are not confined to the US. They’re global.

          At the same time they know that most people have zero clue what’s going on. They can’t even differentiate asset classes properly. I mean, look at all the people who think their primary domicile is an investment instrument because paper gains. Those people are already bent over and lubed up and don’t even know it.

          All of which comes back to a nearly universal misunderstanding of what credit is and how it should be used. While a difficult thing to get right, the market can tell you this if you allow it to and you can get pretty damn close if you’re careful. You may have some minor disruptions year to year as adjustments are made but overall credit isn’t just a generally good thing, it’s an absolute requirement for a functional economy.

          Unfortunately there are two major schools of thought on credit. One is the fans of fiat who see it as a way to game the system via the Cantillion Effect, helping themselves and their friends. On the opposite side the more gold-buggish theory that credit is essentially evil and if not outright usury/fraud that creates currency out of thin air, something close to it.

          IMHO, both sides have no idea what they’re talking about and the times in history where you see a well run economy using a fiat currency support this. Unfortunately that system is abusable and, over time, all the incentives run towards abusing it if you can.

      • I wonder if Joey/Hunter/other crooked dem pols would take digital “money” transfers? As from chicoms.

      • “When the economy is slowing down and they want to speed it up they shorten the time that the lowest tier is available so you use it or lose it, thus goosing spending.”

        We have practical experience with such a system, and the public at large *rejected* it.

        Remember those laws passed to stop gift cards from ‘expiring’ after a set time, like one year? It wasn’t done because they were being generous, people got pissed off when they tried to use them, and discovered the unused funds were zeroed out.

        The public will not tolerate money that vanishes unless ‘conditions’ are met…

        • It’s cute that you think you’ll get a choice.

          The US is already launching this system later this year. Ditto the EU. What have you done to stop it? What have “the people” done to stop it?

          And what percentage will turn down free digibux?

          You see George Floyd riots over this? Nope. Those riots in France are about this, right? No, they’re not.

          The only people who have cottoned on to this at all are the Dutch. They only realized it because the of the EU’s regs being used to try to take thousands of farms. And that’s because that’s one of those assets that matters when you come right down to it.

          And they will only got 20% of people to wake up. Now, that’s enough to change things in a parliamentary system. But in the US you need to wake up half (20% OAL) of the independents.

          And if there’s one thing anyone who didn’t fail intro to poli sci in the past 25 years will tell you, it’s that “independent” doesn’t mean “critical thinker”. It means “can’t be bothered to pay attention and choose a side”.

          The number of, let’s be real, Boomers who don’t understand fuck-all about finance, currency or economics is well north of 80%. They’re the “wE hAz MoNiEz!” folks. They’re also the first into the woodchipper but they’ll deny it until the blades touch their toes and then they’ll scream about “fair”.

          If that’s what’s going on with our older and more experienced people, what’s going on with the younger ones? Hmm?

          I like you optimism, not so sure how I feel about it being blind.

  9. “By this, Prasad means that your money could be “programmed” so that you must spend it by a certain date or it disappears.”

    This is referred to as the “velocity” of a currency, the rate at which it changes hands.

    It runs into several real-world problems that a cursory glance make obvious, and by extension these observations make it clear why they want this thing.

    BRICS saying they’re gonna go digi but be gold backed. That makes zero sense and should perk up your antenna to the potential that this is an outright scam.

    The entire point of a digital currency is that it grants fine control over the end user. The entire point of a commodity backed currency is that it removes this capacity, by design a “backed” currency is meant to remove central banking control and force the currency to float as the market dictates because the currency can be exchanged for the commodity.

    Mixing the two will result in the obvious, people will change the currency for the commodity and horde the commodity, thus avoiding the controls built into the currency.

    Further, gold makes zero sense. There’s a reason the only people using metal in a serious manner as “money” by 1600 were the Spanish and this is the root reason that their empire eventually collapsed even though they controlled Potosi. It has to do with the speed of payment in large amounts over distance.

    Known mined gold at this point in history is ~202,000 tons. Divide that out and you get that an even distribution means that the average lifetime productivity of a human is ~31.5g.

    Here’s the root reason that gold can and never will be a serious contender for money again. Let’s do a simple transaction and back the currency with gold. Let’s make it BRICS even.

    A large grain ship can carry about 60,000 tons of wheat. That’s worth about 6990 troy oz (31.1g) at current market value. That’s ~217kg of gold.

    Said ship leaves the Black Sea en route to Egypt. In order for this currency to be “backed by gold” the shipping company needs to be able to convert the currency to gold, up to and including the full cash value, at both ends of the transit. That means that there need be 217kg of gold on both sides of this transaction to back it up.

    What happens with more “value dense” shipments? The amounts required on both ends go up enormously. Of course you could have a central depository and a chit, but that already exists, it’s the LMBA, effectively which is mostly trading paper and is known to fabricate the amounts available, writing “chits” to several people for the same ounce of Au or Ag knowing that it’s very unlikely that enough people would call the marker at the same time. But when the currency is backed by these things that means such calls would be far, far more common and the ability to double count would disappear. Especially when major insurance companies demanded a full inventory, probably IN PERSON, to verify the presence of the underlying asset they’re writing insurance against.

    That’s impossible given the world’s known mined reserves because it has to happen for every large transaction across the planet. Insurance companies will demand it, and there ain’t enough gold to do that without revaluing the gold to many, many, many, many times it’s current value.

    Doing this to that level means that you’re now talking about small transaction, literally measured in picograms of gold. That’s entirely unworkable because it cannot be knowingly traded, meaning your “backing” is actually bullshit.

    It’s not entirely impossible for something like this to work but it’s highly unlikely post ~1580 unless teleportation technology becomes available and we can expand the world’s gold supply 2000x or more.

    All of this suggests strongly that “gold back” digital, or quite frankly, any “commodity backed” digital currency is a scam, a bait and switch in effect. The simple juxtaposition between the base design features means this either cannot actually work or, more likely, is not designed to.

    The “backing” is a the bait to get people into the trap. The capacities for a digital currency to be programmed, geofenced, inflated, deflated, impose high real negative rates etc etc are practically unimaginable.

    The proposal is basically to get rid of the good aspects of fiat, keep the worst and most abused aspects, then add even worse totalitarian mechanisms to the currency and keep that.

    And you know what? Most people are sleepwalking right into this buzzsaw. Especially the gold bugs who see “gold backed” and get a raging stiffy for how rich they think they’re going to be (they’re not, btw). You can’t fight city hall? Try fighting a central bank when most of the population has no clue how much danger they are in until it’s too late.

    • May I suggest a primer based currency? Each primer is a penny, a box of 100 a dollar and a box of 1000 is $10? (There would also need to be a powder backed currency and a bullet backed currency to mitigate market fluctuations and commodity scarcity in real time.) Maybe Brownells could get to work on this.

    • “Mixing the two will result in the obvious, people will change the currency for the commodity and horde the commodity, thus avoiding the controls built into the currency.”

      The nation of India did something like that not long ago with gold (a few years back?), and the end result was, mass hoarding…

      • The Chinese have experienced that as well.

        Hence the obvious plan. They claim it’s gold backed to get people on it then yank the backing and now the suckers have nothing but the digi currency with all the controls it entails.

        What are the suckers going to do? There’s only one other currency on the planet with enough supply to lubricate the world’s system, and that’s the USD you just decoupled from. Whoops.

        Also, if you try to leave, all your “money” just *poof* disappears with a keystroke. How to convert it back to the USD? You can’t because you don’t have any digibux to trade. Now you’re back to the value of your commodities in USD but with no currency of your own. Ouch.

        And like that, you’re over a barrel and owned by Beijing. The only way to get through this is very, very, very serious pain and probably a lot of starvation for most countries.

        But don’t worry. The USD’s going to do the same thing. Yellen’s already told you that. The Fed doesn’t like it and JayPow will resist because the Fed knows that it’s illegal… but whatever.

        The BiS is going to cram it down your throat, like it or not. It won’t work, but they don’t care. If the GOP had lost the House you’d have this already.

        https://www.bis.org/publ/othp65.pdf

  10. “Just a wild conspiracy” is what the NPCs always say. Just like the great reset and agenda 30. These groups talk about their plans openly, publish freely available literature, meet every global leader and corporate heads and still “just a wild conspiracy.”

    • “What happens if you want to buy a steak in stead of insect protein?”

      Funny you mention that –

      A few months back, Ars Technica had an article about bumblebee young engaging in play, batting back-and-forth little balls, not to accomplish a task, just to do it. Suggesting bee minds are far more sophisticated than previously believed.

      Meaning, consuming insect protein is ‘cruel’… 🙂

  11. “For example, the government wouldn’t have to mail people “stimulus” checks”.

    A government that wants “to mail people stimulus checks” from either the taxes they have already paid or the debt which the government has incurred is not a government worth having.

  12. Land, well defended land. Land you can produce food from.
    Sure, some group of government agents could come and take the land. How many would not be going home healthy? How many body bags did they bring?
    We here have a small community put together that works together to produce what we need. Since I have the shop, I get the blacksmith work. One of my neighbors owns a sawmill. Another owns a loom and knows how to spin yarn and thread for that loom.
    We all produce various crops, wheat, barley, cotton, various fruits and vegetables. We raise animals for milk and meat, etc.
    Each of us is independent and chooses what we wish to do. But, we help each other at need. We trade and barter amongst ourselves. With a few exceptions, we could pretty well supply ourselves for years. I’ve taught several younger people some of the skills I’ve learned over the years. How to tan leather, how to work the forge and make tools, how to work with and train draft animals.
    Several of us also have a military background. While under no delusions of grandeur, we could make things very difficult for any attacking force. At least make getting us out or removing us permanently would come at a cost.
    Likely we are on someone’s shitlist for being some sort of threat. Smallish group of firearms owners who also own enough land to be self supporting. Known anti government sentiments. With several military veterans in the group. Meeting every few weeks(cookouts, holiday celebrations parties, etc.) Must be up to no good. Even worse, several are off grid or minimal connections. And in a very conservative part of a Republican state. Enough to make a good globalist/Marxist wet themselves. People who don’t really need or want more than absolute minimal government interference or regulation in our lives.
    Even worse, within the local community we have little need for currency of any kind. Cash, or digital currency is needed for transactions for outside the area. Or for paying taxes etc. People who are self sufficient are harder to control than those who are dependent on services or can’t feed themselves.

  13. “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,”

    • 2023 is WAY beyond where we were in 1776 (our betters/forefathers have been rolling in the graves for years).

  14. I have been using cash only for about 30 years, best thing I ever did. Have made significantly discounted transaction simply because I purchase with cash. Nice thing about saving and using cash, you never have a payment. You buy something, you own it. If you can’t control yourself and save money, well maybe what you want to buy is not affordable. I do have a credit card but only for emergencies if I am out of town. I think ahead and always have a small amount of cash available in case a good deal comes up. Yes, you can live a cash only lifestyle, but it takes responsibility and knowing how to have a budget, Yea 4th grade math also helps.

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