The Cashless Society Cometh: European Nations Eliminating Cash
Did you know that 95 percent of all retail sales in Sweden are cashless? And did you know that the government of Denmark has a stated goal of ‘eradicating cash’ by the year 2030? All over the world, we are seeing a relentless march toward a cashless society, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Europe. In Sweden, hundreds of bank branches no longer accept or dispense cash, and thousands of ATM machines have been permanently removed. At this point, bills and coins only account for just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, and many stores no longer take cash at all.
The notion of a truly ‘cashless society’ was once considered to be science fiction, but now we are being told that it is ‘inevitable’, and authorities insist that it will enable them to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. But what will we give up in the process?
In Sweden, the transition to a cashless society is being enthusiastically embraced. The following is an excerpt from a New York Times article: ‘Parishioners text tithes to their churches. Homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers. Even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote ‘Money, Money, Money,’ considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins.
To me, giving money in church electronically seems so bizarre. But it is starting to happen here in the United States, and in Sweden some churches collect most of their tithes and offerings this way. During a recent Sunday service, the church’s bank account number was projected onto a large screen. Worshipers pulled out cellphones and tithed through an app called Swish, a payment system set up by Sweden’s biggest banks that is fast becoming a rival to cards. Other congregants lined up at a special ‘Kollektomat’ card machine, where they could transfer funds to various church operations. Last year, out of 20 million kronor in tithes collected, more than 85 percent came in by card or digital payment.
And of course it isn’t just Sweden that is rapidly transitioning to a cashless society. Over in Denmark, government officials have a goal ‘to completely do away with paper money’ by the year 2030. Cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have already been banned in Spain, and France and Italy have both banned all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros. Little by little, cash is being eradicated, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning. 417 billion cashless transactions were conducted in 2014, and the final number for 2015 is projected to be much higher.
And no matter where in the world you go, the propaganda seems to be the same. For example, the following comes from an Australian news source. ‘And so we prepare to turn the page to fresh year – 2016, a watershed year in which Australia will accelerate towards becoming a genuine cashless society. The cashless society will be a new world free of $1 and $2 coins, or $5 or $10 bank notes. And in that same article the readers are told that Australia will likely be ‘a fully cashless society’ by 2022.
Even in some of the poorest areas on the entire globe we are seeing a move toward a cashless society. In 2015, banks in India made major progress on this front, and income tax rebates are being considered by the government as an incentive ‘to encourage people to move away from cash transactions’.
Would a truly cashless society reduce crime and make all of our lives much more efficient? Maybe. But what would we have to give up? To me, America is supposed to be a place where we can go where we want and do what we want without the government constantly monitoring us. If people choose to use cashless forms of payment that is one thing, but if we are all required to go to such a system I fear that it could result in the loss of tremendous amounts of freedom and liberty.
And it is all too easy to imagine a world where a government-sponsored form of ‘identification’ would be required to use any form of electronic payment. This would give the government complete control over who could use ‘the system’ and who could not. The potential for various forms of coercion and tyranny in such a scenario is obvious. What would you do if you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without proper ‘identification’ someday? What you simply give in to whatever the government was demanding of you at the time even if it went against your fundamental beliefs?
That is certainly something to think about. Many will cheer as the world makes a rapid transition to a cashless society, but I will not. I believe that a truly cashless system would open the door for great evil, and I don’t want any part of it.
Prophecy News Watch.
Secret meeting towards cashless society.
A report in Bloomberg in April revealed that a ‘secret meeting’ involving more than 100 executives from some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States was held in New York City. During this ‘secret meeting’, a company known as ‘Chain’ unveiled a technology that transforms U.S. dollars into ‘pure digital assets’. Reportedly, there were representatives from Nasdaq, Citigroup, Visa, Fidelity, Fiserv and Pfizer in the room, and Chain also claims to be partnering with Capital One, State Street, and First Data. This ‘revolutionary’ technology is intended to completely change the way that we use money, and it would represent a major step toward a cashless society.
By the end of the day, they had seen something revolutionary: U.S. dollars transformed into pure digital assets, able to be used to execute and settle a trade instantly. ‘Instead of a record or message being moved, it’s the actual asset,’ Ludwin, an executive of Chain, said. ‘The payment and the settlement become the same thing.’
Why this is so alarming is because we are seeing other major moves toward a cashless system all over the planet. In Sweden, 95 percent of all retail transactions are already cashless, and ATM machines are being removed by the hundreds. In Denmark and Norway government officials and banks have publicly called for the complete elimination of all cash. Other nations in Europe, including France, Italy and Spain, have already banned cash transactions over a certain amount. Cash is slowly being ‘criminalised’ in America. For example, if cash is used to pay for a hotel room that is considered by federal authorities to be ‘suspicious activity’ that should be reported to the government, because that is ‘something that terrorists do.’
The global push toward a cashless society is only going to intensify, because banks and governments both like the idea of such a system. Under a cashless system, we would all be dependent on the banks, and they would make lots of money whenever we swiped our cards or our ‘chips’ were scanned. Governments see a lot of advantages in a cashless society as well. They tell us that they would be able to crack down on drug dealers, tax evaders, terrorists and money launderers, but the truth is that it would enable them to watch, track, monitor and control virtually all of our financial transactions. Our lives would become open books to the government, and financial privacy would be a thing of the past.
In addition there is a huge potential for tyranny. Just imagine a world where the government could serve as the gatekeeper for who is allowed to use the cashless system and who is not. They could require that we all submit to some sort of government-issued form of identification before being permitted to operate within the system, or it is even conceivable that a loyalty oath would be required. Of course if you did not submit to their demands, you could not buy, sell, open a bank account or get a job without access to the cashless system. Enter Revelation 13.16-8.
Michael Snyder. Prophecy News Watch.
Warnings of economic turmoil in EU and the world.
The pound has continued to fall against the US dollar as worries persist over the UK’s economic prospects outside the EU. Sterling suffered sharp losses as ministers at the Conservative party conference signalled they would opt for a ‘hard Brexit’ settlement that sacrifices access to the single market and prioritises stricter immigration controls. This has led to fears of rising prices, inflation and job losses and given opponents of Brexit reasons to campaign against the decision of the British people to leave the EU.
What most people do not realise is that there are impending dangers to the world economy on multiple fronts. Here as some extracts from an array of reports on the subject.
Professor Otmar Issing, the first chief economist at the European Central Bank (ECB) and architect behind the creation of the Euro, has said the Euro will fall like a house of cards. Professor Issing said the ECB was on a ‘slippery slope’, and had compromised the system by bailing out bankrupt states. ‘The Stability and Growth Pact has more or less failed,’ he said. ‘Market discipline is done away with by ECB interventions. So there is no fiscal control mechanism from markets or politics. This has all the elements to bring disaster for monetary union.’
Germany’s largest investment bank is in the midst of a terrible crisis with its balance sheets overloaded with toxic debt that is big enough to topple several continents. If the risks get out of control, it could easily spiral and the total exposure could conceivably be beyond Germany’s resources. The German government has already stated that there will be no bailout for Deutsche Bank. Banking customers have a total of approximately €566 billion deposited with the bank, and even if a small fraction of those clients start demanding their money back it is going to cause a major crunch. If Deutsche Bank goes down, it would take the German economy and probably the euro zone banking system, the euro zone economy, the Chinese banking system and the global economy with it.
The Daily Express (29/1/16) carried a headline, ‘EU on brink: Germany’s biggest bank records shock losses risking economic RUIN of Eurozone.’ The article said, ‘Germany could force the European Union into ruin after Deutsche Bank’s share price plunged following the country’s biggest lender’s first annual loss since the financial crisis. With losses of €2.1bn in the fourth quarter of 2015-16, fears of the entire eurozone toppling are becoming an increasing reality.
Germany, which has a GDP of $3.4 trillion is one of the six largest economies in the world and the fate of the eurozone relies heavily on its strong economy. But it is facing the most difficult start to a year in recent memory. Its own industrial production growth has slipped to ZERO per cent and customer confidence has plummeted in a catalogue of disasters for Chancellor Angela Merkel. As the biggest economy in the eurozone, with a GDP of $3.4bn, experts have warned if its economy – along with second biggest eurozone economy France – crashes it would trigger a domino effect which would bring the entire currency crashing down causing a detrimental ripple effect on the global economy.
The clear solvency issues in Italy’s major banks are yet another explosive element in this looming crisis.
The pinnacle of the global financial system is warning that conditions are right for a ‘full-blown banking crisis’ in China. Since the last financial crisis, there has been a credit boom in China that is really unprecedented in world history. At this point the total value of all outstanding loans in China has hit a grand total of more than $28 trillion. That is essentially equivalent to the commercial banking systems of the United States and Japan combined. The Bank for International Settlements warned in its quarterly report that China’s ‘credit to GDP gap’ has reached 30.1, the highest to date and in a different league altogether from any other major country tracked by the institution. It is also significantly higher than the scores in East Asia’s speculative boom on 1997 or in the US subprime bubble before the Lehman crisis.
The Bank of America has warned that a recession is imminent, and unavoidable. The big banks are being forced to admit that stimulus is no longer working, and that consequences are happening. The Fed’s disastrous rescue plan after the 2008 financial crisis has left the U.S. economy in a fragile and vulnerable state. US debt is heading towards $20 trillion, with every taxpayer now owing $149,000 of national debt. One article says ‘The government is turning the entire US into a debt prison.’ It goes on to say, ‘The U.S. stock market is artificially propped up by the Federal Reserve, but their ability to stimulate the economy has worn off. Immunity has set in, and they’ve got nothing left. It is only a matter of time until Yellen raises rates. When the shoe drops, everything falls with it.’ Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy Savita Subramanian recently warned on CNBC’s ‘ Fast Money .’ ‘We looked at all of these indicators that have been pretty good at forecasting recessions and we extrapolated that if they follow the current trends they’re on, we’re going to hit a recession sometime in the second half of next year.’ It is also unlikely that any central bank will move to openly stimulate markets until an equities crash has run its course. In fact, some central banks including the Federal Reserve may act to expedite a stock crash — watch for this to occur if Donald Trump attains the White House.’ (Prophecy News Watch).
Even oil rich Saudi Arabia is in trouble as oil prices tumble and its economy goes into deficit. Some analysts are predicting the country will be bankrupt by 2020. According to a report from the Financial Times, and data available from Saudi Arabia’s central bank (the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, or SAMA), more than $70 billion of foreign reserves have been moved from global asset managers since last year in order to finance the kingdom’s growing budget deficit. The kingdom faces enormous challenges in broadening its economic base. Its budget is straining under spending to support public sector wages, even as Riyadh cuts subsidies on electricity and other basic needs. Those sweeteners have underpinned the family’s cash-for-loyalty contract with Saudis and kept order among a population, half of which is under 25, with unemployment of about 30 percent among the young. If Saudi Arabia’s economy spins out of control, it could make the 2011 Arab Spring look like a ‘warm-up.’ Such an uprising in Saudi Arabia, where the angst and suppression run deep, could cause a violent coup against the Royal Family. All this could cause the collapse of the petro dollar system which would be another factor bringing about the collapse of the US economy.
Commenting on the global economic situation Michael Snyder writes: ‘The noose is tightening on the global economy and, once again, the mainstream media is too biased or too dumb to see it. The progression of global decline should be apparent to anyone paying attention since 2008. The only question is, when will the average citizen become aware? My feeling according to current trends is, very soon.’
He also claims that the elites controlling the economic system are engaged in creating conditions for its demise: ‘The elites want to be free to conjure crisis after crisis after crisis; to have the option to collapse the system only to replace it with something identical in nature but even more oppressive in its function. They want to create chaos today so that greater centralisation can be purchased in the future through mass fear.’ (Prophecy News Watch). If this is the case then there is a connection between this process and the 666 economic system prophesied in Revelation 13.
Brexit shock hits Europe.
In the early hours of Friday 24 June David Dimbleby announced on BBC, ‘Britain has voted to leave the European Union’. A political earthquake shook this nation and Europe and sent shock waves out around the world. David Cameron announced his resignation as Prime Minister and set in motion a leadership contest which has now brought Theresa May to power. Jeremy Corbyn faced a ‘no confidence’ motion as most of his shadow cabinet resigned in the even more divided Labour Party. The battle for control (or survival) of the Labour Party is ongoing. The Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon proposed a second referendum on the secession of Scotland from the rest of the U.K., because ‘the Scottish people have voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.’ Her latest statement is that Scotland has the power to prevent Brexit. Movement is now underway to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and set in motion the two year process leading to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
European Parliament President Martin Schultz said, ‘The British have violated the rules. It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate’ (i.e. don’t ask the people what they want but dictate it to them). German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, ‘There’s no way around it: Today is a watershed for Europe and the European unity process.’
EU leaders are frightened that other countries dissatisfied with the EU government will want to follow Britain to the exit door. Indeed, no sooner was the referendum’s outcome announced than France’s National Front issued a call for ‘Frexit,’ while Dutch populist Geert Wilders promoted ‘Nexit’ (Netherlands to leave). In Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, the group known as the ‘Visegrad’ countries, there is anger at EU demands that they take their quota of migrants or face huge fines for every migrant refused. There is also discontent in the Scandinavian countries.
On the economic front the Italian government used Brexit as a pretext to unleash a €40 billion ($44 billion) bailout of its insolvent banks. Italy’s banks are beset with €360 billion (and rising) in bad loans, some 18% of total bank balance sheets. Italy faces the risk of a ‘full-blown banking crisis’ that could bring the Italian ‘Five Star Movement’ (which also wants to leave the EU) to power as early as next year. The IMF has said that the bank which poses the biggest risk to the global financial system is the mighty Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank which has exposure to €55 trillion worth of derivatives. What the IMF report means is that if Deutsche Bank falls, everyone else will follow.
George Soros, the billionaire investor who is a fervent supporter of the EU and global governance, is trying to overturn the Brexit vote fearing it will cause the break up of the European Union (EU). Mr Soros told a panel at the annual meeting of the influential European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) that Brexit should be overturned and instead the EU given even more powers, transferred from national governments. The Council on Foreign Relations is a US based global governance organisation.
He called the EU ‘a noble, well-intended experiment in international governance, which has failed, and has not delivered what it promised. … But we must not give up. Admittedly, the EU is a flawed construction. After Brexit, all of us who believe in the values and principles that the EU was designed to uphold must band together to save it by thoroughly reconstructing it.’ Martin Schultz, European Parliament President, has issued a call for EU Federal government in the wake of Brexit. Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and arch federalist leader of the liberal bloc in the European Parliament, has said, ‘We should forge a strong European federation to replace the weak, incapacitated confederation of member states we have today. Our own European Founding Fathers wrote as early as 1953 a federal constitution for Europe. They envisioned a Europe with a united defence force (i.e. a European army), a common foreign policy, a small but powerful European government and a full-fledged European treasury with own resources.’
A Polish TV channel, TVP Info, has seen a document which says that Germany and France have prepared a plan to reform the European Union, which envisages deep integration of EU member states. According to the channel, ‘If the proposed document is implemented, then they will set up a single European state – instead of the European Union – which will depend on the strongest players in Europe.’ The member states will not have the right to have their own armies, security services, separate Criminal Code, and national currency. The document envisages creating unified police forces, an overall tax system and so on. The member states lose control over their borders and procedures of receiving and resettling refugees within their territories. The project also provides for introducing a single visa system as well as conducting a common foreign policy. The document states, ‘France and Germany share a common destiny and a common set of values that provide the foundation for an ever closer union between their people. We will therefore move further towards political union in Europe and invite the other Europeans to join us in this endeavour.’ This has also been reported in the Daily Express (28/6/16).
Such a programme would certainly go against the will of the majority of people in Europe and could really only be implemented by suspending democracy and introducing a new form of dictatorship. The unified police force would end up serving a police state, which no political parties or media outlets would be allowed to criticise or oppose. But then ‘global governance’ has never been about freedom and democracy, but always about control by an unelected elite over the masses who submit to it.
How does this fit in with the Bible prophecy interpretation which sees the EU as the fulfilment of Bible Prophecies in Daniel and Revelation, the Revived Roman Empire in the spirit of Babylon out of which the antichrist will emerge in the last days of this age. How does Britain’s proposed leaving of the EU affect this view? There are a number of possibilities:
- Globalist leaders in the EU and Britain manage to work out some kind of a compromise deal which leaves Britain in pretty much the same position we are in now, but with even less control over our own affairs. Alternatively they make life so difficult for us in the coming year that the population demands a second referendum, resulting in the decision to leave being reversed. In this case nothing has changed. The EU as it is remains the ‘Revived Roman Empire’ with Britain part of it.
- Britain successfully leaves the EU and is joined by more nations that decide to leave, reducing the number of nations to a core that becomes a single entity in a European Federal State. This then becomes the seat of power of the antichrist. Perhaps the number could be reduced to ten nations which become the ‘ten kings’ who ‘receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind and will give their power and authority to the beast.’ Revelation 17.12. In this case the present form of the EU changes into a final union ruled by ‘ten kings’ who give their power to the beast. Britain is outside of it.
- The EU breaks up and causes a world economic collapse. Out of this a new entity arises bringing the nations together under some kind of UN dictated world government. The antichrist rises to power out of this entity. In this case the former EU becomes one part of the final world government, perhaps one of the ten kings that give their power to the beast.
- Possibly the Islamic invasion of Europe ends up with the Islamisation of the continent and its absorption into the Islamic antichrist entity.
EU takes a tough line on Israel.
Italian diplomat, Frederica Mogherini, replaced Catherine Ashton as ‘the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’ of the EU on November 1st 2014. She continues the left leaning trend of this office, having been a member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation from 1988 to 1996.
On taking office her first visit was to ‘Israel and Palestine’. She said that the creation of a Palestinian state within five years is one of her major goals. She intends to use the European Union’s political potential in this region, which she says can be decisive at this important moment. She sees the involvement of the Arab world as essential to the negotiations, as well as a unified position taken by all 28 EU members.
On her visit to Israel she clashed with Prime Minister Netanyahu over the issue of Jerusalem. She said, ‘We need a Palestinian state – that is the ultimate goal and this is the position of all the European Union. Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states.’ She went on to say that establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is a ‘global’ objective, and that Israel is obstructing this important and worthy goal by continuing to allow Jews to live in areas claimed by the Palestinian Arabs, in particular on the eastern side of Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by once again stating that ‘Jerusalem is our capital and as such is not a settlement.’ He stressed that ‘the neighbourhoods in which we are living…and we’ve been building, have been there for close to 50 years… Everybody knows that in any peace arrangement they will remain part of Israel.’
Following her visit to Israel, the EU announced that it is drawing up a list of sanctions to be imposed if Israel takes steps that would make the establishment of a Palestinian state impossible by continuing to build on territory claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. A secret document to this effect has already been drafted and distributed to the EU’s 28 member states.
If the prophetic view that the EU is the revived Roman Empire leading to the Antichrist rule is correct, this involvement of the former Communist EU Foreign Minister in the proposed settlement of the Arab Israeli conflict could be very significant in the light of the false peace covenant of Daniel 9.27.