If you were a drug dealer, how do you think you’d want to be paid?
You’d want to be paid in cold, hard cash.
And if you were ‘Breaking Bad’ big, you’d only want to deal in $100 notes — anything smaller would be too heavy to lug around in suitcases.
(This is for illustrative purposes only: I’m a married father of two — the only drugs in my life are bottles of strawberry-flavoured Nurofen for teething tots.)
This explains the mystery behind why you rarely come into contact with $100 notes — even though there are three times as many in circulation as there are $5 notes, according to the Reserve Bank.
Drug dealers (and tax cheats) are hoarding most of them.
So given these facts, it’s not surprising there are calls for governments around the world to kill off their large-denomination bills (especially the US$100 bill) — as a way to make life harder for drug dealers, strippers, and terrorists.
Yet Australia is already ahead of the curve — a report released last month by Capgemini found that we are one of the world’s top five cashless societies. So it’s really only a matter of time before large bills go the way of Clive Palmer. But it’s not just criminals that stand to lose with the shift to digital dollars; banks are going to be hurt too.
How My Phone Became a Money Machine
A couple of months ago I signed up with a bank that allows me to pay for things under $100 by tapping with my iPhone. Thankfully, my wife does the weekly supermarket shop — god love her — so almost everything I buy is under a hundred bucks.
Here is what I learned:
Like you, my phone is always within reach. That means I don’t have to lug around my wallet, whip out a bank-branded card, or even think about going to an ATM. My banking universe is pretty much just another app on my phone.
Portable Bank Accounts
And that brings me to the biggest news story of the week: the Government Banking Inquiry. Sure, the entire thing was a farce, yet the one interesting thing that came out of it was the concept of making bank accounts ‘portable’.
What does that mean?
Well, just like you can switch from Telstra to Optus without losing your phone number, you would be able to switch banks without losing your account number. (This means you don’t have to go through the hassle of changing over all your direct debits … and risk getting whacked with a dishonour fee if you forget one of them.)
Under the griller, ANZ boss Shayne Elliott said that he was ‘open’ to the idea.
But really he’s not. He can’t be.
See, the banks are stitching us up. Everyone knows that we pay some of the highest bank fees in the world — the politicians, the punters, and especially the bankers. Lucky for them, there are still enough people who see them as an institution (these are the people who once had to get dressed up to get a loan).
That’s all over. The bankers are now facing full on digital disruption. So the idea that they’d be ‘open’ to giving their customers the freedom to switch with a swipe is … suicidal.
After all, the real gangsters today are the bankers.
Not only do they get away with rigging interest rates and hitting people with shady fees — they also get to spend their spoils (in the infamous case of ANZ) on cocaine and strippers.
The four families that make up the banking mafia pull in close to $30 billion in profits annually, and their respective Dons make over $10 million a year each … and none of it gets paid in $100 notes.
Who’d be a drug dealer?
Hater Of The Week
Last week I wrote about Donald Trump. This caused a lot of people to lose their minds, including Bill, who was so infuriated that he got on the old tappety-tap and fired me off this email:
I’ve always believed that you were a fool, and this week you proved it. The truth is that the only people who don’t like Donald Trump are ignorant people in the media LIKE YOU. Trump at least has the guts to talk about the massive financial bubble that global bankers have created. You have no business writing about politics. Please stick to what you (claim) to know from now on.
And here is my response …
Thank you for your comments.
You are in good company. I received a larger than usual amount of hate mail this week.
However, like many American voters, you seem to be confused.
In my column last week, I actually started out by saying that I thought Trump’s comments on the credit bubble were intelligent (and that, by the way, is a ‘stop the press’ moment in itself).
Yet the real guts of my argument was about the the politics of fear — and how the media picks up and promotes stories that scare us. The old saying ‘if it bleeds it leads’ is especially true when it comes to predictions about the stock market.
As I wrote last week:
Wall Street had the worst start to the year on record when the Royal Bank of Scotland made global headlines with their recommendation: “Sell everything.”
Plenty of people got freaked out and did just that. Yet since they made that call, oil is up 40 per cent, emerging markets are up 29 per cent, the US S&P 500 is up 14 per cent, and even the ASX 200 is up 10 per cent.
Anyway, I just want to thank you, Bill. I forwarded your concerns on to my editor. He loved it and suggested that I consider writing a political column. I told him that I know as much about politics as Trump knows about foreign policy. Then again, why let that stop me?
Tread Your Own Path!