How cash would be described in the press if it were invented today:
Bizarre Shadowy Paper-Based Payment System Being Rolled Out Worldwide
New York, February 17, 2014
World governments announced a plan today to allow citizens to anonymously carry parts of their wealth on their person and exchange it with others using small pieces of colorful paper printed with nationalistic and Masonic imagery along with numbers that purportedly represent the amount of wealth each piece of paper represents (if the paper is not a counterfeit). These pieces of paper are formally a “note” from each nation’s central bank, but they are also called “cash” by many – this is a technical matter that is too complex to cover in our basic primer; Suffice it to say, that it is representative of the complexity and user-unfriendliness of this new system.
‘Bills’ – A complex construct
These pieces of papers (also known as “bills”, “dollar bills”, “George Washingtons” or “Dead Presidents” among the shadowy community of anti-banking libertarians who have been the primary users of cash to date) will differ from country to country and are not redeemable outside national borders.
In what will come as a surprise to generations who have grown up with calculators and computers, ‘bills’ only come in fixed denominations, requiring users to maintain a large number of these pieces of paper that must be aggregated to execute a transaction and then re-aggregated to ‘make change,’ a complex process of returning to the payee the excess of the payment using yet other bills. (Don’t worry if this sounds complex, we had trouble understanding it ourselves at first and it is certainly not ready for the average consumer in its current form.)
Mike Smith, VP of Employee Training at Sears has said: “I cannot imagine training tens of thousands of our employees to use cash, verify that it is genuine and learn to ‘make change’ without making errors. This is going to require a wholesale installation of special change-making hardware – the so-called ‘cash registers’ – and millions of dollars of employee training, while creating long lines and delays for consumers. Furthermore, we would need to adopt new security procedures and armed guards to avoid theft of the physical bills while in the store or during transport to our bank. We can’t see ourselves adopting cash under these conditions.”
Perfect for Criminals
The launch of cash has provoked an immediate reaction from law-enforcement agencies worldwide that universally condemned the development.
“Cash is a 100% anonymous and untraceable payments technology. It is like a weapon of mass destruction launched against law enforcement,” said Mike Smith, the recently confirmed FBI Director. “It is the perfect payment mechanism for criminals, drug cartels, terrorists, prostitution rings and money launderers. We don’t know how we will be able to combat such a technology and fully expect that a new generation of super-criminals will emerge, working in the shadows of a world where they can conduct their illicit affairs without leaving a trace.”
Banking Superintendent of New York State, Mike Smith had the following to say: “I can’t think of any reason that a law-abiding individual would want to use cash. At a bare minimum, we believe there should be a licensing procedure for individuals or businesses that plan to use cash, a ‘Cash-License’ as it were. This license will limit ‘cash’ to trust-worthy individuals who keep detailed auditable records of all their cash transactions in order to keep New York safe from criminals.”
Others have concerns about forgery and counterfeiting. “Ultimately, even with all the fancy inks, cash is just a piece of paper. We fully expect criminal groups and rogue nation states to print fake cash in order to profit or to disrupt the economies of their enemies,” said Mike Smith, an analyst at Stratfor. “In the interim, we are certain that cash will trade a discount in the real-world, given the risk to a counterparty of accepting a forged piece of paper; no doubt cash is a huge step back from the modern cryptography in place throughout our current financial system.”
No Consumer Protection
Though hard to imagine, cash operates with no consumer protection at all. If your ‘bills’ are stolen or lost, they are gone forever.
“I just don’t understand why there is nobody that I can call to reinstate my cash if I lose it,” says Mike Smith, a businessman from Toledo. “What type of idiotic wealth and payment system doesn’t maintain transaction and ownership records?”
Moreover, there appears to be no authentication mechanism associated with cash payments or transfers, let alone one that matches modern security standards. Once someone has gained physical control of your ‘bills’, they are free to spend or use them as they wish and there is no way to reverse the transaction, stop them or even identify who has stolen them.
Even simple destruction of the bill, which, as you recall, is just a piece of paper, could result in losses. According to the Director of the newly founded “Bureau of Engraving and Printing,” mutilated ‘bills’ that are more than 51% destroyed must be mailed in for a special investigation that will determine if they will be replaced or not.