The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless

Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the “limited hangout” of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.

The bombshell publication of the “Panama Papers,” leaked from a Panama law firm specializing in shell companies, has triggered both outrage and skepticism. In an April 3 article titled “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak,” UK blogger Craig Murray writes that the whistleblower no doubt had good intentions; but he made the mistake of leaking his 11.5 million documents to the corporate-controlled Western media, which released only those few documents incriminating opponents of Western financial interests. Murray writes:

Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland.

Iceland, of course, was the only country to refuse to bail out its banks, instead throwing its offending bankers in jail.

Pepe Escobar calls the released Panama Papers a “limited hangout.” The leak dovetails with the attempt of Transparency International to create a Global Public Beneficial Ownership Registry, which can collect ownership information from governments around the world; and with UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s global anti-corruption summit next month. According to The Economist, “The Panama papers give him just the platform he needs to persuade other governments, and his own, to turn their tough talk of recent years into action.”

The Daily Bell suspects a coordinated global effort linked to the push to go cashless. It’s all about knowing where the money is and who owns it, in order to tax it, regulate it, “sanction” it, or confiscate it:

Without privacy, authoritarianism flourishes because it is impossible to build and expand private networks that would act as a deterrent . . . . A worldwide transparency regime virtually guarantees abuses and corruption from those in power.

This is a reason why the “cashless society” idea is such a bad one. When no one is able to use cash, financial histories will be easily available via electronic bank records.

Michael Snyder of also links the Panama Papers with the push to go cashless:

. . . [W]ith this Panama Paper leak and all its pre-conditioning against tax havens, people aren’t realizing yet that very soon, once Negative Interest Rates and Bail-Ins are being openly discussed and prepared for implementation, the whole tax haven or tax dodger discussion in the media will quickly switch from talking about corrupt billionaires and shell companies half way around the world, and instead will be talking about something much closer to home . . . .

In my strong opinion this whole thing is all part of the coming capital control war, which ties directly in with the coming transition to a biometric digital currency, the implementation of Negative Interest Rates, the rollout of large scale systemic bail-ins, and the demonization and eventual criminalization of physical assets that are outside of direct taxation control (which again would be done using the pre-conditioned guise of “tax havens”, with physical precious metals and physical cash being the main targets).

War on Corruption or War on Savers?

What we may be witnessing here is the 1% going after the 10% of people who, according to German researcher Margrit Kennedy, do not need to borrow but are “net savers.” Today the remaining 90% are “all borrowed up.” Either they are unwilling to borrow more or the banks are unwilling to lend to them, since they are poor credit risks. Who, then, is left to feed the machine that feeds the 1%, and more specifically the 0.001%? The power brokers at the top seem to want it all, and today that means going after those just below them on the financial food chain. The challenge is in squeezing money from people who don’t need to borrow. How to legally confiscate their savings?

Enter bail-ins, negative interest, all-digital currencies, and the elimination of “tax havens.”

Bail-ins allow the largest banks to gamble with impunity with their depositors’ money. If the banks make bad bets and become insolvent, they can legally confiscate the deposits to balance their books, through an “orderly resolution” scheme of the sort mandated in the Dodd-Frank Act.

Negative interest is a fee or private tax on holding funds in the bank.

Eliminating cash prevents the bank runs that these assaults on people’s savings would otherwise trigger. Money that exists only as digital entries cannot be withdrawn and stored under a mattress.

Exposing tax havens shows the predators where the money is and who has title to it, facilitating its confiscation and preventing the funding of massive rebellions against confiscation.

Orchestrated at Davos

That could help explain those coordinated developments we’ve been seeing across the central-bank-controlled world, proliferating particularly after the January summit of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the global elite gather to discuss the hot economic issues of the day.

According to one Morgan Stanley attendee, a notable topic this year was the need for “a rapid introduction of a cashless society so that even more negative deposit interest rates could be introduced in Europe to offset likely secular stagnation.” With the use of physical cash curtailed, J.P. Morgan estimates the European Central Bank could ultimately bring interest rates as low as negative 4.5%.

“Secular stagnation,” the official justification for negative interest, means a chronic shortfall in demand: not enough money chasing goods and services. Today virtually all money is created by banks when they make loans; and when old loans are paid off, new ones must be taken out to maintain the money supply. Central banks have traditionally dropped interest rates to stimulate this continual borrowing, but interest rates have now effectively been pushed to zero. The argument is that they can be pushed below zero – but only if cash withdrawals, and hence bank runs, are not an option.

That is the argument; but as Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, observes:

The notion is that the economy’s poor economic performance is not due to the failure of economic policy but to people hoarding their money. The Federal Reserve and its coterie of economists and presstitutes maintain the fiction of too much savings despite the publication of the Federal Reserve’s own report that 52% of Americans cannot raise $400 without selling personal possessions or borrowing the money.

In an article titled “Exposing the Hidden Agenda of Davos 2016”, Zerohedge reports on a flurry of activity during and after Davos related to the push to go cashless. But stimulating demand may just be the cover story for something darker behind this orchestrated effort.

Rescuing the Economy or the Banks?

Of greater concern at Davos than “secular stagnation” was the imminent insolvency of some major banks. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in January from Davos, quoted William White, former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements, who warned:

The situation is worse than it was in 2007. Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up.

. . . European banks have already admitted to $1 trillion of non-performing loans: they are heavily exposed to emerging markets and are almost certainly rolling over further bad debts that have never been disclosed.

The European banking system may have to be recapitalized on a scale yet unimagined, and new “bail-in” rules mean that any deposit holder above the guarantee of €100,000 will have to help pay for it. [Emphasis added.]

It seems the War on Cash is being waged, not to stimulate the economy, but to save the lucrative private banking scheme at all costs. Quelling the riots likely to result from the mass confiscation of deposits could also underly the heightened push for a global “security state” and for those “anti-corruption” measures designed to determine where the money is and who owns it.

Postscript: Bail-ins under the new 2016 European Recovery and Resolution Directive began officially today, April 10, in Austria. Ominously, it was in Austria that a major bank bankruptcy triggered the Great Depression in 1931.


Ellen Brown is an attorney and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at She can be heard biweekly on “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.


28 Responses

  1. Thank you, Ellen:

     Dick Price & Sharon Kyle LA ProgressiveHollywood Progressive LA Progressive Facebook GroupLA Progressive Twitter Account LA Progressive Daily Newsletter

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    From: WEB OF DEBT BLOG To: Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2016 5:47 PM Subject: [New post] The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless #yiv3324510460 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3324510460 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3324510460 a.yiv3324510460primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3324510460 a.yiv3324510460primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3324510460 a.yiv3324510460primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3324510460 a.yiv3324510460primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3324510460 | Ellen Brown posted: “Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the “limited hangout” of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.The bombshell publication of the “Panama ” | |

  2. There is a little history at article “Lessons from the Credit-Anstalt Collapse” [] that may be of interest – even though the article is now around 5 years old.
    In London now you cannot get on a bus and pay for the ride in cash.
    I don’t just think this is part of creating a cashless society but of a monitoring security state, that electronically tracks all our movements.

    • I agree. I refuse to use any store cards too. I don’t like the idea of all of these stores knowing exactly what I buy and when.

  3. Reblogged this on Audacity and Supposition and commented:
    It’s your money and it’s your future whether ignored by you or NOT…


  5. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Like blood in the body, money must circulate freely for society to survive and thrive.

    • This has been known for quite some time: “Money is like manure, of very little use except it be spread.” Francis Bacon (1561-1626).
      It is a pity modern day economists seem to have forgotten this.
      Keynes updated it with his theory of marginal propensity to consume.
      The opposite – as now – is his marginal propensity to invest.

  6. Ellen,
    Thnx for all your hard work in researching both what the problems are and what solutions could work. It’s invaluable to repairing the massive damage that’s taken such a toll globally…

    I must say, however, that I don’t see how your solution(s) are any more viable than the myriad others that have been attempted over the centuries. That’s not a critique on the technical merits but rather on the immense mountain to overcome. There’s simply so much inertia in the entire system that it would take hundreds of millions of people with the exact identical wishes to make such an endeavor happen.

    Alternatively, there is another way. I’ve researched this for a number of years, looking for a way to make any such idea go viral (an action I thought was also needed). And I didn’t find any such path.

    So, this led me to hunt a solution not requiring any awareness campaign but one which could begin small, grow organically and exponentially and simply take over without being stopped. Now, having found such a way, I have refined it with the critiques of many people from various affected industries and it still stands as a solid solution.

    I would like to pitch it your way and get your opinions and possibly your support. The only action that needs to be done is to convince a small tight-nit group of its merits and I believe a person of your caliber could be the spokesperson capable of doing so. (And no, that group isn’t part of the elites or corporate heads or even the media. They’re actually very low visibility programmers of libertarian mindset.)

    I invite you to reply in private to which I will forward the proposal and its justifications with no strings attached. As with most genuine solutions, a sound-bite version would be subject to premature dismissal which is why you would be a perfect voice to champion it.

    Todd McKissick

  7. Welcome to the New World Order, as cash is eliminated from our hands and BIG MUMMA introduces the Cash Card, which will replace all cash and give those running the new system total control over all financial transactions.
    This will also be the means to make every citizen become members of a church, for without their membership of a church, one will not be able to buy or sell.

  8. Great article as usual, I agree whole heartedly with this assessment. However there may be another prong to this attack. This is also a prime opportunity for the governments of the world to set up a global taxation system in preparation for the global tax on carbon. A global tax system in conjunction with a system of electronic money will enslave us all.

  9. Very interesting article, as usual. I agree with most of Ellen’s commentaries. However, I do not share the view that the fight against tax havens must be put in the same garbage can together with bail-ins and the cashless world dystopia. I know that the Panam Papers affair may very well be an intelligence operation, and that financial big shots may want to hurt only some of the crooks and not all of them, but I also know that it is not the 99% who own shell companies and accounts in off-shore jurisdictions, and it is not the 99% who systematically evade taxes in their own countries, thus depriving govermnments of the essential tool to implement progressive policies. These off-shore havens are used precisely by the 0.1% and I feel no sympathy at all for these guys. So I guess that the more we know about this the better. Thank you for your work Ellen.

  10. I have had this belief about cash being outlawed for sometime now. There are many other sinister reasons for doing so. We the ordinary people will be enslaved by the corporations and it may happen faster than we think.

  11. […] War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless (Ellen Brown) […]

  12. […] образом панамский скандал активизировал развязанную Западом кампанию по борьбе с наличными […]

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  14. […] — source […]

  15. […] implanting these tiny microchips under your skin.”[8] As Ellen Brown wrote in her article “The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless”: “It’s all about knowing where the money is and who owns it, in order to tax it, […]

  16. […] Ellen Brown Writer, Dandelion Salad The Web of Debt Blog April 10, […]

  17. […] implanting these tiny microchips under your skin.”[8] As Ellen Brown wrote in her article “The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless”: “It’s all about knowing where the money is and who owns it, in order to tax it, […]

  18. […] ⇧   The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless | WEB OF DEBT BLOG […]

  19. […] centrinių bankų. Buvo svarstomas grynųjų pinigų panaikinimas. Nelauktai Panamos skandalas  suaktyvino Vakaruose pradėta kompanija kovos su grynaisiais pinigais. „Kovos su korupcija“ svarstymo […]

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