by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:
QUESTION: Marty, you mentioned several times now, that the ECB MUST convert to a digital Euro. I have done speeches about that based on a paper from the IMF (Christine Lagarde) last year, in which they too discuss how to do it. But I have a serious question regarding timing.
I live in Germany and I would say that WE (the country) are not ready for such a move yet. Let alone many people. I have people in my family who still don’t have smartphones (just plain mobile).
I am completely with you that this move is coming (I am also part of a crypto community but as a critical member (I am the party spoiler there)).
But how can they move to a digital Euro to prevent bank runs, when I can’t see the infrastructure in place to do so.
Especially in such a short amount of time rg. the date you mentioned. They can eliminate cash withdrawals, yes, but paying with my smartphone reguires technology .. ?
Thanks a lot,
ANSWER: We are talking about bureaucrats. They only think in concepts much like Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset. The practical application of what they are doing is not there. They lack even the infrastructure, as in California, to force all cars to be electric. They do not have the power grid to support that.
I was in meetings where they actually told me with a straight face that they had to take trading the Euro away from Britain. I asked if they were going to take it away from the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc? They looked at me puzzled, and said no! Just Britain. I asked if they really wanted to control the Euro just convert it into the old Soviet Union ruble. No free market at all.
Then there was all the rage that in London the big banks all threatened that they would move their trading to Frankfurt if BREXIT took place. But again, neither Frankfurt nor Paris has the telecommunication capacity of London. They could not possibly set up shop in Europe. There is no infrastructure to match London.
The problem that is the hidden crisis is that they have DESTROYED their own bond market. The ECB cannot even allow its balance sheet to shrink as debt matures. The Federal Reserve was not rolling over the debt they bought back in the 2007-2009 crisis. As it matured, they cashed it in.
The ECB is trapped. It cannot shrink its balance sheet for there is no market for the debt. They have finally agreed to fund this Coronavirus destruction they organized by creating combined Euro Debt for the first time. That is because nation-states cannot raise the capital.
They lack the infrastructure on every front. That does not mean they will not try. They have run out of opinions. They are desperately trying to revive their debt market, but they have wiped it out with negative interest rates since 2014.
This is what I keep warning about. INFLATION has nothing to do with the money supply any longer. Those are an old idea from the time of Gresham’s Law in advising Queen Elizabeth not to debase the currency as her father did.
We must understand that the exchange value between the various currencies back then was the metal content. Therefore, inflation was a factor of the exchange rate rather than the money supply. The more the coinage was debased, the more people hoarded the old currency. Hence, Gresham’s Law became that bad money drives out good. As this process takes place, the money supply DECLINES because of hoarding. This forces the state to debase even more to create money to pay its expenses. Roosevelt confiscated gold in 1934 for the same reason – people were hoarding gold. The German hyperinflation was the result of the 1918 Communist Revolution which scared people and they converted their money to foreign currencies and hoarded precious metals. The greater the hoarding, the more the money supply shrank, which in turn forced the government to print more.
We find hoards of Roman coins during the 3rd century in particular after Valerian I (253-260AD) was captured by the Persians. That broke the confidence of the Roman people and other barbarian tribes in the north saw the weakness and began to invade.
The coinage collapsed in metal content in just 8,6 years. We find hoards of even the debased coinage because people lost confidence in the government. We see the very same patterns in human behavior over and over again.
This is a hoard of Arab gold dinars. We see always the same pattern of hoarding when there is a decline in the confidence of the government in power at that time.