The digital euro is already being developed through European banks

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by Rhoda Wilson, Expose News:

Through the European Central Bank’s ‘climate and nature plan’, banks that fall under its supervision are being reviewed and subjected to on-site inspections to monitor the progress of their “digital transformations.”

Although no specific details are given on what “digital transformation” goals banks have been set, we can deduce by following the document trail that this equates to the preparation phase of the digital euro, the European Union’s central bank digital currency (“CBDC”).

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In January, Christine Lagarde posted a video message on her Twitter account with the caption: “A hotter climate and nature loss are changing our lives. We must understand what this means for the economy to fulfil our mandate. With our climate and nature plan, we are intensifying our efforts to help underpin stability and support the green transition.”

The sound is so low in the video below that even if you turn your sound up to the highest, it is still inaudible. It’s as if she doesn’t want us to hear what she has to say.

Source: Christine Lagarde on Twitter, 30 January 2024

In her tweet above, Lagarde attached a link to the European Central Bank’s ‘Climate and nature plan 2024-2025 at a glance’ web page.

After describing why climate change is relevant to the ECB, the page goes on to state what the ECB is doing about it:

ECB’s “Deep Dive”

The introductory paragraph above concludes with a link to a “deep dive” into the ECB’s “climate and nature plan 2024-2025.”

The “deep dive” sounds like a detailed plan and we would expect to see, well, a detailed plan.  Instead, it is a PDF file containing a cover page and five pages of graphics and bullet points.  Don’t believe us?  You can see for yourself HERE.

Without the detail, the summarised points in the “deep dive” are little more than a meaningless word salad.  On the other hand, having a vague meaningless plan would suit an agenda that wants to keep itself largely hidden from public view, and scrutiny, for as long as possible.

Summarising the ECB’s “deep dive,” the 2024-2025 plan builds on and expands the ECB’s work on five areas of its ‘action plan 2021’, ‘climate agenda 2022’ and ‘supervisory priorities for 2024-2026’.

One of the five areas that the ECB will be building on and expanding jumps out: “Payments, banknotes and market infrastructure.”  In this respect, the ECB’s ‘climate and nature plan 2024-2025’ states that it intends to:

  • Consider environmental aspects in the preparatory phase of the design of a digital euro.
  • Consider the relevance of environmental risks in the oversight of financial market infrastructures.
  • Eco-design of the next euro banknote series and of banknotes with 100% organic cotton by 2027.

We have not paraphrased the three bullet points above; they are exactly as and all that the “deep dive” says.

Earlier in its “deep dive.” the ECB boasted of its achievements so far.  Again, the image below is all that the ECB’s plan says about its achievements as of the end of January.  Note the comment about bank notes that we have circled in red.  The ECB highlights reducing the environmental footprint in two areas: “our own,” meaning the ECB’s “own,” and “banknotes.”

Climate and nature plan 2024-2025 (“deep dive”), European Central Bank,
30 January 2024, pg. 3

Granted, the 2024-2025 plan builds on and expands on a previously published plan, agenda and priorities and perhaps there is more detail provided in these documents.  So, what do these documents state about the digital euro and bank notes?

There is no mention of the digital euro or banknotes in the ‘action plan 2021’ or its ‘detailed roadmap of climate change-related actions’.   There is also no mention of the digital euro or banknotes in the ‘climate agenda 2022’.

Regarding bank notes, it’s beginning to seem as if the ECB has achieved something it never set out to do.  Perhaps the digital euro and “reducing the environmental footprint of banknotes” fall under the ‘supervisory priorities for 2024-2026’?

ECB’s Supervisory Priorities 2024-2026

The supervisory priorities “are based on the key risks that supervised institutions face in the current macro-financial and geopolitical environment,” the ECB states.  Adding, “They are revisited annually to reflect changes in the risk landscape and progress made on the previous year’s priorities, and can be adjusted at any time if justified by risk developments.”

The ECB directly supervises 112 “significant” banks and many more “less significant institutions.”  You can see a full list of the financial institutions that are supervised by the ECB HERE. We haven’t counted the number of “less significant institutions” but on the first page there are 50 institutions listed and the list is 35 pages long, which means there are in the region of 1,750 “less significant institutions” that also fall under the supervision, or control, of the ECB.

There is no mention of banknotes either in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (“SSM”) ‘supervisory priorities 2024-2026’.  However, the document does speak of a “digital transformation.”

Banks have been digital for years; apart from transactions in physical cash, all bank transactions are already digital.  So, it would be interesting to know what, exactly, is the “digital transformation.”

ECB’s Digital Transformation of Banks

We were hoping the text of the SSM’s ‘supervisory priorities 2024-2026’ would reveal the answer by way of a definition or listing of goals, but alas that was not the case.  We are left, therefore, to try to deduce what the “digital transformation” plan is from what the ECB’s document has to say about it and any other information we can glean from other sources.

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