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Paul-Martin Foss

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The War on Cash in South Korea

The South Korean government is preparing to move to a cashless society as the Bank of Korea plans to phase out all coinage by 2020. Apparently not all governments are proceeding as quickly as the Indian government. South Korea’s government hopes to get its citizenry to deposit their coinage onto electronic travel passes that are widely accepted throughout the country. The Bank of Korea will undoubtedly watch to see how smoothly the phaseout of coinage proceeds in order to set a deadline further in the future for the eventual phaseout of paper notes.
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United States Maintains Banking Sanctions Against Iran

Despite the lifting of international sanctions against Iran earlier this year, the United States government intends to continue denying Iranian companies access to the US financial system. This highlights how the US financial system is viewed not as a market-based system in which private companies are free to do what they want, but rather as a tool of the federal government used to carry out the government’s policy aims. For the banks, it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, US banks have to comply with the federal government’s edicts, now matter how draconian. On the other hand, they continue to benefit from high barriers to entry that keep out competitors, as well as from subsidies such as deposit insurance and access to the Federal Reserve’s discount window and bailout facilities.
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Inflation And Banknotes: The War on Money

Inflation-racked Argentina is preparing to issue larger-denomination banknotes to alleviate critical shortages of cash in the country. What a difference between the Argentine government and most other Western governments, which seek to crack down on the use of cash.

Argentina’s 100 peso note is equivalent to a little over $7, and with inflation in Argentina having run in double digits for years, the 100 peso note is becoming too small a denomination to facilitate cash transactions. Therefore the Argentine central bank will be issuing 200 and 500 peso notes this year, and a 1,000 peso note next year. While the devaluation of the peso and the issuance of larger denomination banknotes conjures up images of Weimar hyperinflation, it is refreshing that the Argentine authorities are at least trying to facilitate cash transactions rather than crack down on them.
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