Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Global Move Towards Cashless Society Continues, The First Casualty Is Truth, Russia Sends A Signal In Baltic Flyovers


Stepwise progression towards the MOTB continues:



Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash



On a recent Monday in April, more than 100 executives from some of the world’s largest financial institutions gathered for a private meeting at the Times Square office of Nasdaq Inc. They weren’t there to just talk about blockchain, the new technology some predict will transform finance, but to build and experiment with the software.

By the end of the day, they had seen something revolutionary: U.S. dollars transformed into pure digital assets, able to be used to execute and settle a trade instantly. That’s the promise of a blockchain, where the cumbersome and error-prone system that takes days to move money across town or around the world is replaced with almost instant certainty. The event was created by Chain , one of many startups trying to rewire the financial industry, with representatives from Nasdaq, Citigroup Inc., Visa Inc., Fidelity, Fiserv Inc., Pfizer Inc. and others in the room.

The technology’s potential has captivated Wall Street executives because it offers a way to free up billions of dollars by speeding transactions that currently can take days, tying up capital. But a huge piece of that puzzle is transforming cash into a digital form. And while some firms have conducted experiments, the Chain event showed a large number of them are now looking jointly at a potential solution.

“We created a digital dollar” to show the group at Nasdaq an instant debit and credit on a blockchain, said Marc West, chief technology officer at Fiserv, a transaction and payments company with more than 13,000 clients across the financial industry. “This is the first time the money has moved.”

While cash in a bank account moves electronically all the time today, there’s a distinction between that system and what it means to say money is digital. Electronic payments are really just messages that cash needs to move from one account to another, and this reconciliation is what adds time to the payments process. For customers, moving money between accounts can take days as banks wait for confirmations. Digital dollars, however, are pre-loaded into a system like a blockchain. From there, they can be swapped immediately for an asset.




Last month, a “secret meeting” that involved more than 100 executives from some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States was held in New York City.  During this “secret meeting“, a company known as “Chain” unveiled a technology that transforms U.S. dollars into “pure digital assets”.  Reportedly, there were representatives from Nasdaq, Citigroup, Visa, Fidelity, Fiserv and Pfizer in the room, and Chain also claims to be partnering with Capital One, State Street, and First Data.  This “revolutionary” technology is intended to completely change the way that we use money, and it would represent a major step toward a cashless society.  But if this new digital cash system is going to be so good for society, why was it unveiled during a secret meeting for Wall Street bankers?  Is there something more going on here than we are being told?
None of us probably would have ever heard about this secret meeting if it was not for a report in Bloomberg.  The following comes from their article entitled “Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash“…

Why this is so alarming is because we are seeing other major moves toward a cashless system all over the planet.  In Sweden, 95 percent of all retail transactions are already cashless, and ATM machines are being removed by the hundreds.  In Denmark, government officials actually have a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030.  And in Norway, the biggest bank in the country has publicly called for the complete elimination of all cash.
Other nations in Europe have already banned cash transactions over a certain amount. Here are just a couple of examples
As I have written about previously, cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have already been banned in Spain, and France and Italy have both banned all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.
Little by little, cash is being eradicated, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning. 417 billion cashless transactions were conducted in 2014, and the final number for 2015 is projected to be much higher.
The global push toward a cashless society is only going to intensify, because banks and governments both tend to really like the idea of such a system.

Banks really like the concept of a cashless society because it would force everyone to be their customers.  There would be no more hiding cash in a mattress at home or trying to pay all of your bills with paper money.  Under a cashless system, we would all be dependent on the banks, and they would make lots of money whenever we swiped our cards or our “chips” were scanned.
 Our lives would become open books to the government, and financial privacy would be a thing of the past.
In addition, the potential for tyranny would be absolutely off the charts.

Just imagine a world where the government could serve as the gatekeeper for who is allowed to use the cashless system and who is not.  They could require that we all submit to some sort of government-issued form of identification before being permitted to operate within the system, or it is even conceivable that a loyalty oath would be required.

Of course if you did not submit to their demands, you could not buy, sell, open a bank account or get a job without access to the cashless system.
Hopefully people can understand where this is going.  Paper money is a very important component of our freedom, and if it is taken away from us that will open the door for all sorts of abuse.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to see where all of this is going.  And for those of us that understand what time it is, this is a clear indication that it is getting late in the game.







In the wake of new accusations of Russian “aggression” in the Baltic Sea, the US Navy’s top officer has called for a "normalization" of relations between Washington and Moscow.

After a pair of Russian Su-24’s were accused of flying "unprofessional" maneuvers near the USS Donald Cook as it sailed through the Baltic Sea in early April, the Pentagon accused the Kremlin of similar incidents. Last Friday, the US accused a Russian Su-27 of intercepting a US RC-135 surveillance plane flying in the region.

The Pentagon described the encounter as "unsafe and unprofessional," and on Monday Admiral John Richardson, the top US Navy officer, issued a call for "normalization" in relations between the two countries.

Richardson, along with other Pentagon officials, seems unwilling to consider the possibility that US warships and spy planes operating over 4,000 miles from home near Russian borders could be the real source of the tensions.
On Saturday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stressed that the interception was carried out in accordance with international law.
"At the same time we want to note that the RC-135U reconnaissance plane tries to sneak up to the Russian border with the transponder turned off all the time," he told reporters. "Therefore, air defense forces on duty have to lift our fighter to visually identify the type of aircraft and its tail number."




Readers of this publication will no doubt be well-versed in the knowledge that, when an empire is nearing the end of its period of domination, war is almost always used by leaders as a last-ditch attempt to maintain order. (During wartime, a populace tends to focus more on the war than the failure of its leaders. In addition, they’re likely to tolerate the removal of freedoms by their leaders to be “patriotic”.)
This being the case, we might surmise that an empire in decline would be likely to display similar symptoms to a country at war. One of those symptoms might well be the loss of truth, not just as it relates to warfare, but as it relates to the society as a whole. A nation in decline might even welcome the disappearance of truth, as it would allow the people to continue to feel good about themselves at a time when a truthful outlook would be too unpleasant to be tolerable. Further, the closer to collapse the country may be (economically, politically, and socially), the more extreme the self-created loss of truth would likely be.
All of the above I believe are symptoms of a greater problem. As a Briton, I’m very aware that, during the decline of the British Empire, many of my fellow Brits pretended that it wasn’t happening, saying, “There will always be a Britain,” and “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” And, tellingly, they continued to behave as though Britain were still top doggie in the neighbourhood. (We still had vestiges of this, right up until the 1980s, decades after it was clearly all over.)
The US, in its own decline, is showing this same self-destructive tendency. The worse things get, the greater the inclination of the citizenry to say, “Carry on, everything’s fine.”
When a ship is going down, the very worst reaction is to pretend that everything’s fine and that it will all turn out okay. Yet, just as it occurred in Britain, we see today in the American people a desire to pretend that, although all is not well, there’s a rainbow just over the next rise, and that if the people (and their presidential candidates) will only make their hopes and promises big enough, the greatness will return along with good times for all.

I wish that that were the case, but I’m inclined to believe that self-deception does not improve the situation; it exacerbates it. Better to face reality then create a plan to address that reality.







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