The comfort of cash in a crisis

2개월 전

The comfort of cash in a crisis (FT)

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  • While the longer term trend is toward the demise of cash, the latest COVID pandemic seems to be fuelling a desire to hold more of it. The initial wisdom was that the crisis would accelerate the move to cashless, after all online shopping was booming and for those without bank accounts (apparently 1.7bn world wide) some form of government wallet would allow them the get the benefits of cash without having to actually hold it.

  • Federal Reserve surveys and data seem to suggest that while cash use at the till has declined slightly since COVID (only c. 25% of transactions), there has also been a spike in cash withdrawals. So basically Americans are using less cash but holding more.

  • US M1 money supply has been rising, and its been rising since well, way back to the 1990’s and the growth seems to have accelerated since 2010.

Analysis and Comments

  • At a time when the world is going more digital, it seems that in a crisis, we like to hold more cash for comfort reasons. Lets be clear, there is nothing to suggest that the trend to cashless shopping is slowing down any time soon, so good news for the payment processes.

  • The data still shows a slow & steady move away from cash for transactions. Although, as one expert says, it's so slow that the end of cash is unlikely to be in my lifetime.

  • Various countries are looking at going cashless. Sweden is the leader here, but the UK & NZ are also considering actions. The attraction for governments and banks is obvious (easier to track spending and reduced ATM costs respectively). We just don’t expect it to happen any time soon, despite the appeal in some quarters of digital currencies such as bitcoin

  • The problems are both social (poorer people have a greater need for cash, even if they have a bank account)& practical (“it is difficult to get cash to work in the way it is intended in times of heightened alert and war, if cash is not used to a certain extent in normal times as well”).

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The truth is I prefer cash hehe although I think it's because we've always been used to it, anyway it's not bad to keep some cash at home or at least I see it that way. But the truth is that digital is getting stronger and we can say that it's more comfortable and easy. But it's a matter of taste, so we'll keep using both.

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Indeed, cash is another way to store wealth, unfortunately, it was the worst way to keep wealth through time ! USD lost over 90% of its value through time and this is the currency that hold the best 🙂

Hello @vlemon
The truth is that here where I live, few people use banks, because actually maintaining a bank account involves an expense, and most people live from day to day. So cash is still the most used.
But, with all this, it's often difficult to get the cash, so it's time consuming to stand in long lines. I prefer digital, but, it's not up to me.
It's up to me to see what happens next.

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I see, I believe we do need both in order to be balanced. The issue I have with digital is that governments or banks can take it away in a second and so easily.

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That's a detail, it can be very limited by governments. Without doubt, the most favourable path would be for governments to enter into permanent support for technologies.

Quite a challenge for banks and governments, every day we advance to the disappearance of cash but I think that day is very far away

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I think it is VERY positive for banks and governments and VERY negative for citizens. This is why they are pushing it out so hard. That will give them full control over our finances ! 😑

@tipu curate

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Thank you so much @alokkumar121 for this ! 😃

People are scared of what may happen next and they have resolved that holding physical cash is the best option in order to survive.

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Yes but at the same time everybody knows that it might lose value since we are printing so much new cash. It is kind of interesting hehe

Imagine if people started protesting banking theft instead of all the other distractions they drone on about.