We need to think about money! Because money is changing fast and we want to have a say on those changes before it is too late.
The Australian Dollar (‘the Aussie’) is one of the world’s best fiat currencies, we are proud of the Aussie and all it represents. But nothing is static. Money is changing globally and we need to consider how the Aussie may also change. There are three main changes underway.
Firstly, we have evolving monetary policies which are leading to a significant increase in the amount of money in the economy, the more money available, the less it is of value, this reduces the value of our savings.
Secondly, we have an international ‘race to the bottom’ for currency valuations, this reduces the purchasing power of our money as imports are more expensive.
Thirdly, we have the rapid development of technology that can lead to ‘surveillance money’. Surveillance money means somebody watching over our money, where we spend it, where it comes from and how much we have.
Of course our money is controlled by the Government. We trust them to protect our savings, keep our money strong and allow us complete freedom relative to how, when and where we spend our money. This trust is however being tested.
The reality is that Governments are under pressure to do the opposite of what we would like them to do for us as individuals. Some argue that it is not good for the economy for individuals to save because this reduces economic activity, it is not good for the domestic economy to have a high value currency as this hampers exports and that it is not good to allow privacy because this reduces the opportunity to catch criminals. What we are seeing now is a situation in money policies where the interests of the greater good are the opposite of the interests of the individual.
With the recent introduction of the DCEP China has created the world’s first ‘surveillance money’. This money could be programmed by the Government to expire (this encourages spending to boost the economy). The amount of money in circulation can be adjusted by typing an instruction on a keyboard (adjusting the exchange rate of the currency) and individuals, organisations and corporations can be censored or excluded altogether from the financial system if they fail credit or social scores or lobby against Government policy. Essentially the DCEP is a weaponised form of money that can be used to help control the citizens of China and perhaps anyone who wants to do business with China (possibly Silk Road participants).
Why is this important for the Aussie? Well for a start our Reserve Bank is working on an Aussie form of CBDC. This work is taking place now and it is of concern that decisions could be made without an informed and open discussion with the widest possible Australian community. In particular a voice from the Human Rights and Civil Liberties community.
How much financial freedom are we prepared to give up for the greater good ? Will we be able to have a choice on the types of money we can use ? How can we protect our money from currency debasement ? Will the Government be able to censor our money ? These and other high level questions have not been brought to the public’s attention, thus far we seem to not be a part of the debate at all, is it the case that the Government will just decide based on our best interests ? Certainly that is what has happened in China. Citizens have no say, no control, no choice and no escape from surveillance money.
China is now proposing a set of global rules for CBDC’s. China is leading the world with CBDC initiatives and I am not trusting that they have the best interests of the Aussie or other democracies in mind.
Trust but Verify is a good life motto. In the case of money I feel we should all be seeking verification from our Government that our right to uncensorable money that cannot be debased by the Government and that maintains our absolute privacy in dealings with each other will be maintained or even enhanced with the introduction of an Aussie CBDC. In a democracy these rights are traditionally held ahead of the greater good arguments, we need to do all we can to preserve privacy and freedom in the Aussie for generations to come.
8 April 2021