Idiot fucking stupidity

Governments should consider scrapping high denomination banknotes such as the £50 note to combat financial crime and tax evasion, including paying builders in cash, a former bank boss who advises the UK government has argued.

The 1,000 CHF note, the €500, these might contribute to such problems. But when a meal out for two takes two £50 notes to pay for in the south of England then arguably our notes are already too small.

After all, the currency is there for our convenience, not that of the governors.

26 thoughts on “Idiot fucking stupidity”

  1. Not stupidity, evil. This is part of the plot to abolish any sort of money external to the banks existing at all.

    They’ll be claiming that “cash is used by paedophiles” next, no doubt.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    If they are concerned about people avoiding tax, there are other solutions they could consider. For instance, I would be a lot happier about paying tax if, for two seconds, I did not think they were going to p!ss my money away against the first wall they come to in a way that would shame a drunken Irish sailor after six months at the South Pole.

    Can’t think why they didn’t consider that one.

    When they stop thinking of new ways to waste my money, I will stop thinking of new ways to avoid giving them any.

  3. Attacks on cash=more state power and control over you.

    Of course a state-fellating former bank boss is going to be a keen supporter of tyranny in which he and his banking buddies will benefit massively.

  4. So settling a debt in legal tender is to be outlawed? If my builder/decorator/plumber says the bill is £1500 and I choose to pay him in Bank of England notes, he can’t refuse that form of payment can he? What he puts on his tax return is bugger all to do with me.

  5. For various reasons, cash is often the only acceptable payment method for an election deposit (it’s non-reversible, unlike just about all bank transactions).

    The deposit for candidates for the Mayor of London is £10,000, which is an awful lot of £20s.

    Just point that out to politicians, and we should be safe.

  6. SRSLY?

    In CH, nobody blinks at a 100 note (which in purchasing power terms is about £45-50) for a small purchase, and normally won’t blink at a 200. Above that people get squirrelly, largely due to risk of counterfeiting and simply providing that kind of volume of change.

    But really, £50 is too big? Not any more it isn’t…

  7. Since when did a £50 note become high denomination?

    A simple trip to a restaurant here can easily end up with a bill of $75. My I’m too lazy to look up the current exchange rate calculator tells me that a £50 note would be just enough to cover that 1 purchase.

    I wonder who will really make a profit on this move. No, actually I don’t wonder at all. Getting rid of reasonably sized notes will lead to more people paying electronically which equals more fees for banks. Who cares about the small retailer that makes 30¢ on a $6 pack of smokes only to pay 45¢ in bank fees just to process the transaction? Just as getting rid of the $500 bill did nothing to halt the flow of illegal drugs, the stated reason, this will do nothing to halt financial crimes.

  8. The first time I saw a £50 note, several were being deposited by the woman in front of me at the bank. She was, I suspect, a lady of easy virtue. Probably Tim knows what such people charge.

  9. “Easy virtue” doesn’t quite cut it these days, given the general expectations of freebies among the population. “Negotiable virtue” seems rather closer to the correct description.

  10. @abacab cheap food is definitely cheaper here. I just took a look at Tesco’s meat offerings and the prices seem to be slightly lower. Add in that I have to drive to a farm to be sure to avoid coal tar dyes you might want to rethink that statement. Since I can’t eat coal tar derivatives anymore food is a major expense.

  11. If my builder/decorator/plumber says the bill is £1500 and I choose to pay him in Bank of England notes, he can’t refuse that form of payment can he?

    Yes he can. Legal tender has a very specific and narrow definition.

    You cannot be sued for non-payment of a debt if you pay in to the court in legal tender. That’s it. He could insist on payment by cheque or bank transfer to his business bank account so that he can keep his VAT straight, for example.

  12. tax evasion robs countries of up to 70% of their tax income

    He’s jumped the fucking Ritchie. I know it is “up to” but what country loses 70% of its hypothetical tax income through evasion?

    The paper says that a 2009 World Bank statement / report (wholly inadequately referenced at footnote 7) claims this for Pakistan but I suspect that’s neither realistic nor, in mass, unlinked to Pakistan’s interesting attitudes to corruption and other more generic problems than high denomination bank notes.

  13. What I love about this “anti money laundering” stuff is it’s all totally counterproductive.
    The harder you make it for people to move money out of the “black”, the less incentive there is for them to do so. So they spend it “black” & the receivers of the “black” money spend it “black” & round & round it goes, multiplying.

  14. “tax evasion robs countries of up to 70% of their tax income”

    If only. That would be wonderful.

    Only second best to “robbing” them of 100% of “their” tax income tho’.

    Perhaps I am a Utopian too.

  15. “He could insist on payment by cheque or bank transfer to his business bank account so that he can keep his VAT straight, for example.”

    They may also see an offer of cash as a bit nudge-nudge.

    The British tradesperson is notoriously moralistic about these matters, and bank notes can cause grave offence.

    It’s probably why BiS had to leave.

  16. As many have point out, this whole exercise is to ban the use of cash for ANY transaction. No cash means greater government control over all transaction over their subjects.

    Remember the ruckus that occurs when William the Conqueror decided to commission Domesday Book just so he can figure how much there is to be taxed by the Crown? Same differences here except for the technology.

  17. Ritchie is of course in favour of this nonsense as ‘no one needs a £50 note’ Just another step towards ultimate control by people like him.

  18. This makes no sense. Am I not going to deal in cash with a builder because it’s in £20 notes rather than £50s? The highest UK note will be worth only £20 but there will still be €200 notes in the EU? Is the intention the elimination of lower denomination notes so that the govt. will know what I spend in the pub and bank’s ability to charge for electronic transactions?
    Paying £500 in cash might have saved me £100 in VAT and the builder £100 in income tax but that is likely to be put back into the economy and taxed at some point.

  19. A garage once refused to accept my payment for a £300 repair bill in £20 notes; fortunately the dozy receptionist had already given me the keys.
    As Ian B says: cash frees people from the banks ownership of the national money.

  20. I quite like the idea of a “black” economy building up where people use large denomination Euro notes. I suppose that your smartphone will give you an instantaneous exchange rate.

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