Coutts cancelling Nigel Farage’s bank account for holding unfashionable views should be a wake-up call for us all – it is just the tip of the iceberg. This politically motivated cancellation born out of “woke capitalism” is alarmingly widespread. You don’t have to agree with Farage’s politics to agree with him that something has gone terribly wrong in the institutions.
Banks de-banking customers for their views is also a forewarning of the totalitarian regime that will be ushered in if central bank digital currencies (“CBDCs”) become the sole form of “currency” to buy and sell.
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Writing for The Telegraph yesterday, Farage said: “In recent years this bank – 39 per cent owned by taxpayers, remember – has morphed into a woke warrior. It has become obsessed with public displays of political correctness rather than focussing on the business of managing and making money … Now it seems that other British banks are also marching down this one-way street.”
Reporting live from Bury, Nigel Farage promised to form a lobby group to get the rules on banking changed, to get the politics out of banks and building societies. “Don’t underestimate me, I mean this. We are going to fight and get justice for all of these wronged people,” he said. “Banking should be about banking and not becoming the moral arbiters for everybody else.”
De-Banking Should Sound the Alarm
Having a bank account is like having access to running water and a heated home. It’s impossible to function without one, wrote Matt Goodwin.
Removing this basic legal right from citizens, removing their financial freedom, simply because they happen to hold views that are unfashionable among the elite class is something you’d expect to find in communist China – not modern Britain.
“But if you think it’s just the banks then I’m afraid to say you’re wrong – this is just the tip of a very big and a very ugly iceberg,” Goodwin added and quoted from an article published by The Times earlier in the day:
Something strange has happened over the past few years in [UK] boardrooms up and down the country. Chairmen and chief executives have surrendered their common sense and succumbed to a form of corporate capture, otherwise known as the woke agenda.
The Coutts scandal can be traced back to two years ago when the bank proudly announced that it had achieved ‘B Corp’ status – a scheme a bit like Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme.
“When Coutts announced itself a B Corp, it was essentially saying that the bank had been politicised, which should have been a warning of what was to follow. Nigel Farage was excluded from the bank as part of its inclusivity agenda. His politics did not align with the bank’s values, so he was punished and ‘de-banked’,” The Spectator wrote. And continued:
“This is not a row about Farage. It is a shocking exposé of the culture that has prevailed in Coutts and NatWest. The banks sought to exercise political power and abandoned their duty to their clients. This mentality, sometimes described as ‘woke capitalism’, is alarmingly widespread.”
Banks are cancelling accounts at will in America as well
On 13 July, JP Morgan Chase Bank informed Dr. Joseph Mercola they are closing all of his business accounts, along with the personal accounts of his CEO, CFO and their respective spouses and children. Dr. Mercola’s CEO has been informed his young children also will never be allowed to bank with Chase in the future. No reason for the decision was given, other than there was “unexpected activity” on an unspecified account.
“This is what the new social credit system looks like, and what every soul on the planet can expect from the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) that are being rolled out. Go against the prevailing narrative of the day, and your financial life will be deleted,” Dr. Mercola wrote.
“Once everything is digitised, cash eradicated and the social credit system completely integrated and automated, this kind of retaliatory action for wrongthink could be a death sentence for some people.”
You can read Dr. Mercola’s full article in the file attached below or visit his archives HERE.
“With cash disappearing and with governments, including here in Australia, pushing for the creation of a central bank digital currency, de-banking is set to become a weapon for punishing those who do not subscribe to the approved narrative,” James Macpherson wrote.
“Digital currency means a person’s funds could be frozen or disappeared in an instant. And, without a bank account, it would literally be impossible to buy or sell. The infrastructure for a worldwide totalitarian regime is being constructed and road tested in our day.”
CDBCs are a Weapon for De-banking
As of the time of writing, CBDCTracker.org lists three countries or regions with retail CBDCs already “launched” – Bahamas, Jamaica and Nigeria – another five in the “pilot” stage, and another twenty in the “proof of concept” stage. Many more have at least researched wholesale CBDCs. “Wholesale” CBDCs are intended for commercial and central bank use and the like, while “retail” CBDCs are intended for the rest of us.
A report by the Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”) released just this month summarises the results of a survey of 86 central banks and concludes that “there could be 15 retail and nine wholesale CBDCs publicly circulating in 2030.”
When you read statements from high-level officials of the BIS, central banks, and governments, you get the impression that CBDCs are an exciting development in the evolution of money. The BIS, for example, calls them “a new tool in the financial inclusion toolkit.” An op-ed co-authored by BIS General Manager Agustín Carstens and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands frames them in the title as “CBDCs for the people.” An IMF working paper asserts that CBDCs can “bank large unbanked populations” in developing countries.
But when a CBDC was thrust upon the Nigerian people, adoption rates were abysmal at best – below 0.5 per cent even a year after its launch – and Nigerians took to the streets to demand access to cash.
CBDCs are widely unpopular in the United States as well. A CATO Institute national survey published in May found that only 16 per cent of Americans support the idea, and over twice as many (34 per cent) oppose it. 78 per cent responded that if a CBDC were offered, they would be unlikely to use it altogether.
CBDC Carry Enormous Risks
Risks CBDCs present include:
- the loss of settlement finality that comes with physical cash (as abandoning cash accompanies the push for CBDCs);
- loss of financial privacy;
- easy seizure of assets;
- loss of the ability to resolve problems at a local level with a commercial bank (as it would be doubtful that a central bank would come to be known for its customer service);
- outright prohibition on spending or purchase limits with certain merchants or on certain products; and perhaps most importantly,
- the paradigm shift from money as an exercise of economic freedom to one of social engineering by central banks and their respective governments.
The last point, social engineering, could manifest itself in various ways, including (to name just a few) negative interest rates (essentially a confiscation of one’s savings), the expiry of one’s money (with a date determined by the issuing central bank or its government) – or even discouraging the consumption of products like gasoline, plane tickets or red meat to enforce a climate agenda.
Another CATO resource dedicated to identifying the risks of CBDCs rightly points out that a CBDC could reduce credit availability, disintermediate banks, and challenge the rise of cryptocurrencies.
Finally, the increased surveillance also has a chilling effect on the public – even for legal activities. Enjoy vice (gambling, pornography)? Or, for Americans, want to buy a gun? Maybe you’ll avoid living your life as you presently do.
The timing of a global CBDC initiative is also suspicious given the present cultural and political climate of “cancelling” people with dissenting opinions and of Big Tech’s alignment with the Government to orchestrate something that resembles more of a PsyOp than “public health” as we have traditionally known it (as evidence from a FOIA request revealed).
Even if you think that a CBDC is a good idea, consider that its power may be turned against you when the political pendulum shifts in another direction and your views or activities are suddenly considered taboo or illegal by those in power. Real financial inclusion requires an economic system where financial censorship is harder to accomplish in the first place. (Paper cash helps here).
Oh, and by the way, the BIS itself calls physical cash “the most inclusive form of money we currently have.” With all the talk of financial inclusion, the global push to phase it out is, well, ironic. SEC Chair Gary Gensler was right when he declared that “we already have digital currency. It’s called the US dollar.” We can address the many shortcomings of the traditional financial system without introducing another digital dollar in the form of a CBDC.
The vast power that a CBDC would place in the hands of a nation-state or its central bank points in the direction of an unprecedented level of financial surveillance, censorship, and potentially de-banking the banked whenever it may serve certain political objectives. Thus, it is hardly an overstatement to say that we are at a crossroads for civilization.
We would also be wise to consider the words of FA Hayek, from The Road to Serfdom:
Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends. And whoever has sole control of the means must also determine which ends are to be served, which values are to be rated higher and which lower – in short, what men should believe and strive for.
Featured image: How Coutts built their very contrived 36-page case to “exit” Nigel Farage because his “commentary and behaviours do not align” with its values, Daily Mail, 20 July 2023
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