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Chase Joins the War on Cash

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The war against cash has, up to now, been waged almost exclusively by national governments and official international organizations, although there are exceptions.  Now the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S. and a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase and Co., according to Forbes, the world's third largest public company.   Of course , it is hardly surprising that a crony capitalist fractional-reserve bank, which received $25 billion in bailout loans from the U.S. Treasury, should want to curry favor with its regulators and  political masters and, in the process, ensure its own stability by helping to stamp out the use of cash.  For the very existence of cash places the power over fractional-reserve banks squarely in the hands of their depositors who may withdraw their cash in any amount and at any time, bringing even the mightiest bank to its knees literally overnight (e.g., Washington Mutual). 

What is a surprise is how little notice the rollout of Chase's new policy has received.  As of March, Chase began restricting the use of cash in selected markets, including  Greater Cleveland.  The new policy restricts borrowers from using cash to make payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines, and  auto loans.  Chase even goes as far as to prohibit the storage of cash in its safe deposit boxes .  In a letter to its customers dated April 1, 2015 pertaining to its "Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement,"  one of the highlighted items reads:  "You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value."  Whether or not this pertains to gold and silver coins with no numismatic value is not explained.  

As one observer commented:

This policy is unusual but, since Chase is the nation's largest bank, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more of this in this era of sensitivity about funding terrorists and other illegal causes.

Bet on it.

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