The Real Reason Behind the War on Cash and Why Banks Want to Go Digital

According to financial expert Chris Martenson with PeakProsperity.com, the war on cash is really rooted in central banks wanting to push customers into a negative interest rate, meaning they would lose money sitting in the bank over time.

"They feel constrained by the idea that you could take your cash out of the bank and no longer be subject to their policies," Martenson said.

RELATED: Lower Interest Rates Shored Up Big Banks But Killed People on Fixed Incomes

While governments and bank executives advocate for negative interest rates and a cashless society by gallantly saying they want to protect consumers from theft and nefarious players, it's really about controlling people's money.

What does Martenson recommend the average person do?

"Well, the average person, I think, needs to get into two things . . . which are assets that are outside of this crazy system. So, listen, you know, if you're on a ship called the Titanic and you see your captain playing slalom with icebergs, get near the lifeboats. And in this story, real assets are the lifeboats," he said.

Read below or watch the clip for answers to these questions:

• What is nonproductive debt?

• What's the one thing a government or policy official dreams of?

• Why should we think of a bank as a company?

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: A guy I believe I've been looking for, for at least ten years. Chris Martenson. I've been looking for a guy that sees the world in the way that I do, that doesn't buy into the, quite honestly, Harvard Business School or the Wharton School of Business lies that the bankers are telling themselves right now about what's coming in the economy and how do we get out of this mess.

He's from peakprosperity.com. We're proud to have him as a Glenn Beck contributor now. Last time we talked about the collapse of pensions and getting out of your pensions and taking that lump sum if you have that ability. Today, I want to talk to him a little bit about digitizing currency. Because this is not being heard in the media anywhere. They're not talking about it.

And, you know, two weeks ago, when India, all of a sudden, you can't into anything in cash over the equivalent of $7 in India, with cash. When Australia's Citibank, our Citibank says they're now going to be introducing branches completely cashless, something is coming our way. And we want to get Chris on the phone with us now. Hey, Chris, how are you?

CHRIS: Oh, I'm doing very well, Glenn. Good to be back with you and all your listeners.

GLENN: Okay. So, Chris, tell me -- first of all, for anybody who hasn't heard this, it sounds conspiratorial and it sounds crazy, that we're going to live in a cashless society.

Can you give us any evidence that is -- that shows, no, the world is changing rapidly?

CHRIS: Well, you know, this war on cash actually began a while ago with seeing somebody like Andrew Haldane, who is an official at the Bank of England or Larry Summers here in the United States. They started with this war, talking about how the high denomination bills are being used by criminals, terrorists, tax cheats.

GLENN: Right.

CHRIS: That's what it was wrapped in. But your listeners need to understand that the war on cash is really rooted in the idea that central banks would love to be able to push you into negative interest rate territory. They feel constrained by the idea that you could take your cash out of the bank and no longer be subject to their policies.

And they've been pretty open about it. They've been saying that, but they also use this criminal angle. So that's the same angle that was just used in India, by Prime Minister Modi to say, "Hey, we've got to get rid of these bills because criminals." Right? So that's the argument being used. But it's really to control the money of the people. That's really what it's about here.

GLENN: May I say, Chris, that it appears to me to be almost the angle of being able to steal our money as well.

They'll do it legally by a bail-in, as opposed to a bailout and negative interest rates. Can you explain negative interest rates and what that means to the average person that has any money in the bank at all?

CHRIS: Absolutely. I'd be glad to. It should be an easy concept, but it's hard to really understand. But a negative interest rate means, if I put a thousand dollars in the bank and there was a negative interest rate of 10 percent, in a year, I would have $900 left when we looked at it. So what happens with a negative interest rate is that you hand your money over to some institution or some entity, and you get less of it back in the future. That's the idea. And the reason they want to have a negative interest rate is if they put interest rates down at zero -- the idea is you want everybody spending. Borrowing and spending. But some people prefer to save. And those people aren't doing their job of cranking the economy up. So how do you force people to spend who don't want to spend?

Well, you punish them. And the way you punish them is with something called a negative interest rate.

GLENN: So you could -- because this is what I would do. I find out that the banks have changed their rules where they can have a bail-in, where we are now the -- the investor of last in line. Can you explain that? Do you understand what I'm talking about? If the banks go out instead of going to the federal government, they come to the people who put money in the deposits.

CHRIS: Well, sure. It's easy to understand if you think of a bank, not as a bank, but it's a company. And when a company goes into receivership, it's entered bankruptcy, it no longer -- its assets are vastly exceeded by its liabilities, well, you have to break that company up for whatever's left.

And there's a chain of -- a hierarchy of people who are in line to divvy up the spoils of what's left at this broken company. So what you're referring to is that most people have this wrong. They think that when they put money in a bank, they have money in a bank account. That's not true. What you've done is given an unsecured loan to the bank. And your asset is the bank's liability.

So in a bankruptcy or if a bank goes into what's called technically a receivership, you're actually at the -- almost at the very bottom of the list of people who are in line to receive the spoils of whatever is left of that company because you are an unsecured creditor of the bank.

GLENN: So it is a way for the bank to gamble, really, with your money, and make these crazy investments that we all know are dangerous. And they get away with it because they say, "Well, the government is going to pay -- the FDIC will pay everybody back." So they'll get their money through the government. And then we can take that money and pay off any of our debts or whatever. So when I heard about that, my first instinct is, "Well, I don't want my money in those risky banks. So I'm going to take my money out."

Well, if you do that, then the economy really collapses. So you have to trap the money in the bank. And how do you do that? Especially if they want to have negative interest rates and make sure that you're spending all of your cash.

CHRIS: Well, absolutely. For a government official or a policy official, the thing they dream about most is to have you completely trapped and contained so they can do whatever policies makes sense to them at the time. So cash gives you, as a private citizen, an outlet, a way of not being in the banking system.

But, Glenn, you've characterized it just right. So they're saying, "First of all, you have to be in the banking system. We're going to move to a cashless society. So you have to have all of your funds within this system. And then we're going to set the rules of the system," which basically comes down to, heads we win, tails you lose. Banks take big risks. The risks pay off. They pay themselves massive bonuses.

Risks don't work out. They don't get paid off. Then they come after your funds. And we've seen this happen already. That's what happened in Cyprus. That's what happened in some of the Greek banks. We're soon to see it in the Italian banks. It's spreading. It's a concept. It's coming here.

GLENN: All right. It's already happening in Australia. It's already happening in India. It is already happening in Sweden. They're talking about doing it now. Seriously moving in that direction.

Is this just a fluke that these things are happening, or is this wheel now in motion rolling down a hill and it's not going to stop?

CHRIS: Well, it really just started actually probably 15 or 20 years ago. So what's happened is that instead of allowing normal business cycles to happen -- under the Greenspan fed -- remember that name from way back -- decided, hey, we're going to defeat the business cycle. But what they really did was they blew bubbles. One bubble. Then another. Then another.

And the whole world kind of got addicted to it.

And I think the policymakers -- they feel trapped, Glenn. They're looking at this, saying, how do we possibly deal with all this money we've printed. What do we do? It's binary. It either expands, or it collapses at this point. That's, I think their fear.

And 2008 really scared them. Got a lot of people in very high places, very worried that they were looking at the proverbial light in the tunnel, coming at them.

So I think this is a reaction. I would also almost call it a normal reaction. But people need to be aware that at the same time these people, I think, were legitimately concerned, wouldn't you know it, by the time all the rules got written, they were really written in favor of the elites, the very powerful, the well-connected, and really at the disadvantage of everybody else. And that's just classic sausage-making in Washington, I think.

PAT: So, Chris -- we're speaking from Chris Martenson from peakprosperity.com. Chris, this is Pat Gray. You've said it's taken 15, 20 years to get to this point. Does that mean we still have time, or what would you consider the time line?

GLENN: May I suggest that we are one 2008 away from this happening.

PAT: Yeah. Is it something that can just start cascading now due to some -- we talk about it all the time. Some sort of event. Terrorism or whatever. Or will this draw out for a while longer?

CHRIS: Well, Pat, it's really hard to make that prediction. Because what we're talking about here is a complex system. And here's what we know about complex systems: You can't predict what's going to happen or when.

It's like a fault line is a complex system. Scientists study them like crazy. Because we'd love to know, when is the next earthquake? How big is it going to be?

We can't know that. But we can know is that the earthquake hasn't let go in a while, and it's supposed to. That the chance of the next earthquake happening sooner is higher. And it being larger is also higher. So what's happened since 2008 is we've just piled up the risks. We've just made them larger.

PAT: Because what you're saying, what the government counts on then is that, yeah, we can draw this out a lot longer. And that's what they're hoping for, right? They're just hoping to continue the policies that we've had which have led us here. But they're just going to keep going until we're --

GLENN: Right. We're already 18 months past a point where a natural recession should have happened.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: So now we never really got out of the problem that we had in 2008. We made it much worse. And going into a natural recession is going to cause all -- wreak all kinds of havoc and will -- they will try to solve it with things that will just make this bubble even more dangerous down the road.

Chris, what do we do? What does the average person do?

Like, for instance, when I saw Australia and India both go within two weeks to basically a cashless society in India, my first thought was, "Okay. I want to get gold. And I also want to get crazy things like possibly bitcoin."

What do you recommend? What does the average person do?

CHRIS: Well, the average person I think needs to get into two things you've just identified, which are assets that are outside of this crazy system. So, listen, you know, if you're on a ship called the Titanic and you see your captain playing slalom with icebergs, get near the lifeboats.

And in this story, real assets are the lifeboats. So I'm counseling people, get out of debt, stay out of debt if it's nonproductive debt. Don't do it.

GLENN: Wait. Wait. What's nonproductive debt? Like your house?

CHRIS: You know, buying a $40,000 car if you can still get to work in a $20,000 car and be happy as you can be. But anything that you're going to take on what's basically for consumption. Right?

GLENN: Right. Okay.

CHRIS: So rack up the credit card and take that nice trip. That's not going to be helpful here.

For many people, unfortunately, Glenn, it includes student loans. If you're getting a degree that doesn't really have a job attached to it, that may also be nonproductive.

GLENN: Okay.

CHRIS: So lots of things to think about. Because what we've learned in the 1930s was that when -- not if, but when these bubbles blow up, debt is a stone-cold killer. Being out from under that, very helpful if people can get there.

GLENN: And what do you do? Like assets, that's gold, that's silver, is that land? Is that, what?

CHRIS: It is. It's land. I particularly love productive land. It's either got timber on it. It's farmland. It's good commercial properties that happen to have excellent rental histories. Things like that can make a lot of sense. And this is because, what's going to happen when these currencies finally give way is there's going to be a big scramble for the exits. There's trillions and trillions of dollars floating around that are going to go out and look for real things.

And we've been down this path before in history. We've seen it a bunch of times. And it's happening -- I've seen you mention it before. It's happening right now in Venezuela.

GLENN: Chris, I would love to have you on next time. I want to talk to you a little bit about -- because I'd like to build the case on the -- you know, Donald Trump is talking about saying to China that they are currency manipulators. Well, I don't know how we have the balls to say that to China. We're the biggest currency manipulator on the planet right now. And it always leads to the same kind of thing. Trade barriers. Trade wars. Currency wars. And if you could explain that a little bit. Because what I would like to do over the next few episodes with you is get to the point to where people can understand that this currency -- what -- at least what I'm feeling, Chris -- and I'd like you to think about this and then we could talk maybe off the air -- but what I think we're headed towards is what we went through in the 19 teens, '20s, '30s, and into the '40s, where currencies were devalued, destroyed, hyperinflation happened, the gold standard. Then that was manipulated. And the whole world shifted during a war, that nobody really understood, "Wait a minute. The real power shifted with the currencies." And I think that's happening again. Would you agree with that?

CHRIS: I absolutely agree with that. And it takes a little while to go through the parts.

GLENN: Explain. Yeah.

CHRIS: But people need to understand what those big pieces are so they can decide for themselves what to do about it.

GLENN: Right. Okay. So could you -- let's -- why don't you and I talk off the air here, and maybe next week, we could have you and do one other segment and start to lay those segments out so people really understand what you and I just said and how that's going to work.

CHRIS: Fantastic. I'd love to.

GLENN: Okay. Chris Martenson. He's with peakprosperity.com. Peakprosperity.com. Chris Martenson. He'll join us again, hopefully next week.

Featured Image: People walk past Bank of America branch in Washington, DC on October 19, 2016. (Photo Credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.