War on cash to pump up silver, wine, art, gold: James Saft
(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)
Like it or hate it, the war on large-denomination cash will have an impact on other markets, as investors and crooks alike look for convenient stores of value.
In short, if cash becomes harder to get in large size, look for money to flow to art, wine and precious metals, as investors lawful and of other stripes seek alternatives.
There has been a sudden chorus of authoritative voices calling for an end to the printing of the highest value bank notes, most notably by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi who on Feb. 15 said the bank may drop its 500-euro note over concerns about its use in crime. Adding his voice a day later was former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who called for a moratorium on printing new $100 bills, also citing its role in crime.
There is surely an interesting argument in favor of ditching the big bills, which play a central role in many kinds of undesirable pursuits, from drug dealing, to money laundering to garden variety tax evasion. There is also, though Summers downplays it, a connection between getting rid of large notes and making negative interest rate policy (NIRP) run more smoothly.