The International Plot to Kill Big Bills

Bye-bye Benjamin?

by Victoria Stilwell and Aki Ito

Every week, hosts Tori Stilwell, Dan Moss and Aki Ito bring you a jargon-free dive into the stories that drive the global economy.

For criminals looking to sell drugs, fund terrorism, evade taxes or bribe government officials, cash is king. That’s why a growing chorus of academics and policy makers want to do away with high-denomination bills around the world, culminating last week in the European Central Bank’s decision to stop printing the 500 euro note. But does this put us on a slippery slope toward a cashless society, where Big Brother can monitor our every financial move? Tori and Aki discuss with Peter Sands, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School and the former CEO of Standard Chartered Plc, whose research helped spark the debate.

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