Liberty and the War on Cash


Participants explored the economic and political implications of trying to eliminate or replace cash and discussed connections between the availability of various payment mechanisms and the flourishing of political and economic liberty.


Conference Readings

“Venezuela’s lunatic experiment in demonetisation.” The Economist. (December 17, 2016).

Brito, Jerry and Andrea Castillo. Bitcoin: A Primer for Policy Makers. Arlington: Mercatus Center, 2013.

Chu, Ben. “Forget the fuss about the Bank of England’s new fiver. The truth is that cash has had its day.” Independent (October 2,  2016): 1-2.

Grant, James. “Hostage to a Bull Market.” The Wall Street Journal (September 9, 2016): 1-4.

Haering, Norbert. “A well-kept open secret: Washington is behind India’s brutal experiment of abolishing most cash.” Money and more. (June 15, 2017).

Heller, Nathan. “Imagining a Cashless World.” The New Yorker. (October 10, 2016).

Koning, J. P. “Aggressive demonetizations.” Moneyness. (November 8, 2016).

Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty [4th edition]. London: Longman, Roberts, & Green Co., 1869.

Modi, Narendra. “Text of Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation.” Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Prime Minister’s Office, November 8, 2016.

Rogoff, Kenneth S. The Curse of Cash. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: Volume 1. Indianapolis: LibertyClassics, 1981.

White, Lawrence H. “Against Currency Prohibitionism.” Alt-M. (April 1, 2016).

White, Lawrence H. “Baptists and Bootleggers in the Organized Effort to Restrict the Use of Cash.” Alt-M. (January 31, 2017).

White, Lawrence H. and George Selgin. “Why Private Banks and Not Central Banks Should Issue Currency, Especially in Less Developed Countries.” Library of Economics and Liberty. (February 15, 2017).

World Bank. “Financial Inclusion: Importance, Key Facts, and Drivers.” Financial Inclusion, Global Financial Development Report, 2014.