Initial findings suggest that a recent large-scale trial of so-called ‘paper money’, or ‘bank notes’, has generally been a great success.
Mark Carney, outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, said that while the production of bank notes represented a departure from the Bank’s traditional role of predicting the end of the world or sitting on its hands to prevent movements in interest rates, he could see them playing a part in facilitating financial transactions.
‘While bank notes have no intrinsic value, unlike the real electronic money in your bank and credit card accounts,’ said Carney, ‘we believe they may have a role to play in the economy. They are readily transferable, platform-independent and can’t be switched off by Huawei. They can also be useful in the rare instances where electronic devices fail to function.’
Trial participant Debbie Torres illustrated this point. ‘I was in a fast food outlet in Islington where you order on a touch screen, pay by card and then wait for robots to cook and assemble your order, when the payment system went down,’ she said. ‘You can imagine the amazement of other disappointed customers when I went to the front of the queue and presented the cashier, who actually turned out to be human, with one of those ten pound note things. She even gave me some metal discs in return, which I’m told you can use for rewarding street musicians or throwing in fountains when you’re bored with taking selfies.
However, the authorities are resisting the roll-out of coins and notes, saying it will make it harder for them to investigate people’s transactions and take what is due to them in ‘taxes’. These taxes are more commonly known as protection money, because they supposedly pay for our protection by health workers, the police, the armed forces and politicians, but it is widely accepted that these are ineffective ‘front’ organisations set up by the shadowy civil servants and bankers who really run the country.