The Bank of England (BoE) may introduce negative interest rates to fight low inflation. After 6 years of near zero interest rates the Bank had previous indicated the next interest rate move with be upwards.
Andy Haldane, the BoE chief economist warned rates may have to go negative to support the economy as China slows and global stockmarkets continue to weaken. Worryingly, Haldene believes there are signs the world economy is entering a third phase of turmoil following the 2008-2009 banking catastrophe and the 2011-2012 euro sovereign debt crisis.
Speaking at the Portadown Chamber of Commerce Haldene suggested policymakers should be ready to implement new radical measures to support the economy including banning cash.
Banning cash is unlikely to happen in the short term due to opposition from the elite and a backlash from the public not wishing to have every transaction scrutinised.
However, if cash was abolished the popularity of physical gold would soar as people seek a private store of wealth outside the banking system.
As the performance of Central Bankers continues to come under scrutiny is it time to question their role in managing the monetary system?