The Curse of Cash

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Kenneth S. Rogoff

Translated to Russian by Alla Belykh; under scientific editing by Andrey Belykh. Moscow: Gaidar Institute Press, 2018. – 472 p.

ISBN 978‑5‑93255‑509-5

The world is drowning in cash – and it's making us poorer and less safe. In The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff, one of the world's leading economists, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money.

As Rogoff shows, paper money can also cripple monetary policy. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, central banks have been unable to stimulate growth and inflation by cutting interest rates significantly below zero for fear that it would drive investors to abandon treasury bills and stockpile cash. This constraint has paralyzed monetary policy in virtually every advanced economy, and is likely to be a recurring problem in the future.

The Curse of Cash offers a plan for phasing out most paper money – while leaving small-denomination bills and coins in circulation indefinitely – and addresses the issues the transition will pose, ranging from fears about privacy and price stability to the need to provide subsidized debit cards for the poor.