Looking at the news this week, regarding the fact that the European Central Bank (ECB) has advised that, after next year, it will discontinue printing and distributing its €500 note, I have a point to make. Turn the clock back to the 1990s, when the EU was planning the switch to the Euro, from national currencies, I wrote an article, predicting that the large note would facilitate bulk cash smuggling, and thereby money laundering.
Of all the major media in Europe, only the Guardian saw fit to print my warning. Now, with the €500 note having played a major role in European, and indeed, global, money laundering, someone at the ECB has finally agreed with me. I wonder how many money launderers have now advised their clients to immediately divest themselves of their cash stash of the 500s, and switch to the €200, lest they later are questioned, when they deposit the big notes after 2018.