Cash and Crises: No Surprises by the Virus

Over the past years, there has been an intense discussion about restricting the use of or even abolishing cash (Rogoff, 2016, SummersSands, 2016). The advocates of such drastic measures typically refer to the fact that cash will become obsolete anyway as electronic payments gain more and more importance. However, global cash in circulation increased enormously since the beginning of the 1990s (see Fig 1, and its trend growth became even steeper over time (Jobst & Stix, 2017; Bech et al., 2018; Shirai & Sugandi, 2019; Ashworth & Goodhart, 2020). For the major currencies, growth in cash holdings even exceeded GDP growth in the last decades (See Fig 2.)

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