Key Words: Former IMF economist argues for a (relatively) cash-free America

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Nearly 80% of the cash circulating outside financial institutions is in $100 bills, writes Kenneth Rogoff in his weekend essay. The Fed and the Treasury Department, according to the Rogoff essay, have recently dropped their longtime contention that 70% of the demand for U.S. paper currency is overseas.

Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist Kenneth S. Rogoff argues in a Review section essay in the Wall Street Journal weekend edition that the U.S. should become a far more cashless society and, in fact, should move toward a phase-out of large notes, saying:

‘[P]aper currency lies at the heart of some of today’s most intractable public-finance and monetary problems.

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