Kenneth Rogoff: The Curse of Cash, Nov. 2

The Curse of Cash: How Large-Denomination Bills Aid Crime and Tax Evasion and Constrain Monetary Policy

Kenneth Rogoff

Special Seminar with Kenneth Rogoff

Introduction by Andrew W. Lo

4:30pm to 5:30pm, Thursday, November 2
Samberg Conference Center 6th Floor
MIT Chang Building (E52)
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142

It is high time for advanced-economy governments to accelerate the move to “less-cash societies” by addressing the growing disconnect between steadily rising currency issuance (mostly in large notes like the $100 bill) and ever-declining use of cash in legal, tax-compliant payments.

Building on two decades of research, Part I of the book makes the case for how government’s approach to currency usage is penny-wise and pound foolish. Part II explores how phasing out most paper currency will pave the way for much more effective central bank policy in the next financial crisis, in particular allowing for effective negative interest rate policy. Part III looks at the future of transactions media and the global currency system.

An afterword to the 2017 paperback edition explores India’s dramatic demonetization, which took place only months after the book’s publication.

For more information, contact Crystal Myler at


Kenneth Rogoff is Thomas D. Cabot Professor at Harvard University. From 2001–2003, Rogoff served as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund. His 2009 book with Carmen Reinhart, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly has been very widely cited by academics, policymakers and journalists. His treatise Foundations of International Macroeconomics (joint with Maurice Obstfeld) is the standard graduate text in the field worldwide. His new book, The Curse of Cash, argues the case for drastically scaling back the world’s paper currency supply. His monthly syndicated column on global economic issues is published in over 50 countries. He is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Economic Advisory Panel of the New York Federal Reserve.

Rogoff is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Group of Thirty. Rogoff is among the top eight on RePEc’s ranking of economists by scholarly citations. He is also an international grandmaster of chess.

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