io9 put together a list of The 14 Dumbest Schemes That Cobra Ever Came Up With On G.I. Joe. Some really wacky ideas, what do you expect from a kids cartoon? But not all of them are totally insane. Some have merit, just bad implementation.
Take for instance plan 5:
5) Destroying All Currency, “Money to Burn”
Cobra creates a device that destroys all the world’s currency. This completely absurd, impossible device is somehow not the stupidest part of the plan; the stupidest part is that Cobra Commander thinks that people will trade their non-cash valuables, likely jewelry, to him for a new currency which is basically a new gold coin with his face on it. Ignoring the fact that even if people did somehow agree Cobra Bucks would be the new world currency, the loss of all that cash would completely destroy the economy and probably civilization, and Cobra would basically rule the world of Mad Max.
This plot is not that insane. And many banks would like to do it.
Most of the world’s currency exists in electronic form. With only part of it being physical banknotes and coins. All the long term deposits in banks are just stored in computers.
As I see it, destroying all the (physical) money would have 2 advantages:
- It costs money to make the physical currency. Physical notes and coins wear out. And then money needs to spent again to replace them. So you are saving money by keeping it all electronic.
- Tracking. If all your transactions are done electronically, via Credit/Debit cards/etc, it is much easier for the bank (and government) to track where you spend all your money. You can then create nice profiles of people’s spending/travel habits.
So, Cobra wasn’t too insane. They just need to work on scheme implementation.