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“加密克星”:数字欧元先发制人危及商业银行

“加密克星”:数字欧元先发制人危及商业银行

Adrian Croft 2021年03月17日
欧洲央行的这项提议就是为了在这样一个日益数字化的世界中创造一种自由、安全且值得信赖的支付方式。

欧洲银行原本就面临着一波由新冠疫情引发的潜在坏账潮。雪上加霜的是,其生存能力很可能会遭遇另一个意想不到的新威胁:欧洲央行(European Central Bank)提议推出数字欧元。

为19个欧元区成员国的3.4亿人口制定货币政策的欧洲央行,已经公开炫示数字欧元的前景。该行宣称,这将是“所有公民和企业都可以使用的一种电子形式的央行货币”。

欧洲央行表示,新冠疫情正在推动现金加速衰退,而这项提议就是为了在这样一个日益数字化的世界中创造一种自由、安全且值得信赖的支付方式。

但银行官员明确指出,数字欧元也是欧洲央行采取的一种反制措施。近年来,比特币(Bitcoin)和以太币(Ether)等加密货币的崛起令人眼花缭乱,PayPal和Revolut等金融科技的商用化呈现爆炸式增长,各种数字货币接踵而至,比如Facebook准备推出数字货币Diem(前身为Libra)。欧洲央行从中窥探到一种危险:大型科技公司可能会从欧洲银行业的蛋糕中攫取更大的份额,从而严重削弱该行对欧洲金融体系的掌控力。

美国银行(Bank of America)旗下经纪部门美银证券(BofA Securities)在上周发布的一份报告中称:“我们认为数字欧元是一项先发制人的应对措施,欧洲央行希望它成为加密货币的克星,并借此消解来自大型金融科技公司的威胁。”今年迄今为止,随着特斯拉(Tesla)购买了15亿美元的比特币,大型机构投资者对这种加密货币的兴致持续上涨,比特币的价格几乎翻了一番,助推其总价值不断飙升,现已突破1万亿美元大关。

欧洲央行的行长克里斯蒂娜·拉加德在今年1月表示,该行最早将于4月决定是否推进数字欧元计划。但她也透露称,这种数字货币或许要在五年后才会正式面世。

但欧洲央行似乎已经下定决心。副行长路易斯·德金多斯本月在接受葡萄牙《公报》(Publico)采访时指出:“对我们来说,数字欧元不是一个选项,而是我们必须要做的事情。”在1月结束的一场围绕数字欧元计划的公众咨询中,这家总部位于法兰克福的央行收到了8000多条评论。

“面向所有人”

欧洲央行强调称,数字欧元将与欧元纸币和硬币共存,而不是取而代之。

尽管如此,一些人对该计划可能对欧元区深陷泥潭的商业银行造成的影响感到忧虑。欧洲央行警告称,新冠疫情大封锁让无数企业遭受重创,在最坏的情况下,这些商业银行由此面临的坏账冲击可能高达1.4万亿欧元(约合1.7万亿美元)之巨。

在疫情爆发之际,一些银行,特别是希腊、塞浦路斯、葡萄牙和意大利的银行,仍然背负着2008年金融危机遗留下来的数十亿美元有毒债务。

“附带损害”

一些专家担心,如果欧洲央行推出数字欧元,欧洲人会争先恐后地在央行开设数字账户,从欧元区银行赖以生存的活期账户中吸走数万亿资金,从而危及这些银行的收入来源。要知道,对商业银行来说,活期账户向来都是一个廉价而且可靠的资金来源。

这意味着商业银行无论如何都是遭受损失的一方——无论是大型科技公司吃掉他们的午餐,还是被欧洲央行吸走存款。

美银证券警告称,欧洲央行推出数字欧元的决定,很可能对欧元区银行造成“附带损害”。

至关重要的是,数字欧元吸走的资金来自人们每月存储工资的账户。用美银证券的话说,这是“质量最高、流动性需求最低的资金。”

美银证券表示,即使欧洲央行像它所提议的那样,将个人持有的数字欧元上限设为3000欧元(约合3600美元),那也会有1万亿欧元(约合1.2万亿美元)从商业银行流向欧洲央行。美银证券的分析师写道,这1万亿欧元是“银行系统的支柱”,它的流失将“动摇银行的根基”。

每月存入欧元区银行的万亿欧元工资构成了5.4万亿欧元存款的基石,商业银行用这些存款来创造2.3万亿欧元的长期投资。倘若这1万亿欧元的工资账户转移到欧洲央行,涌入银行账户的剩余资金将被视为不那么稳定的存款。美银证券表示:“4.4万亿欧元的存款现在只能够创造0.7万亿欧元的长期投资。”此外,商业银行也不得不持有比以前更多的现金。

美银证券指出,如果银行业以外的私营部门可以从支付活动中攫取更大一块蛋糕,它们将获得巨大而有价值的奖赏,即尚未被银行充分利用的客户数据宝库。

“我们有理由想象,一家非银行机构设法利用现有的工资和支付数据,为商家提供一种成本更低的支付服务——当前系统的成本为交易额的0.6%。一些使用更便捷、更便宜、积分和折扣力度更大的‘杀手级应用程序’将获得消费者青睐,从而有可能迅速普及。”该报告写道。

北京试点项目

欧洲央行远非唯一一家考虑推出数字货币的央行。

中国在这方面处于领先地位。在上个月实施的一个试点项目中,中国央行向5万名北京居民每人发放了200元的新数字货币红包。在世界各地,还有几十家央行也在考虑推出自己的数字货币。

美联储(Federal Reserve)的主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔在上个月告诉美国国会,美联储正在“非常仔细地研究我们是否应该发行数字美元的问题,”并称其为“一个优先级别非常高的项目。”但他随即补充称,这提出了一些重大的技术和政策问题。

疫情催化剂

欧洲央行的执行董事、数字货币项目的负责人法比奥·帕内塔在上个月的一次讲话中明确表示,欧洲央行对数字巨头日益扩大的影响力深感忧虑,而拟议中的数字欧元就是对这种关切的一种回应。

“在欧洲,大型科技公司的扩张让我们越来越依赖由其他地方治理的技术。这些科技巨头可能会促使国内和跨境交易迅速采用稳定币(一种加密货币),而这很可能造成系统性风险,甚至危及货币主权。”他说。

欧洲央行非常清楚数字欧元给欧元区商业银行带来的潜在风险——比如损害这些银行的利益,甚至引发银行挤兑潮——并表示将设计一套系统来避免这些危险。

“数字欧元或许会从银行吸走支付活动,导致这些银行从支付中获得的收入和客户信息随之减少。它还可能会吸引存款,特别是如果央行对数字欧元的个人持有量没有限制的话。极具吸引力的条件很可能促使公众将大量存款从商业银行转移到央行。”帕内塔在同一次演讲中说道,“令人担忧的是,这可能会导致融资不稳定,融资成本上升,银行盈利能力下降,最终致使贷款减少,严重制约实体经济的融资活动。”

在危机期间,数字欧元可能给银行带来更大的风险。“如果设计不当,一旦爆发危机,数字欧元就有可能助推大量存款从商业银行转移至央行,造成所谓的‘数字挤兑’加速问题。这种风险甚至可能会自我实现,导致储户减少银行存款,即使在正常时期,这也会放大波动性。”帕内塔说。

帕内塔说,这些危险能够通过设计一个系统来避免。该系统允许数字欧元用于国内和国际支付,但阻止其被用于投资目的。

一个选择是限制人们持有的数字欧元数量,“同时允许数字欧元用于大额交易。”他说,“要想实现这一点,央行就得要求超过用户持有限额的进账资金转入其银行账户。”

另一种选择是对超过一定阈值的数字欧元持有量设置惩罚机制,比如负利率。他建议将这个阈值设定为3000欧元。

他明确表示,无论如何,欧洲央行无意通过直接跟数字欧元的数亿潜在用户打交道来取代商业银行。

“金融中介机构,尤其是银行,将提供前端服务,就像它们今天为现金相关业务所做的那样。”他说。

当然,央行对数字支付的监管可以为政府提供一个打击犯罪、洗钱和逃税行为的新利器。毒贩和犯罪分子更喜欢现金的匿名性。欧洲各大经济体拥有庞大的非正式部门,而这些经济部门基本上都采用现金交易。

2016年,由于担心500欧元纸币被用于资助恐怖主义和犯罪活动,欧洲央行决定停止发行这一面值的纸币,当时这种纸币约占欧元区所有流通纸币价值的30%以上。

央行发行数字货币的前景令自由意志主义者感到震惊。他们担心这会威胁到个人隐私,并且会扩大专制国家控制人民的空间。

“数字美元可能会让政府掌控用户的每一笔金融交易信息。政府创造的个人钱包拥有区块链能力,能够存储每一笔交易。这听起来像是那种绝对会让自由意志主义者抓狂的噩梦。”自由意志主义作家克里斯汀·泰特本月在《国会山报》(The Hill)撰文指出。

“你会对自己的财富任由几名非民选的华盛顿官员摆布感到安心吗?”(财富中文网)

译者:任文科

欧洲银行原本就面临着一波由新冠疫情引发的潜在坏账潮。雪上加霜的是,其生存能力很可能会遭遇另一个意想不到的新威胁:欧洲央行(European Central Bank)提议推出数字欧元。

为19个欧元区成员国的3.4亿人口制定货币政策的欧洲央行,已经公开炫示数字欧元的前景。该行宣称,这将是“所有公民和企业都可以使用的一种电子形式的央行货币”。

欧洲央行表示,新冠疫情正在推动现金加速衰退,而这项提议就是为了在这样一个日益数字化的世界中创造一种自由、安全且值得信赖的支付方式。

但银行官员明确指出,数字欧元也是欧洲央行采取的一种反制措施。近年来,比特币(Bitcoin)和以太币(Ether)等加密货币的崛起令人眼花缭乱,PayPal和Revolut等金融科技的商用化呈现爆炸式增长,各种数字货币接踵而至,比如Facebook准备推出数字货币Diem(前身为Libra)。欧洲央行从中窥探到一种危险:大型科技公司可能会从欧洲银行业的蛋糕中攫取更大的份额,从而严重削弱该行对欧洲金融体系的掌控力。

美国银行(Bank of America)旗下经纪部门美银证券(BofA Securities)在上周发布的一份报告中称:“我们认为数字欧元是一项先发制人的应对措施,欧洲央行希望它成为加密货币的克星,并借此消解来自大型金融科技公司的威胁。”今年迄今为止,随着特斯拉(Tesla)购买了15亿美元的比特币,大型机构投资者对这种加密货币的兴致持续上涨,比特币的价格几乎翻了一番,助推其总价值不断飙升,现已突破1万亿美元大关。

欧洲央行的行长克里斯蒂娜·拉加德在今年1月表示,该行最早将于4月决定是否推进数字欧元计划。但她也透露称,这种数字货币或许要在五年后才会正式面世。

但欧洲央行似乎已经下定决心。副行长路易斯·德金多斯本月在接受葡萄牙《公报》(Publico)采访时指出:“对我们来说,数字欧元不是一个选项,而是我们必须要做的事情。”在1月结束的一场围绕数字欧元计划的公众咨询中,这家总部位于法兰克福的央行收到了8000多条评论。

“面向所有人”

欧洲央行强调称,数字欧元将与欧元纸币和硬币共存,而不是取而代之。

尽管如此,一些人对该计划可能对欧元区深陷泥潭的商业银行造成的影响感到忧虑。欧洲央行警告称,新冠疫情大封锁让无数企业遭受重创,在最坏的情况下,这些商业银行由此面临的坏账冲击可能高达1.4万亿欧元(约合1.7万亿美元)之巨。

在疫情爆发之际,一些银行,特别是希腊、塞浦路斯、葡萄牙和意大利的银行,仍然背负着2008年金融危机遗留下来的数十亿美元有毒债务。

“附带损害”

一些专家担心,如果欧洲央行推出数字欧元,欧洲人会争先恐后地在央行开设数字账户,从欧元区银行赖以生存的活期账户中吸走数万亿资金,从而危及这些银行的收入来源。要知道,对商业银行来说,活期账户向来都是一个廉价而且可靠的资金来源。

这意味着商业银行无论如何都是遭受损失的一方——无论是大型科技公司吃掉他们的午餐,还是被欧洲央行吸走存款。

美银证券警告称,欧洲央行推出数字欧元的决定,很可能对欧元区银行造成“附带损害”。

至关重要的是,数字欧元吸走的资金来自人们每月存储工资的账户。用美银证券的话说,这是“质量最高、流动性需求最低的资金。”

美银证券表示,即使欧洲央行像它所提议的那样,将个人持有的数字欧元上限设为3000欧元(约合3600美元),那也会有1万亿欧元(约合1.2万亿美元)从商业银行流向欧洲央行。美银证券的分析师写道,这1万亿欧元是“银行系统的支柱”,它的流失将“动摇银行的根基”。

每月存入欧元区银行的万亿欧元工资构成了5.4万亿欧元存款的基石,商业银行用这些存款来创造2.3万亿欧元的长期投资。倘若这1万亿欧元的工资账户转移到欧洲央行,涌入银行账户的剩余资金将被视为不那么稳定的存款。美银证券表示:“4.4万亿欧元的存款现在只能够创造0.7万亿欧元的长期投资。”此外,商业银行也不得不持有比以前更多的现金。

美银证券指出,如果银行业以外的私营部门可以从支付活动中攫取更大一块蛋糕,它们将获得巨大而有价值的奖赏,即尚未被银行充分利用的客户数据宝库。

“我们有理由想象,一家非银行机构设法利用现有的工资和支付数据,为商家提供一种成本更低的支付服务——当前系统的成本为交易额的0.6%。一些使用更便捷、更便宜、积分和折扣力度更大的‘杀手级应用程序’将获得消费者青睐,从而有可能迅速普及。”该报告写道。

北京试点项目

欧洲央行远非唯一一家考虑推出数字货币的央行。

中国在这方面处于领先地位。在上个月实施的一个试点项目中,中国央行向5万名北京居民每人发放了200元的新数字货币红包。在世界各地,还有几十家央行也在考虑推出自己的数字货币。

美联储(Federal Reserve)的主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔在上个月告诉美国国会,美联储正在“非常仔细地研究我们是否应该发行数字美元的问题,”并称其为“一个优先级别非常高的项目。”但他随即补充称,这提出了一些重大的技术和政策问题。

疫情催化剂

欧洲央行的执行董事、数字货币项目的负责人法比奥·帕内塔在上个月的一次讲话中明确表示,欧洲央行对数字巨头日益扩大的影响力深感忧虑,而拟议中的数字欧元就是对这种关切的一种回应。

“在欧洲,大型科技公司的扩张让我们越来越依赖由其他地方治理的技术。这些科技巨头可能会促使国内和跨境交易迅速采用稳定币(一种加密货币),而这很可能造成系统性风险,甚至危及货币主权。”他说。

欧洲央行非常清楚数字欧元给欧元区商业银行带来的潜在风险——比如损害这些银行的利益,甚至引发银行挤兑潮——并表示将设计一套系统来避免这些危险。

“数字欧元或许会从银行吸走支付活动,导致这些银行从支付中获得的收入和客户信息随之减少。它还可能会吸引存款,特别是如果央行对数字欧元的个人持有量没有限制的话。极具吸引力的条件很可能促使公众将大量存款从商业银行转移到央行。”帕内塔在同一次演讲中说道,“令人担忧的是,这可能会导致融资不稳定,融资成本上升,银行盈利能力下降,最终致使贷款减少,严重制约实体经济的融资活动。”

在危机期间,数字欧元可能给银行带来更大的风险。“如果设计不当,一旦爆发危机,数字欧元就有可能助推大量存款从商业银行转移至央行,造成所谓的‘数字挤兑’加速问题。这种风险甚至可能会自我实现,导致储户减少银行存款,即使在正常时期,这也会放大波动性。”帕内塔说。

帕内塔说,这些危险能够通过设计一个系统来避免。该系统允许数字欧元用于国内和国际支付,但阻止其被用于投资目的。

一个选择是限制人们持有的数字欧元数量,“同时允许数字欧元用于大额交易。”他说,“要想实现这一点,央行就得要求超过用户持有限额的进账资金转入其银行账户。”

另一种选择是对超过一定阈值的数字欧元持有量设置惩罚机制,比如负利率。他建议将这个阈值设定为3000欧元。

他明确表示,无论如何,欧洲央行无意通过直接跟数字欧元的数亿潜在用户打交道来取代商业银行。

“金融中介机构,尤其是银行,将提供前端服务,就像它们今天为现金相关业务所做的那样。”他说。

当然,央行对数字支付的监管可以为政府提供一个打击犯罪、洗钱和逃税行为的新利器。毒贩和犯罪分子更喜欢现金的匿名性。欧洲各大经济体拥有庞大的非正式部门,而这些经济部门基本上都采用现金交易。

2016年,由于担心500欧元纸币被用于资助恐怖主义和犯罪活动,欧洲央行决定停止发行这一面值的纸币,当时这种纸币约占欧元区所有流通纸币价值的30%以上。

央行发行数字货币的前景令自由意志主义者感到震惊。他们担心这会威胁到个人隐私,并且会扩大专制国家控制人民的空间。

“数字美元可能会让政府掌控用户的每一笔金融交易信息。政府创造的个人钱包拥有区块链能力,能够存储每一笔交易。这听起来像是那种绝对会让自由意志主义者抓狂的噩梦。”自由意志主义作家克里斯汀·泰特本月在《国会山报》(The Hill)撰文指出。

“你会对自己的财富任由几名非民选的华盛顿官员摆布感到安心吗?”(财富中文网)

译者:任文科

Europe’s banks, already facing a potential tidal wave of bad loans stemming from the COVID pandemic, could face a new threat to their viability from an unexpected quarter: The European Central Bank’s proposals to launch a digital euro.

The ECB, which sets monetary policy for 340 million people in the 19-nation euro zone, has dangled the prospect of launching a digital euro, which it said would be “an electronic form of central bank money accessible to all citizens and firms.”

The ECB says its proposal is all about creating a free, safe and trusted way to make payments in an increasingly digital world where the pandemic is hastening the decline of cash.

But bank officials make clear that the digital euro would also be the ECB’s counter-punch to the dizzying rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, the explosion in commercial adoption of fintech services from PayPal to Revolut, and the advent of digital currencies such as the proposed Facebook-backed Diem (formerly Libra). The ECB spies a danger that big tech could grab a bigger share of Europe’s banking pie, potentially weakening the ECB’s grip on the continent’s financial system.

“We believe a d€ (digital euro) is a pre-emptive response—a crypto kryptonite, a big tech neutralizer,” BofA Securities, Bank of America’s brokerage arm, said in a report last week. Bitcoin has nearly doubled in price this year, sending its total value surging through $1 trillion, as Tesla bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency continues to attract interest from big institutional investors.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said in January that the bank will decide as early as April whether to push ahead with planning for a digital euro, though she has also said that it could be five years before the digital currency sees the light of day.

But the ECB’s mind seems made up. ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Publico this month: “For us, the digital euro is not an option, it’s something we just have to do.” To wit, the Frankfurt-based central bank received more than 8,000 comments on its digital euro plan in a public consultation that ended in January.

“Accessible to all”

The ECB stresses that a digital euro would co-exist with euro notes and coins rather than replace them.

Nevertheless, there is alarm in some quarters over what the plan could mean for the eurozone’s hobbled commercial banks, which, the ECB has warned, in the worst case scenario, is already facing a €1.4 trillion ($1.7 trillion) hit of bad debts as businesses reel from pandemic-related lockdowns.

Going into the pandemic, some banks, particularly in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Italy, still had billions of euros of toxic debts on their balance sheets, a hangover from the 2008 financial crisis.

“Collateral damage”

Some experts fear, if the ECB were to introduce a digital euro, that Europeans would rush to open digital accounts at the central bank, sucking trillions out of the current accounts that euro zone banks depend on as a cheap and reliable source of funding and affecting the banks’ income stream.

That would mean the commercial banks would lose out either way—whether big tech eats their lunch, or the ECB takes their deposits.

BofA Securities warned that euro zone banks could be “collateral damage” from any ECB decision to launch a digital euro.

Critically, said BofA, a digital euro would draw money from the bank accounts that people pay their salaries into each month—“the highest quality funding with the lowest liquidity demand.”

Even if the ECB caps individual digital euro holdings at €3,000 ($3,600), as it has suggested, that could still see a trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) flow from banks to the ECB, BofA Securities said. That trillion euros was “the linchpin of the banking system” and its loss would “rock bank foundations,” BofA Securities’ analysts wrote.

The trillion euros of salaries deposited in euro zone banks each month form the cornerstone of €5.4 trillion in deposits that banks use to create €2.3 trillion of longterm investments. If the €1 trillion in salary accounts were moved to the ECB, surplus money that went into bank accounts would be considered less stable deposits. “Now 4.4 trillion euros in deposits creates only 0.7 trillion euros in long-term investments,” BofA Securities said, adding that banks would also have to hold more cash than before.

BofA Securities points out that there is a huge and valuable prize for private-sector players from outside the banking sector if they can seize a larger piece of the payments’ action—a treasure trove of customer data that is not being fully exploited by the banks.

“It is reasonable to imagine a non-bank name finding a way of using the data available in salaries and payments to offer, for example, merchants a payments loop that costs less than the 0.6% of the current system. Some 'killer app' that consumers find more convenient, cheaper, or with better points and discounts could see rapid adoption,” it said.

Beijing pilot scheme

The ECB is far from being the only central bank considering launching a digital currency.

China is in the lead, handing out $30 of its new digital currency each to 50,000 Beijing residents in a pilot scheme last month, and dozens of other central banks around the world are looking at introducing their own digital currencies.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell told Congress last month that the Fed was looking “very carefully at the question of whether we should issue a digital dollar,” calling it a “very high priority project for us,” though he said it raised significant technical and policy questions.

COVID catalyst

Fabio Panetta, ECB executive board member and point person on digital currencies, made clear in a speech last month that the proposed digital euro is partly a response to ECB concern about the growing reach of the tech giants.

“In Europe, the expansion of big tech companies could make us dependent on technologies governed elsewhere … Big techs may contribute to a rapid take-up of stablecoins (a type of cryptocurrency) both domestically and across borders, which could create systemic risks and even endanger monetary sovereignty,” he said.

The ECB is well aware of the risks a digital euro could pose to the eurozone’s commercial banks, including undermining themor even causing bank runs, and has said it would design a system to avoid these dangers.

“A digital euro could … attract payments activity from banks and reduce their payments-related income and customer information. It could also attract deposits, especially if it were offered without limits on individual holdings and at such attractive conditions that the public moved large amounts of deposits from commercial banks to central banks. The concern is that this could lead to less stable and more costly funding, lower bank profitability and, ultimately, lower lending, constraining the financing of the real economy,” Panetta said in the same speech.

A digital euro could pose an even greater risk to banks during crises. “If not properly designed, in times of crisis a digital euro could accelerate ‘digital runs’ away from commercial banks towards the central bank. This risk could even be self-fulfilling, leading savers to reduce their bank deposits and amplifying volatility in normal times too,” Panetta said.

Panetta said these dangers could be avoided by designing a system that allowed digital euros to be used to make domestic and international payments, but that stopped them from being used for investment purposes.

One option, he said, would be to limit people’s holdings of digital euros. “One way of doing this, while allowing the digital euro to be used for large transactions, would be to require incoming funds in excess of a user’s limit to be redirected to a bank account,” he said.

Another option would be to set penalties, such as negative interest rates, on digital holdings above a certain threshold, which he suggested might be €3,000.

In any case, he made clear the ECB had no intention of replacing the commercial banks by dealing directly with potentially hundreds of millions of users of a digital euro.

“Financial intermediaries–in particular banks–would provide the front-end services, as they do today for cash-related operations,” he said.

Of course, central bank oversight of digital payments could give governments a powerful new tool against crime, money-laundering and tax evasion. Drug-traffickers and criminals prefer the anonymity of cash. European economies have huge informal sectors that operate on a cash-in-hand basis.

The ECB decided in 2016 to stop producing its €500 banknote, which at the time accounted for over 30% of the value of all banknotes in circulation in the euro zone, over fears the high-value note was being used to finance terrorism and crime.

The prospect of central banks issuing digital currencies alarms libertarians, who worry about the threat to privacy and the increased scope for autocratic countries to control their people.

“A digital dollar could result in the government having access to each financial transaction by its users…The personal wallets created by the government with blockchain abilities that can store each transaction sounds like a vision out of some libertarian fever dreams,” libertarian author Kristin Tate wrote in an opinion piece for The Hill this month.

“Are you comfortable with your wealth sitting at the mercy of several unelected officials back in Washington?”

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