Recently while on assignment in Sweden, to report on the fantastic inclusive development of nearly a half million new Swedish citizens from as far away as Eritrea and Pakistan, we had the good fortune to visit the ABBA museum in Stockholm. Having been long time fans of ABBA and been lucky enough to attend a performance by our local LGBT theater of the musical Mamma Mia just a week earlier it was with some excitement that we were to visit their museum. But boy were we in for a pleasant surprise.
The ABBA museum is totally cashless! Wow – how forward thinking is that. You can pay with your swipe card and they’ve even got RFID chip readers at every point of sale – but they will not accept dirty disease spreading cash. In fact they’re not afraid to tell you to take your outdated relic of an unenlightened age and shove it. They will not serve you unless you have a bank accredited payment method.
We wondered what had inspired them to be so progressive. Were they worried about the lower bound problem challenging the omnipotence of our wise central bankers? Were they worried about the cost of printing up all those smelly bank notes? No.
It was as simple as Björn Ulvaeus’ son having his bicycle stolen. Björn quickly deduced that if the thief could not quickly swap his son’s bike for a 200 kr note no one would ever have to suffer the indignity of a lost bicycle again.
We were truly impressed by how the artistic mind works. Rather than sullying himself with all sorts of crazy thoughts like, what is money and and where does it come from? He instantly came to the correct conclusion that if we just get rid of cash there will be no more crime and we can all live happily ever-after in a Swedish rainbow community. Brilliant!