The Truth Behind the Disappearance of the 500 Euro Bill

Updated on May 31, 2016
500 euro note
500 euro note | Source

As many may know, the 500 euro note will stop printing in 2018. However, it will not lose its value and always be changed.

Entering the topic

It is the highest-value euro banknote and has been used since the introduction of the euro in 2002. It is one of the highest value circulating banknotes in the world, worth around 558 USD, is several times greater than many of the largest circulating notes of other major currencies. The 500 euro note has always been controversial since the introduction of the euro in the market. Also, it is known as the bin-Laden, possibly because of its criminal implications, and is likely to be one of the main reasons why it is removed from circulation. But the five hundred euro note contains several complex security features that make counterfeiting very difficult. The Serious Organised Crime Agency claimed that "90% of all €500 notes sold in the UK are in the hands of organised crime".

Historically, some of the currencies the Euro replaced had widely used high-value notes. In particular, Spain had a quarter of all these high-value bills within its borders in 2006. This concentration of €500 notes is far greater than expected for an economy of Spain's size, as prior to Euro conversion the largest banknote was 10,000 Spanish peseta worth €60.

As of December 2015, there were approximately 613,559,542 €500 banknotes in circulation around the Eurozone, therefore, it is the second-least circulated banknote in the Eurozone.

Despite all this information about the possible criminal use of 500 euro notes, the main reason I am writing is another.

Why, suddenly, the ECB is so keen to withdraw this banknote when there have always been these problems?


countries with the euro
countries with the euro | Source
Details about the other countries
Details about the other countries | Source

Countries with euro

For those who did not know where the euro was used. Consists of 19 of the 28 member state of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

European Central Bank

ECB | Source

European Central Bank

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the euro and administers the monetary policy of the Eurozone.

The primary objective of the European Central Bank is to maintain price stability. Some of the main tasks, are to define and implement the monetary policy for the Eurozone or to conduct foreign exchange operations, to take care of the foreign reserves. It could be summarized that the European Central Bank has a monopoly on currency, controlled by Mario Draghi (President of the European Central Bank since 1 November 2011,


Percentage of unemployed population by country, May 2015.
Percentage of unemployed population by country, May 2015. | Source

Unemployment by government

Unemployment in Spain has always been a problem.
Unemployment in Spain has always been a problem. | Source

Long term interest

debt interest
debt interest | Source

Percentage debt of the GDP

2010 | Source
2012 | Source

Documentary about the crisis

Survival measures against the crisis

As you can see in the images above, many of the countries of the European Union follow in the great recession went in 2008. Due to the crisis, governments began their policies to try to alleviate the heavy debt in all sectors of its economy. Many of the EU economies remained strong despite the global crisis, a great example would be Germany. The other states with a huge financial crisis, tried to cut spending and raise more through tax increases, without any of their actions came to light of the population. Citizens just want to escape the arbitrary mandates of the powerful aristocracy, let people regulate their money as they want. The European Central Bank was not looking as an economy without intervening would do. It also began its measures against the crisis. These are some of the measures that the European Central Bank took to try to revive European economies:

ECB after the crisis

Lowering interest rates
Currently at minimum, the ECB tried to credit easier to attain to the people, but this measure has not been noticed in the real economy.
Negative deposit rates
Measure affecting banks, as they now have to pay for storing money, and thus try to get the money into circulation.
Cash injections
Direct bank bailouts to banks, so they can operate and offer credit.
Purchase credit packages
Now, the ECB buys covered bonds and ABS, purchases existing credit to accelerate the granting of credit.
Debt purchase
Bailout economies.In many of them, ECB did not need to do this, just to saying investors remained calm.
Following the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, investment in financial assets such as government bonds or government debt with new money printed.

ECB in 3 min

ECB interest rate

We can see that we are at historical minimums
We can see that we are at historical minimums | Source

500 in this matter

As we have seen, the banks have to pay to save people money. However, banks can not do the same with their customers, as no one would want to keep money in the bank if they lose out. Nevertheless, gradually this benefit offered by banks will disappear. As you can no longer keep money in banks, and people do not want to risk their money in the stock market or other markets, it was necessary to seek other remedies to save money. 500 euro notes were a great escape for people who did not want to keep money in the banking system, they were a way of independence against the bank. The ECB only wants us to continue consuming to fix the economy but does not know that the only thing it does is make everything worse. It could move away from the economy and not act as a monopoly on the currency and allow the market to regulate itself.


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500 euro art drawing


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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Welcome to Hubpages What an interesting read. I'm originally from Holland but living in South Africa. I will share this post.

    • Leonhard Euler profile image

      Leonhard Euler 22 months ago from New York

      Thank you all for reading and I am glad that you liked the article.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 22 months ago from San Diego California

      I have yet to see a Euro, not even a small one. Somebody send me one please, preferably one of the 500 notes. Great analysis of the Euro.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      This was interesting. I wasn't aware there was a 500 euro bill.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      hmmm, a very interesting hub my friend :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful read. Love your bio, too, btw. I look forward to reading more.