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English Questions – Cloze Test 203

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Payment systems in Europe are facing upheaval. With the digital revolution offering ever-faster and more (1) means for settling transactions, cash seems to some to have no future. But to write off the role of banknotes and coins in the economy would be a mistake.
Non-cash payment options have been (2) in recent years. Credit cards, online transfers, and direct-debit payments are already well established. Now, smartphone-enabled digital-payment solutions and mobile wallets are also gaining ground. The emergence of potentially (3) innovations like distributed ledger technologies indicate that further and possibly fundamental change may be on the horizon.Independent of these new and (4) options, there are a number of studies making the case to abolish cash. Advocates of a cashless society tend to fall into three (5) camps.
The first camp, the alchemists, wants to overcome the restrictions that the zero lower bound (ZLB) imposes on monetary policy. The second, the law and order camp, wants to cancel the primary means of payment for (6) activities. And the third camp, the fintech (financial technology) alliance, (7) major business opportunities arising from the elimination of the high storage, issuance, and handling costs of cash that the financial industry currently faces.
But the arguments for going cashless do not withstand scrutiny. Start with the alchemists’ case. It is true that, in an environment of very low interest rates, the conduct of monetary policy becomes difficult.
Yet experience has shown that the effective lower bound is different from the ZLB. Indeed, negative interest rates have worked, without (8) a flight to cash, especially when combined with (9) asset purchases, long-term credit operations (including “fixed-rate full allotment” and “targeted” variants), and forward guidance. As such, negative interest rates should be understood as a specific non-standard monetary-policy instrument different from low interest rates.
The law-and-order camp’s case for banning cash also wilts under scrutiny. By acting as a store of value and a means of payment, cash fulfills an important social function for many law-abiding citizens. Would anyone suggest forbidding private ownership of luxury cars or gems because criminals like them? Harming the decent majority in order to punish a misbehaving minority would be like cracking a nut with a (10) and breaking the table it is on in the process.

  1. 1) calming
    2) awkward
    3) convenient
    4) abatement
    5) unsuited
    Answer – 3)
    Explanation : convenient – fitting in well with a person’s needs, activities, and plans.

  2. 1) backsliding
    2) inappropriate
    3) unhandy
    4) enfeeblement
    5) proliferating
    Answer – 5)
    Explanation : proliferating – increase rapidly in number; multiply. 

  3. 1) dwindling
    2) disciplined
    3) diminution
    4) disruptive
    5) inconvenient
    Answer – 4)
    Explanation : disruptive – causing or tending to cause disruption. 

  4. 1) soothing
    2) incipient
    3) downturn
    4) ineffectual
    5) amplify
    Answer – 2)
    Explanation : incipient – beginning to happen or develop.

  5. 1) distinct
    2) luxuriate
    3) inopportune
    4) comedown
    5) augment
    Answer – 1)
    Explanation : distinct – recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type. 

  6. 1) degeneracy
    2) illicit
    3) dilate

    4) dissolution

    5) decrepitude

    Answer – 2)
    Explanation : illicit – forbidden by law, rules, or custom. 

  7. 1) cropper
    2) downfall
    3) expand
    4) decay
    5) anticipates
    Answer – 5)
    Explanation : anticipates – regard as probable; expect or predict. 

  8. 1) dive
    2) triggering
    3) halting
    4) ebbing
    5) degeneration
    Answer – 2)
    Explanation : triggering – (of an event, circumstance, etc.) causing a particular action, process, or situation to happen. 

  9. 1) devolution
    2) downgrade
    3) heighten
    4) outright
    5) burgeon
    Answer – 4)
    Explanation : outright – wholly and completely. 

  10. 1) sledgehammer
    2) descent
    3) deterioration
    4) enlarge
    5) breed
    Answer – 1)
    Explanation : sledgehammer – a large, heavy hammer used for such jobs as breaking rocks and driving in fence posts.