(2) According to a brief Bloomberg article regarding this story, the seized bearer bonds allegedly were dated as of 1934. Since bearer bonds in denominations of $500 million did not exist in 1934, the bonds were deduced as fake... How can the quality of the forged bearer bonds be so meticulous that they “are indistinguishable from the real ones”, yet the people involved in the alleged forgery so ill-informed as to not date the bearer bonds with a more recent year that would not immediately identify them as fraudulent? How hard would it have been to date the bearer bonds with a more recent year?More at the link. Interesting.
(4) On March 30, 2009, the US Treasury Department announced that USD $134.5 billion remained in its Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP]. The stated amount of seized bearer bonds was $134.5 billion. Coincidence?..
(6) The bearer bonds were discovered in a hidden briefcase compartment after a customs inspection. Again, if the bonds were indeed authentic and owned by a nation state, they could have been transported in a diplomatic pouch exempt from customs searches that would have guaranteed transport without detection...
Still, the interesting part of this story, at least to me, is that the smugglers seemed intent on being caught with the counterfeit bonds. This leads me back to my previous question. What possible reason would the smugglers have for wanting to be caught? One of the quickest ways to sabotage and usher in the death of a currency is to raise legitimate questions about its ability to withstand counterfeiting efforts. Prove that counterfeiting is not only possible but highly likely, and the world’s confidence in the sabotaged currency will undoubtedly plummet.
In fact, this very tactic was applied during World War II when the Nazis launched Operation Bernhard in an attempt to crash the British economy by producing, by 1945, 132 million expertly counterfeited British pounds...
Perhaps then, this $134.5.billion bearer bond mystery was an attempt of a nation state to shake the world’s confidence in the position of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency...
The larger story at hand is, who are the players (nations) involved, and what was the intention of this likely counterfeiting operation? Maybe the future will reveal the answers to these questions. But maybe not.
18 June 2009
Remember the $134 BILLION in a suitcase?
I posted a link to the Der Spiegel report three days ago, but hadn't encountered any followup since then. This morning I finally ran across a commentary, most of which focuses on why the bonds are likely counterfeit: