Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Curious Case of the Bearer Bonds

For a story that could be ripped from a John Le Carre novel, we have a strange case coming from the Italian-Swiss border.

Two fifty-ish men, thought to be Japanese, said they had nothing to declare at Chiasso Italy before traveling on to Switzerland. The Italian Financial Police decided to investigate more thoroughly and got a real big surprise. In a false bottom of some luggage were found United States bearer bonds. Not a piddling few oh no. Try $134 billion US worth, 249 in a $500million denomination. Never seen a Kennedy, but I bet 99.9% of the world has not either. The police also found assorted bank documents.

Right now Italy and various law enforcement agencies are tying to find out a few things. Are the two men Japanese citizens. Are the bonds real or forged. It seems the bonds bear an issue date of 1934 like a previous case of forged US bonds. Where did these bonds come from and who has the printing press?

The investigation is proceeding and I earnestly hope some hard answers are found.


pat said...

It is my impression that the highest denomination of a Treasury Bond is $1,000,000.

Anna said...

Yep, very curious that they are trying to take forged bonds to Switzerland. What is going on? Who would buy such?

chicagodudewhotrades said...

I got a email from a friend about this story. I honestly didn't know a whole lot about bearer bonds so I looked into them. These are used for government to government financial transactions. They are called bearer bonds becuase they do not have serial numbers on them. there is no way to track them or see who previous owners are. Whoever has possession of the bond is the owner, hence the name. The last bearer bonds were printed in the early '80's. With modern communications and the ability to transfer large sums of money electronically, there really isn't a need for them. It will be curious to see how this plays out. North Korea has forged US currency before. If these are fakes, they would be the first country i'd look into doing this. I wonder if a country forges another's currency if that would be a form of economic warfare and a cause for military action?

Anna said...

Is it war? It all depends upon who printed them? A criminal cartel or a government. And if it is a government, does the current US administration have the stones to school the rogue nation?

Legion said...

No Anna, we know the answer to that, this current government does not have stones in the right place, rocks in the head, but nowhere else. Iran is burning, he is doing nothing, which is what he does best.

Anna said...

Legios, you maybe right. But we could hope he is at leat tough on crooks trying to subvert his 'vision.'