Monday, January 14, 2008

How does Counterfeit money play?

The reality is that counterfeit money doesn't play much of a part to you and I. If we come across a counterfeit $100 bill we would probably not know it... we would acquire it legally and spend it or deposit it legally. The reality is, for normal consumers that $100 bill unless obviously fraudulent would be worth $100.

But, what does a large number of fraudulent bills in our economy mean? Well, just like debt and just like government overspending counterfeit money pollutes our money and makes it less valuable.

Which leads me to this article I read today "Mysterious $100 ‘supernote’ counterfeit bills appear across world". I learned no less than 20 things I didn't know about money, investigations, and conspiracy theory. Now, I'm not a conspiracy type... but I do believe that if enough people are given the opportunity to make money they will go along with it.

Apparently there have been supernotes, perfect duplicates, showing up in the money system for a number of years. The article says "The paper appears to be made from the same cotton and linen mix that distinguishes U.S. currency from others. It includes the watermarks visible from the other side of the bill, colored microfibers woven into the substrate of the banknote and an embedded strip, barely visible, that reads USA 100 and glows red under ultraviolet light."

Klaus Bender, the author of Moneymakers: The Secret World of Banknote Printing, said the phony $100 bill is “not a fake anymore. It’s an illegal parallel print of a genuine note.” He claims that the supernotes are of such high quality and are updated so frequently that they could be produced only by a U.S. government agency such as the CIA.

As unsubstantiated as the allegation is, there is a precedent. An expert on the CIA, journalist Tim Weiner, has written how the agency tried to undermine the Soviet Union’s economy by counterfeiting its currency.

Anyway... I don't necessarily subscribe to the conspiracy theory but it does get you thinking. Personally, I think it is extremely likely that one of our enemies weather that be rogue Russia, North Korea, Iran, or China is probably behind the notes... but I am no expert and I have no evidence.

The article is a good read, enjoy. As a side note did you know that "The [Money's] ink maker, [is] a Swiss firm named Sicpa, [who] mixes the ink at a secure U.S. government facility. The highly specialized and regulated tint also is used on the space shuttle’s windows."

Kansas City Star

1 comment:

Gregory Efimovich said...

The counterfeit detection pens from available at
allows you to quickly determine if a bank not is counterfeit or not. Just quickly draw a line on the note, and if it turns dark then the note is a forgery, it it turns clear or light then the note is real. This is made possible because of the chemicals and dyes used in the manufacture of modern bank notes.