TLP: You Can Almost Hear the Printing Presses Gearing Up Now
Image: Money Mumbo Jumbo
The Lazy Paperboy loves his C-notes. Keeps an envelope full of hundreds in a handy, but not too handy place, for adventures that are better carried out on a strictly cash basis.
So it's good to hear that this new $100 bill won't affect his stash. Hey, this came from Ben himself. (Uh, this Ben, not that Ben).
"When the new design $100 note is issued on February 10, 2011, the approximately 6.5 billion older design $100s already in circulation will remain legal tender," said Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Ben S. Bernanke. "U.S. currency users should know they will not have to trade in their older design $100 notes when the new ones begin circulating."
That 6.5 billion figure does not include the bills this maneuver is really all about. It's the phonies, fakies and sham bills being counterfeited around the world. Anybody who can cook up a batch of passable benjamins knows it's golden. (It won't be a surprise if JDA pounces on that turn of phrase, especially regarding U.S. currency.)
The real pricks pulling off this stunt appear to be the North Koreans, who seem to have acquired just the right equipment to produce pretty fucking good fakes. A couple of years ago, the NYT picked this one apart:
The counterfeiting of American currency by North Korea might seem, to some, to be a minor provocation by that country’s standards. North Korea, after all, has exported missile technology in blatant disregard of international norms; engaged in a decades-long campaign of kidnapping citizens of other countries; abandoned pledges not to pursue nuclear weapons; and most recently, on July 4, launched ballistic missiles in defiance of warnings from several countries, including the United States.
But several current and former Bush administration officials whom I spoke with several months ago maintain that the counterfeiting is in important ways a comparable outrage. Michael Green, a former point man for Asia on the National Security Council, told me that in the past, counterfeiting has been seen as an “act of war.” A current senior administration official, who was granted anonymity because of the sensitivity of relations between the United States and North Korea, agreed that the counterfeiting could be construed by some as a hostile act against another nation under international law and added that the counterfeits, by creating mistrust in the American currency, posed a “threat to the American people.”
The words "Bush administration" should be a giveaway about how long this has been in the works. Hopefully, a $100 will still be worth $100 by the time that scam gets broken up.