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134 BILLION in US bearer bonds seized in Italy
Old 06-17-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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134 BILLION in US bearer bonds seized in Italy

I hope they get to the bottom of this incident. If the US treasuries are counterfeit or genuine , it's a serious matter and the public deserves to know the truth. I just have a feeling the treasury & Fed would like this story to go away and although it's been reported in Asia and Europe there has been very little coverage in the US.I guess the new Billion is a Trillion & maybe people will think it's no big deal.This is more than the GDP of New Zealand and many other countries.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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Link?
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Link?
Well, gosh, if there were links all over the popular press then it wouldn't be as juicy a story!

This seems credible:
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Maybe AIG was using bailout bonds to pay their execs...
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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And this....

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A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt said the recently seized $134 billion of U.S. Treasury Bonds in Italy are fakes, according to reports from Bloomberg.
streetinsider.com
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File Type: jpg bonds.jpg (25.0 KB, 8 views)
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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The Saga Of The Bearer Bonds - The Market Ticker
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
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tinfoil helmet alert!!!
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:01 PM   #7
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The Italians may not dismiss them as fakes so quickly. If they are real they stand to keep 40%.Excuse me for not accepting the US gov explanation quite yet.If they are fakes they must be good ones for them to have planned on going to Switzerland and trying to cash 500million and 1billion dollar bonds.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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I don't get any hits for the bonds story when searching the BBC website.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:36 AM   #9
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I would be surprised if there were a lot of US bearer bonds out there... when was the last one issued I would think it was more than 30 years ago...


OK... took a look... still did not say when the last one was issued, but if DTC has only a few billion, then I would tend to think someone off the street does not have $134 billion...

"There are U.S.-issued bearer bonds still in circulation because of their long lifespan - up to 50 years - but, according to an article that appeared in The New York Times on February 13, 2006, by 2013 most of these bonds will have become extinct. (Read more on callable bonds in Callable Bonds: Leading A Double Life.)

The New York Times also revealed that the Depository Trust Company (DTC), one of the world's largest securities depositories, has only a relative handful (compared to previous numbers) of employees working to clip coupons, redeem them and transfer the proceeds to brokers who credit their customers' accounts. Compare that to 1991, when the company was responsible for handling 21 million bearer bonds, or 42 million coupons, a year and employed 600 people to do it. Because no new bearer bonds are being issued, the number of bonds in the DTC vault has fallen to below 700,000, about $3.5 billion worth, not including interest."
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:43 AM   #10
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OK... a bit more...

"Bearer bonds were made illegal in the U.S. in 1982, so they are not especially common any more. Bearer bonds included coupons which were used by the bondholder to receive the interest due on the bond; this is why you will frequently read about the "coupon" of a bond (meaning the interest rate paid)."


Just as an FYI... I did see a few still back in 1989 when I was a trustee... I would have hated to have to clip those coupons off of thousands... and you did not want to 'pre clip' in case you lost them...
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:17 AM   #11
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The new stories are reporting that bearer bonds have face amounts of $500 million, and a few Kennedy bonds with a $1 billion value.

I am sure there is a lot to this story we don't know. I for one am not buying the story that these bonds are counterfeit at face value. I don't understand what criminal group would be sophisticated enough to try and counterfeit the bonds and stupid enough to make them in such a mind boggling amount. It order to counterfeit something you need to get your hands on one. Who the heck other than government, big corporations, or handful of billionaires can come up with $1+ billion to purchase a $1 billion Kennedy bear bond?

There is a chance that you might be able to counterfeit $10 million or even a couple hundred million and get away with it. But come on no banker in the universe is going cash $1 billion bond and no person or corporation is going accept them as payment with no questioned asked.

On the other hand if Japanese government was attempted to get rid of US government debt using bearer bonds without causing market panic, Bear bonds would be a pretty good way to do it.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
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Residual Madoff stash?
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:00 AM   #13
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Strange Inconsistencies in the $134.5 Billion Bearer Bond Mystery -- Seeking Alpha


Can anyone show me where there were ever issued any bearer bonds at a face value of $1 billion
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:17 PM   #14
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The US Treasury thinks it has less outstanding in bearer bonds (last issued in the early 1980s) than these two had in their briefcase. The US Treasury is generally fairly good at keeping track of these things.

I suspect that at least some of those bonds are every bit as real as those bails of $100 US bills from the Pyongsong Trademark Printing Factory. Maybe even from the same printing press..

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:53 PM   #15
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My mother had some bearer bonds in her safety deposit box. You should have seen the Fidelity staff eye's widen when I asked them to put them in her trust account.

Those bonds had numbers on them and the same number was on each coupon. The issuer, I am sure, had a book to account for those bonds.

It is possible that a few of the found bonds are legit, the ones used as templates to create forgeries in the rest of the stack.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:24 PM   #16
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But come on no banker in the universe is going cash $1 billion bond and no person or corporation is going accept them as payment with no questioned asked.
The "they're too smart to do something that dumb" argument ignores the fact that they got caught. What makes you think any part of their plan actually made sense?
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:44 PM   #17
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This is a fascinating story whether or not the bonds are fake. Why isn't our mainstream press all over this? Waiting for confirmation/denial from our government? At least these days we have the Internet and can access foreign press even if we can't confirm the facts. What a world.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #18
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Smuggled $134 billion in T-bonds are fakes, U.S. says | Money & Company | Los Angeles Times

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Speculation about the Italian smuggling case involving $134 billion in purported U.S. Treasury bonds may have been fun while it lasted, but the Treasury Department says today the bonds are bogus.

"They’re obvious fakes," said Steve Meyerhardt, a spokesman for the Treasury's Bureau of Public Debt in Washington.

What’s more, the package of bonds was said to include "Kennedy" bonds worth $1 billion each. "There is no such thing as a Kennedy bond," Meyerhardt said.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:03 PM   #19
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Did you not get the email from Nigeria offering you a billion dollars US bearer bond for a mere $5000 each? The 500 millions dollars bonds are a steal at $ 2000. They even offered free shipping via Nigerian mail. For faster shipment via Tribal Express, you will be charged a hundred dollars more.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:17 PM   #20
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Well the Treasury has made the story a lot less fun. Or to quote Wahoo responding to me another thread.

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I really hate it when someone comes along and pours cold facts on a good rant. Why must accuracy always spoil our sense of outrage? Where's the fun in that?
Of course the Treasury department denials haven't squashed all the rumors in cyberspace. Several people said "Well Duh the Treasury would have to deny they there are real."
It remains baffling to me and others and me why anybody, would bother to counterfeit such a huge bonds, much less create a non existent bonds. The $500 million bearer bonds actually were made in the 50s and 60s, but no $1 billion Kennedy ever existed. Still as others have said criminals do some mind boggling stupid things.

More troubling to me is why it took the Treasury dept. two weeks to issue a public denial, and why the US press basically ignored the story. The press goes nuts with stories a lot less juicy than this one.

On a serious note, the fact that myself and many other folks (not normally accused of wearing tinfoil hats) considered it plausible (albeit unlikely) that this was an attempt by Japan or another country to dump their US debt speaks volume as to the misgiving many of us have about the current fiscal and monetary policy. (I actually support most of the actions by the Fed and Treasury over the year as the least horrible option.)

Finally my favorite comment about the whole thing was posted on a blog.
For fellow Terminator fans.
Quote:
John Connor Jun 18 23:37 The two Japanese men are actually time travelling assassins sent back from the future to prevent the Fed from debasing the dollar and the subsequent hyperinflationary apocalypse.

And the USD500MM bearer bonds are actually just their currency from the future, pocket change...
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