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The Saga Of The Bearer Bonds
The Market Ticker ^ | 6/`13/09 | Karl Denninger

Posted on 06/13/2009 4:51:15 PM PDT by FromLori

It just gets more and more odd after my original report, with the latest coming from a German newspaper (translation courtesy of Google):

Hit for the Zöllner: The contraband securities valued at 134 billion U.S. dollars are apparently real. Die italienische Finanzpolizei hatte zwei Japaner ertappt, die im doppelten Boden eines Koffers milliardenschwere Anleihen in die Schweiz schaffen wollten. The Italian financial police had two Japanese caught in the false bottom suitcase billion-dollar bonds in Switzerland wanted to create. Von dem Fund profitiert das hochverschuldete Italien.

Note that this has received very little coverage in the so-called "mainstream US media" - but it is everywhere in Europe and Asia.

Japan, for its part, oddly said the following as soon as this story started to hit the press:

“We have complete trust in the fact that the U.S. views its strong-dollar policy as fundamental,” Yosano, 70, said in an interview in Tokyo on June 10 before attending a Group of Eight meeting of finance ministers starting today in Italy. “So our trust in U.S. Treasuries is absolutely unshakable.”

Uh huh. And the Japanese said in December of 1941 that all was well too. Anyone remember what happened on the morning of the 7th?

Let's apply a little "Occam's Razor" to this entire story.

You're not going to walk into a bank with $130 billion in bearer bonds and cash them. Nor are you going to sell a bond with a $500 million face value to someone without them authenticating it. They will be authenticated before you get one dime out of them - no matter who you think you're going to "give" them to.

So if they're fakes and you're "just screwing around", there is no reason to hide them. Nor is there any particular reason to have authentic and recent original bank documents in your luggage with them, as has been reported.

Next, unless someone knew you were smuggling them, why would you be subject to that sort of search? What made the people involved "interesting" to the authorities? This doesn't sound like a random stop to me; how many people are carrying $130 billion in bearer bonds at any given point in time? No, someone was tipped off that this was happening. Now why would you bother to stop them here, prior to their attempted delivery of such instruments, if they were fake?

Think about this: You know someone is smuggling a load of drugs. You can either bust them immediately or you can tail them and bust them when they show up at the "meet" to exchange the dope for the money. If you do the former the guys with the money get away, having committed no crime. But if you do the latter, you get to bust both the courier and the purchaser - two times the effectiveness for the price of one, and double the seizure value, since you get to seize the cash too!

So let's assume that the certificates are real, as German media seems to believe and which, by the way, makes logical sense given what they were and the sheer impossibility of cashing a fake $500 million bond.

Ok, who has $130 billion in bearer bonds? Remember, bearer instruments haven't been issued by the Treasury since 1982, when they became illegal to issue, at least to US institutions and residents (there was an exception carved out for Treasury instruments issued to non-US residents in 1985 - a time of high deficits) The answer to that question: it is rather unlikely that there remains $130 billion of legitimate US Bearer issuance outstanding anywhere - to anyone.

Mr. Holmes would be initially puzzled by such a caper. On the one hand we have the impossibility of the bonds being real, because there simply isn't $130 billion of issues remaining outstanding. On the other hand we have the impossibility of negotiating a fake $500 million bearer instrument, making the exercise of counterfeiting one expensive and futile.

This leaves us with more questions than answers at this point.

Or does it?

As Mr. Holmes is famously rumored to have said, "once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however implausible, must be the truth."

So what remains? Let's run a theory here - one of the few possible remaining options, given the exclusion of what we know not to be true...

Are we willing to assume that all the "issue" of Treasury bonds has been done "above board" as required by law. If Treasury has been surreptitiously issuing bonds to, say, Japan, as a means of financing deficits that someone didn't want reported over the last, oh, say 10 or 20 years, then the following is about to occur:

Who could have possibly been complicit in such a scheme? I can come up with only two nations (and only nations could be involved due to size): The Japanese and Chinese. Since the two individuals who were arrested were reported to be Japanese nationals......

There are tremendous implications in an event like this, again, assuming the bonds are real.

The owner is going to want them back, of course. But Italy is going to keep a third as their statutory penalty for non-declaration on the border. Oops. That's great for Italy, but it blows bananas for the actual owner.

Of course Italy (or the US!) could declare them "fake" and as a consequence simply burn them. If they are in fact real, that's an even bigger problem. See, Bearer Bonds are issued without registration - they are as anonymous as a $100 bill in terms of who owns them. That's one of their "features", and why they were often used for various clandestine money operations. So if they are real and are destroyed, the owner is out of luck - their money is gone just as it is if you burn a $100 bill in an ashtray.

How much is $130 billion in this context? About 1/5th or so of what Japan legitimately owns of US Treasury debt. How would you like to take an instantaneous (and permanent!) 20% haircut on your securities? That's what I thought.

To add some balance here, there have been stories about fake bearer bonds coming out of North Korea and other places for years. But the idiocy of attempting to pass a $500 million certificate belies this possibility - who in the name of God would take such a thing and give you anything for it without authenticating it first? While bearer instrument are "anonymous" in terms of who owns them, their authenticity is easily verified as they ARE serialized instruments.

I remain puzzled, and am not advancing the above theory as fact.

It is, however, one of the few explanations that actually fits the facts, and for that reason, I think we need some answers. If in fact previous administrations were issuing "off-book" Treasury debt in this fashion to sovereigns then implications are truly explosive as such issues are blatant and outrageous unlawful acts and would expose everyone involved to severe criminal penalties.

Let's hope we get those answers, and this isn't one of those "funny things" that just disappears into the night.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Japan
KEYWORDS: bearerbonds; bonds; denninger; dollar; donilon; govt; italy; italyarrest; japan; karldenninger; switzerland; thomasdonilon; usdollar
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1 posted on 06/13/2009 4:51:16 PM PDT by FromLori
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To: FromLori
...expose everyone involved to severe criminal penalties.

Hmmm...a backdoor way to put Bush and Cheney in the calaboose? And who tipped off the Italians and to what purpose?

2 posted on 06/13/2009 5:02:08 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

My first thought was that SOROS is somehow involved and was moving the money around to create a situation where he could short the dollar.

3 posted on 06/13/2009 5:10:14 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: FromLori

VERY interesting.

Bush wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I seriously doubt that these Japanese couriers would have been running around with something like this for more than three months.

But it sounds like the Chicago Way: Bagmen secretly carrying large sums from one player to another.

I’ll pass this along to some friends and see what they have to say about it.

4 posted on 06/13/2009 5:11:41 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: FromLori

Bush and Cheney wouldn’t do this. They have access to personal, private money handlers that could provide nice services for them. I personally know one of the Bush family’s financial resources.

No, this is something else. The Government (FED) could have issued these for some purpose in violation of the Congress, but it would be a bi-partisan event. No party would do this without being able to lay out the blame equally.

SO, If they are real, and I believe they are, then the clandestine nature is odd. At any time they could have been deposited at the owners national bank and used for collateral.

This makes no sense. No one buys mature bearer bonds. The maturity date is not known. I assume they have matured so they are worth face value.

The only reason for someone to do this in a clandestine manner is for purposes of extreme secrecy and then you’re back to “ just deposit them in your national bank and use them for collateral”.

If they are fake, it’s already known.

130B is one heck of a lot of money to us, but nothing to a Nation State.

I don’t think NK would think they could pass off something like this. Printing millions of fake dollars is one thing. This is a really stupid caper no matter what the outcome. You don’t transfer that kind of asset without heavy security and DECLARING what you are doing.

The Coliseum just got a face lift!

5 posted on 06/13/2009 5:13:29 PM PDT by PanzerDeutscheschafferhund
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To: FromLori
Now why would you bother to stop them here, prior to their attempted delivery of such instruments, if they were fake?

This seems easy, someone in the Italian government, maybe involved in the G8 meeting, got wind of the back room deals that would be going on, and decided to get in on the finder's fee. Viva Italia.

I believe they are real, and I am equally interested in where they were going, where they came from, and why the government issued them.

6 posted on 06/13/2009 5:14:46 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: FromLori
There is another explanation possible. The bearer bonds could have been issued legally to Japan in the early 80s, when Japan was running a huge surplus. Any earlier cashing in of US bonds might well leave the bearer bonds in place since they have attractive features over regular registered bonds.

(i) Japan could now be trying to reduce its $ holdings without offending the US, or (ii) someone high up in Japanese banking or politics might have purloined them in the past. The sums are huge, so I would have to go with the former explanation.

7 posted on 06/13/2009 5:17:07 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: FromLori

Why do I get the feeling that this has the possibility of destroying the USD?

8 posted on 06/13/2009 5:25:19 PM PDT by GreyMountainReagan (Liberals do not view the book 1984 as a warning but as a textbook.)
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To: Vince Ferrer

The Bilderbergers just got together in Greece. It would be very easy to take the yacht over to Italy. Wonder what went down that we are not supposed to know about?

9 posted on 06/13/2009 5:25:42 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: WellyP

I may be on to something:

Bilderberg Key Objectives

1. Zero-Growth Society. In a post-industrial period, zero growth will be necessary to destroy vestiges of general prosperity. When there is prosperity, there is progress. Prosperity and progress make it impossible to implement repression, and you need repression if you hope to divide society into owners and slaves. The end of prosperity will bring an end to virtually all industrialization except for the computer and service industries. The remaining Canadian and American industries would be exported to poorer countries such as Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, where slave labor is cheap. One of the principal objectives of NAFTA will then have been realized.

2. One International Identity. By empowering International bodies to completely destroy all national identity through subversion from within, they intend to establish one set of universal values. No others will be allowed to flourish in the New World Order society.

3. Centralized Control of the People. By means of mind control, they plan to direct all humanity to obey their wishes. The blueprint of this plan is chillingly described in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (details). He is also an associate of Henry Kissinger and well known for his presentations at several Bilderberg Conferences. He foresees, under the New World Order, no middle class; only rulers and servants.

4. State of Perpetual Imbalance. Will be artificially achieved by manufacturing crises that will put people under continual duress - physically, mentally, financially and emotionally. Too tired and strung-out to decide their own destinies, populations will be confused and demoralized to the extent that, “faced with too many choices”, apathy on a massive scale will result.

5. Western Trading Bloc. By expanding NAFTA throughout the Western Hemisphere into Mexico, the US and Canada, a “North American Union” will eventually form and be modeled after the European Union.

6. One Legal & Enforcement System. The International Court of Justice will become the sole legal system for the World. In addition, as the UN intervenes in more trouble-spots globally (as is the current case in Afghanistan), NATO will increasingly become the UN’s World army.

7. Centralized Control of All Education. One of the reasons for the European Union, the North American Union and the future Asian Union, is to collectively seek greater control of education in general, so as to allow “One World” globalists to sterilize the World’s true past. They contend that today’s youth is almost completely ignorant of the lessons of history, individual liberties and the meaning of freedom. They further contend that this ignorance will only simplify their program.

10 posted on 06/13/2009 5:40:10 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: WellyP

Who on this list could be involved in moving 130+ Billion Dollars?

US Guests (2009 meeting) who attended Bilderberg meetings

The number preceding a guest’s name indicates the number of annual meetings attended by that guest between 2000 and 2007.

• 8 Vernon E. Jordan Jr. - Lazard Frères & Co. LLC

• 8 Henry A. Kissinger - Kissinger Associates Inc.

• 8 Henry R. Kravis - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

• 7 Thomas Donilon - Fannie Mae

• 7 James A. Johnson - Johnson Capital Partners

• 7 Marie-Josée Kravis - Hudson Institute Inc.

• 7 Jessica T. Mathews - Carnage Endowment for International Peace

• 7 Richard N. Perle - Hollinger Digital, Inc.

• 7 David Rockefeller - Chase Manhattan Bank International

• 6 Martin Feldstein - National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

• 6 Allan B. Hubbard - E&A Industries

• 5 Timothy Collins - Ripplewood Holdings LLC

• 5 John Thornton - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

• 4 Timothy Geithner - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

• 4 Paul A. Gigot - The Wall Street Journal

• 4 Richard N. Haass - Government (US) - State Department

• 4 Richard C. Holbrooke - United Nations (UN)

• 4 William J. Luti - US Government Defense Department

• 4 Graig J. Mundie - Microsoft Corporation

• 4 Dennis B. Ross - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

• 4 James B. Steinberg - National Security Affairs Deputy

• 4 Paul Wolfowitz - Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

• 3 Paul Allaire - Xerox Corporation

• 3 William McDonough - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

• 3 Frank H. Pearl - Perseus LLC

• 3 Steven Rattner - Quandrangle Group

• 3 George Soros - Soros Fund Management

• 3 John Vinocur - The International Herald Tribune

• 3 Robert B. Zoellick - Trade Adviser to President George W. Bush

• 2 Jon Corzine - Senator - New Jersey

• 2 Kenneth Dam - US Government - Department of the Treasury

• 2 John Deutch - Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

• 2 Christopher Dodd - Senator - Connecticut

• 2 Chuck Hagel - Senator - Nebraska

• 2 Kay Bailey Hutchison - Senator - Texas

• 2 Mark C. Medish - Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld L.L.P.

• 2 Michael Moskow - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

• 2 Norman Pearlstine - Time Inc.

• 2 Clyde Prestowitz Jr. - Economic Strategy Institute (ESI)

• 2 Lodewijk Vink Jr. - Warner-Lambert Company

• 2 Fareed Zakaria - Newsweek International

11 posted on 06/13/2009 5:53:19 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: PanzerDeutscheschafferhund
If you were moving $130 billion, why would you be so clumsy in doing this? Wouldn't you break up the shipment into smaller amounts? Or is this a smaller amount?

Should've hired the Transporter.

12 posted on 06/13/2009 5:56:03 PM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (Are they insane, stupid or just evil?)
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To: Cicero

Be interested in hearing what they have to say. I wonder if those things are transferable?

13 posted on 06/13/2009 6:07:47 PM PDT by FromLori (FromLori)
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To: Jabba the Nutt

Any connection?

On Thursday Sept 15, 2008 at roughly 11 AM The Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the USA to the tune of $550 billion dollars in a matter of an hour or two.

Money was being removed electronically.

The treasury tried to help with $150 Billion.

But could not stem the tide.

It was an electronic run on the banks

The treasury intervened but had they not closed down the accounts they estimated that by 2 PM that afternoon. Within 3 hours, $5.5 Trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States and would have collapsed within 24 hours the world economy.

14 posted on 06/13/2009 6:07:49 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: Jabba the Nutt
They have probably been doing this for awhile with smaller amounts. Paid off all the appropriate people within the Italian government (government payoffs are normal business practice in many parts of the world). This time however someone learned how much was being moved and they got caught.
15 posted on 06/13/2009 6:20:15 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: WellyP

bookmark for later

16 posted on 06/13/2009 6:29:57 PM PDT by VA40
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To: FromLori

Let’s say the U.S. wanted to pay another country’s government secretly for assistance in a strategic project against a third country’s government.

The Fed could issue to the CIA billions in bearer bonds to give to the cooperating government for the purpose.

Let’s say the Op didn’t go as well, or the recipient of the bonds turned out to be a bad guy, or we want to welsh on the deal. What to do?

Arrange to receive the bonds in Switzerland, but tip off the Italians about the couriers. Declare the bonds fakes, and wash your hands of the whole deal.

That scenario fits the facts I see.

If true, what country would’ve done enough services for the U.S. that we’d give them $130B in untraceable bonds?

17 posted on 06/13/2009 6:43:22 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (If Liberals' GOAL was the Destruction of Western Civilization, would their behavior differ?)
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To: justa-hairyape

Initial reports I saw referred to these guys possessing so-called Kennedy bonds, 10 I think, each with a $1 billion face value. That item is missing in later reports of this story. Interesting.

18 posted on 06/13/2009 6:46:56 PM PDT by Ahithophel (Padron@Anniversario)
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To: Ahithophel
Actually saw an image of a Kennedy Bond Coupon on one of the blogs. Big picture of JFK on the coupon. The fact that the US MSM is ignoring this story, probably means they are running cover for the Crooked Party.
19 posted on 06/13/2009 6:54:15 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: WellyP

TARP money being spread around in the current undisclosed manner.

20 posted on 06/13/2009 6:54:27 PM PDT by OldArmy52 (Mainstream Media cheered: Ascension of Castro, Chavez and now Obama.)
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