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Posted: 6/18/2009 9:52:23 AM EST
Beck on the $134 billion in bonds

June 17 (Bloomberg) –– It's a plot better suited for a John Le Carre novel.
Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.


The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.


The trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. will issue in the next couple of years needs buyers. Attracting them will require making sure that existing ones aren't losing faith in the U.S.'s ability to control the dollar.
The dollar is, for better or worse, the core of our world economy and it's best to keep it stable. News that's more fitting for international spy novels than the financial pages won't help that effort. It is incumbent upon the U.S. Treasury to get to the bottom of this tale and keep markets informed.


Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. Yes, they could have built vacation homes amidst Genghis Khan's Gobi Desert or the famed Temples of Angkor. Bernard Madoff who?
These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors. It makes you wonder if some of the time Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spends keeping the Chinese and Japanese invested in dollars should be devoted to well-financed men crossing the Italian-Swiss border.


Let's assume for a moment that these U.S. bonds are real. That would make a mockery of Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano's "absolutely unshakable" confidence in the credibility of the U.S. dollar. Yosano would have some explaining to do about Japan's $686 billion of U.S. debt if more of these suitcase capers come to light.
'Kennedy Bonds'
Counterfeit $100 bills are one thing; two guys with undeclared bonds including 249 certificates worth $500 million and 10 "Kennedy bonds" of $1 billion each is quite another.
The bust could be a boon for Italy. If the securities are found to be genuine, the smugglers could be fined 40 percent of the total value for attempting to take them out of the country. Not a bad payday for a government grappling with a widening budget deficit and rebuilding the town of L'Aquila, which was destroyed by an earthquake in April.

Full Story LINK http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a62_boqkurbI

Link Posted: 6/18/2009 9:54:34 AM EST
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Link Posted: 6/18/2009 9:55:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By Archangel69:
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Link Posted: 6/18/2009 10:56:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Archangel69:
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Link Posted: 6/18/2009 11:10:50 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 11:10:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/18/2009 11:10:58 AM EST by DK-Prof]
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