A SURGE IN ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS…March 6, 2019
This is a strange story, and many people sent various versions of it, so I decided to blog about it, because as one might expect, I have a rather different high octane speculation "take" to offer than the usual conventional analysis. But let me select two versions of this story, the first shared by Ms. C.V., and the second by Ms. K.M. The story concerns a sudden surge in U.S. $100 dollar notes in circulation:
Now, you'll note that in the Corbett Report version of the story, the hypothesis is advanced that the only prior time there was such a surge in $100 notes in circulation was prior to 9/11:
That’s right, for those who remember the story of Federal Reserve whistleblower William Bergman, a sharp increase in money supply was something that caught the attention of Fed researchers in the wake of 9/11. When he began looking into that spike, and why the Federal Reserve Board of Governors had issued a non-routine supervisory letter warning Fed banks to be vigilant in monitoring suspicious activity reports in August 2001, he was told that he had committed “an egregious breach of protocol in calling the Board staff and asking the question.” Needless to say, Bergman was eventually ousted from his position.
So there are many possible reasons for the increase in $100 bills, and surely all of them have at least some part to play here, but we have to at least suspect that there may be an even darker cause for this as-yet-unexplained development.
In fact, as the article also points out, there are now more $100 notes in circulation than $1 notes, and that, according to the story, presages some "catalyzing event", i.e., another false flag like 9/11 perhaps.
But then there's the second story, which has a rather different take:
Generally, economists believe the surge is related to people around the world wanting to hoard cash, a similar force that's driven the interest in cryptocurrencies. High denomination, high value currency notes have historically been a preferred form of payment for criminals, given the anonymity, lack of transaction record and relative ease with which they can be brought across borders.
Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, has been down the "rabbit hole of a topic" for more than a decade. He said the growth in $100 bills in circulation is a signal the world is relying on them as a store of value — and still using them for international crime.
In this version people are simply hoarding the notes as a "store of value"; call it the "cash in the mattress" hypothesis. And as the article also points out, large denomination notes are the favored means of transaction of criminals. But there's another possibility: more and more people are waking up to the hideous nature of "surveillance capitalism" and are conducting transactions in cash. Perhaps I am projecting my own behavior here, for like many people, I do shop online and pay by card. But I've tried to curtail this as much as I can, and in local shopping, I have tried to increase my use of cash, have declined enrollment for a "rewards card" at several local businesses, and still pay all bills by check. So I suspect at least some of this increase may be due to more and more people preferring cash as payment.
But there is, I strongly suspect, yet another possibility here, and it's of a very disturbing "high octane" speculative nature. We may call this the "Raymond Reddington" hypothesis, though it might equally be called the "A-Team" or "Operation Bernhard" hypothesis. And what I mean by that is that there have been in television, movies, and books, the theme of actual and official U.S. $100 note plates being in "circulation" and "use" by various independent criminal groups, by "rogue" regimes, and so on. In the well-known American television series Blacklist, the international criminal Raymond Reddington acquires such plates in season three, and promptly turns them over to the government of - here it comes - Venezuela. In the movie The A-Team, such plates were secretly shipped to Iraq by the U.S. government, only to be stolen by an American general for his own purposes. And recently, there was a book by an Italian author (Supernotes, by Agent Kasper and Luigi Carletti), which was one of those "works of fiction" that one has to wonder about, for it has that "feel" of authenticity about it. In the book, an agent for Italian intelligence is contracted by American intelligence to investigate the use of such plates by - here it comes again - North Korea. reading the book, I was left with that sickly nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach that the "novel" had the ring of truth to it. After all, it was the Italian Guardia di Finanza police who first apprehended those two Japanese gentlement carrying absurd amounts of bearer bonds into Switzerland from Italy. The Guardia are rumored to be some of the best "finance intelligence" people in the world, so from that point of view, the novel made sense.
I recall also the World War Two Nazi counterfeiting operation known as Operation Bernhard, which I wrote about in my book Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilizations. As I maintained in that book, Operation Bernhard was essentially a state-sponsored project of very unconventional counterfeiting in the sense that the Nazis attempted - quite successfully as it turned out - to reverse engineer the entire process of the printing of British pound sterling notes.The result in some cases were counterfeit notes that, for all intents and purposes, were genuine to the extent that banks could not distinguish the real ones from the "fake" ones. In essence, the Nazis simple set up the unauthorized production of British pound sterling notes. One would be hard-pressed to argue that a similar process could not be done with the $100 note, given enough time, investment, and technical know-how from "rogue actors", be they nation-states or otherwise.
And there is the final possibility, and it goes once again to my "hidden system of finance" hypothesis, for lurking behind the "Raymond Reddington/A-Team" idea is a disturbing implication and eventuality: that someone, at some time, stole the plates to begin with (and perhaps, using those, replicated more plates). That would require access to them to begin with... just the sort of "covert operation" certain intelligence actors could conceivably pull off. After all, if one was running a hidden system of finance, the easiest and most obvious method to do so would be to set up shop somewhere "unreachable" (like, say, North Korea), and just print the money as needed, and give the North Koreans a share of the cut for doing "business."
The simple and bottom line for the sudden surge of $100 notes in circulation is simply that someone is running the printing presses. The not-so-simple-and-bottom-line is, who is actually doing it, and where? And the answer may be that it is not simply the U.S. Mint doing it.
See you on the flip side...