"S.S." and "A.C." both spotted this story and sent it along, and once you read it, you'll understand why:
1) my suspicion meter went immediately into the red zone;
2) my high octane speculation motor went immediately into overdrive; and,
3) this article went immediately into the top of the "finals" folder for this week's blogs.
First, a little context: I've blogged before about the "Bearer Bonds" scandals, and even written about them. And as you may recall, the Bearer Bonds scandals began with the discovery of the so-called "Morgenthau" bonds, allegedly issued in the early 1930s before the American entry into World War Two, and issued to the Nationalist Chinese government of Chiang-Kai Shek in return for Nationalist gold he placed on deposit with the Federal Reserve to keep it out of Japanese hands. The problem was (and is) that these bonds were issued by the Federal Reserve Bank, not the US treasury, and contained numerous spelling errors and errors of another nature altogether. For example, the "Morgenthau bonds" stated that they were "Federal ReserveD bonds", not "Federal Reserve" bonds. Because of factors such as this, these bonds, and those that came after them, have always been denounced by the government as being counterfeits. After all, governments wouldn't be so sneaky, and sloppy. And pay attention to that last remark, because it forms a part of today's "high octane speculation." (And if you believe that governments wouldn't be so sneaky and sloppy, then I have a bridge in Sydney harbor for sale, cheap.)
Regular readers here know what my fundamental problem has been with all these government denunciations of all these bearer bonds as counterfeit: one does not counterfeit seven dollar bills, i.e., one does not go to all the expense and effort to counterfeit and then to attempt to redeem things that do not exist, especially in such large denominations.
With all of that context out of the way, we can now get down to the article:
Yes, that's right. Australia's banks have placed A$50.00 notes into circulation with the very simple spelling error where the word "responsibility" is misspelled as "responsibilty":
Millions of A$50 (US$35) banknotes in Australia have an embarrassing typographical error that was overlooked by the country’s central bank before they were printed and circulated.
The goof first became known on Thursday when a listener on radio outlet Triple M sent the station a magnified photo of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) new A$50 note highlighting the word “responsibility” misspelt as “responsibilty” three times.
The A$50 currency is the most widely circulated in Australia and accounts for nearly half the total value of other banknotes in use, according to the RBA.
Now don't get me wrong here. Given the woeful state of education in the West, it's entirely possible that this is simply a legitimate error, nothing less and nothing more. And odds are that that this possibility is right around 99% , all-but-certain. Write it off to poor education, poor quality control &c &c.
It's that other 1% possibility that sent my suspicion meter into the red zone and my high octane speculation motor working in overdrive, for suppose that it was not, but rather was a deliberate act. What would happen if, say, various governments started covertly counterfeiting their own money, issuing this set of "errors" in this batch printed over here, and that set of "errors" in that batch printed over there? One might argue that governments would never do such a thing, but there is a kind of precedent both in Nazi Germany's "Operation Bernhard" (its massive counterfeiting operation to print "unauthorized but authentic" British pound sterling banknotes through a rigorous process of "reverse engineering" the whole procedure), and in the western Allies' own printing of "occupation money" during World War Two(See my McCarthy, Monmouth, and the Deep State). It's not exactly the same thing, but close. Then there have been more recent rumors of the so-called "supernotes", counterfeited American $100 notes that are so good that some suspect that the CIA made off with official plates (Raymond Reddington Style) and has been printing them up (here it comes) in North Korea.
But anyway, back to our main scenario: what would happen if governments (or "their" central banks) suddenly started printing such notes with various types of errors scattered through various runs and batches? So far, Australia provides a clue: the course of performance thus far has been that no one is denying the "legal tender" status of the notes, notwithstanding the error. But what if my "high octane speculation" scenario occurred, and the governments and banks then denied such notes' legal tender status? What if the Reserve Bank of Australia had said, "Woops, that's a counterfeit note, and we have no idea how that occurred. Sorry, can't honour it."
Confusion, of course, would reign... no one would be able to "trust their money", or their governments... it would be a clumsy but nifty way to introduce a "cashless" society and "all digital" currency system: simply induce a state where no one trusts cash, or trusts it less, relative to digital. And "farm out" the whole procedure to a cut 0ut (no pun intended).
But you know me, folks, I don't trust cyber systems, and mega-corporations are right down there at the bottom of my list - along with big government - of institutions that have little to no integrity, and that I do not trust.
See you on the flip side...