SUPERNOTES: AN OLD STORY WITH A MODERN KICK
I want to revisit a story that is now some years old, and which I've blogged about before, because now the story assumes a new urgency within the current financial and geopolitical context, and that's the "supernotes" story from the mid-2000s (articles courtesy of M.D.). My earlier forays into this story can be found on the website by simply searching for "supernotes". One article in particular should be in your mind as you read today's revisiting of the subject:
Here are the older articles shared by M.D.:
You'll note that these older articles are already floating the idea of "digital 'currencies'" in response to the growth of counterfeits that are of very high quality, and you'll note that one place or focus of the emergence of very good counterfeit $100 bills was in South America, home to several "veterans' groups"... nothing suspicious there. In my 2019 article on the supernotes, I observed the following:
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."
Now let's go back to an article I blogged about last week ("April Fools! New Vistas in Rehypothecation and Other Crypto-Currency Frauds"), and to this week's earlier story about Alabama joining the growing list of American states on the bullion bandwagon. In the "April Fools!" blog I pointed out the 2019 M.I.T. article about how a blockchain network had been hacked, and entire transaction histories rewritten. So much for the so-called "integrity" of crypto-currencies. If you're an American state, or for that matter, an American ally, and you've been really following all the strange financial stories of the past few years, you'll be hard-pressed to avoid a particular conclusion: the United States Mint, the American Federal Reserve system, and the US Treasury are not the only agencies or actors with a degree of influence over the US money supply, nor are they the only actors capable of minting US currency. Indeed, there would appear to be other actors with access either to official US currency plates, to plates closely approximating them, and those "other actors" could be just about anyone, from foreign powers, to rogue cells or agencies within the American intelligence structure. Digital currencies won't cut it, and the dollar? Well, if there are "other actors" in the system then we have no idea how much liquidity in the form of circulating currency there is. Then there's all those derivatives - quadrillions of dollars' worth - sloshing around in the system.
The only way to restore trust and confidence would appear to be - you guessed it - bullion and bullion-backed physical media exchange, and American states are acting accordingly.
See you on the flip side...
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