This would make a great movie. Two Japanese couriers are stopped and searched trying to cross into Switzerland from Italy with 134 Billion in US bearer bonds. The bonds were hidden in a secret compartment of a suitcase.
Yes, officials are determining if these are counterfeit or legitimate. If real, Italy stands to collect 40 Billion dollars as that is the penalty on the 134 billion amount.
These bonds (#249 500 million notes) are bearer bonds,that is like a check drawn on the U.S. Treasury,payable to the holder.
You just can't make this stuff up,but this story has had almost no exposure by the MSM in this country.
Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.
Japan is investigating reports two of its citizens were detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland.
Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said his government is confident about the outlook for U.S. Treasuries, signaling the second-biggest foreign holder of the securities will keep buying them amid record sales.
"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."
Flying under the radar the Japanese government has started damage control,fearing that these bonds might be real and limit the questions that could be raised. Is Japan dumping treasuries? Not likely, but this story is intriguing non the less.
The tin foil hats are alive and well just thing about what is going on here.
Is North Korea counterfeiting?
There are only three foreign countries that hold this large amount of US bonds, Japan,Russia,and China.
Strangely this 134.5 billion amount matches the available funds in TARP.
I think this is a case for 007.
Update: According to the official press release by the Italian police these bonds were issued by the US Federal Reserve Bank.
No doubt you are already aware of the wild stories circulating in response to the news that two Japanese nationals were caught trying to smuggle some $134 billion in U.S. Government bearer bonds into Switzerland from Italy. Since the Secret Service seems a bit slow in addressing the issue (What's the problem? Haven't you hired an undersecretary of Secret Service motivation yet? Couldn't you get Agent Frank Horrigan out of retirement and send him on special assignment or something?) and the Italians change their story about the instruments almost as often as they change governments, we thought you might benefit from some of our analysis.