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Crime The Almighty Buck

Press Used To Print Millions of US Banknotes Seized In Quebec 398

Posted by samzenpus
from the close-to-perfect dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian Royal Mounted Police report: An offset printing press used to manufacture counterfeit $20 banknotes was seized by the RCMP and US Secret Service. This significant seizure was made earlier today in the Trois-Rivières area. The authorities had been looking for this offset press for several years. A large quantity of paper was also seized by police, that could have been used by the counterfeiters to manufacture from $40-$200 million. The very high quality counterfeit notes were virtually undetectable to the naked eye. Some of the features they had were uncommon, including the type of paper used, which was especially made with a Jackson watermark and a dark vertical stripe imitating the security thread found in authentic notes."
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Press Used To Print Millions of US Banknotes Seized In Quebec

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  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @07:42PM (#46136477)

    Fed doesn't even bother with the paper - just pushes some buttons, and *magically* $4 billion pops out into the system *every day.*

    Nonsense!

    They only create TWO billion a day.

  • by spasm (79260) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @08:08PM (#46136589) Homepage

    The Australians license the polymer process to a lot of countries (including Canada) and an offshoot of the Australian Reserve Bank actually prints polymer notes for about 30 countries directly including Mexico.

  • by mendax (114116) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @08:23PM (#46136633)

    switch to australian made notes, i'd like to see them try and replicate those notes!

    Yes, I've advocated the US switching to Aussie plastic ever since my first experience with it when I visited Oz in 1995. Canada is now doing it and Mexico has been using it for several years. Even the damn Romanians are using it! The polymer money has its detractors (it's slippery and doesn't fold nicely unless you put a book on the fold for a month and then you can't get the fold out) but it's pretty much damn impossible to counterfeit unless you're a government. And I suspect even the North Koreans will have trouble with it since I have no doubt the Aussies will ever license the technology to them for obvious reasons.

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @08:28PM (#46136655)

    Canada makes polymer bills. The first polymer bill produced was the $100 CAD. Not too long after it was released, counterfeits were reported. This is a CBC story from May 2013. Too bad, for the longest time $100 and $50 paper bills weren't accepted at retail even if legal tender for fear it was counterfeit. Hopefully this doesn't happen with the new polymer bills.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com... [theglobeandmail.com]

  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @08:33PM (#46136693)

    Because the game is all about who gets to have the money, not how good the money is. If counterfeiting were legal, peons could print their way to financial independence, and we can't be havin' with that. Any mechanism by which large numbers of the population can escape from debt will be carefully stamped out, no matter what it is. Counterfeit printing is only one of many victims of this policy.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @08:59PM (#46136833)

    It steals nothing. My $100 in the bank is worth $105 after the fed increases the money supply 5%. My house goes from $200,000 to 210,000, again, matching the inflation.

    What? Inflation makes your buying power less not more. The house may go up in (numeric) value, but you $100 in the bank is worth less now since it's not worth as much in actual exchange for goods and services.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @09:09PM (#46136883)

    Now if we could just stop our government from printing themselves money.

    Why?

    When interest rates are at 0%, and the politicians can't be bother inducing demand via stimulus spending/fiscal policy, the only way left to get the economy going is monetary policy. The Japanese have had 0% interest rates for decades, and have printed money a lot as well, and they've had deflation.

    In science you pick the model which makes accurate predictions. The Austrians, gold bugs, and folks from the Chicago school of thought have been yammering on about inflation for years. The Keynesians (IS-LM folks) have been saying it won't/isn't because of the circumstances we're in. Who has been right? Which model has turned out correct over the last five years?

    Of course that doesn't mean you can print money whenever you want, just in particular circumstances (which the US happens to be in):

    Running deficits and printing lots of money are inflationary and bad in economies that are constrained by limited supply; they are good things when the problem is persistently inadequate demand. Similarly, unemployment benefits probably lead to lower employment in a supply-constrained economy; they increase employment in a demand-constrained economy; and so on.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/macroeconomic-populism-returns/

    They Keynesians have been correctly predicting things. Their model works. By this point, if you're scientifically minded you, should be dropping other models as their predictions were wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @09:28PM (#46136967)

    You're not going to get that from an offset press.

    No, but you'd be surprised how many Americans don't know even the basic security features of their money. Indeed, if a bill looks and feels right at a first glance, few enough will question its authenticity and the counterfeiters rely upon this fact. It also doesn't help that the most common counterfeit detection method employed by small businesses, the currency marker pen, is easily defeated with the right sort of non-banknote paper and some dried hairspray. This is common knowledge now, at least online and among the counterfeiters, even if does still catch some of the less sophisticated fakes. As a business owner myself, I would say that the biggest tip off that a note is fake is the lack of red and blue silk threads embedded in the paper. You'd think that this would be an easy feature to replicate, but most counterfeits don't seem to have them, probably because the supply of real banknote paper is tightly controlled and silk threads must be mixed in before the paper is laid out and dried to achieve the right effect. The second biggest tip off is the watermark, although TFA states that there was some attempt made at a watermark in this case. If the watermark is missing or looks bad then the bill is probably fake, ditto for the security strip. My advice would be to check for the threads, watermark and security strip in that order instead of relying solely upon the pen, but hey it's your money.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @11:17PM (#46137531)

    Nope. US Fed did what is required from the start, so the recession in the US turned out to be far more shallow than in Europe (where the ECB blundered for several years). In Japan it's the contrast is even more stark - after a decade of slow stagnation and deflation (or near-deflation) they started growing almost immediately after the central bank and the government decided to be 'irresponsible'.

    And yet Australia, which gave cash to tax payers instead of bank managers, did even better. But even though Australia completely avoided a technical recession, all they have done is delay the inevitable.

    The $900 payout to people who earned less than A$90,000 didn't stop the recession in Australia. In fact nothing did. We had one, but we recovered in less than 12 months because of sensible banking regulations which meant none of our major banks needed public money. That combined with a sensible economic policy (which has remained virtually unchanged since the early 90's) and low levels of public debt meant that we rode out the GFC in a very short time.

    The $900 "stimulus" was about boosting consumer confidence, which it did for a very short time but it wasn't a real fix.

  • by TheLink (130905) on Monday February 03, 2014 @04:10AM (#46138739) Journal
    It's still printing money.

    My left hand borrows money from the future and passes them to my right hand which gives you cash. What does that really look like to the rest of the world in practice?

    Or how about this, I lend 9 trillion dollars "from the future" to my friends at below market interest rates. My friends make a few millions or even billions with it and pay me back in full (can't be that hard - it's below market rates after all). So how's that not printing money? It may not be printing trillions but it's printing millions or billions.

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