Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 54314
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2022/01/25 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2012/2/24-3/26 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Korea] UID:54314 Activity:nil
2/24    "How the U.S. Could Pressure North Korea Tomorrow: Quit the $100 Bill"
        http://www.csua.org/u/vkl (news.yahoo.com)
2022/01/25 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
1/25    

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www.csua.org/u/vkl -> news.yahoo.com/u-could-pressure-north-korea-tomorrow-quit-100-094000585.html
com - 12 hrs ago US negotiators are heading into a second day of what have been dubbed "serious and substantial" talks with North Korean officials. Yet amidst all the discussion of how the US will attempt to work with Kim Jon-un, there has been little (open) speculation as to whether Dear Leader Junior might crank up production of $100 and $50 bills. No, not North Korean 100- or 50-won banknotes, worth about as much as old tissues. I'm talking about fake greenbacks -- or, as the US Secret Service has dubbed them, "superdollars." These ultra-counterfeits are light years beyond the weak facsimiles produced by most forgers, who use desktop printers. As an anti-counterfeiting investigator with Europol once put it: "Superdollars are just US dollars not made by the US government." With few exceptions, only Federal Reserve banks equipped with the fanciest detection gear can identify these fakes. Yet as unpatriotic as this may sound, perhaps America would be better off if Kim Jong-un were to try and enrich himself with D-I-Y Benjamins. Let me explain, by way of a little background about superdollars. The regime apparently possesses the same kind of intaglio printing press (or presses) used by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing. A leading theory is that in 1989, just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the machines made their way to North Korea from a clandestine facility in East Germany, where they were used to make fake passports and other secret documents. The high-tech paper is just about the same as what's used to make authentic dollars, and the North Koreans buy their ink from the same Swiss firm that supplies the US government with ink for greenbacks. Forging $100 bills obviously gels with the regime's febrile anti-Americanism and its aim to undercut US global power, in this case by sowing doubts about our currency. State level counterfeiting is a kind of slow-motion violence committed against an enemy, and it has been tried many times before. During the Revolutionary War, the British printed fake "Continentals" to undermine the fragile colonial currency. Napoleon counterfeited Russian notes during the Napoleonic Wars, and during World War II the Germans forced a handful of artists and printing experts in Block 19 of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp to produce fake US dollars and British pounds sterling. The 2009 attempt to raise funds by devaluing its already pathetic currency revealed not only the country's fiscal desperation, but also the abuse Dear Leader was willing to inflict on his people. The won was devalued by 100 percent, which meant 1,000 won suddenly had the purchasing power of 10 won. Compared to devaluation, generating quick cash by counterfeiting some other country's more stable currency looks downright humanitarian. At the end of December, Ireland's high court rejected a US request to extradite former Workers Party president and IRA veteran, Sean Garland, for his alleged involvement with the superdollar plot. There is also the question of what exactly the North Koreans hope to procure with all of this "money." According to the House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, superdollars may be part of the regime's effort to acquire materials for nuclear weapons. Since the superdollars were first detected about a decade ago, the regime has been pocketing an estimated $15 to $25 million a year from them. Although certainly costly for small business owners who unknowingly accept a bunch of forgeries, counterfeits probably won't bring about a crisis of faith in our paper money anytime soon. Yet taking the long view, maybe a rash of new superdollars from the hermetic regime of Kim Jong-un would be beneficial. Because counterfeits have a way of reminding people of what material money is and how it functions, and that could lead to a discussion of its pros and cons. Cash is, and always has been, such an uncontested part of everyday life that we rarely stop to consider its toll on society as the currency of crime, to say nothing of the heaping expense of printing, transporting, securing, inspecting, shredding, redesigning, reprinting, re-inspecting, and redistributing it ad nauseum, plus the broader costs of prosecuting and incarcerating the thousands, if not millions, of people who commit cash-related crimes. That's not to suggest we could get rid of paper money tomorrow; we still don't have a substitute that's equally convenient, universally accepted, and adequately secure. If killing all cash strikes you as a little too radical, consider for a moment what it would mean to get rid of high-denomination banknotes. 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