Two Japanese Men try to leave Switzerland with hundreds of Billions $ Bonds

Discussion in 'Politics' started by helgaleena, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. helgaleena

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    Correction: they tried to ENTER Switzerland from Italy. Italy may get to fine them for 40% of it, too...

    Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge: William Pesek - Bloomberg



    If the price of an entire country fits in the bottom of a tourist's luggage, this is truly surreal.



    'Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. Yes, they could have built vacation homes amidst Genghis Khan’s Gobi Desert or the famed Temples of Angkor. Bernard Madoff who?
    These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors. It makes you wonder if some of the time Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spends keeping the Chinese and Japanese invested in dollars should be devoted to well-financed men crossing the Italian-Swiss border.
    This tale has gotten little attention in markets, perhaps because of the absurdity of our times. The last year has been a decidedly disorienting one for capitalists who once knew up from down, red from black and risk from reward. It almost fits with the surreal nature of today that a couple of travelers have more U.S. debt than Brazil in a suitcase and, well, that’s life.'
     
    #1 helgaleena, Feb 18, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  2. SilverTrain

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    Holy shit!
     
  3. Perados

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    i heared about that story... But as i heared it wasnt billions of US bonds but 6 TRILLIAN... This would be 40% of all US bonds. And with this you couldnt just buy small countries like slovania. But two times germany... Or germany france and most of britain
     
  4. MichiganRico

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  5. B_socalstud89

    B_socalstud89 New Member

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    This was a few years go guys...
     
  6. SilverTrain

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  7. SilverTrain

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  8. john_hiemer

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    this story disappeared, just like the Fukushima nuclear meltdown did
     
    #8 john_hiemer, Feb 18, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  9. martin60018

    martin60018 Member

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    cant we void the bonds out and erase the debit? didnt we do that for many many countries after WWII? and for rebuilding the middle east?
     
  10. helgaleena

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    that is rather the salient point. It's such a mind boggling thing it is being collectively blanked by the media. Yes it was a while ago. Thanks for the Wikipedia link, Silvertrain.
     
  11. helgaleena

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  12. Jason

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    I think there are two separate stories here. The one about forged US$ bills is old. The new one is two people leaving Italy for Switzerland with Italian euro-denominated bonds.

    Italy does now have in place new laws which restrict the flow of cash and near-cash (bonds) over it's borders. All Italy's land borders are with nations which are in the Schengen agreement, so there is free movement across them. Usually the border is invisible - you aren't quite sure when you leave one country and enter the next. Enforcement of Italy's new law is problematic. But in this case they have caught two people breaking the law, and appear to have arrested them and made the whole case sub judice. The media have had very little to get their teeth into - no photos, no details.

    This may be mafia money, though I doubt even the mafia has these sums. It may also be an Italian bank seeking to move its assets outside Italy. There are banking restrictions within Italy which stop them selling bonds in Italy - but once in Switzerland I suppose they could be sold say for German euro-denominated bonds.
     
  13. cruztbone

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    even bonds can be stolen and carried out of the US, or anywhere else. this is why they have serial numbers on them. this is also why goverments have entry checkpoints.
     
  14. Jason

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    Yes, I'm struggling with this. The whole incident is sub judice, but I can't even find the media speculating.

    However my understanding is that Italy has just recently passed domestic laws which restrict the flow of large quantities of euros out of Italy - laws which appear to stop within Italy the transfer of Italian euro bonds into German euro bonds. However a Swiss holding Italian euro bonds can transfer them into German euro bonds anywhere other than in Italy. I don't see how Italy could refuse to honour the transaction.

    We really do seem to have a situation where all is needed is the physical movement of the bits of paper from Italy to Switzerland. Italy is left with the need to intercept the smugglers in a police operation at their open border with Switzerland.
     
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