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Posts Tagged ‘United States Treasury security’

Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/italy-police-seize-6-trillion-fake-u-t-144806353.html;_ylt=AvhtJn.ZeMbZWHHPr6Q6RHSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsc2wwYWgwBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDYTI3Njg2ZDgtOGFjOC0zM2EwLWE3MGEtYzgxMWU5N2IxMDFlBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzAyNmExNzYwLTU5YjctMTFlMS1iZWVmLTcyMjdlOWE3MGZkNg–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

By Elisa Forte and Gavin Jones | Reuters – 14 hrs ago

POTENZA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion worth of fake U.S. Treasury bonds and other securities in Switzerland, and arrested eight Italians accused of international fraud and other financial crimes.

The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian, Swiss and U.S. authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said.

It began as a investigation into mafia loan-sharking, but gradually expanded as prosecutors used telephone and computer intercepts to unearth evidence of illegal activity surrounding Treasury bonds.

The fake securities, worth more than a third of U.S. national debt, were seized in January from a Swiss trust company where they were held in three large trunks.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome thanked the Italian authorities and said the forgeries were “an attempt to defraud several Swiss banks”. It said U.S. experts had helped to identify the bonds as fakes.

Potenza’s prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo said an international network “in many countries” was behind the forgeries.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera said on its website that the criminal network was believed to be interested in acquiring plutonium, citing sources at the prosecutors’ office.

VERSAILLES

Police videos showed images of the trunks, with “Federal Reserve System, Treaty of Versailles” stamped on the side in large, golden letters.

Bond certificates marked “Chicago, Illinois, Federal Reserve Bank” and other securities, some for one billion dollars, were also shown.

U.S. bond traders took a light-hearted view of the news.

“If there’s that much less supply now, Treasuries should be rallying,” joked Kevin Flanagan, fixed-income strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

A trader at Citigroup said he had swapped jokes with colleagues about the seizure, which would not move markets.

“It’s kind of like fake inflation I guess, if you take it to the max, but I don’t think it means that much.”

Prosecutors said the forgers had hoped to use the fake bonds as collateral to secure loans.

The eight men arrested are accused of counterfeiting bonds, credit card forgery, and loan-sharking in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio and Basilicata, police said.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s office said Zurich state prosecutors had worked on the investigation at the request of the Italian prosecutor. The Swiss handed over their findings in July last year.

In 2009, Italian financial police seized $742 billion of fake U.S. bearer bonds in the of Chiasso, on the Swiss-Italian border.

(Additional reporting by Steve Scherer and Emily Flitter; Editing by Andrew Roche)

(In 11th paragraph, corrects company name of strategist to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, instead ofMorgan Stanley)

Fake U.S. Treasury bonds are displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Fake U.S. Treasury bonds are displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Chief prosecutor of Potenza Colangelo talks during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Chief prosecutor of Potenza Giovanni Colangelo (C) talks during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion of fake U.S. Treasury bonds in Switzerland, and issued arrest warrants for eight people accused of international fraud and other financial crimes. The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian and Swiss authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said. REUTERS/Tony Veceless 

A trunk containing fake U.S. Treasury bonds is displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. A trunk containing fake U.S. Treasury bonds is displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Italian Carabinieri display fake U.S. Treasury bonds during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Italian Carabinieri display fake U.S. Treasury bonds during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, Global Research, Press Releases, Rated R, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

Warning: Why Cheaper Money Won’t Mean More Jobs

Posted by Admin on August 31, 2010

by: Robert Reich  |  Robert Reich’s Blog | Op-Ed

photo
(Photo: MNicoleM; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

Can the Fed rescue the economy by making money even cheaper than it already is? A debate is being played out in the Fed about whether it should return to so-called “quantitative easing” – buying more mortgage-backed securities, Treasury bills, and other bonds – in order to lower the cost of capital still further.

The sad reality is cheaper money won’t work. Individuals aren’t borrowing because they’re still under a huge debt load. And as their homes drop in value and their jobs and wages continue to disappear, they’re not in a position to borrow. Small businesses aren’t borrowing because they have no reason to expand. Retail business is down, construction is down, even manufacturing suppliers are losing ground.

That leaves large corporations. They’ll be happy to borrow more at even lower rates than now — even though they’re already sitting on mountains of money.

But this big-business borrowing won’t create new jobs. To the contrary, large corporations have been investing their cash to pare back their payrolls. They’ve been buying new factories and facilities abroad (China, Brazil, India), and new labor-replacing software at home.

If Bernanke and company make it even cheaper to borrow, they’ll be subsidizing a third corporate strategy for creating more profits but fewer jobs — mergers and acquisitions.

The M&A wave has already started. Continental and United Airlines just got approval to merge. Biotech giant Genzyme is on the auction block after Sanofi-Aventis announced a $18.5 billion bid. On Friday, 3Par, a data storage company, accepted a $1.8 billion takeover offer from Dell – one day after Hewlett-packard raised its offer. Campbell Soup is eyeing parts of United Biscuits, BHP Billiton has put in a takeover bid for Potash, Oracle or H-P are likely to pay up to $1.5 billion for security software maker ArcSight. Bain Capital is expected to acaquire Air Medical Group for almost $1 billion. The insurance industry is headed for the biggest merger boom in recent history.

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Who wins from all this? If history is a guide, shareholders of acquired companies do better than shareholders of companies doing the acquiring. Top executives who end up running bigger corporations get fatter pay packages. And Wall Street and big-name corporate law firms who engineer the M&As reap a bundle.

Who loses? Large numbers of ordinary workers will lose their jobs. After all, the purpose M&As is to create greater economies of scale and more “synergies.” Translated: More pink slips.

Last week at the Fed’s annual confab in Jackson Hole, Ben Bernanke insisted the Fed will do what’s necessary to increase consumer and business spending in order to keep the economy growing. But cheaper money won’t necessarily create the kind of spending that generates more jobs. In fact, right now it’s having the opposite effect. When consumers and small businesses can’t and won’t borrow more, big businesses use cheap money to bid up the prices of corporate assets and cut payrolls.

What we need now is more jobs, not bigger corporations. And that means focusing on the demand side of the economy, not the supply side.

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