6/15/08: UPDATE- Glenn Beck becomes the first person on U.S. televised media to discuss this story. Props to Glenn…he obviously got my email…and finally read it.

Not a peep yet from U.S. mainstream media, but Italian authorities have detained 2 Japanese nationals who were attempting to cross into Switzerland with $134.5 BILLION in U.S. Government Bonds… hidden in a false-bottomed briefcase. This is HUGE news. PDF of the Italian Government’s news release is here, with more pictures.

The Italian financial authorities haven’t yet determined whether the bonds are real or fake, but if they are genuine, the attempt to take them into Switzerland would be the largest financial smuggling operation in history; if they are fake, the matter would still be astonishing… because the quality of the counterfeit work is so good that the fake bonds are reportedly indistinguishable from real ones.

The bonds include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollars each. Bonds are rarely issued in certificate (paper) form any more…an electronic account entry of the asset is the norm. It’s safer, for one thing. Unless you are trying to launder some money.

For most of their history after World War II, Treasury notes have been issued with denominations never rising above a high of $1 million. Yet, from 1955 to 1969, the Treasury issued Treasury notes with the added denominations of $100 million and $500 million. Some of the seized bonds, especially the Kennedys, may be what are called “bearer bonds” that are “negotiable”, basically like cash. Whomever has possession of a bearer-bond can claim ownership. Widespread fraud and theft dangers caused the securities industry to cease issuing bearer-bonds many years ago.

To use paper bond certificates of any kind would cause scrutiny by a reputable financial institution today, especially if said bonds were bearer-bonds. It’s very likely that real or counterfeit, these bonds were headed for a black-market transaction. So who is trying to rip off, skate off with, or launder $134 Billion Dollars? That’s half of a freaking TARP. Two Japanese men in their 50’s? Only governments would have such a pile.

If the certificates are real, Italy just won the lottery… their money laundering laws inflict a 40% penalty for failure to declare instruments and cash in excess of $10,000 Euros, which means they’d score a windfall of around $40 billion dollars.

Want to get REALLY conspiratorial? On March 30th, the Wall Street Journal said thisnotice the number in bold.

Treasury Has $134.5 Billion Left in TARP MARCH 30, 2009

The Treasury Department said it has about $134.5 billion left in its financial-rescue fund, giving the Obama administration a cushion as it implements expensive programs aimed at unlocking credit markets and boosting ailing industries. The figure means that about 81% of the $700 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, has been committed. It also means that the Obama administration may not have to go to Congress to request additional funds, at least until well into the year. Many lawmakers who criticized the administration’s bank-rescue efforts have vowed to oppose any requests for more money for …

And interestingly, from Reuters, is this:

“U.S. TIC data show that during the 12 months ending January 2007, Japanese investors bought just $18.2 billion in Treasury coupons, or approximately $1.5 billion a month, a sharp contrast from the 12 months ending January 2005 when Japanese investors purchased $134.5 billion of U.S. government debt, McCarthy noted.”

Something stinks, so keep your eye on this one. The amount involved is MASSIVE, the city where they were seized is a financial gateway to Switzerland, and you’d have to have giant balls to try and fake out the Swiss with counterfeits in this way. Not that you could. Pressure is mounting in Congress for an (unprecedented) audit of the Federal Reserve. Our government obviously knows about this catch by the Italians…but it seems they, and our media, don’t want you to.

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