$135B: pros and cons

Last week, a friend pointed me to the following story:

"Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals ...."

My first thought .... well not my first, the first was of course: "WTF?!!", but the second or third thought was "this could be terrorism!" A deliberate attack on the ability of the US govt to finance itself, by shaking confidence in the debt instruments.

And of course I expected it to be huge news. The biggest case of counterfeiting in history and a new kind of terrorism etc, etc. Yet, I searched and searched, and there was barely any mention of it anywhere else that day and the next day! No follow-ups, no debunking, nothing. In fact even the initial story is completely absent from mainstream news. Why the silence, what's going on? Where are all the experts and the pros? Then when you think about it... it makes sense. If it really is an attack, an attack on the very essence of money -- confidence, that's exactly how you would want to respond isn't it? Is it possible that say all the reporters who called the US Federal Reserve for comment got a quiet very high level response saying: "please bury this story", and did so? After all it is well known that major US news organizations have in the recent past complied when the US government asked them not to reveal national security secrets that they knew.

Today a week later, there are still very few stories about it on the web, and zero from the major US news organizations, nothing from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN et al.

Here's a good blog post theorizing that the bonds must be counterfeit, and likely designed to be caught.


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  2. "Treasury Has $134.5 Billion Left in TARP", WSJ, March 30, 2009

    What a coincidence.