BULL STREET - The art of the Con

Counterfeiting Electronic Money

While there are substantial advantages to credit or debit cards, there are also big disadvantages. Every citizen who cares to can become a walking bank. Dictators can leave office and take everything with them in small plastic cards, which readily pass through customs. Drug dealers, terrorists and kidnappers can also deal in credits. How can the United States Treasury or President tie up funds that reside nowhere and everywhere at the same time?

The difficulty of defending against “quicksilver capital”[63] pales before the difficulty of counterfeiting it.† Traditional international war tactics include efforts to destabilize the enemy‚Äôs currency by counterfeiting and “dumping” massive volumes of currency into the market. The United States tried to do it to Germany during World War II and they in turn did it to us. However, war is getting far more sophisticated, and our intelligence agencies now encounter resistance to tampering with overseas accounts without prior consultation among our allies. During the war in Yugoslavia, the United States made an electronic call on its Serbian bank accounts and withdrew its money without as much a thank you or a please.† However, such halcyon days may be in the past.

As we become more sophisticated so does everyone else, and the bad guys are often more advanced than the good guys.† For example, even if our enemies could not withdraw all the money in our banks electronically, they could jam internet banking† sites and play havoc with the entire system. They could literally turn off the financial spigot, despite all the Federal Reserve Bank‚Äôs best defenses.

 

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