Counterfeit Dollars: An Ongoing Problem


Late last month, the US (once again) attempted to have talks with North Korea’s Kim Jon-un, the major topic: North Korea is making $100 and $50 US bank notes – counterfeit US currency. The Secret Service has called them “super dollars”. As though our dollar value isn’t low enough as is.
These counterfeit paper dollars are not the basement-made, desktop printer variety, but professional and hard to detect. According to TIME:
With few exceptions, only Federal Reserve Banks equipped with the fanciest detection gear can identify these fakes.

A theory as to where North Korea obtained professional engraving machines is that …

before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the machines made their way to North Korea from a clandestine facility in East Germany, where they were used to make false passports and other secret documents. The high-tech paper is just about the same as what’s used to make authentic dollars, and the North Koreans buy their ink from the same Swiss firm that supplies the US government with ink for greenbacks.
It is not the first time in history that the enemies of the United States tried to destroy us by weakening our currency, according to the article in Times and other sources.

During the Revolutionary War, the British printed fake “Continentals” to undermine the fragile colonial currency. Napoleon counterfeited Russian notes during the Napoleonic Wars, and during World War II, the Germans forced a handful of artists and printing experts in Block 19 of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp to produce fake US dollars and British pounds sterling.

See 2007 film “The Counterfeiters” – winner of the 2007 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The North Korean super dollar program is an act of economic warfare, and although many won’t admit it, China has been and is engaging in the same sort of thing, except instead of currency it is bypassing all copyright and trademark laws, as well as pirating DVDs in the business of counterfeit goods. Our government has even allowed a large amount of funds being owed to China in terms of trade and other loans, which has caused an even greater national debt in the past two decades. You are, I am sure, aware of their flooding US market with their products, where almost everything one buys is either made or assembled in China.
Further, it is believed by US national security experts that North Korea is using the super dollars to acquire nuclear weapons. It is estimated that $15 to $25 million of counterfeit currency is produced in the course of one year.
It is why many economists say that nations, especially the United States, should do away with material money, but presently there isn’t a viable alternative for material currency. In Science Fiction novels and films, currency is called credits and no material currency is passed, but instead massive computerized systems subtract debits from purchases and deposit credits from income sources. This prevents cash-related crimes. It is also a way to have an international currency system.
There are many who believe that coins should be the first to go, and should already have been removed from the system – only dealing with paper money. However, they are not realizing that coins are still needed as parts of a dollar because of the percentage rate of taxes added to the purchase. So they end up back at square one as means to resolve the currency issue. As the TIME article states:
Who would be most inconvenienced if Washington were to outlaw $100 and $50 bills tomorrow? Cartel bosses in Juarez, Mexico jump to mind. So do human traffickers in China and Africa, aspiring terrorists in Afghanistan, wildlife poachers, arms dealers, tax evaders, and everyday crooks who hold up mom and pop groceries. And, of course, North Korean government officials.
Of course, with some sort of material currency in place, criminals like the North Korean government will produce another denomination of US money. And the computerized credit system? Well that could be hacked and abused as well, as can be attested by the growing cyberspace terrorists in hyperspace against America and other nations. 
SOURCES:
TIME article by David Wolman, How the US Could Pressure North Korea: Quit the $100 Bill, February 24th.
Counterfeiting of Consumer Goods, Wikipedia
How Counterfeiting Works, HowStuffWorks.
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Wikipedia.
The Golden Age of Counterfeiting: Cashing in on Colonial Currency, Colonial Williamsburg
A History of Counterfeiting US Money, Marketplace World
United States Secret Service: Know Your Money, US Govt Website.
Counterfeiting: A Three-Part Series, Global Paper Security
US Marshals Service: Catching Counterfeiters, US Govt Website.  

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