January 30, 2006
SouthAmerica: Yesterday, January 29, 2006 The New York Times published an article “North Korean Counterfeiting Complicates Nuclear Crisis” by Martin Fackler.
The article said: “…former American officials and analysts say Washington has pieced together in recent years it has investigated the appearance of supernotes...
…Why the United States has chosen to raise the counterfeiting issue now, after remaining virtually silent for more than a decade? American officials first suspected North Korea in the late 1980’s, when supernotes started appearing in East Asia, and the Middle East.”
Basically, the article implies that today there are billions of US dollars floating around the world that are counterfeited US currency. The article mentioned only North Korea but common sense would tell you that if North Korea is capable of making counterfeited US currency then you could bet that many other countries including countries such as the Soviet Union and a number of other countries did it as well.
The article said that the quality of these US counterfeited currency (they call it supernotes) are of excellent quality and there is no way for the average person to know if they have the real thing or if they have these counterfeited US currency.
When I was reading that article on the NYT one thought came to mind - I remember when I was living in Brazil many years ago - when people had some extra money they used to buy US dollars to use it on a future trip outside Brazil or just as a hedge against the constant devaluation of the Brazilian currency; today probably millions of people from around the world still doing that as well.
Usually people bought these US dollars in the black market at exchange rates above the official government rate. I can see how North Korea and many other countries around the world would be tempted in counterfeiting the US dollar, since for all practical purposes the US dollar today is nothing more than just another global commodity – and there is an over supply of that commodity floating around the world.
I would not be surprised to find out some day that there are billions and billions of counterfeited US dollars floating around the world.
After reading that article on the NYT if I had bought US dollars in any place around the world in the black market I would try to sell it as soon as possible and would buy euros instead – probably there are a lot less counterfeited euros floating around the world.
How do you know if the US dollars that you received outside the United States are the real US currency or it is part of these billions of US dollars that are floating around the globe?
Why wait and have a bad surprise during a trip abroad when you finally find out that the US dollar that you are holding is really counterfeited US currency - to play safe just dump it as soon as possible.