Friday, June 19, 2009

$134.5 Billion Italy: Stranger Still, Financial Times' Misleading Headline

Mafia blamed for $134bn fake Treasury bills
By FT reporters
Published: June 18 2009 19:52 | Last updated: June 18 2009 19:52
One summer afternoon, two “Japanese” men in their 50s on a slow train from Italy to Switzerland said they had nothing to declare at the frontier point of Chiasso.
But in a false bottom of one of their suitcases, Italian customs officers and ministry of finance police discovered a staggering $134bn (€97bn, £82bn) in US Treasury bills....Mafia blamed for $134bn fake Treasury bills, FT Reporters, 6/18/2009

Okay, same story, with an interpretation of the alleged crime expressed in the headline. The Mafia did it! But wait...

Italian prosecutors revealed last month that they had cracked a $1bn bond scam run by the Sicilian Mafia, with the alleged aid of corrupt officials in Venezuela’s central bank. Twenty people were arrested in four countries...The fake bonds were to have been used as collateral to open credit lines with banks, Reuters news agency reported. The Venezuelan central bank denied the accusations...(Mafia Blamed..., FT, 6/18/2009, cont'd)

It's a totally different story! A totally different crime! Was the Financial Times, one of the better sources on the Web, simply stumbling, or were they trying to communicate something else? As Wonker would say, yowser!

Please return to your regularly scheduled pablum from CNN.


1 comment:

durchbrechen said...

The big question, still, is what the apparent forgerers hoped to do with the paper.

Nothing, there isn't anything you can do with 249 bonds worth 500 million dollars each one and others worth 1 billion each one.
No one and no bank would take them without checking whether they're true.
This is the reason they're real bonds.
No one has ANY INTEREST to forge bonds of those amounts.
They're not fake. They're bonds given to foreign central banks only.