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Another Bogus Bond Scam in Switzerland

Since I am an avid collector of investment scam stories, I’ve got to update you on what’s been coming out of Switzerland. Two Japanese nationals were caught smuggling $134 billion in US Treasury bonds from Switzerland to Italy in a false bottom suitcase. No that is not a typo, that is “b” for billion. The two were mysteriously let go the next day. The blogosphere is exploding with conspiracy theories about the paper, which is almost certainly fake. Are there now so many T bonds out there that $139 billion of bogus ones can easily disappear into the mix? Personally, I see North Korea’s and the Japanese yakuza’s fingerprints all over this. Fake bonds can’t be traded, but I can think of any number of banks in Switzerland that would unwittingly accept them as collateral. But collateral for what? Why do I expect George Clooney and Brad Pitt to pop up on this one. (Ed note: please see gratuitous attempt to include George Clooney’s photo in a financial newsletter for the female readers).