$1 billion US government gold redemption bearer bond - authenticity dubious
|Million dollar notes? Very useful when smuggling/money-laundering etc.|
A Bearer bond is a document that promises to pay cash, gold or other valuable to whoever presents it to the issuer for redemption. Any third party who judges such a bond genuine may accept it as collateral on a loan or purchase it, either at face value, or at a discount based on a judgment of its likely genuineness and the issuers' ability to redeem it. Some of these bonds have been issued with very high values (millions of dollars or even more), and as such, they are important in the area of smuggling and of laundering of illicit profits.
Early 20th century
The bearer bonds that repeatedly turned up in incredible amounts on the Swiss/Italian border are supposedly very good forgeries of old US treasury bonds. This official narrative has a number of anomalies, perhaps most prominently the lack of coverage by commercially-controlled media is suspicious. In a now removed article, Bloomberg reported about the $134.5 billion suitcase story on June 16, 2009 that "This is still a story with far more questions than answers. It’s odd, though, that it’s not garnering more media attention".
The US treasury restarted issuing of bearer bonds in the 1980s, reportedly as a way of attracting cash to help tackle interest rates. They quickly became the instrument of choice for money laundering. After about 6 years of attracting drug money with this expedient, the policy ceased.
The US government no longer issues bearer bonds.