Apropos my post on Monopoly money comes a ‘real-life’ case involving North Korea.
For 15 years, U.S. officials suspected that the North Korean leadership was behind the counterfeiting, but they revealed almost nothing about their investigations into the bogus bills or their efforts to stop them. Now, however, federal authorities are pursuing at least four criminal cases and one civil.
The criminal cases and U.S. Treasury enforcement action are part of a concerted campaign to deprive North Korea of as much as $500 million a year from counterfeiting currency and other criminal activities, senior U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials say.
The officials say criminal syndicates in South America, Eastern Europe and elsewhere have also churned out large sums of fake U.S. cash. But North Korea’s is the only government believed to do so, despite international pressure and laws that characterize such activity as an economic casus belli, or act of war, they say.
But if printing and creating more “money” contributed to the welfare and growth of an economy, shouldn’t the Fed embrace counterfeiting wholeheartedly? It already does via its own presses… What’s the difference between “illegal” minting presses versus legal ones?