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Moneymakers

ISBN: 978-3-527-50236-3
308 pages
April 2006
Moneymakers (352750236X) cover image

Description

This book is about the most precious piece of paper we know, about bank-notes. Modern life would be unthinkable without them. Yet, the general public is kept very much in the dark about how they are made or who makes them. It is rarely known, for example, that despite America's technical Prowess all dollar bills are printed exclusively on German high-security printing presses using secret Swiss special inks, or that the phony 100 dollar bills, the so-called supernotes may well be printed in a top-secret printing works located just north of the white House and run by the CIA - although the US government is blaming the rogue government of North Korea for counterfeiting these bills. This book is finally lifting the veil on an industry used to absolute secrecy. It recounts the stories of a British banknote printer who, fearing the loss of his customer, informed the Egyptian secret service that the securities printing machinery the Egyptians were about to buy was of Jewish origin; of a private printer who convinced the Polish central bank that it should destroy a complete series of new, perfect banknotes which had been printed by a competitor, or of an Argentinean high-security printer who came to print genuine fake bank-notes for Zaire and Bahrain as a result of two sting operations, which smell of the Belgian and French secret service.

Moneymakers, by offering a detailed view of the banknote industry and its modus operandi, removes the industry's carefully imposed shroud of secrecy. This book has been researched over a five-year period in Europe, the USA, and Latin America. The book is based exclusively on personal Interviews and confidential mate4rial normally not accessible to outsiders. There were attempts to stop this research project.

Klaus W. Bender has peered behind the scenes of the Secret and exclusive world of the moneymakers. - Financial Times Deutschland, 2004

The errors and pitfalls at the birth of the euro make Bender's research so unnerving. - Suddeutsche Zeitung, 2004

Bender does not mince his words when he describes abuses - and there are lots of them. - Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 2004

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Table of Contents

Preface

Money Magic
1 From "obelos" to "e-cash"
2 Why the market for banknote printing is special

Moneymakers I
3 How Signor Giori was able to carve out a worldwide monopoly with his printing presses
4 Why Monsieur Amon had the same success with printing ink

Moneymakers II
5 What caused De La Rue's imperial aura to fade
6 How Giesecke & Devrient struggles for technological leadership
7 Where hard work and politics helped Francois Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire
8 What brought Bundesdruckerei to the brink of ruin
9 How Ciccone Calcográfica wasted its fiduciary capital
10 Why the euro became a bonanza for moneymakers
11 Why there is a problem with the euro's security
12 Quo vadis euro printing?
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Author Information

Klaus W. Bender is an economist and journalist with 30 years experience as a foreign correspondent for the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (FAZ), Germany's leading daily paper. From an office in Tokyo, he has covered East Asia; from Rome, the Mediterranean basin; from Vienna, the Eastern European countries in transition. Further, in the run-up to the birth of the euro, since the 1990´s he has been investigating the situation of the banknote industry and its problems. As a result, in the year 2000 he discovered and broke the story of the misprinting of more than 300 million 100-euro bills by the officially appointed printer in Germany. The story went around the world. Additionally, he was the first journalist to report on the unfolding economic difficulties of the Bundesdruckerei in Berlin, the then highly respected state printing plant of the DM bills, as it was about to be privatized.
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