Blood Money

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, in his Best of the Web newsletter of July 25th (I’m just getting around to reading it now), calls our attention to something rather odd in an NBC Nightly News video clip from the evening of the 24th. The report, by NBC’s Beirut bureau chief Richard Engel, is a tour of the havoc wrought in Lebanon by Israeli air strikes, and at one point the camera crew visits the flattened financial district of Sidon. On screen briefly are what appear to be uncut sheets of U.S. $100 bills. This is more than a little odd, Taranto points out:

Now, it’s possible to buy uncut sheets from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, at premiums ranging from 12.5% to 275% over face value–but apparently only in denominations of up to $50. Anyhow, somehow we doubt these were collectibles.

Hezbollah is known to be involved in counterfeiting of US currency, and this may well be an example of their work. Read the item here.

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2 Comments

  1. duncan says

    They’ve got nothing on our old friend Kim:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/magazine/23counterfeit.html

    Posted July 31, 2006 at 10:39 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Duncan,

    What a story! I missed this one. Thank you for pointing it out. I should really summarize it in a post of its own, as most readers would not be able to get to it, I’m afraid.

    Meanwhile, the next day’s Best of the Web (third item) raised the possibility that the currency in the video might have been photocopies of deposited C-notes, arranged and photographed so as to make their serial numbers visible, in an effort to thwart counterfeiters.

    Posted July 31, 2006 at 11:19 pm | Permalink