Tag Archives: money

Currency Recall

One tactic that has been much discussed makes use of a currency recall. Such government schemes have been kicking around in one form or another since 1978, although the most detailed plan to date surfaced during the Reagan years. During this short eight year period, more limitations on your financial privacy were enacted than at all other times in US history. The currency recall proposed by then Treasury Secretary Donald Regan would have worked as follows. First, all US $50 and US $100 notes in circulation would have been reissued. Then, without notice everyone would have been required to exchange their previously valid notes for this new currency within a limited ten day period. At the end of the ten day period, any old notes still in circulation would no longer be legal currency.
Anyone who exchanged as little as US $1000 would have been subjected to further questioning. They would have been required to prove that the money they wished to exchange was not generated through illegal activity and that all taxes had been paid on it. If not, Uncle Sam would have relieved the unsuspecting victim of his cash and subjected him to further IRS scrutiny. Thankfully, this plan with its accompanying infringement on our right to privacy never came to be. Apparently, after analyzing the possible consequences of such maneuvers, the government realized that such drastic actions may have produced a serious decline in the value of the dollar. In other words, it feared that if it tinkered too much with the US currency, people would begin to lose all faith in both the dollar and the government behind it.
So instead of seriously altering and reissuing the currency all at once, the politicians decided to use a more subtle approach. Since the beginning of this decade, the government ha* slowly been instituting what basically amounts to a currency recall. In 1991, it issued a *hghtfy altered US $100 bill which contains what it refers to as “security” features. This amounts to a microscopic line of print which circles the portrait and a polyester thread which runs along the left side of the bill. This polyester thread can only be seen when the bill is held up to a light. In 1992, new US $10, US $20 and US $50 bills were introduced. During this year, the government also began its currency recall, instructing all banks to stop circulating any bills dated before 1990. Undoubtedly, possessing a large number of bills which predate this cut-off point will soon lead to a government inspired investigation.
Still, the biggest changes are yet to come. As we go to press, an even newer US $ 100 note has just been released. In this bill, the portrait has shifted to the left. New colors and inks are also used and a watermark has been incorporated. This newer note will undoubtedly be followed by similar instructions to bankers. They will be told to stop circulating all previous incarnations of the US $100 bill, again basically representing a currency recall. Similar methods have been used by countries everywhere. Over the past few years, England has reintroduced each of its notes, as has Australia. All this is done quietly. The new bills are introduced and allowed to mingle with their predecessors for a while. Then, when everyone is secure with the new bills, old bills are one day declared to be no longer legal tender. Those that have not already been turned in to the government become useless.
Naturally, such methods are never said to be for the purposes which they actually serve. Instead, governments sing different tunes depending on what happens to be the flavor of the month. At times, the new currency has been created to help thwart counterfeiters, in spite of the fact that statistics repeatedly show this to be a relatively minor problem. Not daunted, your government will say that its new currency has been designed to rid the world of evil money launderers and drug barons. If it is feeling adventurous, your government may even claim that the recently issued bills are necessary to help instill confidence in the overall currency. It seems that there is no end to the variety of government invented excuses. They will provide all but the real reason, which always remains the same. Governments introduce new currencies so that they can keep an ever more watchful eye on your financial affairs.