Moneymakers: The Secret World of Banknote Printing / Edition 1

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This book is about the most precious piece of paper we know, about banknotes. Paper money was invented by the Chinese - one thousand years later, the American colonists were the first ones in the Western world to systematically use it, even financing their revolution by issuing huge numbers of dollar bills. Modern life would be unthinkable without paper money. Yet, the general public is kept very much in the dark about how banknotes are made or who makes them. This secrecy is regularly explained as legitimate special security for a very special product. But it also has to do with the unusual, highly6 politicized structure of the market. The armaments industry immediately comes to mind. This obsession with secrecy, however, seems out of place in the era of the internet. After all, banknote printing involves the massive use - and often waste- of taxpayers' money.

This is the first book offering an in-depth view of the banknote industry and its modus operandi. The only known former attempt to reveal this story was by an American author. The edition of that book was bought up - straight from the printing presses - by two prominent representatives of the industry because the public was not supposed to get an inside view of the business.

Moneymakers 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 material normally not accessible to outsiders. There were attempts to stop this research project. Many witnesses interviewed spoke under condition of strict confidentiality for fear of reprisals by their employers. As a rule therefore, the author refrained from verbatim quotes and, as far as possible, tried to confirm every piece of information by two independent sources.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783527502363
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

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 1990s 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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Table of Contents


Money Magic.

1. From ›obelos‹ to ›e-cash‹.

2. Why the market for banknote printing is special.

Secret and farcical.

A market, but no market price.

Moneymakers I.

3. How Signor Giori was able to carve out a worldwide monopoly with his printing presses.

The meeting in Alexandria.

The ›Italian connection‹.

Developer, supplier and service provider in one.

Rino and Sig.

Every triangle is perfect.

Now the ›greenback‹ too.

Pay and say nothing.

Komori-sans admiration.

From Salboni to Abuja.

Warning from Munich.

Fat years, lean years.

4. Why Monsieur Amon had the same success with printing ink.

›Stradivarius‹ of printing inks.

The market climate is changing.

Family crisis.

Moneymakers II.

5. What caused De La Rue’s imperial aura to fade.

Urbi et orbi.

Beyond Malta.

The Portals debacle.

Efforts toward an additional business line.

The underestimated competition.

Faded glory.

6. How Giesecke & Devrient struggles for technological leadership.

In labore virtus - The puritan work ethic.

He wins who dares.

The crisis.

The bid for technological leadership.

7. Where hard work and politics helped Francois Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire.

›Phoenix from the ashes‹.


Money Losers.

8. What brought Bundesdruckerei to the brink of ruin.

Global dreams ….

… and the hard realities at home.

Rescuers or robbers?

9. How Ciccone Calcográfica wasted its fiduciary capital.

Secure printing without security.

Sole note printer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Banknotes for kleptocrats.

›Real-phony‹ Bahrain dinars.

Money Jitters.

10. Why the euro became a bonanza for moneymakers.

Friendly enemies.

Euro investment rapture.

The French patient.

The political note.

Ruining competitors with an equipment binge.

Euro bonanza.

Mistakes, mishaps, and misprints.

The unloved rescuers.

Euro quality.

11. Why there is a problem with the euro’s security.

Digifeiting, the new copying quality.

Icon in distress.

Mysterious supernote.

Euro frailties.

New euro frontiers.

12. Quo vadis euro printing?

Competition à la euro system.

Uncertain future.





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