Excellent investigation from “The Slog” as usual revealed an unbelievable story if true, that Germany has been planning an exit from the euro since 2009. Some very interesting facts were uncovered and that is

Germany stop printing euro notes from 2010(plans to use up what it has)

Ordered a very large volume of plain bank note paper in 2010 and hasn’t yet used it.

Bought a printing company

A Slog investigation during the last twenty-four hours suggests that not only is the EU’s system of banknote printing open to easy abuse, Germany ordered a large consignment of plain banknote paper from its main supplier in 2010 – and printed considerably fewer euros than normal…in a eurozone where printing of euros generally was on the increase.

Following last week’s Slogpost about unauthorised printing of euros by the Bank of Greece, I received a tip-off from a Slogger in relation to companies in Europe printing euros officially – that is, on behalf of the ECB. Having followed this up, other equally disturbing things came to light: but the main finding is that it looks very likely Berlin took euro-exit seriously enough during 2010 to have the paper in readiness to convert to another currency….or revert to the Mark.

Germany’s main banknote printer Giesecke & Devrient’s annual report appears anodyne enough at first sight. But its euro-printing division saw a dip in sales during 2010…when the number of euronotes in circulation went up by seven billion. As the Annual Report notes (my italics):

‘Following exceptional growth in recent years, the Banknote business unit suffered a drop in sales of EUR 143.9 million (16.0%) to EUR 752.6 million in 2010. This largely stemmed from the Printing division. The Paper division benefited from healthy business volumes on a par with the previous year….’

So the plain paper sales remained buoyant, but euronote volume fell 16% in a  sector that grew by around 4%. I have since ascertained that a substantial proportion of the plain banknote paper was ordered by the BundesRepublik. The great majority of  Germany’s euro stock is printed by G&D.

This suggests that Berlin is sitting on a huge stock of unprinted banknote quality paper….and has reduced the amount of its existing euros in circulation.

Germany has secured its own nationalized bank note printing company

Further, the Berlin government has another supplier, the Bundesdruckerei. It expanded into multiple security-related fields after being privatised in 2000; but then, during late 2008/ early 2009 – following Lehman’s demise and shortly after ClubMed’s problems became apparent – it was quietly renationalised. The official line was that this was done ‘to protect security policy interests’, but highly notable is the fact that the German government gazumped Giesicke & Devrient to secure control of the Bundesdruckerei. G&D complained to the media that it ‘had made a bid for Bundesdruckerei, and offered a very fair price’. But clearly, Angela Merkel did not want all her note-printing facilities to be in private hands. She is, after all, very keen on secrecy and control…having started life in the DDR.

If the ECB knew of Germany’s plans, it might explain the goings on at board level.

Last November the Max Keiser site focused on ECB reform as the thing most likely to evoke a German departure from the ezone. Since then, ECB boss Mario Draghi has manoeuvred Board membership at the bank skilfully to reduce German influence still further.

In the same month, Chancellor  Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party voted to allow euro states to quit the currency area, endorsing the prospect of a move not permitted under euro rules. That was a statement of intent, not the passing of a law – but it does show pretty clearly that the option is there should Berlin feel the need.

Which brings us to now and the circumstantial evidence looks damning.

Now we learn that Berlin has a banknote paper stockpile, full control over a printer based in Berlin, is running down its euro supplies, and is ken to make euro-exit easier.


Last year there was a story of Germany printing Deutschmarks from a former economic advisor to George W. Bush.

Recently I wrote a post of Germany being potentially on the hook for a half a trillion if things go badly wrong in the euro zone so now is a good time to pull out since then already have a ring fenced fund for their banks.

Not looking good for the euro is it?