GLENN: We have Deroy Murdock. He is with Scripps‑Howard, syndicated columnist, been following this. And you've been ‑‑ you are like the only one covering any of this. Can you bring him up, please, Dan? Are you there?
MURDOCK: Hello, Glenn, how are you?
GLENN: You are the only one covering this, you and the Financial Times.
MURDOCK: It's pretty FT, you and me, all three of us.
GLENN: Why? Do you have any idea?
MURDOCK: I guess we can be charitable saying we've got the chaos in Iran going on here, all sorts of stuff happening, we've got the U.S. Open.
GLENN: U.S. open. I want to go through a couple of these inconsistencies here and see what you have and see if you can come up with any logical explanations to make this all go away because I think you and I both agree this could be nothing, but something's wrong.
MURDOCK: I wouldn't say it's nothing. The best‑case scenario is that this is a major counterfeiting operation or at least an attempt at a major counterfeiting prime, if you will. That's nothing when you are dealing with numbers like this. So this is a big story whether these are real bonds or fake bonds.
GLENN: Worst‑case scenario?
MURDOCK: Worst‑case scenario is that this is an effort by either Japan or China or some major country to unload a lot of dollars because they are afraid the dollar's going to tank and they are trying to get out early while they can without dumping so much that the entire world notices and they develop panic kind of like trying to sneak out of the room very quietly. And if you've got a major player like Japan or China, whichever it is, having that little confidence in the dollar because of our spending and printing money, that's a very, very bad sign.
GLENN: What would that mean to us?
MURDOCK: I think what it would mean is at some point bond traders and currency traders are pretty savvy people and if they start seeing that people are sneaking out of the room, then rather than a couple sneaking out, you get people rushing for the exits and if you have a real run on the dollar and the dollar drops by a major ‑‑ by a consistent amount, that pushes up gas prices, that slows down the economy, that increases our borrowing costs. That has an effect on the federal budget and it just creates even more economic headwinds which is exactly what we don't need right now.
GLENN: Okay. So here are the inconsistencies in this story. The smugglers have been identified in the press as Japanese nationals. Have you received any confirmation that they are Japanese nationals?
MURDOCK: People think they are Japanese but there's been no clear confirmation that they are.
GLENN: We talked to somebody, somebody who knows, protocol on, you know, embassies and everything else and ask them, if you arrest someone with a Japanese passport or an American passport, does the consulate know. He said it is standard operating procedure. This isn't a Banana Republic. This is Italy. It is standard operating procedure for the officials to notify the consulate that we have your citizens; they are being held for X, Y or Z. We called on Friday, we called the treasury, the Secret Service, the office of, what is it, budget and debt or something like that.
MURDOCK: The Bureau of Public Debt which is a division of the treasury department.
GLENN: Correct. We got the runaround with all three of them. We were then sent to whatever the Italy, you know, financial Secret Service is over there.
MURDOCK: The financial police, the (inaudible) it's called.
GLENN: Uh‑huh. And they sent us to the local police. The local police sent us to the Japanese consulate. The Japanese consulate said they didn't have anything. There's no one that will confirm or deny any part of this story of who they are, where they come from or if they are even being held.
MURDOCK: Remarkable, isn't it? You've got fingers pointing in every direction and mouths being covered. And no one will ‑‑
GLENN: Which leads you to believe ‑‑ the treasury said to me on Thursday, the bureau of debt.
MURDOCK: Public debt.
GLENN: Public debt, said that these are obvious fakes. Now, my problem with that was obvious fakes? It's taken you how many weeks to decide that they were obvious fakes?
MURDOCK: This is again very strange. This whole incident occurred on June 3rd. It took two weeks. June 17th was last Wednesday when I was working on this story and I saw this story from the ‑‑ well, let me back up a little bit. The Italian authorities according to Bloomberg had contacted the Securities & Exchange Commission to determine whether the bonds were real or fake. I contacted the SEC and the spokesman there said, "I think I'm going to decline to comment." So he wouldn't say what was going on. And then later that evening I saw a story from I believe Bloomberg saying that the treasury department, in fact, determined that they were fakes and this is according to treasury spokesman Steven Meyerhardt. That's Wednesday night. Then Thursday evening about 4:30, roughly 24 hours later, Reuters, which is a very well respected and well known international news agency authorities the authorities are still trying to determine whether the bonds are fake or real. This is 24 hours after the treasury department says they are fake. So again ‑‑
GLENN: Now, wait, wait. I have an update for you.
GLENN: On Friday, because I saw that Reuters story, too, and I said wait a minute, something's ‑‑ I mean, we were just told. How could this story be true with Reuters?
GLENN: Reuters stands by their story. So we call the treasury back: The Secret Service issues a statement for air and the statement was, of everything that we have seen on the Internet, the photos that we have seen of these bonds on the Internet, tell us that they are most likely fakes.
MURDOCK: Isn't that remarkable?
GLENN: On the Internet?
MURDOCK: Isn't that amazing? You've got somebody walking around with $134.5 billion, not million, folks, billion with a B, $134.5 billion which would be equal to approximately 1% of our economy and about 3% of the federal budget if you do rough calculations and you would think over a two‑week period, 14 days, the United States government would manage to get some guys from the Secret Service, the treasury or whatever it is, SEC to hop on some planes, fly over to Italy, sit down with their opposite numbers, their colleagues from Italy and look at these things with magnifying glasses or microscopes or special pens or radars, lasers, whatever it is and say these things are fake or these things are real. And after two weeks you still have people saying, gee, I'm not sure. Reuters says they're not sure if they're fake or not; the treasury says they are. We still have a lack of clarity here. Over $134.5 billion question.
GLENN: They say that these ‑‑ this is according to the Bloomberg article that was early. They said these bonds were dated as of 1934, but $500 million bonds didn't exist in 1934. Police are still waiting for the declaration regarding the bond's authenticity from the SEC, yada, yada. How can anyone say that these would be indistinguishable if they were indeed dated 1934? It would make it a cartoon.
MURDOCK: It would, yeah. If they ‑‑ it would be like seeing an article, you know, newspaper talking about President Obama dated 1965 or something like that.
GLENN: Yeah, it doesn't ‑‑ it defies logic.
MURDOCK: Then if that's the case, then on Day One or Day Two they should have said people at the arrested at the Italian border carrying counterfeit documents, we've inspected them on the scene, everybody go back to work, there's nothing to see here. And instead after two weeks you still get these inconsistencies and these ongoing questions.
GLENN: Now, you have also that these would be counterfeit. If they would be counterfeit, just help me out on this. Again we may have cartoon characters counterfeiting money that think also the best way to kill people is to drop a safe from a window or a piano out of a window, right. And those people, there are stupid people. But generally speaking you can't make a counterfeit bond on your Xerox machine and so they make this counterfeit bond but they make them in denominations that no one has ever seen before.
MURDOCK: That's right.
GLENN: And they are apparently trying to fence something that only a government would have had.
MURDOCK: That is correct. If you are a counterfeiter and you want to make a fake document of whatever kind, you need a real document as a basis. Now, if you were going to make fake $20 bills, it's very easy. Go to the bank, get yourself a $20 bill and then you start making your copies. If you want to make fake $500 million bonds, which is what most of these were, 249 of them, you've got to get yourself a real $500 million bond as a model. Where do you get that? You don't just go to the bank and pick one up. You don't just walk into some insurance agents and say I'd like to borrow your $500 million bond. I don't think the Chinese or Japanese or Australian treasury department would say, yeah, go ahead and borrow our $500 million bond, just bring it back when you are done. So the question is how did even cartoon‑like counterfeiters as you describe them get their hands on one of these things? Now, it could be that they have got some insider who is slipping these things out after hours saying, okay, you've got the weekend, you know, bring it back before Monday morning, then I'll put it back in the safe. Even if that's the case, you've got yourself a leak somewhere in some major national bank who's letting this stuff slip out because these are not, they don't circulate pri vately, they circulate among governments.
GLENN: Don't they have serial numbers?
MURDOCK: I believe they have serial numbers, yes. And it ought to be pretty easy to trace and track and match the serial numbers with the countries that originally got these because again this doesn't trade like currency when you go pay for your groceries or go pay money to a cabdriver.
GLENN: If I had a ‑‑ let's just say I had a $500 million bond and they were real, okay? I mean, you know, they actually printed a $500 million bond and, you know, we found the suitcase over in Italy and you were the treasury. Wouldn't you be able to, over in Italy, call you in the treasury and say, "Hey, we just have this certificate; it's $500 million; it's serial number 117945," and the treasury be able to look that up and say that belongs to Glenn Beck?
MURDOCK: I would think so. I would think so. It's possible between 1969 when we stopped issuing bonds that size and now those records got lost, but I would think seriously that if the U.S. Government wants to keep track of its public debt, they would have those records. They should have those records.
GLENN: I don't think we would lose 500 ‑‑ where did I put that receipt for $500 million?
MURDOCK: I don't think we would lose receipts for that kind of money, I don't think so. I would think it might take a little while to dig them up but those records have to exist, they must exist.
GLENN: Deroy, just off the ‑‑ I don't even know if you want to go on record because you are not a conspiracy guy, you are not a ‑‑ I mean, you are a serious dude.
MURDOCK: I have my serious moments, yes.
GLENN: You want to go out on a limb and speculate on what you think this is going to end up being?
MURDOCK: It's hard to say. I think you can make a plausible argument for any of these things. This could be people who look like Japanese nationals but actually are North Koreans who are trying to do something either to get actual money or maybe just to create some confusion and harm the U.S. dollar and harm the U.S. economy by creating doubts about whether our bonds are legitimate or not. This could be a legitimate government trying to sneak out the door, if you will, quietly and unload some dollars before the dollar gets weaker. There is an argument that this was something done by the Italian Mafia. But if this were the Italian Mafia, why would they not just give the Brie case to some Italian citizens who speak the language, blend right in, can go across the border without being noticed. No, let's not do that. Let's find two Japanese guys, give them the briefcase and let them stand out and get caught. That doesn't make any sense.
GLENN: Is there any ‑‑ I mean, just the number sticks out to me and this is it. $134.5 billion. Exactly the amount of money that we had in TARP. Is there anything that would say to you that our government is double‑dealing on debt, issuing more debt than we are wanting to admit?
MURDOCK: Boy, this is a hell of a way to do it. I can't imagine that the U.S. Government, if we are trying to collect more money than we were able to, would engage in this sort of thing. I mean, the Fed certainly can create money. They just do it like that. That's easy.
MURDOCK: It is interesting that this $134.5 billion figure matches the act amount of money that was left in the TARP account on March 30th.
MURDOCK: Isn't that odd, what a bizarre coincidence, how strange that is.
GLENN: But it is ‑‑ but you do believe it's just a coincidence?
MURDOCK: Who knows. This is a very, very strange case. Now, I can tell you that again the strangest continues. There's something called Turner radio network and they are reporting ‑‑
GLENN: No, I checked into that. No, no, Deroy, checked into that.
MURDOCK: I called and no one answered the phone. I thought that was odd.
GLENN: There's a reason. I'll explain that to you off the air.
GLENN: And I saw that today and it's ‑‑ uh‑uh. Deroy, thank you very much. We'll talk again.
MURDOCK: Very good. Thanks a lot. Bye‑bye.