New counterfeiting data for the euro zone from the ECB reproduced below in graphical form:

Unfortunately, perhaps, for QE and M2 it is not big money in total - €19.9m - although the trend is sharply skywards with the onset of the credit crunch in late 2007:

This mirrors UK trends where, despite the end of the productive career of counterfeiter Stephen Jory in 1998 and the forced change of £20 design this compelled in 2007, the increase in fakes has jumped. With, funnily enough, the specialty being... £20 notes. The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency has a neat little round-up of matters here.

Including US estimates counterfeits in circulation of dollars, euros and sterling do not appear to exceed $120m (assuming detection is as efficient as all claim). Even after printing off another $50m on top in order to account for the 2006 supernote story the sums would still make Madoff, and other white-collar equivalents, have a laugh.

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