Last week we reported that something strange was going on at the same time that central banks are injecting $100 billion each month in electronic money to crush volatility and ramp markets: a similar amount in physical currency and precious metals was literally disappearing.
The mystery, in a nutshell, was as follows: while banks are printing more bank notes than ever, these seem to be “disappearing off the face of the earth” and nobody knows where or why, or as the WSJ notes, “central banks don’t know where they have gone, or why, and are playing detective, trying to crack the same mystery.”
And while readers can read up much more on the topic of disappearing hard assets here, a few days after, Fox Business picked up on this thread, writing that almost $1.5 trillion of the world’s physical cash, with $100 dollar bills making up the vast majority, was reportedly unaccounted for.
So what happened to the money?
To get to the bottom of this mystery, this was the question FOX Business anchor Lou Dobbs asked the man who literally signs every single US dollar bill, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The response” “Literally, a lot of these $100 bills are sitting in bank vaults all over the world,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin pointed to the negative interest rates causing people to turn to American dollars as a solid investment.
The dollar is the reserve currency of the world, and everybody wants to hold dollars,” Mnuchin said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “And the reason why they want to hold dollars is because the U.S. is a safe place to have your money, to invest and to hold your assets.”
Mnuchin said it’s interesting that, in a increasingly digital world, “the demand for U.S. currency continues to go up.” adding that “there’s a lot of Benjamins all over the world.”