Meanwhile, Greece Is Quietly Printing Billions Of Euros

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today we showed why Greece is now literally living on borrowed time. The combined €2.9 billion in ELA cap increases ‘generously’ bestowed upon the flailing Greek banking sector by the ECB last week looks to have been barely enough to keep things from “ending very differently” (to quote Kathimerini) at the ATMs on Friday.

But perhaps more importantly from a big picture perspective, Greece may have already breached the upper limit of its borrowing base. JPM calculates Greek banks’ eligible collateral at €121 billion (€38 billion in EFSF bonds €8 billion in government securities, and €75 billion in “credit claims”). With Friday’s ELA increase, the country’s total borrowings (that’s OMO plus ELA) amount to some €125 bilion. Why would the ECB allow this? Because it knows the breach will be promptly limited or reversed on Monday, or there will be a deal. 

So, it is literally “deal or no deal” time, because if JPM is correct and eligible collateral was either exhausted two weeks ago or, in the best case scenario, is right at the limit, capital controls will need to be put in place as early as Tuesday at which point the ATMs will officially stop dispensing freshly-minted euros which, incidentally, brings up an important point. As Barclays notes, during the same period over which Greek banks lost nearly €30 billion in deposits, banknotes in circulation jumped by some €13 billion. In short, because Greeks are increasingly prone to stuffing their euros in mattresses, a large proportion of the deposit flight has come in the form of hard currency withdrawals, meaning the Bank of Greece is forced to (literally) print billions in physical banknotes:

A large part of the deposit outflows is in the form of banknotes, whose usage has increased significantly since the end of last year (+44%). Indeed, out of a deposit outflow of €29bn (from the end of November 2014 to the end of April 2015), banknotes in circulation in Greece have increased by €13bn.


But hard currency printed in excess of NCB quotas (set by the ECB) represents a liability to the rest of Eurosystem and so must be added to Greece’s negative TARGET2 balance to determine the EMU’s total exposure to Greece:

The amount of banknotes in excess of the quota for Greece (about €27bn) represents a liability of the Central Bank of Greece to the Eurosystem in addition to the net liabilities related to transactions with the other Central Banks in the Eurosystem (Target 2 liabilities). As of the end of April, net liabilities related to the allocation of euro banknotes were €16.2bn and the Target 2 balance was negative by about €99bn. Therefore, the total exposure of the Eurosystem to Greece was around €115bn. This corresponds to the amount of borrowing of Eurosystem liquidity (OMOs + ELA), as shown in Figure 4. Taking the increase in the ELA ceiling as an indication of the deposit outflows/usage of banknotes and the increase in Eurosystem funding, such exposure might have increased to about €125bn currently, we calculate. 


Of course, given Germany’s massive TARGET2 credit with the ECB, a liability to the Eurosystem is, for all intents and purposes, a liability to Germany:

So we can add the quiet printing of some €13 billion in banknotes to the list of reasons why German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble, a growing number of German MPs, and, increasingly, the German people have run completely out of patience with Athens. 

As for all the Athenians who have recently tapped the ATMs, check your euros. If the serial number starts with a "Y" that means it was printed by the Bank of Greece and you should probably hang on to it because you might soon be able to sell it at a premium to a museum. 

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falak pema's picture

You mean Draghi has "gone greek" to do "whatever it takes?"

Wolferl's picture

Throw those pathetic Greek deadbeats out of Europe already.

Billy the Poet's picture

As for all the Athenians who have recently tapped the ATMs, check your euros. If the serial number starts with a "Y" that means it was printed by the Bank of Greece and you should probably hang on to it because you might soon be able to sell it at a premium to a museum.


All joking aside the opposite is true. Those holding Y Euros both in Greece and elsewhere should dump them immediately for non-Y Euros or other assets as those notes could be made null and void if the printing continues without the blessing of the ECB.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Very important check serial number on physical note of Euro. If serial number is start "R", then is print in Russia by Boris' cousin Ivan. Control P (Command P for user of Apple Macintosh computer) all way baby! Power is to people*!

(* with access to high end printing press)

MonetaryApostate's picture

And the show, I mean fraud, must go on!!


War with Greece in 3...,2....,1.... ????

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Outright war on Greece is interesting proposition...

Can Europe roll in tank and bomber to and confiscate collateral of  Greek citizenry? Storm Euro printing facility? If European community cannot even control own border or send troop to subdue ISIS terrorist in Middle East, are you to think there is sufficient political will for invade Greece, long time ally and bread basket of democracy!? If "Blood for Oil" is bad taste, just imagine "Blood for Money"!

No, Greece is win this round, but you are count that never again anyone is purchase Greek bond.

NoDecaf's picture

And NATO would have to come to Greece's defense and attack NATO

chubbar's picture

I don't think so. They'll just pull their latest trick and call it a bombing of ISIS. Syria is under attack at the present time by US and "coalition" forces and that is what the MSM is using to keep it under the radar of the rest of the world. Not that the fucking dolts residing here in the US would care either way. Most of them apparently think a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Russia is a good idea.

Save_America1st's picture

Well this should be simple for others who use euro fiat.

How to tell where a euro note comes from:

Don't accept euro currency that starts with a Y


Code Table:

Where do your euros come from?

Belgium Z
Germany X
Estonia D
Ireland T
Greece     Y
Spain     V
France     U
Italy     S
Cyprus     G
Luxembourg 1
Malta F
Netherlands P
Austria N
Portugal M
Slovenia H
Slovakia E
Finland L

Bobbo's picture

What prefix does the CIA use?

awakeRewe's picture

What prefix does the CIA use?


Any or all of the above they fucking want too!

fr0thing's picture

They just make the printing machines.

disabledvet's picture

"I'll take TheRapist for 2000 Alex."

Jacksons Ghost's picture

FU is the CIA prefix! Nuland told me.

sterling effort's picture

Can you buy gold over the weekend with a euro note with a Y serial number? If not, you are holding a voucher to exchange for drachma, probs sooner that you think.

espirit's picture

Troika Kan Kicking Konumdrum:

Never identify which "Monday".


chubbar's picture

I think it is "quaint" that we are discussing the relative value of pieces of paper due to whether they have X, Y or Z printed on the face of them. Let's all gather around and pick some more fly shit out of the pepper shaker.

Save_America1st's picture

Hey bro, just sayin'...


It's there and that's what those fuckers made it out to be...not my problem.  So don't shoot the messenger.

If their euro was "one for all and all for one" then why did those fuckers designate one currency with different country codes, right??? 

I was just trying to show everyone what and how they did that shit.

Gold Eyed Cat's picture

Don't freak out.  Chubs was just pointing out the sheer idiocy of the situation.  Starting Monday, turds that hit the ground and make a round shape will continue to be money.  However, turds that hit the ground and are more oval shaped will no longer be trade-able for ouzo. That is all.  Everything is completely under control.

LMAO!  It IS ridiculous.

gonetogalt's picture

well, a carson city (CC) morgan dollar is worth more than a Denver (D)...

(Mint marks matter)

Tall Tom's picture

First Euros are created by the Trillions.






Although opened as an assay office in 1863, the [Denver] mint did not produce silver coins until 1906.  Production of silver dollar coins had stopped in 1904, however, so no Morgan dollars were struck at Denver until the Morgan series resumed briefly for 1921.


The 'D' Mintmark on a Morgan is rarer than that of any  "CC" Carson City Mintmark if you are valuing Coins by Mintmark.


So STOP your damned TROLLING!!!

Fíréan's picture

" However, as the code indicates the printer, rather than the issuing NCB, certain letters have been reassigned from NCBs which do not maintain their own printing facilities."


The list given in the comment and linked article is for first series and does not included the more recent 2nd series ( note the omission of Slovenia and inclusion of the second,private company), printer in France and also two UK printers) . Yet as stated, the code denotes the origin of the print not the issuing National Central Bank.

Source -

Tall Tom's picture

Don't accept euro currency that starts with a Y


Who is going to remember that Euros with a Y are no good?


There is a much better solution...


Don't accept the Euro Currency...PERIOD.


In that way you will not be all.

all-priced-in's picture

It would not be that difficult to change a "Y" to an "X" on the printing plate.




Who uses the X again? :-O



macle's picture

I call BS....that is only what MSM reports. All the Americans I work with know they are being lied to.

Bobbo's picture

I think Greece would be better off printing some of those US "Gold" bonds--the kind (maybe) traded among central banks, the ones with 9 or 10 zeros and a dozen (intentional) misspellings.  Better war toy than trainloads of Euros.  Besides, China might make an offer on them.

Evidence:  Several events such as this one:

max2205's picture

'Y' ..... because we like you!

Farqued Up's picture

Oh no, Boris, no Greek bonds purchase would be like cutting up my spendthrift wife's credit cards. That would be a godsend to the people.

Bobbo's picture

Maybe if Greece declares war on Cyprus, they could both get big loans from Rothschild?  High Tech weapons from Argentina?  CIA counterfeiters to print "moon" bonds with really big value?

newdoobie's picture

didn't the Troika force Spain and Italy(Portugal) to buy Greek bonds?

More Austerity for you if you don't buy dees bonds

andrewp111's picture

No need. Most rich Greeks keep their wealth outside of Greece in EU banks and in real estate. The EU can simply confiscate all assets of Greek citizens held outside of Greece after Grexit.

Peribanu's picture

How to determine "Greek citizen" when so many Greeks have dual nationality? Melbourne may still be the second Greek city.

Sanity Bear's picture

They don't do the tank-and-bomber thing anymore but you'd be amazed at the sorts of accidents that just seem to happen

Element's picture



No, Greece is win this round, but you are count that never again anyone is purchase Greek bond.

hahaha! ... glad you're back Boris, missed your humor ... but there's always another round of suckers. They told people to buy GGBs, post 2010 ... and they DID! hahaha! ... no? ... make no mistake, they'll sell a virtul universe full of GGBs to the next generation of fools ... and every one of them will sincerely believe these are a fukin great investment too!  :D



SmittyinLA's picture

Europe's preferred tool is the mob, aka Syriza, Europe's plan is to use the mob to keep looting, no matter what, never cut spending, keep extending credit till there's nothing left to steal then bring in millions more Muslims and Africans and Jack up rents and water and food and electricity prices.

Been done before 800 years ago, same tribe, same strategy, same PR.

0b1knob's picture

Since it only costs Greece a few cents to print the bills while they get full value for them when they ae issued, isn't Greece making billions on the seigniorage?

The Zero Hedge vocabulary building word of the day is seigniorage.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Tomorrow, new word of day is what wife (in translation) is frequent to tell Boris, actyerage.

(Boris is love clever English word play!)

Lumberjack's picture

I had to look that one up. :)


You win and I bow my head in shame... Guess that post Tyler did about things kids did when they are young was too much for me!

espirit's picture

Me too.

Great to have Boris back.

Need to jumpstart BS (Boris Subsidiary) Copper Mining endeavor in USSA.

RiverRoad's picture

Blue Light special on wheelbarrows.

Ploutos74's picture

Duh. The serial numbers are not sequential. You cannot tell when a Greek euro note was printed. That last bit is an urban myth.

But I don't think anyone has really answered the 100 billion question. If the National bank of Greece is actually nationalized (which surprisingly enough is NOT right now) and repudiates all TARGET debt, then what?

Wolferl's picture

Greece is not allowed to nationalize the central bank according to the EU treaties. If the Greeks try too, they are out of the EU. And they still owe the target 2 debt and have to pay.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

When consider Greece and membership in European Union, only two word is come to Boris' mind:

Blood and Stone

Because is make Boris think of caclium deposit pass from bladder through Ureter and is extreme pain! This is why You're-a-peein' is so painful phrase.

Wolferl's picture

Agree with you, there´s no place for the Greeks in the EU.

wee-weed up's picture

Ah, the smell of printing ink in the morning...

Janet would be proud.

MonetaryApostate's picture

Epic lolz!  :D

Roll it up, smoke it, inhale, exhale, repeat!  :D

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Greek financer is prepare to fire up printing press. Why not!? What is now choice of IMF and ECB Troika, allow flow of "counterfiet" currency, or forgive/restructure greek debt. This round, Greek Citizen 1, Central Bankster 0.

tonyw's picture

so what's to stop them printing any letter at the start, me i'd print the whole bloody lot.

Oops, just seen your post below, great minds think alike or is it fools seldom differ :-)


Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Maybe fool is think alike while great mind is to differ...? At risk of self flaterization, Boris is commend to Mr. Tony you are great mind!