De La Rue Warming Up The 'New Drachma' Printer

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that the consensus seemingly is one that a Greek exit is inevitable, there was only one missing step: an actual New Drachma currency, not in When Issued, electronic 1s and 0s format, but real, based on cotton and linen. It appears UK banknote printer De La Rue is now on top of that. From Reuters: "De La Rue (DLAR.L) has drawn up contingency plans to print drachma banknotes should Greece exit the euro and approach the British money printer, an industry source told Reuters on Friday. The news comes as EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said on Friday the European Commission and the European Central Bank are working on an emergency scenario in case Greece has to leave the euro zone - the first time an EU official has confirmed the existence of contingency plans." Now as noted earlier, the "emergency scenario" was promptly denied by the EC, but as of now nobody has denied the drachma printing yet, which in the world of Venn Diagrams is the "big one."


The source, who asked not to be named, said that as a commercial printer De La Rue needed to be alive to the possibility of a Greek exit from the single currency and prepare accordingly.


Crisis-hit Greece will be led by an emergency government into new elections on June 17 which will ultimately determine whether it must quit the euro - possibly spreading financial devastation across the continent.


An exit from Europe's single currency would spark a major demand for the returning drachma and while the country's state printers could orchestrate its production, a handful of global firms like De La Rue could be called on to help.


Buffeted equity investors looking for respite from the Greek turmoil have been busy buying up De La Rue shares in anticipation, helping push them up 11 percent in the last month.


Panmure analyst Paul Jones said the firm would be in with a chance of work if extra capacity was needed and could also benefit from other work as Greek printers were less likely to be quoting for contracts elsewhere.


"If they (Greece) decide to pull out of the euro the first thing is it won't be an overnight job, partly because of the implications of what they are trying to do but secondly because of the sheer number of banknotes that are needed to replace a currency," Jones told Reuters.


"It will be a huge job which the state printing works will do, but they will probably pull in some additional volume from outside and De La Rue will be in with a chance."

Why would Greece need an outside printer one may ask? Well, the country ran out of ink...INK... when it had to print tax return forms. And ink just happens to be a crucial component of toner.

We hope that makes it clear.

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maxmad's picture

Print Greece Print!  Run Forest Run!

CPL's picture

TEM > Dracma


Real output value versus Nothing backing it

francis_sawyer's picture

The thing causing the delay is that they haven't figured out how many zeroes to put on it... They're contemplating the use of an exponential function...

Nussi34's picture

They will start with adding one zero per week!

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Is it going to be 2-ply or 4-ply?

Peter Pan's picture

Why print worthless fiat?  For bigt ransactions they can use the banking system. For small transactions they should mint silver drachmas like the ones they had in the early sixties. Those will never lose value and will always be welcome as payment unlike the paper drachma.

Nussi34's picture

Which banking system? It will be dead by next week.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



They should rename it the Crackma.

mjcOH1's picture

" Why print worthless fiat?  For bigt ransactions they can use the banking system. For small transactions they should mint silver drachmas like the ones they had in the early sixties. Those will never lose value ...."


And there you have the reason why....

Bad Lieutenant's picture



There is an episode from NPR's Planet Money from last fall when Greece leaving the EMU was on the table that hard at the historical precident of a currency breakup (specifically referenced by one of Doug Noland's Prudent Bear pieces around that time).  Here we are again and what's in this podcast has never been more relevant, and is dispels the common misconception that 'leaving a currency union' is just as trivial as joining one (quite the contrary).  

It looks the Austro-Hungarian monetary union breakup following WWI (spoiler alert: it wasn't orderly).  The dynamics and chain of historical events described in this short epsiode are super interesting and have been largely absent from even the backstreet dialog, and if your experience is like mine, then you'll have a new regard for what the consequences of any of the peripheral countries leaving the EMU (let alone Spain) -- in addition to all the chaos that's already been raised in pieces here on zh.  This episode also informally uncovers some of the (scary) psychological dynamics of such a chain of events.

I only say this sparingly, but this item is required material and you'll see why once you take it in (and I raise an eyebrow at anyone not interested in assumilating the one historical precident we have).

Click on the 'Listen To Podcast' and then it should play the second item (19:34 in length):

rajonmestra's picture

^ lol. But why would their inks run out that fast? Is their need for it that much for it to run out. But no worries, try to check out HP 20 ink from, I'm sure they won't run out of inks anymore.

sangell's picture

Hmmm. Future headline. UK exports surge on bank note printing

Peter Pan's picture

The Greeks perhaps should have gone straight to Mugabe's printers in Germany.

On another post the other day I asked the question why Europe could not take the lead and print the NEURON for Greece which would have half the value of the Euro initially and could still be controlled by the ECB. Because of its half value Greece would be able to be much more competitive and still be within the the European construct.

Silverhog's picture

Better yet, let the public print their own fiat. Think of the savings.

CPL's picture

People have been doing that since day one.  It's called particpatory economics.


Google "TEM participatory economics"


FIAT is dead as a stone

Zero Govt's picture

Yes but imagine the difficulty of finding Greek heros to put on the banknotes. They have to go back 2,000 years to find the last one as every 'leader' of the country since has driven the nation into the ground

maybe some Greek philosophers like Aristotle who pontificated about the best size of Govt. The penny never dropped there is no good size of Govt, except zero, as it has proved over and over again in Greece

Peter Pan's picture

Perhaps you need to read a little history. It was a Greek that said no to the Axis Powers in World War II and it was Churchill who said about the Greeks of WWII:

"Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks". 

Or go back further to the time they were fighting for their independence from the Ottman Empire in the early 1820's. Read and weep.

But in terms of the current crop of politicians there never was and never will be a hero or a true leader. To that extent you are certainly correct.

mjcOH1's picture

You're forgetting Aristotle Onasis.

Tortuga's picture

You are always thinking of "the folks", Silverhog. The last of the compassionate men. I salute you.

Convolved Man's picture

I've got my HP Inkjet ready and waiting to go.


Just need the template for the new 10000000 Drachma note.

manhunter's picture

Consensus? Not outside the anglopress, which leaks lies from UK based printers, promptly denied by EU authorities. Even the Greeks only want to renegotiate terms; no one wants to leave. And that Greek bank run? It's more of a stroll, but notice that the Greeks are running to euros, not away from them.

Today ZH will run 20 articles about Greece leaving the euro, and it won't change a thing. Greece isn't going anywhere.

youngman's picture

"Greece isn't going anywhere" are right..they are not going tax revenues...but they still have plenty of Politicians and Bankers....

Tortuga's picture

Ahhh, now I see why our masters don't carry no cash. I'm so slow, I didn't get it when George Bush 1 didn't have any cash @ the supermarket check out.

Elwood P Suggins's picture

.but they still have plenty of Politicians and Bankers....


What more could a country possibly need?

sumo's picture

John Ward is reporting that Greek Euro notes, which have a "Y" country code, are suddenly rare:


Watson's picture

Personally, I would try to find out if, inside Greece, there was a sudden rise in the proportion of notes bearing whatever code is used by Germany.

Because I would suspect that they were not printed by Germany...

Watson's picture

And if you find such a sharp rise, make a list of the serial numbers of the 'German' notes, sent the list to the Bundesbank, asking for confirmation that these numbers are genuine (with a copy to Ms Merkel and the German press).

sumo's picture

"there was a sudden rise in the proportion of notes bearing whatever code is used by Germany"

The code is "X" for Germany, and yes, German Euro notes are unexpectedly in abundance in Greece, according to John Ward's contacts.


Watson's picture

If the notes are falsely issued (or even if the Bundesbank fails to answer), Ms Merkel is out of a job.

And, of course, the Germans will leave the EUR...

sumo's picture

Check out this warning from last year. Could this be in play?


Dump your Greek euro notes, MP warns tourists amid fears they will leave eurozone

By Mail On Sunday Reporter

British tourists were yesterday warned by a senior Tory MP to steer clear of euro notes from Greece and other failing European economies.

John Redwood raised the spectre of Greek euros plummeting in value if the debt-laden country was forced out of the single currency club.

He warned that it could leave British tourists just back from their Mediterranean holidays out of pocket if they still carried notes issued in that country. Each euro note carries a letter code denoting which country printed them, with ‘Y’ for Greece and ‘X’  for Germany.

Wokingham MP Mr Redwood, chairman of the Tories’ economic competitiveness group, said: ‘It’s unlikely, but what you could have is a situation whereby Greece had to leave the eurozone and their euros were compulsorily converted to drachmas.


Watson's picture

Partly my point.
It would cerrainly be sensible to shun Greek-printed notes until the situation stabilises.

However, if the Greeks feel they need to (illegally) print in real size, it makes sense for them to increase the illegality by trying to pass off the newly printed notes as German.

Won't work, of course...

Tortuga's picture

Dammit, now I gotta check my AE for code letters. Our masters make it soooo hard to do the right thing.

Tortuga's picture

Was the X on the surplus notes of the North Korean alphabet?

Mitzibitzi's picture

'X' and there are, proportionally speaking, apparently a LOT of them floating around at the moment. Granted, it's a big country, so you'd expect to see a lot of German ones, but the word on the street and 'net suggests there are more than there should be.

Tortuga's picture

Oooh, that looks like the yin or is it the yang, I get them mixed up, so subtle our masters are.

youngman's picture

We need to get a CAM on their loading/shipping dock....

Tortuga's picture

Googles got that already, i think it's already IPO'ed.

Olympia's picture

Loan sharks knew that if they took the dollars printing machines under their control they could suffocate the world ...they could initially suffocate USA and after taking the USA from the Americans, they could move and suffocate the whole world and take the countries from their people.

FED printed cheap money and loansharking multiplied this money in an unnatural way within the American economy boarders and they discarded them abroad so that they did not threaten USA. USA became the first state in the world with artificial “breathing”...

It cannot be possible but just in the USA for only the last year, more than one million houses were seized. It cannot be impossible but the New World has returned to tents and shelters ..has returned to the ages of Columbus. It cannot be possible that we allow to a few loan sharks looting the toils and the assets of people...


Global Debt Crisis


Michelle's picture

Read this:

WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) - Europe could strengthen its monetary union by giving European politicians the power to declare a sovereign state bankrupt and take over its fiscal policy, the former head of the European Central Bank said on Thursday in unveiling a bold proposal to salvage the euro.

Jean Claude Trichet, what a bold move. Civil unrest.



web bot's picture

Isn't that what happens once a country is invaded? Welcome to 21st century warfare.

Make no mistake - the beginning of WW3 will be started from a corner office in the Mariner Eccles building.

Mitzibitzi's picture

Has already been started, by the look of it. There just isn't much shit being blown up, except financially, as yet.

Tortuga's picture

I thought repeal of Glass-Stegal was what started it. Or was it Enron. Nah, I remember now, IT was George Bush, or was it Nixon, didn't he go to China after he started the EPA. Oops. Coffee's ready.

Dagny Taggart's picture

And the new currency will be gold or silver backed of course?  /sarc/

malikai's picture

It will be backed by "the full faith and credit in the Hellenic Republik".

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Ultimately this is the problem of dealing with symptoms rather than getting to the root of the problem. As long as we hand over our sovereignty to others the old boss will always be replaced with an exact copy "new" boss.

Keith Piccirillo's picture

The third world is also littered with freshly printed t-shirts of champions that were never to be. :)

Boilermaker's picture

Why is ZH bothering with this article?

Arent't they aware that everyone is slinging jizz all over the place over the Facebook IPO?

What a bunch of buzz killers.  Can't I just have one day of puppy dogs and gum drops?

Tortuga's picture

I got your puppy dog right here. You want sauce with that or fries.

Alexandros's picture

 The world is getting “awake” from “narcosis”