Crime Bills

dollar-1362243_1920Let’s talk about money, lots and lots of money.

Currently, the United States prints its bills (paper money) in seven denominations (amounts):  $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. There was a time, however, when higher denominations were printed for specific kinds of transactions (actions related to buying and selling).

In 1861, the U.S. government issued interest-bearing notes (money used as a loan between a lender and a borrower) in four different denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. In 1878, they were released as United States notes (an older term for paper money).

These notes were actually physically larger in size than our current bills (it wasn’t until 1929 that paper money were produced in today’s size). The larger denominations were meant to be (were intended to be; were designed to be) used by banks and the U.S. government for large transactions.

However, people involved in unlawful (against the law) activities such as drug trafficking (selling and buying large amounts of illegal drugs) and money laundering (hiding the source of illegally-made money) often used these bills as well. In fact, one report a few years ago found that up to 90% of American currency had trace (very small) amounts of cocaine on them!

The use of these bills for illegal activities was one of the main reasons the government decided to stop producing them. They were last printed on December 27, 1945, and were officially discontinued (stopped being used) on July 4, 1969.

Most of the bills started to disappear, and only private collectors (people who buy valuable things for their own enjoyment or as an investment) were successful in preserving them (keeping them in their original condition).

One of those private collectors was Benny Binion, owner of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino (place for entertainment where people play games of chance in hopes of winning money) in Las Vegas. Binion preserved 100 of the old $10,000 bills, and beginning in the early 1960s displayed them for many years in a clear case (box for display). Tourists would often make a special trip just to see them.

Unfortunately, you can no longer see this “million dollar display” at the casino, since it was sold to other collectors. But you can easily lose a million dollars in Las Vegas if you try hard enough!

~ ESLPod Team

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* This post was adapted from “What Insiders Know” from Cultural English 469. To see the rest of the Learning Guide, including a Glossary, Sample Sentences, Comprehension Questions, a Complete Transcript of the entire lesson and more, become a Select English Member.
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6 Responses to Crime Bills

  1. Peter says:

    Dear eslpod , if I may I gonna get completely off topic here.

    Help world
    Sadly ,
    Martinas an Argentina native -an experienced mountaineer- is stuck half way up In the Canada’s tallest – and I dare say the most isolated and beautiful – mountain.
    It is second highest peak in North America.
    Mount Logan is 6000 kilometre and the largest in the world by girt.

    The bad-a.s mountain is one of the extremist environment in Canada

    It -in fact -budded the sea of ice and snow

    Well ,her trapping half way up mountain Logan is not for lack of experience but a bit of bad luck.
    She got stranded up there when an earth quick struck as she was scaling the mountain.
    Well,apparently, the quick broke apart a humongous piece-of-ice-hangover and caused tons of ice and snow cascading down her way. The avalanche forces her to take shelter in an ice cave where she is still enduring a horrible weather condition that has hampered any rescue effort.
    Well ,the quick happened on Monday. Luckily she is still holding her own.

    The weather is supposed to be improving by Friday though. A Rescue mission is scheduled for Friday.

    I m crossing my fingers


  2. Peter says:

    Canada released its first bank note series in 1935
    It was made of paper.
    However ,the current series. The ones that are in circulations right now are made of polymer. They are very durable. They don’t get creased or ripped. Well ,not as easy as their forebears : paper notes:)))
    Well ,to me ,what makes bank notes in Canada -in a way -unique is that each series bears a bit of history. They mirror the milestone of the era they representing. Almost Every series Were prefaced by commemorative bank notes featuring a turning point of their time, a milestone if u will. For example the 1967 -my favourite back note series commemorates the rising sense of nationalism.

    The reason I know all these because there is an actual museum allocated to the Canadian bank notes of different decades
    What came totally shocking to me is that apparently the US doesn’t have such a museum.
    Honest , I find it very strange.
    Another example: the polymer series in 2015 show cases security and stability -I think.
    U Know ,in July first ,2017 Canada will turn 150 years old.the government is planing various national celebrations and recognitions one of which is a unique commemorative bank note marking the event.


    If u happen to travel up here, visit the Currency Museum of the bank of Canada in Ottawa
    I visited it several times.


  3. Peter says:

    The latest on the money front is the Canada’s intuitive to put a Canadian face on the next issue of 10 dollar bank note.
    Well ,the idea brought upon and introduced to the parliament I believe by the prime minister as a continuation on his effort to highlight and encourage the present of women along with men in all level of society both in privet and state sectors.
    A list of Canadian women whom -in some ways- their public efforts helped shape Canada both culturally and socially
    was made.

    The list was a large pool
    Of Canadian woman that -later on – an on-line public survey narrowed it down to 5 women.
    And .in the end the , viola Desmond -the iconic figure of the Human rights and freedom movement in Canada chose by the Ministry of Finance to be featured on the next 10 dollar note circulation in 2018.

    It is a bold move on Canada’s part
    U know ,people are so used to see the queen on the bank note denominations.
    Well , things are changing
    And u should charge with them
    Right ?

    I myself partake in the survey and I must say I picked viola.


  4. Peter says:

    Thanks to the climate change ,I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain rattling the window hard.

    The ramping sever weather events is crippling the cities around the world and My home town is not an expectation to it.

    The unseasonal April and May weather has caused Toronto to be pelted by rain.

    As a matter of fact, it is pouring down rain as we is supposed to continue to do so till Sunday when rain gives way to snow.
    It is outrageous, snow fall mid May. It is unheard of.

    It is not just Toronto that is in hot water for the heavy rain fall:)
    In southern part of Quebec including Momtreal, the weather condition is even worse.

    In Montreal the river has bursted into its bank and flooded the streets.
    Last evening , in Montreal , Fire fighters were going house to houses to help people with basement flooding.

    The situation is the same in multiples areas of a number of cities and towns.

    The rumour has it in some low land neighbourhoods by the river bank ,in some cities and towns ,the water touches the basement celling.

    Well,Homeowners by the river bank typically flood proof their homes.

    it is a service subsidize by the government to help people cope better with increasingly sever weather conditions we r experiencing across Canada.

    Some believe , The reason we r getting a month’s worth rain in three days is the unseasonal temperature
    U know ,typically -in a normal condition where the climate is not tampered with by sever pollution and abnormal green House effect-in match moisture in the ground evaporate. Last march it didn’t around froze instead fir the unusually cold weather. As a result ,in April we got doubly moisture in the air
    Leading to current stubborn rain fall.
    It is coming down hard and not showing any sign of meeting up.
    Part of the major highway
    Is closed
    The Lake Ontario saw 60 cm increase in water level.
    Well ,typically when it happens the city open the damn to Lower the level of water but not this time around. If the open the damn it will compound the flooding in Quebec.
    60 cm folks

    Toronto embracing itself for a hard hit

    I know it seems like i m narrating a movie.
    It is not make-believe folks
    It is happening as we speak.


  5. Peter says:

    Refer to my first comment -this post- the Argantjbs climber who had stranded in Logan mountain rescued!!!
    I could use a piece of good news !!

    I m happy for her


  6. Peter says:

    Helo world
    Seems like this time around it is parts of Canada that bear the brunt of the changing climate.
    Heavy rain had brought upon -by jet stream trapped above a vast swath of Canada –
    Many cities and In particularly communities by the river banks across western and Easter part of Canada.
    They have been getting lots of rain fall over the last few days on.
    In some regions the rain broke , but in others still coming down hard. Luckily the weather is clearing up in Toronto.
    Let me tell you folks ,rain has soaked Toronto.
    People in BC still dealing with the relentless rain fall
    The steady rain has not stopped or shown any sign of let up yet.
    A significant number of houses in BC and houses by the Ottawa river bank are in mandatory evacuation order. Some house owners were compliant. By that I mean they abided the law. But some still holding down the front trying hard to save their houses but filling up sand backs and barricading their house specially their garages and basements with it.
    Sadly the latest report is the man made barricades fell in some areas and let the rush water in.

    The situation is compounded in BC as the top steam melt -due to warm weather- joined forces with the constant rain resulting in knee deep water accumulation and mud-sliding in some areas of the cities that prompted state -issued mandatory evacuation late last night.

    Some communities are totally cut off for
    The washed out roads
    And flooded bridges

    The water stream still eating away at the asphalts in some hoods

    Military personal called in to help people and
    Clean up the aftermath mass.
    Meteorologists forecasting the subtropical weather system that had piggy backed the jet stream System on its way to east
    Will resume moving east wards as early as Monday morning.
    However ,the forecast is the stream jet system will be hovering over a tad longer.

    Thanks to climate change, as it so happens rain and snow storms is becoming a new norm.


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