Chadwick Wasilenkoff

Fortress CEO Discusses Banknote Implications of Possible Eurozone Collapse

Fortress Paper CEO Chad Wasilenkoff appeared on BNN this week where he was asked to discuss the implications for banknotes and currencies throughout the eurozone in the face of its potential collapse.

Wasilenkoff said that even though countries may pull out of the eurozone and revert back to their old currency, that process is lengthy and cannot happen overnight.

“Typically a national bank will take anywhere from three to four years to develop a new currency to be able to push it out into circulation in a normalized fashion,” he said Tuesday.

Before banknotes can be processed, they have to be designed, developed and equipped with security features to prevent counterfeiting. These elements must be assembled before being shipped to the paper maker, which can take three to four months. After that, the notes are sent to the security printer who must undergo at least six to eight different processes to get the notes ready for circulation.

Even in the case of a crisis, the minimum time frame to introduce new banknotes into circulation is close to a year. This is the biggest challenge countries face with regards to re-introducing country-based banknotes as opposed to the multi-country unified currency of the euro, said Wasilenkoff.

“When we look at the eurozone it is very challenging to contemplate the logistics behind that,” he said. “It could be easier if one country such as Greece were to fall off, but if the whole thing were to come crumbling down it’s just not logistically possible.”

Currently in the eurozone there is close to 15 billion individual euro banknotes in circulation right now, valued at nearly 875 billion. This represents about 30% of the total global supply of banknotes, Wasilenkoff said.

Watch the whole video HERE.

The Globe and Mail: “Video: Can Printing New Currencies Keep Euro Zone United”


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