Bad Bucks

The Hong Kong economy, already buffeted by high unemployment, flagging retail sales and chronic deflation, is suffering another blow: an influx of money too ugly to spend. The territory's monetary authority last month released into circulation a revamped $10 bill that, instead of inspiring confidence in the territory's financial underpinnings, reminds people of a discount coupon for laundry detergent. "It looks juvenile," says local merchant Jeremy Chia of the garish pink and purple banknote. Part of the problem is the inclusion of numerous anti-counterfeiting features, including embossed text and a watermarked bauhinia flower. "The abundance of security features may not be...

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