German bank inundated with damaged money

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. soak / soʊk / (v.) – to make someone or something very wet

    The rain soaked all the laundry that I had left outside.

  2. sewage / ˈsu ɪdʒ / (n.) – waste material from homes and other buildings that goes through a system of pipes

    Some cities put sewage into local rivers after removing harmful materials from it.

  3. to the tune of (amount) / tʊ ðə tun ʌv / (idiom) – used to stress the amount of something

    They bought a new machine to the tune of $500,000.

  4. influx / ˈɪnˌflʌks / (n.) – the arrival of a large number of something

    The city is preparing for an influx of tourists this summer.

  5. clump together / klʌmp təˈgɛð ər / (phrasal v.) – to come together and form a mass or a pile

    Pieces of paper clump together when they get wet.


Read the text below.

Germany’s central bank says it has been inundated with damaged bank notes after deadly floods that hit part of the country in July. The notes are worth more than €50 million (¥6.1 billion), the bank said.

The Bundesbank said Sept. 1 that individuals and banks have handed in notes that were soaked in the floods and often also contaminated with oil, sewage or mud. The damaged money is dried, processed and then destroyed at a center in Mainz that analyzes forged and damaged money, and its owners are refunded without charge.

The bank said that the center usually receives damaged bills to the tune of €40 million per year. This year, it received €51 million worth of notes from the flood-hit areas in western Germany between mid-July and the end of August. Germans still tend to use cash more than people in many other European countries.

After they are dried, the damaged notes are flattened out, verified and counted. The Bundesbank said it bought dryers to deal with the influx of dirty money, noting that it’s important to process soaked notes quickly before they clump together and become as hard as concrete. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The Bundesbank was given notes that were contaminated with oil, sewage, and mud. Do you think banks should still accept this money? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In some cultures, it’s important to use only new bills when giving money as a gift. Does your country have any similar traditions? What do you think about them (ex. good manners, not very eco-friendly)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Germans still tend to use cash more than people in many other European countries. In your country, how common is it for people to use cash? What other ways can people pay for things (ex. credit cards, payment apps)? Which way do you prefer? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s possible for a country to go completely cash-free? Do you know any totally cash-free businesses? Discuss.