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Bank-note paper: Wallpapering over the cracks

One firm in particular will be celebrating if Greece, and indeed any other country, has to leave the euro – Fortress Paper.

Fortress is the sole bank-note paper-maker for the Swiss franc and prints euros for 10 countries. "If the obvious example, Greece, were to drop out of the euro, it would give us a large boost, as the country would need a new currency with new security features," says chief executive Chad Wasilenkoff.

Even if that doesn’t happen, printing press overtime by the ECB means euro production for next year is estimated to increase 40%. Unfortunately for Fortress, its bank-note business is based in Switzerland, and the appreciation of the safe-haven franc has put immense pressure on profits for its international business.

On the plus side, Fortress’s secondary business of wallpaper is booming. Who would have thought it? Wasilenkoff says that Europeans no longer buying new property are, instead, repapering their walls to make do.

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