The Portuguese Bank Note Crisis: How One Lucky Forger Almost Destroyed A Nation's Economy

A Portuguese 500 escudos banknote, 1922. One of the banknotes fraudulently issued by Alves dos Reis in 1925. Public Domain

Artur Virgilio Alves dos Reis had a gift. He wasn't the smartest kid growing up, nor was he the most athletic -- he was, however, one of Europe's most talented forgers. After a string of various cons, he decided to go big. How big, you ask? Tune in to learn how one lucky conman almost single-handedly brought down the entire Portuguese economy.