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14 January 2013 @ 11:07 am
The Trillion-dollar Coin  
I DON'T KNOW where the idea of a trillion-dollar coin came from (one presumes some individual with the IQ of a rotted cabbage) but let us examine the numbers.

If platinum is used, which is currently trading at about $1660US per ounce Troy, a trillion dollars of it would be 602409638.55421686746987951807229 ounces Troy.

Let's look at that figure: 50200803.212851405622489959839357 pounds Avoirdupois of platinum. Let's express that so the numbers themselves aren't much more than mind-boggling: slighly less than 50.20081 MILLION pounds of platinum. In metric expression, 22818546.914932457101131799926981 kilogrammes of platinum.

Melting and casting that much metal, even into an ingot, would be a task that could not be described with the word "gargantuan." I doubt the faciities for doing that exist.

The existence of a coin worth one trillion dollars is not going to change the indebtedness of the United States. If it were made, it couldn't be shipped anywhere. If there indeed is that much platinum in the world. Or gold, for that matter.

Congress needs to face reality and plan to pay off that debt.

The media needs to do something about the educational level of it's members; that such a stupid idea was even considered worthy of reporting indicates a lack of knowledge of basic arithmetic on their part, indeed, on the parts of anyone not laughing (or vomiting) at the idea.

The public needs to do something about the education their children are not receiving; a goodly part of that will consist of getting off of it's collective arse (where it sits in front of a television most of the time) and help/supervise/review their children's homework. Read their textbooks. Demand better texts if they're found wanting. Sack school boards, boards of city/county supervisors, state representatives and governors. Demand -- and ensure -- the excellence we are assured we are receiving by those whom we have placed in power.
Current Mood: crankycranky
Joe Morrisonargonel on January 14th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
Instead basic stupidity like that Congress is going for advanced stupidity instead of doing their job. They don't want to mint a coin "worth" a trillion dollars they want to mint a coin with a face value of a trillion dollars. For the purpose of this exercise they are leaning on a law allowing the treasury to mint commemorative platinum coins. They could just as well make chocolate coins wrapped in platinum foil and active the same thing.
Leon Jester: Bastards  Iowan OSBlack Italslwj2 on January 14th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
One could at least get some nutritive value out of an otherwise worthless object.
murstein: Fehu Gebo Bindrunemurstein on January 14th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
Platinum Coinage
I DON'T KNOW where the idea of a trillion-dollar coin came from . . .

Back in 1995, Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) was approached by coin collectors, who wanted to buy a US-issued platinum coin, but couldn't afford the $600 face value of the only one that existed at the time. As a result, he proposed a law that would allow the Treasury to issue platinum coins of any size and face value desired. As the Washington Post put it:

"Castle’s interest was in producing income from seignorage (that is, the profit collected by the government by minting coins or printing paper money that is worth more than it costs to produce) as a means of reducing the deficit, albeit by a small amount, without raising taxes or cutting spending. “We saw it as an opportunity to make money for the Mint and the Treasury,” he remembers."


In other words, this law was intended from the get-go to create a coin whose face value was more than the value of the metal it contains. Rep. Castle was probably thinking something like $50 or $100 more, instead of the vast differences bandied about in the news lately, but he never put that in the bill, nor did anyone else before it became law.

Besides, there has not been a relation between the value-as-metal and the value-as-money for a long time. (Longer than either of us have been alive, I believe.) A penny contains about 2 cents worth of copper and zinc, which is why it's a felony to melt down a penny for its metallic content. Higher-denomination coins contain metal that costs less than their face value, which is why the US Mint made a profit of $105.9 million in FY 2012.
Leon Jester: Safe Governmentlwj2 on January 15th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
Re: Platinum Coinage
Interesting. I doubt the gentleman from Delaware intended to produce a trillion-dollar coin, but I'll point out that even at the ratio of gold to face value (at the time minted) of a $20 gold piece, a platinum (or gold) coin with the same ratio today would still be huge.

A silver-dollar sized coin of platinum with a face value of $1T would be so debased as to be laughable, at best, even if it were minted of 90% platinum.
murstein: Fehu Gebo Bindrunemurstein on January 15th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Platinum Coinage
A silver-dollar sized coin of platinum with a face value of $1T would be so debased as to be laughable . . .

Similar things were said of paper money, when it was a new idea. And about 90% of the US money supply doesn't even have that much substance; it's just bookkeeping entries in bank computers.