Free-lance writer Ginger Rapsus stopped by the Krause Publications booth early on opening day yesterday at the American Numismatic Association convention in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont.
We had a nice talk about her future writing plans for Numismatic News. With the autumn collector season looming I was gratified to hear what was in the pipeline. I expect readers will be pleased when they go to press in the coming weeks.
After catching up, we walked together down to the world mint stage where Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios made a short presentation about her job.
She has a background in finance and the heads of the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing report to her. This is a management arrangement that has been used in the past, but Rios pointed out, not in many years.
She said the BEP was still working on the creasing problem in the production of new $100 Federal Reserve Notes. These notes were to have been introduced in February of this year, but because of the production problem, this has been indefinitely delayed.
She said the new notes would not be put into circulation in calendar year 2011, but she expects the production problem to be solved and printing to resume this fall.
In the meantime, the Federal Reserve has placed an order for paper money with BEP that Rios said is the largest in five years.
It is the size of the Fed orders that determine the quantity of notes that BEP prints.
She said two-thirds of all $100 notes were in circulation outside the United States because the U.S. dollar is still the currency of choice as the international unit of account. She said she expects this to still be true in 10 years despite current market jitters.
Rios also made the point of recommending cash as a teaching tool. She said she did not believe in debit cards for kids.
“I refuse to put my kids on debit cards. I absolutely refuse,” she declared.
She said when she gave her son $20 to go to a movie, the ticket is $8.50. She said she wants him to be able to work out that he has $11.50 to spend on other things, whereas kids with debit cards don’t think about prices and simply use the card until there is nothing left on it.
“Cash and currency are what’s real.”
Another thing that’s real she said is the gold at Ft. Knox.
“It is real. We audit it every year. I’ve seen our gold. It is there.”
Yesterday I had computer problems that also were real. My blog went up late. To anyone who missed my blog post at the usual time Tuesday, I say I am sorry.