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Trillions in platinum

It is silly season online with the same story popping up all over about solving the U.S. government’s debt problems by issuing two platinum coins worth $1 trillion each. This has been kicking around online for more than a year, but it has been gaining traction rapidly in the past week.

With the online imperative to publish the most headline-grabbing information possible, it is understandable that this story keeps popping up.

But if you are going to be outrageous to gain attention, why nibble around the edges?

The two $1 trillion platinum coins are supposedly justified as a means of dodging the spending restrictions that could result if the federal government’s debt ceiling is not raised shortly.

But why stop at two $1 trillion coins?

Why not strike one coin and put a $16 trillion denomination on it and declare that the nation has paid off all of its debt, or why not strike 16 $1 trillion coins if you like denominations in even numbers? Invite Lady Gaga to the debt retirement ceremony.

If you are going to employ silly logic to justify $2 trillion, the same silly logic also applies to $16 trillion.

Why stop there?

Why not strike enough coins to send every family in America a $1 trillion platinum coin? Everybody would probably would feel like a Rockefeller as they open the package, but when they attempted to buy lunch, they would discover that it costs $2.5 billion, or a meal in a nice restaurant would cost $25 billion. And those prices are good only for the next five minutes.

That’s what inflation does.

That’s why skittish investors have bid the price of gold up to $1,715 a troy ounce today, compared to $260 back in 2001. They worry about unlimited issuance of money. Historically, that worry is justified.

But the purpose of the $2 trillion story is not to initiate a logical discussion, but simply to call attention to itself.

It has succeeded.

Now when can I expect my $1 trillion coin in the mail?

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2 Responses to Trillions in platinum

  1. Tom Snyder says:

    And now that you’re a trillionaire, Obama wants you to pay just a little bit more . . . .

  2. hrlaser says:

    Go to eBay and search for these exact terms –> Zimbabwe $100 Trillion
    You will see singles and packs of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe $100 Trillion notes.. they are, or were, actual legal tender in that country, which is in the midst of hyper-inflation.. they are intaglio-printed, with all kinds of security features on them, just like the currency cranked out for the USA by the B.E.P.. a Zimbabwe $100 Trillion note will not buy you a loaf of bread in that country.. one of those notes has the purchace value of about a quarter, but they make an interesting novelty item to mail to friends with greeting cards.. I swear I’m not making this up.. just do an eBay search for those terms in the first line of this posting.. you’ll also find them sold in Crisp, Uncirculated condition by dealers who deal in foreign currency at coin shows.. :-) or :-( depending on if you live in Zimbabwe or not..

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