The Treasury and the Federal Reserve might have finally scotched the foolish suggestion that the U.S. government mint a $1 trillion platinum coin to evade the debt ceiling limit on borrowing, but online the whole idea continues to live on.
However, at least in the case of Heritage Auctions, it lives on in harmless fun.
The firm is asking the public yesterday to suggest names for the trillion dollar coin.
To inspire us, it created a suggested design with Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman character asking the trademark “What me worry?” question as the legend.
What would you call such a coin?
If you want to be straightforward about its true purpose, you could call it one “Fraud.” A $2 trillion coin would become a double fraud.
However, that is probably too honest a name, so it would never be adopted.
Because any nation issuing coins with a trillion denomination is in deep trouble, we could honor the most famous such instance of such an event by calling the trillion dollar coin a “Weimar,” named after the German republican government that experienced a catastrophic inflation ending in 1923 with the U.S. dollar worth 4.2 trillion marks.
But both of these suggestions do not jibe with the spirit of fun that I assume Heritage is trying to instill in the process.
Considering the desperate nature of the gambit necessary to create a trillion dollar coin, but yet not to get too depressed by it, we could call the coin the “Double or Nothing.”
This has a pleasant echo of double eagle to it but still is fairly truthful of its true purpose.
Don’t like any of these?
We could take a page out of a number of other cultures and ask the Treasury secretary to wear the trillion dollar coin as jewelry, perhaps have a number of them made into rings, necklaces and bracelets.
The whole foreign exchange reserve of the United States could be worn in public at all times by every future Treasury secretary to prove to the public that it exists and eliminate the problem of claiming the nation’s vaults at Ft. Knox are plum full of precious metal reserves.
What would we call the trillion dollar coin in this instance?
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."