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Trillion-Dollar Coin (wikipedia.org)
19 points by aazaa 35 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments

I must admit that thinking about the previous hyperinflation episodes makes my stomach turn.

We (as in, pretty much the whole Western world with some exceptions) take up more and more debt, and Covid has greatly accelerated this trend. Often, the countries that take up more debt aren't growing much. And there is a lively talk in Europe about financing the European Green Deal on yet more debt and throwing the Maastricht criteria out of the window. This is addictive; why would you try to increase taxes and thus piss off important people if you can just borrow?

This has an upper limit somewhere, we do not know where it is, but we will hit it one day. There is no way that this could continue to the heat death of the universe.

The U.S. is partially protected by the status of the dollar as a reserve currency, but the Eurozone does not even have that protection. The whole base of the Euro is a silent expectation that Germans will do whatever it takes whenever it takes to preserve it. Which they might, or they might not, if the push really comes to shove.

I believe we've been experiencing much higher rates of inflation than are reported by our governments.

Here in Canada there's a few factors that conceal true inflation and poverty: the cost of housing, save for renovations, is not part of our inflation metric; our low income cut off is parametric as a factor of mean income; and so on.

Surely this insults the definition of "coin", which must surely possess some level of fungibility, if not availability for general circulation. If you cast a single circle of metal in some unique pattern for some arcane financial purpose, then ceremonially transfer it to someone who cannot pass it on (because no one would accept it) - you have not, properly speaking, made a "coin" have you?

The treasury is authorized to print coins, not one-off government deficit-spending authorization medallions.

I thought Montgomery Burns has it? [1]

But in all seriousness, it actually does sound like The Simpsons had the exact same plan -- pay for economic recovery with one coin/paper note.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trouble_with_Trillions :-)

In fact there are three freely convertible currencies in the Galaxy, but none of them count. The Altairan Dollar has recently collapsed, the Flaninian Pobble Bead is only exchangeable for other Flaninian Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu has its own very special problems. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles across each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. From this basic premise it is very simple to prove that the Galactibanks are also the product of a deranged imagination.[1]

[1] hhgttg

They could have made the coin out of aluminum.

The executive can't just use a magic trick to bypass Congress without consequences. A coin by definition is something that is spent for real goods and services. At best this platinum disk is a medallion or a collectible. Should Biden's face be on the front with "In magical thinking we trust on the back?".

That is why they don't want to eliminate the penny....

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