Can Biden issue a trillion-dollar platinum coin to instantly lift the debt ceiling?

Originally published at: Can Biden issue a trillion-dollar platinum coin to instantly lift the debt ceiling? | Boing Boing


Headline posed as a question… never bodes well.


or? issue super liimiited run MILLION dollar coins, and let mega richey investor-collectors buy them.

understanding millons wont fix trillions, but it is a start



A trillion dollar coin makes for a good setup to potentially the best heist movie.


No Simpsons Monty Burns clip?

For shame.

“Atsa spicy meatball.”


Ever try getting change for a trillion?


tedious etymology time! (TET) …or said another way, 1e12 or 1e18? (the latter making more etymological sense because…)

1680s, from French trillion, from Italian trilione; see tri- + million. In the U.S., the fourth power of a thousand (one thousand billion, 1 followed by 12 zeroes); in Great Britain, the third power of a million (one million billion, 1 followed by 18 zeroes), which is the original sense. Compare billion.


No, but I’d love to give it a try.


Why platinum? There are more valuable and rare metals. Rhodium or Palladium would probably be the best ones to use


Yes, he can.

There’s also several other things he can do unilaterally to resolve the phony crisis.


I don’t understand the politics of Democrats’ current game of chicken with McConnell. We can recover from the recession resulting from default. A worse result is permanent economic damage. That already happened! S&P lowered the United States’ credit rating as a result of the debt limit fight in 2011. So Republicans literally allowed the worst possible outcome to happen. It’s done. Why wouldn’t they do it again and let our credit be downgraded further?


According to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, the answer to any yes/no question posed by a headline is NO.

ETA …but you already knew that. :smirk:

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So the latest trendy shōnen manga is this thing called Dr. Stone, wherein civilization has to be reconstructed nearly from scratch thousands of years into the future. One of the central plot points is that platinum is one of the few resources that a primitive society would not be able to gather in appreciable quantities. But platinum is also pivotal to the industrial production of nitric acid and thence gunpowder and fertilizer – since it is used as a catalyst, only a tiny amount is needed to produce as much nitric acid as one would ever require.

So it’s amusing to think of someone at the Mint quietly conspiring to arrange things so that everyone even generations from now will always know roughly where to find a useful quantity of platinum.

which would “immediately provide a US Debit Card pre-loaded with $2,000 to every person in America. Each card would be recharged with $1,000 monthly until one year after the end of the Coronavirus crisis.”

Of course the vast majority of those funds would very rapidly “trickle” up into the hands of those at the top of the heap, surely.


The platinum coin work was already passed into law (see the platinum coin stuff) so for any other precious metal you’d have to start with Congress passing it through House and Senate.
Side note: the value of the metal doesn’t define the value of the coin (the trillion dollar coin need not be one trillion worth of platinum, see copper pennies and even current nickels)


Are these like really big coins? Because I can’t image any nation would accept an ounce of platinum in exchange for a trillion dollars. It didn’t really work with the Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar bill and I can’t imagine backing it by 600 bux in metal would have improved it.

Seems like a trillion dollar coin would only take 50,000 odd tons of Platinum to mint though. So we’re in luck because the world holds 76,000 tons. Now minting that second coin is gonna be the real trick.

I feel like there’s a bit of a difference in saying this is all cool because look, the copper in the penny isn’t worth .01 dollars, so it’s cool if we use a smidge less platinum for our magic coin!

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The coin doesn’t have to have any intrinsic value. It’s fiat currency in all but name. I think the only reason they’d do a coin vs. a bill is because of the loophole and/or because of who controls output at the Mint vs. the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


That IS what I was discreetly alluding to, yes.


“Keep the change”.
Should end up in Guiness as the world’s largest tip.


The intent is not to “spend” the coin by giving it to someone. The treasury would continue issuing bonds exactly as it does now. All it does is change the number at the bottom of the federal reserve balance sheet, but that number is basically arbitrary. The coin by itself would have zero economic impact because it would not change taxes or spending. It would just demonstrate that the debt ceiling is a silly thing because congress has already authorized that spending and is now being asked to authorize it a second time. It is just a political ploy invented by newt gingrich so that republicans can vote for “give money to rich people” and then force democrats to vote for “and continue to borrow money to do so”


They will, they don’t actually care about economic damage, deficit, masks, vaccines, or whatever other issue of the day comes up. You can see this on how yesterday’s virtue becomes today’s vice.

The constant is their own grip on power. Short term the D’s need to be equally ruthless to avoid the end of Democracy. End the filibuster. Pass HR1.