Saturday, May 27, 2023

Just Mint The Damn Coin

No reason why not.
About a dozen years ago, a pseudonymous commenter on a financial website, writing under the name Beowulf, presented an unusual solution for a debt-ceiling standoff: If the federal government was at risk of default, and Congress couldn’t agree to either cut spending or raise the borrowing limit cleanly, couldn’t it simply mint a trillion-dollar coin?

Beowulf had come across a 1997 law that, in response to requests from coin collectors, gave the Treasury the power to mint platinum coins of any denomination. (Collectors had complained that even coins available at the time with the smallest face values were still too expensive to afford.) The law started as a way to make collectible coins cheaper, but unlike every other law regulating new coins, this one did not establish a specific face value or limit the number of coins produced.