Friday, July 22, 2011

Is Platinum Coin Seignorage A Way Out Of The Debt Ceiling Impasse?

So, the latest rumblings are that Obama and Boehner may be near a deal, but if they are not, or if it will not pass in time, there may be another way to get around the debt ceiling without provoking a constitutional crisis and possible impeachment by having Obama ignoring it, as I have supported, or in conjunction declaring it unconstitutional, which I also think it is, or violating the constitution by making arbitrary cuts in spending not approved by Congress. This is to coin one, or maybe several, platinum coins of very high value, depositing it or them in the NY Fed, and keep on paying bills.

This can be done due to a peculiar and little known act passed in 1996 that allows the US Treasury to mint platinum coins of arbitrary value, but no other metals. Why this was passed, I have no idea, but it is in the code apparently. A single one trillion dollar platinum coin deposited at the NY Fed by the Treasury would do the trick for some time.

I thank James Galbraith for bringing this to my attention. Apparently this was suggested initially some time ago by the commentator known as "beowulf." Matt Yglesias provides more discussion at .


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