An idea is going the rounds that the American Treasury should mint a new coin. Not any old coin, but a $1,000,000,000,000 platinum one. If the zeros are right, that’s one trillion dollars. And, as long as there is room for some suitable words, it need not be very big either, only the size of an existing coin.
The trillion-dollar coin would be deposited with the Federal Reserve and so improve the government’s account thereby enabling it to borrow another one trillion dollars and avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ or debt limit. In this cunning way, the official legal debt limit would have been evaded.
Why one trillion? Well it’s a nice number, not too small and not so big that you cannot get it into one sentence. Moreover, and please do not laugh, there are those who say it could be two trillion and, as the situation is, it might well come to be.
Of course there are rotten spoilsports like the USA Treasury and the Federal Reserve who are saying that they will have nothing to do with a ridiculous idea. Which is brave talk because there is now the possibility that the one trillion platinum coin may be thrust upon them whether they like it or not. This is because the coin would temporarily alleviate the USA budget situation by allowing the government to carry on its present pattern of spending without for example, slashing welfare benefits or sharply raising taxes.