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History of the Proof Platinum Coin Seigniorage Concept, 2010-2013

Please leave new "sightings" of Proof Platinum Coin Seigniorage items -- whether old or new -- in comments below, or contact the blog!

And see here for an interpretation of the data, at least from the perspective of the blogosphere.



1. Click on column headers to sort. For example, click on Date to sort oldest first. Click again to resort.

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Here is a timeline of the same data, which makes visualization easier

Displaying 151 - 300 of 552 entries
For example, "Paul Krugman" or "Economist"
E.g., 06/28/2016
Author: Publication Datesort descending Text
New York Sun 01/04/13

Editorial: "The Platinum Coin Trick" (original).

David Frum: Daily Beast 01/04/13

"I'd enjoy seeing a trillion dollar coin minted purely for the deservedly righteous indignation such an overstep would create" (original).

Reid Pillifant: Capital New York 01/04/13

"'My understanding of how this all works suggests that this is a viable alternative,' said Philip Diehl ... who was head of the U.S. Mint from 1994-2000" (original).

Bonnie Kavoussi: HuffPo 01/04/13

"White House Petition Pushes For Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coin" (original).

Dylan Matthews: Washington Post 01/04/13

"[Rep. Michael] Castle’s interest [in P.L. 104-208] [/in]was in producing income from seignorage (that is, the profit collected by the government by minting coins or printing paper money that is worth more than it costs to produce) as a means of reducing the deficit" (original).

David Weigel: Slate 01/04/13

"John Boehner Not Entirely Convinced by "Platinum Coin" Solution" (original).

Ryan Cooper: Washington Monthly 01/04/13

"It’s striking especially that [Heidi] Moore doesn’t treat the people threatening to hold the US economy hostage to extract unrelated policy concessions with the same disdain she shows for the people trying to cook up a workaround. I agree, minting trillion dollar coins sounds silly. But hitting the debt ceiling would be deadly serious, and doing silly-sounding things is a small price to pay for avoiding pointless economic crisis" (original).

JREF 01/04/13

"With platinum coin seigniorage, the US government is capable of issuing new currency, without any corresponding debt; the only hindrance to this, is political" (original).

L. Randall Wray: EconoMonitor 01/04/13

"But once a budget is approved, why on earth would we want to prevent the Treasury from keystroking the necessary balance sheet entries in accordance with Congress’s approved spending?" (original).

Joshua Holland: Alternet 01/04/13

"[D]o it, and let the chips fall where they may" (original).

William Wei: Business Insider 01/04/13

"[E]verything you need to know about the #MintTheCoin movement" video (original).

Michael Sankowski: Monetary Realism 01/05/13

"Using a Platinum coin has nearly identical accounting to quantitative easing, therefore the impact on our economy would be nearly identical to quantitative easing" (original).

Beowulf: Monetary Realism 01/05/13

The law: “The Secretary of the Treasury… shall mint and issue coins described in section 5112....” (original).

Joe Firestone: FDL 01/05/13

"[T]he blogosphere continued to produce more points of view on the Platinum Coin. The points of view divide into those that are very negative; either claiming that 1) using Platinum Coins would be illegal or unconstitutional, or 2) using them would be just ridiculous and financially irresponsible, and so should be avoided; and others that favor using PCS 3) either in a limited way to avoid the debt ceiling crisis, or 4) in a much more robust way, that would change the procedures underlying Federal spending, so that fiscal policies advocating austerity no longer have a political foundation" (original).

Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal 01/05/13

"[U]sing the platinum coin ploy to sidestep the debt ceiling would be harmless..." (original).

Independent (UK) 01/05/13

"[O]ne of Tim Geithner’s last acts in office could be to mint a single platinum coin with a face value of $1 trillion" (original).

Steve Waldman: Interfluidity 01/05/13

"For an executive that claims the 2001 “authorization to use military force” permits it to covertly assassinate anyone anywhere and no one has standing to sue, making the case for platinum coins should be easy-peasy" (original).

Rachelle Younglai: Reuters 01/05/13

"The coin petition is one of many wacky requests to alight on the White House's website" (original).

Joe Firestone: NEP/Corrente 01/05/13

The $60 Trillion Petition for Taking Austerity Off The Table (original).

Eric Brown: International Business Times 01/05/13

"Supporters of the petition see this as an elegant way to avoid making cuts to Social Security and other federal programs. Conservative leaders refuse to raise the debt ceiling without making vast cuts to social programs, and many liberals refuse to compromise on these issues" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/05/13

"Suggesting that you will voluntarily force a rich nation to stop paying its bills just to achieve your own budgetary agenda is far more absurd than the trillion dollar coin" (original).

Seeking Alpha 01/06/13

"So, bottom line, there is no immediate threat to interest rates, money supply, and such from the debt ceiling crisis" (original).

Philip Diehl: Monetary Realism (comment) 01/06/13

"In minting the $1 trillion platinum coin, the Treasury Secretary would be exercising authority which Congress has granted routinely for more than 220 years" (original).

Small Cap Resource 01/06/13

"One argument in favor of [the PPC] solution says the treasury would issue these coins with a pledge that it would issue enough bonds to cover the new currency as soon as it can. Obviously this is a gimmick but some American’s [sic]believe in the idea has merit. A petition has been started on the White House website, it has over 1,000 signatures. Would you sign?" (original).

Joshua Holland: Salon 01/06/13

"Section 4 of the 14th Amendment says, “The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.” That’s not terribly ambiguous" (original).

Joshua Holland: Salon 01/06/13

"Section 4 of the 14th Amendment says, “The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.” That’s not terribly ambiguous" (original).

Steve Roth: Angry Bear 01/06/13

"The coins would be effectively the same as zero-interest, perpetual bonds" (original).

JKH: Monetary Realism 01/06/13

"In summary, the central bank can convert outstanding conventional debt to reserves. Or, it can provide financing to the Treasury account directly – through direct acquisition of government debt or (platinum) coins, or by deposit account overdraft, or by debit to the equity capital account" (original).

Daily Bhaskar (India) 01/06/13

"One-trillion-dollar coin: Desperate US looks for measures to avoid debt ceiling" (original).

Voice of Russia 01/06/13

"US citizens have come up with a formal petition asking the White House to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coil to solve the issue of the rising debt" (original).

JD Rucker: Conservative Haven 01/07/13

"The trillion dollar coin being tossed around as a loophole solution to our impending debt ceiling problem will be the final straw for a world that really doesn’t want us to have the power that we have" (original).

Felix Salmon: Reuters 01/07/13

"Let’s be clear about this: no one’s going to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin. Nor is anybody going to mint a million million-dollar platinum coins. But it would probably be stupid for anybody in the government to say that they’re not going to do it" (original).

John Sununu 01/07/13

"Great explanation of how the trillion dollar coin wouldn't negatively effect economy or create inflation..."

Guan 01/07/13

"In 2012, the Mint made a operating profit of $37 million and $128.7 million in seignorage, and transferred $77 million to the Treasury. You know what’s cooler than 77 million dollars? How about a trillion dollars" (original).

The Economist 01/07/13

[Free exchange columnist: ]"My gut reaction to the proposal is to worry that a small risk of an outcome with really nasty results isn't worth courting unless the alternative is truly horrible. I'd opt for the coin solution before default, but I'm not sure I'd prefer it to forced, rapid austerity" (original).

Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal 01/07/13

"Be Ready To Mint That Coin" (tweet)

Greg Sargent: Washington Post 01/07/13

"I doubt we’ll ever find out whether “mint the coin” will pass muster with the courts, because I don’t believe Obama will avail himself of this option. Putting this aside, though, what’s deeply puzzling is the seemingly ubiquitous argument that the 'mint the coin' idea is somehow so absurd and juvenile as to be beneath even thinking about" (original).

Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal 01/07/13

"Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely" (original).

Joe Firestone: NEP/Corrente 01/07/13

"In the latest outburst of posts, tweets, articles, and videos about the TDC, we’re beginning to see, a feeding frenzy in which the participants self-organize around the TDC meme AND the objective of avoiding the debt ceiling, but without providing any consideration at all to higher value PCS options that could both make the debt ceiling a dead letter and also remove the driving force for austerity politics" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/07/13

"[U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR.)] has come out against the coin idea and is proposing a law to ban it (via Matthew O'Brien). Ironically, this action actually legitimizes the coin option" (original).

Juli Weiner: Vanity Fair 01/07/13

"We all remember The West Wing wherein it’s revealed that it costs more than one cent to produce a penny? This is like that, but multiplied by 100,000,000,000,000. And then multiplied by negative one, or something. In other words: the value of our currency doesn’t necessarily correspond to the market value of the metal therein" (original).

Zach Carter: HuffPo 01/07/13

"Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is not analogous to a small business balancing its books, however. It's more like a small business that has received a bank loan, and then simply refuses to pay back the bank" (original).

DRo: Daily Kos 01/07/13

"[Krugman] explains that Republicans are openly threatening to use the debt ceiling and its potential for catastrophe to blackmail the president into implementing policies they can’t pass through normal constitutional processes. So why not use the legal loophole of minting a platinum coin?" (original).

Megan McArdle: The Daily Beast 01/07/13

"But I think--and I assume the White House does as well--that there's a substantial risk that this sort of nominally-legal-but-obviously-tendentious reading of the law would trigger a selloff in US bonds. Minting a $1 trillion coin neatly end-runs GOP obstructionists, but only by proving that the president himself has little respect for the institutional restraints on his office" (original).

Josh Barro: Bloomberg 01/07/13

"The key question to ask about the platinum coin is not 'is it juvenile?' but 'will it work?'" (original).

gtomkins: Daily Kos 01/07/13

"The idea of using an obscure provision of a 1996 law about platinum coinage to defang the debt ceiling was aired back in 2011 during the first ceiling crisis, but it never attracted much mainstream attention, much less endorsement. All that has changed in the past few weeks. The idea received extensive coverage on CNN a few days ago, and Krugman has come out as intrigued, if not clearly for it" (original).

Mark Thoma: EronoMonitor 01/07/13

"So perhaps it’s okay to match ridiculous tactics with ridiculous responses. Mint the coin, but make absolutely sure the public knows that it is only being done because the other side refuses to play fair, refuses to play by the explicit and implicit rules of political engagement" (original).

Jed Lewison: Daily Kos 01/07/13

"If Republicans were actually serious about doing something this reckless, their financial backers would only need to convince about 20 of them to join with Democrats in raising the debt limit. But it's nice to know that even if Republicans do head down that path, there's nothing to fear, because as even Greg Walden concedes, nothing can stop President Obama from minting that coin." (original).

Kevin Drum: Mother Jones 01/07/13

"Is this really the road liberals want to go down? Do we really want to be on record endorsing the idea that if a president doesn't get his way, he should simply twist the law like a pretzel and essentially do what he wants by fiat?" (original).

Daniel Foster: National Review 01/07/13

"In the year 2000, the Mint even authorized 150,000 units of a coin commemorating the thousand-year anniversary of Leif Ericson’s discovery of the New World; minted in Philadelphia, the coin was denominated at 1,000 Icelandic krónur." (original).

Tyler Cowen: Marginal Revolution 01/07/13

"This is a bad idea, and Obama has been wise to try to take it off the table from the get go.  He knows that Congress actually needs to sign off on a solution, as indeed they have twice in the last year.  It also confirms Paul Krugman’s view that he would not in fact make a good Secretary of the Treasury" (original).

Max Read: Gawker 01/07/13

"How does it work? Well, like any other coin, basically? The Treasury prints it and deposits it in the Federal Reserve, and then, boom: the U.S. government has a bank account with a trillion dollars with which it can pay its bills. For a more technical explanation, involving the word "seigniorage," here's the Corrente post from last year that first proposed the idea" (original).

John Carney: CNBC 01/07/13

"Walden's complaint about the coin hinges on the now standard Republican talking point that the government should run its finances the way households and small businesses do" (original).

Daily Telegraph (Cullen Roche) 01/07/13

"The US is "'seriously' considering creating a $1 trillion platinum coin to write down part of its debt to stop the world's largest economy defaulting as early as next month, according to financial analyst Cullen Roche" (original).

Cullen Roche: Pragmatic Capitalist 01/08/13

"Philip Diehl, former head of the US Mint and co-author of the platinum coin law comments on the recent confusion and discussions over the use of the platinum coin" (original).

Max Read: Gawker 01/08/13

"[]]t was an excellent surprise to hear from Philip Diehl, the former Mint director and Treasury chief of staff who drafted Sec. 5112 of title 31, United States Code with Rep. Mike Castle — in other words, the guy who wrote the "trillion-dollar coin" law. His take? Not only does the law clearly allow for the coin to be minted, it also would have "no negative macroeconomic effects." (original).

Steve Waldman: Big Picture 01/08/13

Repost from Interfluidity (original).

Philip Klein: Washington Examiner 01/08/13

"If Obama were to listen to liberals and go the coin route instead, it would be tossing a life preserver to Republicans. Whatever economic and legal arguments liberals want to make, to a more casual observer, the idea is going to look either absurd, scary or both" (original).

Scott Fullwiler (academic paper) 01/08/13

"This paper explains in detail why proof platinum coin seigniorage would not be inflationary." (original).

Noelle Clemente: American Action Forum 01/08/13

"substitute the magic coin for the $1 trillion bond and you have the same result: either cash from the public or platinum QE, using disguised Treasury borrowing. Financial markets viewing this clumsy subterfuge would quickly come to the correct conclusion: a country so unable to manage its finances that it resorts to issuing the magic Geithner is essentially the same as a country so unable to manage its finances that it breaches the debt ceiling.

Confidence in the U.S. would plummet, leading to a spike in interest rates and unthinkable economic pain" (original).

Kos: Daily Kos 01/08/13

[Another recipient of Philip Deihl's memo] (original).

Donald Marro: Tax Policy Center 01/08/13

"A trillion-dollar coin is eye-catching and ridiculous. That’s why it’s filled the punditry void left by the fiscal cliff. But a single coin makes no policy sense. No federal transactions occur in trillion-dollar increments" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/08/13

"That the state creates the money we use is actually known to just about everyone, but people have a hard time making the key leap, which is that once the state is in the business of creating money, then the old gold standard notions of monetary scarcity don't apply in the same way.a" (original).

Michael Sankowski: Monetary Realism 01/08/13

"Obama doesn’t have any legal standing to avoid using the coin, especially now that he knows about the coin" (original).

Dan Amira: New York Magazine 01/08/13

"[I]f we mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin, it could be stolen by an evil billionaire megalomaniac and then accidentally handed over to Fidel Castro" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/08/13

[Crediting Bill Gross: "R]ather than creating one gigantic clown coin, the solution would be more feasible if done in smaller denomination" (original).

Jonathan Chait: New York Magazine 01/08/13

"The United States government is not like a small business" (original).

Stephen Stromberg: Washington Post 01/08/13

"Instead of minting a single, trillion-dollar coin, the Treasury could strike many coins of a smaller denomination, just enough to keep the government running for another week, say. Each could be deposited only as needed to finance federal operations until Congress deals with the debt limit" (original).

Tim Fernholz: Quartz 01/08/13

"The only thing these arguments are missing? Any evidence that the people who have the power to mint the coin are willing to do so." (original).

Steve Benen: Rachel Maddow 01/08/13

"Indeed, ideally, I'd like to see Democrats offer folks like Greg Walden a deal: Dems will agree to close the platinum-coin loophole if the GOP agrees to close the debt-ceiling loophole, transferring authority for raising the debt limit from Congress to the White House" (original).

Yuval Rosenberg: The Fiscal Times 01/08/13

"We’ve crossed over into Bizarro Wonk World, where the nonsensical is clever and crazy is sane"

Peter Roff: US News 01/08/13

"[The Coin] would, of course, debase the currency, leading conservatives who believe in sound money to the barricades. One of them, American Commitment's Phil Kerpen, has gone as far as to set up a website at against the idea" (original).

Stuff (NZ) 01/08/13

"Creating the cash would also completely override the independence of monetary policy, something the Obama administration has been very careful not to do in the past" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/08/13

"Ethan Harris at Bank of America is out with a new note titled The Trillion Dollar Tooth Fairy, which blasts the idea" (original).

Emily Swanson: HuffPo 01/08/13

"Thirty-eight percent of Americans surveyed in the new poll said they disapprove of the platinum coin proposal, while only 19 percent said they approve. Forty-three percent said they aren't sure about the option" (original).

Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal 01/08/13

"[M]inting the coin would be nothing but an accounting fiction, enabling the government to continue doing exactly what it would have done if the debt limit were raised." (original).

Beltway Confidential: Washington Examiner 01/08/13

"On MSNBC last night, former Congressman Barney Frank said that the idea of a Treasury Secretary minting a '$1 trillion platinum coin' would never work." (original).

Benjy Sarlin & Michael Lester: Talking Points Memo 01/08/13

[W}ho do you put on the platinum coin? ... Since bypassing Congress to mint the coin is an inherent middle finger to Congress, most of the suggestions so far are aimed at provoking the House GOP as much as possible. " (original).

Matthew Yglesias: Slate 01/08/13

"[W]hile obviously the coin trick sounds silly, it’s nothing compared to the silliness of a sovereign country that issues its own currency defaulting on legally valid financial obligations" (original).

David Weigel: Slate 01/08/13

["T]he great Platinum Coin war has divided the former directors of the U.S. Mint" (original).

Natasha Lennard: Slate 01/08/13

"As if to prove [Heidi] Moore’s point, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., Monday put forward a serious bill to close the loophole on minting high-value coins to pay off government bills. So the satirical proposal aimed at pointing out and ending Republican childishness has been received with a humorless gravity and is now taking up congressional attention" (original).

Cardiff Garcia: FT Alphaville 01/08/13

"[M]aking the Coin threat public has a non-trivial chance of becoming a disincentive to reaching a negotiated outcome, the exact opposite of its intended purpose" (original). 01/08/13

"Please sign on below to tell your Member of Congress and Senators: "Ban the platinum coin trick now and get serious about cutting spending" (original).

Maria Young: RIA Novosti 01/08/13

"Such is the gleefully logical approach to a looming debt ceiling that promises to send Congress into yet another bipartisan catfight over whether to take on more debt or enact severe spending cuts" (original).

Matthew O'Brien: The Atlantic 01/08/13

"It is the single most important comment in the history of Internet comments. Probably. Back in the summer of 2011 [wrong][/wrong], as House Republicans threatened to force us to default on our obligations, a commenter on Cullen Roche's blog, Pragmatic Capitalism, suggested an inventive way around the debt ceiling: a trillion-dollar coin" (original).

David Weigel: Slate 01/08/13

"First they laugh at you, then they get mad at you, then they fight you. We're at the fighting stage of the Great Platinum Coin Crusade of 2013" (original).

Ryan Cooper: Washington Monthly 01/08/13

"[Lawrence Tribe:] 'It’s also quite clear that the minting of such a coin couldn’t be challenged; I don’t see who would have standing.'" (original).

Tyler Durden: Zero Hedge 01/08/13

"From Bank of America: 'The trillion dollar tooth fairy'" (original).

Michael Sankowski: Monetary Realism 01/08/13

"[Philip N. Diehl] validates how both our own beowulf and JKH are 100% correct in their assessment of how the coin would work" (original).

Edward May: CNBC 01/08/13

"The $1 trillion platinum coin is a desperate gimmick of questionable legality and doesn't even come close to solving our fiscal problems" (original).

Ezra Klein: Washington Post 01/08/13

"Tuesday morning, I got an e-mail from Philip Diehl, the former Mint director and Treasury chief of staff who, with Rep. Mike Castle, wrote the platinum coin law and oversaw the minting of the first coin authorized by the law" (original).

Scott Sumner: The Money Illusion 01/08/13

"[T]he GOP would be happy if the Obama administration adopted the coin option, as it looks like a crazy idea to the average American. It would be a wonderful political issue for the GOP in the 2014 elections. So they’d be far more likely to push the US over the debt ceiling if they thought that it would lead to a trillion dollar coin that would be acutely embarrassing for Obama, rather than a debt default that would be acutely embarrassing for the GOP.

And that is why the Obama administration will not use the coin option. On its economic merits I think it’s a good idea" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/09/13

Roundup includes Tribe's positive judgment. Bottom line: "This debate is not the work of frivolous trolls. This gets to the core of what is money." (original).

Josh Barro: Bloomberg 01/09/13

"Minting the coin is not without risk, which is why Congress should pass a clean repeal of the debt ceiling so that we do not have to do so. But if we hit the debt ceiling, we will have to compare the coin against other available options, all of which are less appealing" (original).

Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal 01/09/13

After citing to Lawrence Tribe's positive judgment: "I do find myself thinking a lot about Keynes’s description of the gold standard as a “barbarous relic”; it applies perfectly to this discussion." (original).

Michael Casey: Online WSJ 01/09/13

"Gimmicks such as a $1 trillion coin aren't the solution. Investors must have their faith restored in a more-fundamental way. They have to believe that the overarching political system is capable of functioning, of achieving compromise in pursuit of a common interest" (original).

Donald March: CNN Money 01/09/13

"Analysts have considered a range of other options for avoiding default, including prioritizing payments, asserting the debt limit is unconstitutional, and temporarily selling the gold in Fort Knox. All raise severe practical, legal, and image problems. In this ugly group, the platinum coin looks relatively shiny. In particular, it would be much less provocative than Obama asserting that the debt limit is unconstitutional. That nuclear option would create a political crisis, while a platinum coin could be a constructive bargaining chip" (original).

Neil Irwin: Washington Post 01/09/13

"The platinum coin idea is nothing if not gaming the system. In that sense, it seems to throw out two centuries worth of credibility that the U.S. government has managed. The interesting question is whether that would show up, either immediately or over time, in the form of higher borrowing costs. I suspect it would, even if not immediately, but this is the realm of guesswork." (original).

Connor Simpson: The Atlantic 01/09/13

"Press Secretary Jay Carney is a hero among the (too?) many passionate media members in love with the fringe plan of minting a $1-trillion coin to avert a debt-ceiling hostage situation after he somehow refused to completely rule out the plan during a White House briefing Wednesday" (original).

Ed Kilgore: Washington Monthly 01/09/13

"But opposition to 'printing money' has never been strictly about economics or the 'real world'—it has been, for eons, a moral issue to those who believe anything that makes life easier for debt and debtors must be morally ruinous to the individuals and the society that benefit. ... The interesting thing about the platinum coin proposal is that it flushes all those sentiments right out into the open where they can be addressed head on. " (original).

Alexandra Petri: Washington Post 01/09/13

"It should have a giant portrait of Honey Boo Boo on it. The president should mint it, and then he should stand in front of this embarrassing large platinum coin and say, 'Seriously, America? Seriously, Congress? Surely this has gone far enough.'" (original).

Jennifer Bendery: HuffPo 01/09/13

"The White House routinely rules out the idea of President Barack Obama invoking the Constitution to raise the debt ceiling in the event that Congress fails to do so. But minting a $1 trillion coin to avoid a debt default? Maybe" (original).

John Lounsbury: Global Economic Intersection 01/09/13

"Warren Mosler made the most single most significant one line statement about the platinum coin:

And all the coin does is shift interest expense from the Treasury to the Fed.

The reason Mosler's one-liner is so significant is that, once discovered that it is no longer necessary for private banking to create the credit to pay for government appropriations when they exceed tax revenues, the banks have lost their umbilical cord to the federal government. The government will have demonstrated that private banking is not necessary to fund government operations" (original).

Scott Lemieux: The American Prospect 01/09/13

"When choosing between unprecedented innovations, ending a constitutional crisis is infinitely preferable to making constitutional crises an entrenched institutional feature that may result in economic disaster" (original). 01/09/13

"Definition for Hashtag #MintTheCoin: Originated on 12/06/2012 by Stephanie Kelton, Ph.D. who is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute and Director of Graduate Student Research at the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/09/13

"Lewis Carroll For Treasury Secretary" (original).

Warren Mosler: The Center of the Universe 01/09/13

"[N]ote that the purchase of a US Treasury $1 trillion platinum coin would weaken the yen and put off the US debt ceiling issue…" (original).

Phil Izzo: Wall Street Journal 01/09/13

[Links to and quotes from Economist and Zero Hedge] (original).

Recursion 01/09/13

"Instead of minting a single $1 trillion coin, the Treasury should mint 1,000 $1 billion coins, then put them up for sale on the mint's website. In the meanwhile, of course, they would need to be deposited at the Fed for safe keeping. Should Congress raise the debt limit cleanly, the coins can be bought back by the Treasury and melted down" (original).

Annie Lowrey: New York Times 01/09/13

"The decision is pending with the Obama administration, and the Treasury Department said it had no further comment. But when asked at the White House news conference if anyone in the administration was examining using the coin to get around the ceiling, Mr. Carney responded, 'Not that I know of'" (original).

Ross Douhat: New York Times 01/09/13

"If Republicans were successful in portraying coin-minting as a Bond villain scheme rather than a legitimate policy move — and I really, really think they would be, no matter how the media covered it — then it’s hard to see the markets maintaining any kind of equilibrium while the White House used a maneuver that even its apologists concede is “usually a sign of severe distress” to cover the government’s obligations" (original).

John Amato: Crooks & Liars 01/09/13

"I'm a big fan of Felix Salmon, and I love the Flying Spaghetti Monster, too so when he says, 'If you believe that the country is best run by grown-ups, you can’t believe in #mintthecoin, because it simply isn’t a grown-up strategy,' He makes the case for me. You see, the country is not run by the grownups, but by a cruel conservative caucus of tea party nuts that care nothing about the people of the US, but will give everything to a Jack Abramoff ideology of governing" (original).

Jason Linkins: HuffPo 01/09/13

"[T]he trillion dollar platinum coin idea is not being put forth by 'liberals' who want to use it to 'pay for Obama's spending,' as the NRCC claims. The platinum coin has nothing, at all, to do with paying down the deficit or permitting additional spending" (original).

John Carney: CNBC 01/09/13

"Instead of #mintthecoin, we should mint the coins. And then sell them" (original).

CBS Miami 01/09/13

"It would work like this: The Treasury Department has the ability to mint platinum coins in any denomination the Secretary of the Treasury chooses. The Treasury would mint one or two platinum coins worth $1-$2 trillion each and then deposit them with the Federal Reserve. With $1-$2 trillion in the bank, the Treasury Department could continue paying all bills associated with the national debt. Once the debt ceiling is finally raised, the coins would be destroyed and theoretically there would be no damage to the macroeconomy'" (original).

Mark Gollom: CBC 01/09/13

"'Although there are no direct economic consequences, I cannot see the Obama administration using such an option,' [Mike Moffatt, assistant economics professor at Western University's Richard Ivey School of Business] said. 'Such a move would be highly controversial and would not be well understood by the general public.' (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/09/13

"There's no question: Today was a major game-changer for the movement to circumvent the debt ceiling by minting a platinum coin, a strategy that would take advantage of an arcane area of the law relating to coinage.

Today White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about whether The White House saw the coin as a viable option, and rather than shooting it down he just evaded the question.

The response from the media has been unanimous: Carney left the door open." (original).

Robert Schlesinger: US News 01/09/13

"So is it a silly idea? Yes. But Republican extremists have brought us into an age of political asymmetrical warfare, passing off crazy, dangerous ideas as serious. Why should the president unilaterally disarm on that front?" (original).

Brian Beutler: Talking Points Memo 01/09/13

"If I had to, I’d still bet against the Obama administration minting a platinum coin to meet payment obligations, even if we breach the debt ceiling. But that’s just a feeble attempt at mind reading. By contrast, the fact that Jay Carney neither foreclosed on the seigniorage option nor questioned its legality today is actually meaningful. " (original).

Matthew Yglesias: Slate 01/09/13

"It seems to me that the genuinely interesting legal question about large-denomination platinum coin seigniorage isn't whether it's legal (it clearly is) it's whether it's mandatory." (original).

Jamelle Bouie: The American Prospect 01/09/13

"The $1 trillion coin is a ridiculous idea. But it’s no less ridiculous than the debt ceiling, and in the big scheme of things, it’s far preferable to defaulting on our obligations." (original).

John Steele Gordon: Commentary 01/09/13

"Of course, there is one small problem: Platinum is currently selling for about $1,590 a troy ounce. So a $1 trillion coin would weigh 26,221 'troy tons'' (original).

Brian Beutler: Talking Points Memo 01/09/13

"At his daily press briefing Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney responded to a question about whether the White House has the power to order the minting of a large-denomination platinum coin which, upon deposit at the Federal Reserve, could be used to meet federal obligations after borrowing authority has lapsed.

'On Plan B, there is no backup plan,' Carney said. “It is Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills of the United States. This is not about future spending. We will have that debate and continue to have the debate about the budgets that we design and the path forward in deficit reduction. And the president’s principles in this matter are very clear. You know, there is no alternative to Congress raising the debt ceiling. It is its responsibility. Congress has to pay the bills of the United States.'" (original).

Felix Salmon: Reuters 01/09/13

"The #mintthecoin meme has successfully migrated from the outer reaches of the econoblogosphere into a fair amount of mainstream media coverage, and as a result it has actually started to be taken seriously outside the Beltway. And even, in a few cases, inside the Beltway too. But be clear, this is absolutely a media-driven meme: people talking about it are not talking about an actual political proposal which an important number of serious DC politicians genuinely want to implement" (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/09/13

"There are really two stunning things about the movement to mint a trillion dollar coin to avert a debt ceiling crisis.

FIRST: the movement has gone absolutely nuts. Everyone is talking about it. SECOND: Despite the supposed absurdity of it, and despite the fact that it flies in the face of everything everyone thinks about money, there are virtually no good arguments against it" (original).

Mike Konczal: Next New Deal 01/09/13

"So, instead of a trillion-dollar coin, what if the president said, "I have a constitutionally obligated responsibility to carry out the spending Congress has authorized. I have no legal authority to prioritize payments, and the process is too risky for us to try. Therefore I will mint a $20 billion coin each day until Congress raises the debt ceiling. That is just enough to make the payments Congress has required me to make" (original).

Justin Sink: The Hill 01/09/13

"The White House on Wednesday declined to rule out minting a 'platinum coin' to avoid default if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

Press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday said there is 'no substitute' for Congress raising the borrowing limit but declined to explicitly rule out issuing new currency to pay the government's debts.

'The option here is for Congress to do its job and pay the bill," Carney said. "There is no Plan B, there is no backup plan. There is Congress's responsibility.'"

Jon Kelly: BBC 01/09/13

"As yet, however, no such coins exist anywhere. And even those who believe the plan is perfectly feasible concede that it is likely to remain a bargaining chip in the debt-ceiling talks, rather than becoming a reality" (original).

Lawrence Williams: MineWeb 01/09/13

"It defies all economic logic in virtually every respect. Its only purpose seems to me to be to enable the U.S. government to carry on spending money, and increase its debt, ad infinitum with no checks and balances ever being made in Congress again. And with the politicians’ propensity to spend money the government currently doesn’t have anyway, spending would just accelerate and accelerate. It could only end in tears!" (original).

The Economist 01/09/13

"[Free Exchange columnist: ] Buying a coin solely to finance the deficit is monetizing the debt, precisely the sort of thing central bank independence was meant to prevent. ... There is a way around this problem that preserves the Fed’s independence. That would be for the Treasury to issue the coin to the public, instead of the Fed, thereby leaving the Fed’s balance sheet, and its control of monetary policy, alone. Of course, no one would want a $1 trillion coin. But Gary Gorton, an economist at Yale University, suggests there might be demand for a bunch of $50 million coins" (original).

John Carney: CNBC 01/09/13

"[T]here'd be no reason to actually mint a coin with $1 trillion of platinum in it. Because you'd have to spend $1 trillion to get the materials. And if the government had an extra $1 trillion lying around, it wouldn't need the coin. The whole idea is to generate revenue for the government based on the difference between what it costs you to make the coin and the face value assigned to it. This isn't a very strange thing to do. After all, a $100 bill doesn't have $100 of ink" (original).

Dorothy Kosich: MineWeb 01/09/13

"The notion of creating a trillion-dollar platinum coin to help resolve the U.S. debt ceiling problem is gaining momentum in some very serious circles including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman" (original).

James Taranto: Online WSJ 01/09/13

"What would happen if Congress failed to raise the debt limit is that the government would be unable both to pay off existing bondholders and to spend all the money Congress has ordered. That would create a conflict of law. The 14th Amendment would preclude resolving the conflict by stiffing bondholders. It wouldn't authorize the issuance of debt unauthorized by Congress any more than it would authorize the collection of taxes unauthorized by Congress. (And it's interesting that even the Democrats don't seem to have suggested that the latter would be a possibility)" (original).

Brett LoGiurato: Business Insider 01/09/13

"NBC's Chuck Todd asked White House press secretary Jay Carney today about the platinum coin option to avoid the debt ceiling, and Carney did not completely rule it out." (original).

Brad Plumer: Washington Post 01/09/13

"The NRCC is suggesting that you need $1 trillion worth of platinum to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin. For some bullion coins, that may be true—the coin is worth the value of the underlying metal. But there’s a clear exception for U.S. platinum coins. .... The Secretary of Treasury can order up a small platinum coin and give it any value he wants. ... That sounds outlandish, but it’s not all that different from how our system of fiat money already operates. (original).

Josh Barro: Bloomberg 01/09/13

"Under this strategy, the government would pay its bills by printing money instead of borrowing it. That's it. It's not magic or even all that novel. Indeed, we should probably give this option a more dignified name -- I propose "The Seigniorage Option" -- to de-emphasize questions like whose face will go on the coins" (original).

John Carney: CNBC 01/10/13

"Imagine for a moment that Tim Geithner ordered the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to forge a $1 trillion coin. How big would that coin have to be? (original).

Amy Davidson: The New Yorker 01/10/13

"In the past, Obama has been reluctant to think of simply invoking the Fourteenth and ignoring the debt ceiling. Maybe, with visions of a platinum Geithner, he’ll change his mind" (original).

Brett LoGiurato: Business Insider 01/10/13

"'It's taking a statute ... that has one very small, narrow purpose for which everybody agrees — minting commemorate coins — and reading it in a hyper-literal way,' [Edward Kleinbard, the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation] said this morning on a conference call." (original).

Matthew Yglesias: Slate 01/10/13

"[It's] false to say that seigniorage is outside the purpose of the 1997 platinum amendments. In fact, seigniorage is the essence of why it was written. What's different is the scale" (original).

justinwolfers: Twitter 01/10/13

[Google trend for "platinum coin" spiking] (original).

Joe Weisenthal: Business Insider 01/10/13

[Greg Walden circulates a letter:] "This bill would not prevent the Treasury or Mint from producing commemorative platinum coins for circulation or sale, but it would take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury from printing mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt or avert a debt ceiling fight" (original).

Keith Hansen: Brainerd Dispatch 01/10/13

"The latest outrage to come out of our nation’s capitol is one of the most outrageous, hair-brained [sic] schemes one has heard from the city of outrageous behavior. One must first ask the question how this administration plans to handle the nation’s $16.45 trillion debt? Why of course they are floating a trial balloon that would ask the Treasury to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin. Sixteen of them would nearly pay off our nation’s debt. Seriously?" (original). 01/10/13

"So the U.S. Mint would strike a trillion dollar platinum coin, put it in a armored car, deliver it to the Fed, which adds it to the Treasury's bank account, and just like that, this year's deficit is erased, and Congress doesn't have to do a thing. You know how fracking is discovering all that hidden oil? This is monetary fracking" (original).

Scott McCartney: Online WSJ 01/10/13

"Some stories just keep circulating: The genius behind the trillion-dollar-coin Treasury rescue plan says the inspiration for the idea came from my 2009 story on frequent fliers buying coins from the U.S. Mint to collect free frequent-flier miles" (original).

Joe Firestone: NEP/Corrente 01/10/13

"Literal TDC proposals would solve the debt-ceiling, but they won’t solve the larger problem of defeating the austerity politics that is so close to getting the cuts to social safety net and important discretionary government programs that austerians have long sought. PCS game-changer proposals are the ones calling for, or analyzing the impact of, PCS options aimed at paying off the national debt and covering anticipated federal deficit spending for some years" (original).

Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal 01/10/13

"[I]t’s the president’s duty to do whatever it takes, no matter how offbeat or silly it may sound, to defuse this hostage situation. Mint that coin!" (original).

Alex Halperin: Salon 01/10/13

"[A] $1 trillion platinum coin doesn’t need to be made from $1 trillion worth of platinum" (original).

Red Kingman: WHTC 01/10/13

"First, it may be legal to mint a platinum bullion coin with a $1 trillion face value, but it's not legal to pass it off as actually worth $1 trillion if there isn't $1 trillion of platinum in it. That's because it's a bullion coin and not a legal circulating coin. The face value of a bullion coin has no relationship with the metal content because the value is in the metal, whose price fluctuates daily. Second, for a coin to be worth its face value, it has to be made as a circulating coin. And thirdly, the current law does allow the Mint to make a platinum proof coin and does not specify whether this applies to a bullion coin or a circulating coin. A proof coin refers to a mirror-like finish and is made for coin collectors. However, a proof coin must be accepted at face value." (original).

By Dan Kois and Andrew Morgan: Slate 01/10/13

"We’re only making one of these coins, so let’s make it count! That’s why we’re opening the floor to you, Slate readers: Can you design a better platinum $1 trillion coin?" (original).


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