‘No, a $1 Trillion Platinum Coin is Not Legal’
‘Rep. Jerrold Nadler has an admittedly “out of the ordinary”
solution to the coming fight over the debt ceiling’.
“There is specific statutory authority that says that the
Federal Reserve can mint any non-gold or -silver coin in any
denomination, so all you do is you tell the Federal Reserve
to make a platinum coin for one trillion dollars, and then
you deposit it in the Treasury account, and you pay your
bills,” Nadler said in a telephone interview this afternoon’.
‘I asked whether he was serious’.
“I’m being absolutely serious,” he said. “It sounds silly but
it’s absolutely legal’.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
‘For some reason, the possibility of evading the debt ceiling
by minting a $1 trillion platinum coin is getting some
blogospheric love again. This is based on a 2000 revision to
the U.S. statute on money and finance that reads’:
“The Secretary may mint and issue bullion and proof platinum
coins in accordance with such specifications, designs,
varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the
Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from
time to time”.
‘Read literally, this places no limitations on the Treasury
Secretary’s authority to mint platinum coins. If Tim Geithner
wants to mint a $1 trillion coin and deposit it at the Fed,
he can do it’.
‘I would just like to point out, once again, that this is
ridiculous. During the very short floor debate on this
amendment it was repeatedly referred to as a “technical
correction,” and that’s obviously what was intended. Oklahoma
Rep. Frank Lucas described it this way’:
“Also contained in the bill is a clarifying section inserting
the word ‘‘platinum’’ inadvertently dropped when Congress
authorized production of platinum and platinum bullion coins
a few years ago….This is a small bill, but important to the
mint and important to coin collectors. It has no cost