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(Washington Post)   1) Mint $2 trillion in platinum coins. 2) ???? 3) End the financial crisis   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 45
    More: Asinine, United States, Peterson Institute for International Economics, debt limit, debt crisis, gold reserves, Yale Law School, U.S. Mint  
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15873 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Dec 2012 at 12:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-07 12:36:18 PM  
5 votes:
Arbitrary problems have arbitrary solutions.
2012-12-07 12:31:48 PM  
4 votes:
The only thing that trumps trillion dollar platinum coins is the set of brass on the guy who tries to implement said strategy...
2012-12-07 12:23:16 PM  
4 votes:
Maybe asinine. But an asinine problem requires an asinine solution. We have enough problems without adding arbitrary ones on top, like the invented debt ceiling and its subsequent biannual invented crisis.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would make a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve.

What's the actual physical process for moving the coins from the US Mint to the Federal Reserve? If they're stolen, does the US government just declare them worthless?
2012-12-07 01:03:59 PM  
3 votes:
s7.postimage.org
2012-12-07 03:04:02 PM  
2 votes:

jonny_q: Moderate perpetual growth is possible as long as there are advances. We find more efficient ways to produce crops, so there's more food. We advance technology so that smart phones are commonplace. We have refrigerators with operating systems. These things count as "growth"


Except, you know, for this little 8000-mile-across ball they call the Earth. We actually haven't found 'more efficient' ways to grow crops. Rather, we've mined tens-of-millions-of-years worth of concentrated phosphorus deposits to treble yields over the last century. And we're seriously running short of that. All those billions of smartphones need tantalum and erbium. Which we're seriously short of.

There's also the problem of how much 'moderate' growth compounds. 1% growth in population would be 1 person per every square meter of earth's surface within roughly 1000 years. Our current global energy consumption, growing at 1%/year (currently over 20%, btw) would be greater than the theoretical solar flux hitting Earth in around 900.

Perpetual growth isn't happening. Not just a long term theory... the world's population will peak and start shrinking within the lives of many Fark readers. We need to adjust economics to account for this core notion. Hopefully Japan (as leaders in the, "ummm... we've stopped growing by any measure, not just population") figures it out.
2012-12-07 01:49:37 PM  
2 votes:

vygramul: EVERY economy relies on mass delusion.


Exactly. And this is why I love economics threads. I can't count how many times I've offered to trade a little bit of inherently precious gold, or a few boxes of shotgun shells, or a pallet of tinned meat, and all I want in return are a few of those worthless scraps of colored paper that the other guy just told me are completely valueless.

So far, no takers. In fact, from what I've seen of gold-bugs and other fiat-money-conspiracists, they're probably more likely to stab me in the throat for trying to take their debased, worthless pieces of illegal government scrip (etc. etc.) than anybody else.
2012-12-07 01:38:10 PM  
2 votes:
I still believe in fairies, I do, I do...

Coins, notes and standardised currency are an attempt at measuring confidence. We accept that because someone else should benefit from wading through sewage and all the other stuff we don't want to do. Money is a token of belief and it is used to buy freedom.

$2 trillion in platinum coins is a lie designed to create an impossible freedom.
2012-12-07 01:08:46 PM  
2 votes:

Truther: Dems have done/said PLENTY of clown nose stuff over the years...


Oh, no doubt. But come on. The GOP sales pitch these days is basically "government is fundamentally a bad thing, at best a necessary evil, so put us in charge of it and we'll make sure it behaves itself."

Whether or not you agree with that, it's the reason Congress' approval rating hovers around 10%. 80% of the Democrats polled are furious that it never does anything, and 100% of the Republicans polled are furious that it might.
2012-12-07 01:06:06 PM  
2 votes:
Coins? All we need is some new paper money:

2.bp.blogspot.com
2012-12-07 12:59:10 PM  
2 votes:

hdhale: "I like it," said Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "There's nothing that's obviously economically problematic about it."

Must be the Peterson Institute for International Economics for the Mentally Challenged. What a total farkwit.


What is he missing? It's not an inflation thing. For all you know, Obama has already deposited an eleventy-quintillion dollar coin at the Fed, but it doesn't affect the value of the dollar in your pocket until it's circulated. And Obama can't spend more money than Congress has already budgeted for in legislation that's already passed. 

So how is the coin option worse from an economic standpoint than what will probably happen, which is Boehner eventually giving up and allowing the debt ceiling to rise to accommodate the expenditures Congress has already authorized?
2012-12-07 12:49:41 PM  
2 votes:
We should be doing this anyway. The law is pretty awesomely vague and cries out for hilarious abuse. As I read it, nothing is stopping Obama from minting a negative-$50 coin and slipping it into John Boehner's pocket.

Lumpmoose: But an asinine problem requires an asinine solution.


But seriously, that's exactly right. Obama will (hopefully) move heaven and earth to avoid doing this, because it basically puts a giant clown nose on the entire United States government, and he's not a member of the party that sees that as a good thing in the long run.

But if it comes right down to it... I notice the White House is preemptively rejecting idea that the Fourteenth Amendment gives the President unilateral authority to spend past the debt ceiling. I notice they're not preemptively rejecting this.
2012-12-07 12:49:12 PM  
2 votes:

Tr0mBoNe: Arbitrary problems have arbitrary solutions.


In the past, the police had somehow gotten it into their heads that it was illegal to take photographs of anything, anywhere. Some said it was because of "copyright" some said it was because of "homeland security", but the result was the same: they'd make you delete the photographs.

One enterprising photographer came up with the idea of making a "photography license". It was similar to a library card, except that you added a photograph of your face in the top-left corner with glue or a laminator. When the cops stopped you for taking pictures, you could then respond, 'it's okay, I have a photography license', and show them it.

An imaginative solution to an imaginary problem.
2012-12-07 12:44:53 PM  
2 votes:
yeah, I'd get in line to loan money to the government that pulled that...
2012-12-07 12:40:56 PM  
2 votes:
Now if Obama really wanted to troll, he'd super glue it to the Capitol steps.
2012-12-08 05:24:46 AM  
1 votes:

vygramul: leadmetal: What is in the TFA is functionally the same as printing paper money.

semiotix: vygramul: EVERY economy relies on mass delusion.

Exactly. And this is why I love economics threads. I can't count how many times I've offered to trade a little bit of inherently precious gold, or a few boxes of shotgun shells, or a pallet of tinned meat, and all I want in return are a few of those worthless scraps of colored paper that the other guy just told me are completely valueless.

So far, no takers. In fact, from what I've seen of gold-bugs and other fiat-money-conspiracists, they're probably more likely to stab me in the throat for trying to take their debased, worthless pieces of illegal government scrip (etc. etc.) than anybody else.

I'll gladly buy all the gold you want to sell me at $250 (in federal reserve notes) for every ozt. Oddly in every one of these threads nobody wants to sell me gold, the shiny metal they tell me has no intrinsic value at the price I offer in the pieces of paper they tell me I should have more faith in. I don't have any idea why except for the fact that they can get more paper notes from someone else. Which is the only reason you would get turned down, people can get more gold, meat, shells, whatever from someone else.

Even if a person believes paper has no real value, a person only has so much of it to trade and he's going to take the best deal to get what he does value from people who think the paper is better.

So now you're saying it's exactly the same as fiat currency. Congratulations, you've come a long way.


Once thing I have learned on the various informational exchanges in the Internet is few people have any real grasp of monetary theory. I am not saying that I do, but I know that I do not the certainly many other people have. One thing I do understand very clearly is money never stops. Money is much like electricity and water systems, it has to flow under pressure. It is a representation of the goods and services available to exchange in an economy, and it does not represent some zero sum game.
2012-12-07 11:09:03 PM  
1 votes:

boom: It is nearly pure farking genius really.


It's a mass delusion stapled to a con, is what it is.
2012-12-07 06:28:43 PM  
1 votes:

semiotix: Um, fellas, raising the debt ceiling of the federal government 16% will not mean 16% inflation. Nor will paying previously agreed-upon future expenditures any other way, including this way.

Either way, the contractors and suppliers and soldiers and government employees and Chinese bondholders who are presently already scheduled to be paid, by act of Congress, will get paid. Mostly in electrons representing dollars, a few of them in actual bills.

In Dec. 2009, the debt limit was raised to $12.4T. In Feb. 2010, less than three months later, it was raised to $14.3T. That's an increase of 15%. Did we get 15% inflation in those three months?

For that matter, in the 28 years between 1983 and 2011, the debt limit has gone up from $1.4T to $14.7T, an increase of 1,050%. Have we had average annual 8.7% inflation every year since early in the Reagan years? (I.e., do things cost 10.5 times what they did in 1983?)

These things are not the same thing. The Federal Reserve controls the money supply. It has other options besides allowing for instantaneous hyperinflation (e.g., raising the discount rate, increasing the reserve requirement, raising the federal funds rate, etc.) It will use them whether this gets done the normal way or the stupid coin way, just like it has for as long as it's been in existence.


I assume you DNRTFA. We aren't talking about raising the debt ceiling. When you raise the debt ceiling that just gives the Treasury the ability to go to someone who has pre-existing money and borrow it from them. In that scenario no new money is being created, we just owe more creditors more money, which is fine as long as they think we are good for it (the problem is eventually we won't, we will do what is being proposed here, and then the US economy goes in the toilet until we have a revolution, split into 4-8 separate countries, and begin rebuilding as separate non-global powers).

What is being proposed here as a "better" solution is precisely the same thing as printing 2 trillion in cash and then using that cash to pay back our creditors. It doesn't matter what physical form the money is, it is still generated from thin air and therefore devalues all existing money. There is a law against doing this already because of how massively damaging it is, and all this "solution" consists of is using a loophole to circumvent that law so we can screw over our economy, and by extension most of the worlds economy too. The fact that someone found a couple economists to back up the idea only shows how you can get an economist to say anything if it gets his name in the news.
2012-12-07 05:22:42 PM  
1 votes:

Silverstaff: So, what if NASA (or private industry) snared an asteroid for mining purposes? Besides strategic metals like titanium and rare earths, the precious metal content of a large asteroid could be very substantial.


If someone did that the "precious" metals would quickly transform into "industrial" metals, valued according to regular supply & demand. Not necessarily a bad thing, as those metals are useful catalysts and are good for things like fuel cells, but it would suck for anyone whose bullion coins were suddenly only worth their face value.

Aluminum used to be a precious metal.
2012-12-07 03:58:32 PM  
1 votes:

seadoo2006: tricycleracer: shiat like this makes you realize that our economy is one mass delusion.


So is the deluded idea that perpetual growth is somehow sustainable ... in fact, we built our ENTIRE economy around the idea of perpetual growth. Which makes total sense, you know, in a finite universe.


Is your argument really that we're going to use up all of the resources in the universe in a meaningful time-frame?
2012-12-07 02:46:29 PM  
1 votes:

seadoo2006: So is the deluded idea that perpetual growth is somehow sustainable ... in fact, we built our ENTIRE economy around the idea of perpetual growth. Which makes total sense, you know, in a finite universe.


Moderate perpetual growth is possible as long as there are advances. We find more efficient ways to produce crops, so there's more food. We advance technology so that smart phones are commonplace. We have refrigerators with operating systems. These things count as "growth". That's sustainable as far as anyone can currently see into the future. GDP is just a measurement of all that stuff in dollars adjusted for inflation. As long as advancement is possible, so is growth.
2012-12-07 02:45:22 PM  
1 votes:

seadoo2006: tricycleracer: shiat like this makes you realize that our economy is one mass delusion.


So is the deluded idea that perpetual growth is somehow sustainable ... in fact, we built our ENTIRE economy around the idea of perpetual growth. Which makes total sense, you know, in a finite universe.


You've nailed it. We should be working toward a stable economy with very controlled growth and a diversity of sectors. Today 70% of the US economy is based in consumer spending, which is a recipe for economic disaster. It makes us consumers and dependent of foreign producers. China understands this and has been leveraging it for sometime now. They are poised to become the world's largest economy within 20 years, dwarfing ours. Some predictions are that the US will be irrelevant as a world power and economic base of the world in 50 years. I don't think it's going to take that long. We're going the way of Great Britain.
2012-12-07 02:01:33 PM  
1 votes:

tricycleracer: shiat like this makes you realize that our economy is one mass delusion.



So is the deluded idea that perpetual growth is somehow sustainable ... in fact, we built our ENTIRE economy around the idea of perpetual growth. Which makes total sense, you know, in a finite universe.
2012-12-07 01:59:44 PM  
1 votes:

dennysgod: Coins? All we need is some new paper money:

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 410x224]


No, they need to be coins. Obama stands for change, you see.

In all seriousness, it's a stupid solution, but a stupid problem as well. Maybe this averages out to sane?

But I can't wait for the Lupin III special where he steals these, only to lose them when Zenigata accidentally picks them up, thinks they're quarters due to having minimal experience with American money, and then spends them on a cup of ramen.
2012-12-07 01:48:26 PM  
1 votes:

Bondith: They should use rhodium. It's currently worth more per mole than the other precious metals.


Not by much. Its price is still nowhere near the 2008 peak.
2012-12-07 01:47:15 PM  
1 votes:

kombat_unit: This is exactly why the GOP sucks. Government spending like a drunken sailor is the American way.


And we should put Reagan's portrait on the coins.

/keep it off the dimes.
2012-12-07 01:46:18 PM  
1 votes:

Holocaust Agnostic: The horror?


You want a 14% pay-cut overnight? If you make $50,000, like the median American, you would go to $43,000 (effectively).
2012-12-07 01:25:13 PM  
1 votes:
shiat like this makes you realize that our economy is one mass delusion.
2012-12-07 01:21:50 PM  
1 votes:
Knot meet sword.

It is odd that when Congress approves spending.......they don't actually approve spending.
2012-12-07 01:07:01 PM  
1 votes:
Two platinum coins? That sounds like the change we need.
2012-12-07 01:06:51 PM  
1 votes:
It would be worth it of Obama walked to the podium to announce the while casually flipping the coin. (toothpick optional)
2012-12-07 01:06:02 PM  
1 votes:
I just bought two.

upload.wikimedia.org
2012-12-07 01:05:53 PM  
1 votes:
s10.postimage.org
2012-12-07 01:04:02 PM  
1 votes:

Bondith: I was all set to ask if a trillion dollars worth of platinum even existed, then I saw the scheme was one of those worth-by-fiat things.

They should use rhodium. It's currently worth more per mole than the other precious metals.


Obama's trolling of congress would be better if the coins were made of plastic.
2012-12-07 01:02:29 PM  
1 votes:
The real problem is government spending. Washington spends like a teenager who stole his parents' credit card.
2012-12-07 12:59:50 PM  
1 votes:
pavlopoulos.files.wordpress.com

Minting your way out of trouble always ends well.
2012-12-07 12:59:03 PM  
1 votes:

THX 1138: Well that pic I hotlinked lasted an entire 45 seconds. Sigh.


It's still up for me, though I don't see how Canadian politics is germane to this discussion.
2012-12-07 12:57:47 PM  
1 votes:
i269.photobucket.com

Simpsons did it.
2012-12-07 12:53:12 PM  
1 votes:
In theory, this is much like having the central bank print money. But, says Gagnon, the U.S. government would simply be using the money to keep spending at existing levels, so it wouldn't create any extra inflation.

And this guy claims he's an economist?
2012-12-07 12:50:31 PM  
1 votes:
Of all the Simpson's episodes that accurately commented on or predicted the future of our society, never in my wildest dreams did I think the trillion dollar bill episode would be one of them.

Don't worry America, I'm sure having a government that continually confuses reality with parody will have no long term consequences.
2012-12-07 12:49:05 PM  
1 votes:
Make two extra coins and send them to China and call it even.
2012-12-07 12:48:50 PM  
1 votes:

Bondith: I was all set to ask if a trillion dollars worth of platinum even existed, then I saw the scheme was one of those worth-by-fiat things.

They should use rhodium. It's currently worth more per mole than the other precious metals.


What would happen if you were to gather a mole(unit of measurement) of moles (the small furry critter) in one place?

Link
2012-12-07 12:48:20 PM  
1 votes:

FatherChaos: [cache.ohinternet.com image 442x334]


That's true too....the law also does not prohibit the Treasury from issueing currency in the form of underwear, stale pretzels, or many other materials.
2012-12-07 12:45:39 PM  
1 votes:
cache.ohinternet.com
2012-12-07 12:45:38 PM  
1 votes:

Holocaust Agnostic: Lumpmoose: Maybe asinine. But an asinine problem requires an asinine solution. We have enough problems without adding arbitrary ones on top, like the invented debt ceiling and its subsequent biannual invented crisis.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would make a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve.

What's the actual physical process for moving the coins from the US Mint to the Federal Reserve? If they're stolen, does the US government just declare them worthless?

They wold be fairly easy to prove stolen I imagine.

Pawnshop probably couldn't make change.


Now, I want to help you out with this, but unfortunately, I just don't know enough about trillion dollar platinum coins to make a decision right now. Would you mind if I called a guy who's an expert in Numismatics?
2012-12-07 12:13:25 PM  
1 votes:
Ha! Imagine losing THAT in your couch.
 
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