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Minting the $1 Trillion platinum coin would NOT be inflationary. [View All]

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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-11 05:49 PM
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Minting the $1 Trillion platinum coin would NOT be inflationary.
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Edited on Sun Jul-31-11 05:52 PM by girl gone mad
Since this idea went mainstream, the reaction has consistently been: ZOMG! Inflation!!1!

This response seems to be based on the misconception that the money being created is going to be "spent" in the economy, but that's not what actually happens.

For the uninitiated, the basic idea is:

The US Constitution gives Treasury the authority to mint coins, and there is no legal limit on the face value Treasury can set for platinum coins.

Treasury can mint a platinum coin and stamp $1 Trillion on the face, then swap the coin for $1 Trillion USD credits from the Fed. The coin will be stored in Treasury's vault at the Fed where it will never circulate.

Treasury would then use those USD credits to retire $1 Trillion worth of US Treasury bonds. This is the key to understanding why the operation is not inflationary. $1 Trillion in US dollars are going into the private sector while $1 Trillion in Treasury bond holdings are being removed.

No net financial assets have been created in the private sector. The net effect is actually slightly less money in the private sector because once the bonds are retired, they no longer bear interest and cash reserves pay a much lower interest rate.

This procedure would give the government the ability to pay its debts, but again, this is not inflationary since they are merely paying for spending that was already approved back when the budget passed and not doing any additional spending now. The entities to which money is owed already expect to be paid and have budgeted according to that expectation.

Just wanted to make an OP since this comes up in every single thread on the subject. Feel free to correct any errors or add more details.

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