Sunday, 13 January 2013

franklin mint and in the darkness bind them

There’s a lot of talk about minting a pair of trillion dollar platinum coins, taking advantage of an economic fiction and a loophole in the language addressing what the Executive branch may or may not do in regards to with a fiat that effectively negates the statutory debt-ceiling (also an economic fiction) by having enough money in reserve to cover those outlays. At best, it may be the wedge that the US president needs to unyoke the country from financial hijacking, and at worse, it seems sort of a silly tactic that’s hard to consider fully the ramifications of and just more delays, but I don’t necessarily believe it’s the black-magic option (as opposed to the nuclear-option) and something malevolent forged in the bowels of Mount Doom.

A coin in this denomination is certainly not the same as a collectors’ item but other such limited runs of commemorate coinage definitely have a more sinister side, that some in the US government are using to their constituents’ advantage. The Legislative branch culled riders that would funnel money to pet projects in the working-copy of the budget, however, there are scads of concrete and abstract causes (witness the calendar of awarenesses for all sorts of worthy things) that are all championed by special interest groups, to whom some representatives are beholden to oblige even with their earmarks taken away. One roundabout way to appease the lobbyists is through minting commemorative coins, whose sponsors are owed any profits after production costs (borne initially by the US Treasury). The public is not forced to buy these coins but doing so would be a way to support a particular campaign or lobby group more or less directly—not to mention, collectibles are usually taken out of circulation (with or without an agenda or ideology—grandma would rather do without than spend her Lawrence Eagleburger eagle dollar coins even if she just got them as change at the toll booth) and all those dollar coins (or whatever the face value) are sequestered in individual hands—with tokens and scrip, rather the heads or tails’ of ones choosing, becoming good for all debts public and private.