Strange news coming out of the US suggests that one of the options being explored to reduce the national debt and allow the government to keep paying its bills is the idea of a $1 trillion commemorative coin.
What’s it all about and could we really see the introduction of a £1t coin?
Firstly, how much exactly is a trillion. Well, it’s a million million or a thousand billion and it’s a 1 one followed by twelve zeroes, like this:
1 000 000 000 000
How could it stop a world superpower from defaulting on its debt?
The idea has been around for about a decade and the basic premise is that the President could authorise the issue of a $1 trillion commemorative coin, deposit it into the Federal Reserve and avoid having to raise the debt ceiling.
Whilst the Whitehouse has distanced itself from the idea of issuing the coin, former President Barack Obama admitted in an interview he gave to “Pod Save America” that his administration did discuss it. He said:
“We were having these conversations with Jack Lew and others about what options in fact were available, because it had never happened before. There were all kinds of wacky ideas about how potentially you could have this massive coin…. This theory [was] that I had the authority to just issue this massive trillion dollar coin, a trillion dollar commemorative coin, and then on that basis we could pay off US Treasuries.”
So what would a trillion dollar coin look like? Perhaps you’re picturing a coin the size of bank vault door or even bigger, but somewhat disappointingly the coin wouldn’t need to break any records in terms of size. In fact, it could be as small as a penny.
It would have to be a platinum coin though because the 1997 law that allows the Treasury Secretary to issue such a coin states that it must be struck from the rare precious metal.
As it stands, the $1 trillion coin remains nothing but a wacky concept, like something from a Bond movie. It will probably never see the light of day, but if the last 18 months have taught us anything you should never say never…
If you’re interested…
You can own a $1 trillion coin today… Sorry, no, I can’t offer you that, but I can offer you one of the most important gold coins to come out of the US in decades.
It’s the first ever design change to the US Eagle in its 35th year of minting.
I’ve only been able to bring 40 of the prestigious 1/4oz Gold 2021 Eagles into the UK and they’re selling fast.