Krugman joins the $1 trillion coin brigade

Economist Paul Krugman joined the calls for the US to mint to create a $1 trillion platinum coin as a way around the debt ceiling. The idea is that the treasury secretary can take advantage of a loophole allowing him to mint a platinum coin of any denomination.

Steve Goldstein
January 7, 2013, 9:49 AM
Market Watch

Paul Krugman, the liberal economist who pens a widely read column for the New York Times, on Monday joined the calls for the U.S. to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin as a way around the debt ceiling.

The idea is that the treasury secretary can take advantage of a loophole allowing him to mint a platinum coin of any denomination. Print a $1 trillion coin, and — presto — there’s a $1 trillion in spare capacity under the debt ceiling. Plus, since the coin isn’t going to make it into circulation, it should not be inflationary. And further, it still leaves Congress in control of the purse.

“It’s easy to make sententious remarks to the effect that we shouldn’t look for gimmicks, we should sit down like serious people and deal with our problems realistically. That may sound reasonable — if you’ve been living in a cave for the past four years. Given the realities of our political situation, and in particular the mixture of ruthlessness and craziness that now characterizes House Republicans, it’s just ridiculous — far more ridiculous than the notion of the coin,” Krugman writes.

Krugman isn’t alone – as of Monday morning, there were over 4,000 signatures on a White House petition to do the same.

Not everyone is a fan — one Oregon lawmaker says he’s introducing legislation to ban such a move.

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