Treasury, Fed, President Oppose Platinum Coin

January 13th, 2013
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  An article at Bloomberg reports that Treasury spokeman Anthony Coley has issued a statement saying that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve do not support the use of platinum coin seigniorage to avoid the U.S. debt ceiling.  Another statement from the White House omitted the platinum coin option from the choices facing the country for resolving the upcoming debt ceiling.  This has delighted those who have ridiculed the idea.  Mike Shedlock wrote a blog about it, "Trillion Dollar Coin Idea Dies Sudden Death; Treasury, Fed Oppose Using Platinum Coin; Republican Strategy."  The first line of the blog:  "At long last, a stupid, as well as illegal idea dies on the vine."

Follow up:

The Bloomberg report originated with a statement made by Coley to Ezra Klein and published by Klein in an article in the Washington Post.  Econintersect has not been able to find any other documentation of the statement.

But here is what Reuters had to say:

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, both independent of one another, each concluded this was not a viable option.

"Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit," said Treasury spokesman Anthony Coley in a statement.

Reuters also quoted a White House statement:

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that with the platinum coin question resolved, the pressure is on congressional Republicans now to act to raise the debt ceiling.

"Congress can pay its bills or they can fail to act and put the nation into default," he said. "When congressional Republicans played politics with this issue last time, putting us at the edge of default, it was a blow to our economic recovery, causing our nation's credit rating to be downgraded."

Reuters also reported that there was no change in President Obama's position that the 14th amendment requirement that the validity of the public debt should not be questioned was means of circumventing a Congressional failure to pay for the spending authorizations they have enacted.

Econintersect has not been able to locate any recent records regarding "platinum" or "platinum coin" at the U.S. Treasury Department website and The Federal Reserve website.  There is a record of Jay Carney's statement at

A further statement from the White House reported by the Huffington Post has not been located on an official website by Econintersect.  An excerpt from an HP article:

The U.S. Treasury Department will not mint a high-value platinum coin to avert the debt ceiling, according to an official statement from the Obama administration obtained by the Huffington Post on Saturday.

"Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit," the statement reads.

John Lounsbury


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