Recently I read in a news post that the Treasury Department is able to order the coinage of a coin made of platinum with a value of 1,000,000,000,000 USD, or 1 trillion US dollars. You can read about this subject The Trillion Dollar Coin Idea To Save The Economy(courtesy of Business Insider):
The premise of the idea is this: Although the Treasury can't just create money out of thin air to pay its bills, there is a technicality in the law that says the Treasury has special discretion to create platinum coins of any denomination, and the thinking is that Tim Geithner could make the coin and walk it over to the Federal Reserve and deposit it in the Treasury's bank account.
The opinion of the winner of the Economics prize in memory of Alfred Nobel Paul Krugman (Conscience of a Liberal, The Opinion Pages):
First, as a legal matter the Federal government can’t just print money to pay its bills, with one peculiar exception. Instead, money has to be created by the Federal Reserve, which then puts it into circulation by buying Federal debt. You may say that this is an artificial distinction, because the Fed is effectively part of the government; but legally, the distinction matters, and the debt bought by the Fed counts against the debt ceiling.
The peculiar exception is that clause allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination it chooses. Of course this was intended as a way to issue commemorative coins and stuff, not as a fiscal measure; but at least as I understand it, the letter of the law would allow Treasury to stamp out a platinum coin, say it’s worth a trillion dollars, and deposit it at the Fed — thereby avoiding the need to issue debt.
My questions are:
- Is this legal? If I am not wrong, only the Fed has the power to print official money?
- Who will accept this coin, and how will this coin save the economy?