We Don't Want Your Steenkin' $1, $5, And $10 Dollar Bills

Tyler Durden's picture


Everyone knows that when it comes to US currency in circulation, the $2 and the $50 bills are rapidly approaching numismatic status due to either the government's unwillingness to print them in sufficient amounts or the general public's unwillingness to accept them as legal Federal Reserve Note tender. What people may not know is how other currency denominations have fared over the years. And as the charts below indicate, the historical government production of various currency denominations may tell us something about actual supply-driven intentions of the Fed and/or upcoming price levels. Because one thing is certain: judging by recent production patterns, the $1, $5 and $10 bills (aka Federal Reserve Notes), all of which saw their lowest production in 30 years in 2010, will soon suffer the fate of the dodo!


$1 bill production 1980-2010:


$5 bill production 1980-2010:


$10 bill production 1980-2010:


Why the collapse in production? Is it simply due to the increasing (forced?) migration to electronic, and other, forms of payment? Perhaps. We leave it up to readers to decide on their own.

One thing we do know is that the plunge in small-denomination bills is not uniform. In fact, when it comes to $100 bills, production has never been higher. Is the Fed hinting at something?

$100 bill production 1980-2010:


So, how long until we start seeing the face of Grover Cleveland much more often again? 

Source: Moneyfactory.gov

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Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:16 | 2906307 RacerX
Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:19 | 2906314 Jason T
Jason T's picture

I have one of those.. how the heck did I get one?  lol   .. I think my mother got it at a garage sale

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:20 | 2906321 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Strippers across America are rejoicing!

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:25 | 2906333 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Barney Frank wants to usher in the era of $3 bills...

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:40 | 2906370 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

Only when the recycling value of the paper is greater than the value of the fiat, will the financial gain for the Kleptocrats at the expense of citizens be complete.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 16:35 | 2906747 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I always found it interesting that Woodrow Wilson's face adorned the largest bill ever printed likely because he was the Father of the Fed(publicly anyways).


Somebody should have planted this useless, Progressive fuck 6 feet under before he ever saw office...

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:43 | 2906546 rodocostarica
rodocostarica's picture

$3.00 bills? That could be quite queer.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 18:03 | 2906916 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

how about..

we don't need no stinkin $.01 (pennies), $.10 (dimes), $.25 (quarters).

The devaluation of the dollar has made these denominations irrelevant.  Everything we buy could easily be denominated in dollar increments.

Of course, I left of $.05 (nickels) because I think all metal hoarders should have $1,000 in nickels stuffed in a few shoe boxes under their bed.   Not because it's the best metal...although it may be, but because if enough of us do it, it drives the US Treasury insane.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:29 | 2906530 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

I got mine from eBay. There are plenty of offerings available there of ZIM$ 100 Tril.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 15:29 | 2906682 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

With a population barely able to reckon, I guess many will tend to think bigger # = better #, regardless of any inflationary factors that need to be taken into consideration and a Benecoptor flying around tossing more of it into their hands. BITCH I GOT A TRILLION DOLLARS... BEAT THAT, HO.

Remember that horrible song that goes "hundreds on the table, twenties on the floor?" The new version would be "trillions on the table, billions on the floor."


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 17:42 | 2906880 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Ive seen coin shops sell em for $10 a piece.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 18:26 | 2906959 max2205
max2205's picture

Wake up one morning and the gubermint announces that $100 now replaces the $1.00 bill. That would be fun

Six hundred for a pack of smokes. 5000 for a fill up. Your house is now worth 30,000,000 instead of 300,000.

Instant home equity. Weeeeeeee!

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:46 | 2906378 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

You need $1 bills for the ugly strippers.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:18 | 2906426 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

After midnight there are no "ugly" strippers 


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:38 | 2906444 kill switch
kill switch's picture

Hell, Aftern two Vodkas they all look great!!

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 18:18 | 2906944 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

They're 2s at 10, and 10s at 2.   How the perspective changes as the night gets longer!

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:06 | 2906491 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


All women, and some men, look the same in the dark.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:12 | 2906503 Overfed
Overfed's picture

I'll take yer werd fer it.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 14:14 | 2906599 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Ever stumble across a hot chick photo which upon closer inspection shows a little bit of scrotum?

Sun, 10/21/2012 - 10:43 | 2907645 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

Always remember,
"You can drink an ugly girl pretty but you can't drink a fat girl skinny."

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 17:38 | 2906869 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

Use a Susan B Anthony coin.  Put it in the slot for some "girl on girl" actio0n.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 00:59 | 3098206 CashIsTrash
CashIsTrash's picture

I throw quarters at the ugly ones

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:08 | 2906411 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

With our government's concern for excessive spending, and Banknanke's academic credentials, I'm confident we'll save ink and use scientific notation if it ever comes to that.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:42 | 2906452 DosZap
DosZap's picture

So, how long until we start seeing the face of Grover Cleveland much more often again? 

Never, too easy to move large amounts easily.......never happen GI.

Cost a small fortune to buy an old one now.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:00 | 2906479 Midas
Midas's picture

I believe you are right.  I forget which casino in Vegas had the display of 10,000 dollar bills.  It may have been the Horseshoe.  They were the type of dollar bills redeemable in silver.  And that was back when 10,000 was some money.   You could move some money with wal-mart money orders in the amount of 1000, but that isn't all that convenient.  They won't exactly redeem 90 of them at once. 

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 17:05 | 2906808 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

The largest US denominations were gernerally GOLD backed and reserved for interbank use - transfer of funds and reserves.

You are seeing a decline in the PHYSICALPRINTING of currency in general world-wide.  Electronic fund transfers are so much easier AND also give governments FAR more control over financial transactions.  Do not underestimate the desire of governments to control and monitor ALL financial transactions for taxation purposes.  Throughout history governments that are going through financial collapses endeavor to control and TAX more and more of the economy - becoming extractive parasites destroying commerce.

$100 notes are still being printed in large numbers because they have been the defacto 'safe mattress savings' and currency of illegal and black market transactions throughout the world (The 500 Euro has supplanted it to some degre - higher value - but the supply is limited).  The desire to hold $ has bees so strong that the resulting counterfeits have had a negative effect on this trend.  The nulber of obvious and bad counterfiets in Africa is astounding though VERY good 'supernotes' have been around for 30 years - likely from Iran, North Korea and Colombian drug lords.  Given this history you think the FIRST denomination the Fed would replace with high security notes would be the $100 but instead it is tha last... why?

The US has encouraged the holding and use of dollars world-wide (even in illegal endeavors) - all those $100 bills throughout the world add up to hundreds of millions - billions - in non interst bearing T-Bills.   Think about it - cost is a  few cents in exchange for $100 of REAL value for each note.

Note that the US has NEVER withdrawn any issuance of national currency from ciurculation.  A 1917 note is still good for face value - though likely worth far more numismatically (we saw some pristine examples turned in diring the 80's exodus from Russia to the US - biulls kept from before the Russian Revolution).  

This is HIGHLY unusual.  Other nations routinely withdraw and void currency issues.

The US could easily bring the drug trade to a halt by withdrawing and replacing $100 notes - limiting the amount any one person could exchange.  No way for the drug lords to pull off that exchange with all the cash they routinely have oin hand (IF the process wer vigorously enforced and overseen).  Logistically it would be difficult but not impossible HOWEVER doing so would leave manypeople aroundf the world holding useless notes and make everyone rethink their past haboit of saving 'safe' funds in $US - something the US does NOT want to encourage.

Now think about what happens if/when ghe US overtly or via defacto acttions devalues the $US.   The more $US held overseas the more the US government benefits - be those $ in electronic,form, T-Bills or currency.  If you're a debtor - beter to default on as much debt as possible if you're going to default - or pay back with devalued funds.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 16:30 | 2906768 duo
duo's picture

considering a $50 buys what a $20 did a decade ago, they should be printing more Grants.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 13:12 | 2906470 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

RacerX said:

"and how long before we start seeing these:


We are, it's just in the form of $40 billion-a-month of MBS purchases, digitally, in perpetuity.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:17 | 2906308 redpill
redpill's picture

So much for demanding non-sequential bills in small denominations.


We will be forced into 100% electronic, 100% traceable fiat currency very soon.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:48 | 2906387 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Cash will be a barbarous relic. Only plastic containing microchips and retinal scans

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:05 | 2906409 Yogieu
Yogieu's picture

It isn't something I'm looking forward to. Thieves are going not only to take people's wallets, but also their eyes... or their fingers.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:33 | 2906438 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

They'll never get rid of cash - elites can't snort their coke with credit cards.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 16:04 | 2906724 Papasmurf
Sat, 10/20/2012 - 17:10 | 2906820 XitSam
XitSam's picture

I was in a Walmart this morning, the self checkout didn't take cash, only electronic payments. I don't know if all the self checkouts were this way, but my whole section was.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 14:46 | 2906631 DFCtomm
DFCtomm's picture

Isn't it already? I never carry cash. It's too big a pain to get it, so I just put my mountain dew on the debit card. I imagine that is all that is being reflected here. It's not a conspiracy theory, but instead a leading indicator of American laziness. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 16:29 | 2906765 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

And sometimes a cigar is a big phallus symbol being inserted in a dark sunless tunnel.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 01:03 | 3098210 CashIsTrash
CashIsTrash's picture

I'm watching the movie In Time right now... That's where we are headed

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:46 | 2906456 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Also, Bruce Krasting did a great ZeroHedge piece on how the US Fed and government might suddenly be very motivated to replace all the current currency notes, with 'red money' that is already printed ... making all the 'green money' notes held all around the world, invalid within 90 days or so


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:49 | 2906463 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Also, Bruce Krasting did a great ZeroHedge piece on how the US Fed and government might suddenly be very motivated to replace all the current currency notes, with 'red money' that is already printed ... making all the 'green money' notes held all around the world, invalid within 90 days or



Sat, 10/20/2012 - 14:11 | 2906598 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture



Only for those who refuse to preserve purchasing power and prepare with

precious metals.


Keep stacking my friends

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 16:06 | 2906725 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

After Bankers, Hackers will be very very rich. I will stick to my PM.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:19 | 2906315 thomasincincy
thomasincincy's picture

What I do know is that the ATM only gives me brand new money anymore. The ink is so fresh, you can get high sniffing

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:24 | 2906329 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

The reason you get high sniffing money is because of all the coke that's been snorted through it.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:51 | 2906465 DosZap
DosZap's picture

The reason you get high sniffing money is because of all the coke that's been snorted through it.


Yep, planning on going on a trip via air?, wash your bills in the fam machine before packing it.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:24 | 2906330 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Don't tell anyone but I hear Ben and the banksters are working on new ATMs that are just filled with paper and ink. The ATM just prints the money at the time of the transaction.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 17:09 | 2906818 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

They don't work so well.  JPM ATM's in NYC were dispensingbills printed only ion one side


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:21 | 2906317 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

Get the wheelbarrels out

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:20 | 2906319 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

Is the green bottom chart ammo purchases of the US gubermint?

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:50 | 2906320 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Actually I get eight $50 notes and five $20 notes each time I go and pull $500 from my local ATM.  I used to get just twenties...  I asked my blog readers a year or so ago if they were seeing the same. 

Result: No, a few were, but most got twenties out of their ATMs.

Also, I see a lot more fifties in circulation, even my local 7-11 will accept a fifty without a fuss.  MANY visitors to the USA get fifties when they buy their dollars OVER THERE, I have seen that over and over.  So, I do NOT see any quick end to the $50 Federal Reserve Note, not at all.  Fifties: the new twenties?

But, I do not expect to see (at least soon) a $500 Obama (or Bernanke, whoever) anytime soon, "money laundering" and all...


I also have NO PROBLEM exchanging fifties for Peruvian Soles when I go down there.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:55 | 2906392 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

If inflation goes hyper-, that $50 won't buy you a soda. What the Fed needs is a way to untether consumers from being able to see how much they spend. Going full electronic and taking away cash is the answer. They need you to feel lost in a sea of zeroes so that you'll spend all that you have and borrow more

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