Stephen Colbert Takes On The Trillion Dollar Coin

Tyler Durden's picture


We were wondering how long until the latest lunatic idea out of the "serious economist" mainstream would get the proper comedic treatment it so rightfully deserves. That time finally came last night when Stephen Colbert gave it the 3 minutes of attention it almost deserves. Oh well, now that it has made the comic circuit it is time to officially forget about this idiotic idea... At least until the next debt ceiling crisis in a year or so when like a bad sequel to Weekend at Bennie's Bernie's, it is resurrected once more.


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Tue, 01/08/2013 - 09:58 | 3132517 CPL
CPL's picture


Maybe they can look at the term limits on presidents?

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:00 | 3132523 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Or term limits for Krugman, his 15 minutes are way over...



Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:02 | 3132533 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I would point out to Stephen Colbert that one ounce of PT is more than we have backing our system now.


Your turn funny man.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:22 | 3132608 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture - it's as good as money... it's an IOU... might want to hold onto that one.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:34 | 3132651 The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut's picture

If the Fed Reserve can just print money and Obama can just make a coin... why the FUCK does anyone need to pay taxes?




Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:40 | 3132671 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

you have to admit the charmin bear thing was fuck'n funny...

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:58 | 3132754 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

C.H.A.N.G.E - Come Help A Nigga Get Elected.

Obama - Just another black man asking for change!

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 13:46 | 3133370 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

I thought the rule on what President can be on a coin is ONLY dead Presidents..........

but rules????

When you're making a $1T coin all the other rules are insignificant.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 14:02 | 3133431 WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot
WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

That rule doesn't seem like an insurmountable obstacle...

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 14:11 | 3133462 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If $ trillion coins are going to start circulating, I'm gonna have to check my change more carefully.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 16:22 | 3133931 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

Well, yeah. But it doesn't say president of what. Wasn't Caligula president of the Senate, or something? Or Kuthulu (no idea of spelling) president of something? The underworld, maybe? Dunno, but the guy above is right. No problem.

Hey. I was once president of the homeowners' association. All you gotta do is ...

Wait. What am I saying?

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 16:32 | 3133967 elementary
elementary's picture

He's not "just another black man."    He's a one night fuck whose parentage is still questionable.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:57 | 3132995 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Colbert is another Obama/Mugabe apologist. F him and the magic coin.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:07 | 3132552 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

How many thousands of pounds is that?  Make it 2 coins, like Now & Later. And this is considered rational and sane? That weasel face is onboard lets everybody know its time for the train to Crazy Town.


Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:47 | 3132722 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

I would love a term limit on Krugman! And Ezra Klein. And the idiot WaPo blogger that first broke the trillion dollar coin story!

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:00 | 3132524 CPL
Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:03 | 3133010 silver4me
silver4me's picture

Thank-you for the link.

Video is not available in your area = zerohedge link

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:04 | 3132544 unplugged
unplugged's picture

which is about as legit as those seccession petitions

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:09 | 3132558 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Maybe not legit.......but fun though.


Lighten up Francis.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:27 | 3132623 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Lee Harvey, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. But the two of us together? Forget it! I'm gonna go out on a limb here. I'm gonna volunteer my leadership to this platoon. An army without leaders is like a foot without a big toe. And Sergeant Hulka isn't always gonna be there to be that big toe for us. I think that we owe a big round of applause to our newest, bestest buddy, and big toe... Sergeant Hulka.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:36 | 3132655 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Pardon me sir, but if we kill all the golfers....they'll lock us up and throw away the key.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:42 | 3132685 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:01 | 3132530 econ fish
econ fish's picture

Let's make a lead coin too while we're at it. That one can be worth a gazillion dollars.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:44 | 3133109 Vegamma
Vegamma's picture

Can we source the lead near Fukushima? That will reduce that chances that someone tries to steal it.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:01 | 3132532 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Let's just use platinum coins with fancy writing stamped on them to fund the whole government. Why stop at one? Then no one should have to pay any taxes evar again!!

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:36 | 3132657 HungryPorkChop
HungryPorkChop's picture

They should just put up vending machines at the local grocery store using bronze coins.  I don't think bronze coin value is mandated by the govt either.  You go in and deposit $5 fiat currency into the machine and it scribes onto the bronze coin your monthly mortgage payment, car payment and tax payment.  You then deposit this at your local TBTF Bank and all if paid up for the month.  Brilliant!!!!!!  Why didn't I think of this? 

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:02 | 3132536 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

to hell with the trillion dollar coin, lets just call "GOLD MEMBER" to bail us out of this mess!

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:04 | 3132545 mckee
mckee's picture

Is it minted with Homer Simpson's likeness?

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:08 | 3132561 CPL
CPL's picture

It's got a big picture of a screw on the front of it.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:16 | 3132589 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Almost need a group shot with a gathering of people who made it possible, around Charles Ponzi and JM Keyenes with a backdrop of Jekyll Island? All tastefully done of course.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:42 | 3132677 booboo
booboo's picture


Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:14 | 3132826 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Nah ,Charles Ponzi or Bernie Madoff.

Shows just how desperate they are getting.

Seems like the Fat Lady is warming up in the wings.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:05 | 3132546 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I'm in favor of doing it just so everybody would shut the fuck up about it.

BTW, I'm pretty sure if Ben Bernanke did mint the coin, he'd use it to buy Cheese Nips.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:06 | 3132551 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

a trillion dollar coin makes more sense than letting the bankers extract usury from taxpayers

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:46 | 3132718 booboo
booboo's picture

only if they still didn't "extract usury from the taxpayers" afterwards which is why it  still makes NO sense. You catching on yet or do you consider inflation to not be a form of usury?

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:21 | 3132858 ZetaEx
ZetaEx's picture

To clarify, I once thought the platinum coin viable when it surfaced last year, but have decided otherwise. Yes, Debt Free Money would be superior to debt based money, except for the problem of confidence in the monetary system that THIS form neglects. The platinum coin debt payoff is not a solution if used by iteself. In order to be viable, it needs a second part that reinstates the confidence it destroys, either through force (government somehow forces people to continue to accept the US dollar as payment and keep others from dumping the US dollar en masse) or through virtue (such as a precious metal backed note or circulating specie). However, currency reform itself is still only part of the probelm as our banking and government sector has not been reformed and lacks the discipline and accountability a PM based currency requires. Which option do you think they will choose, force or virtue?



Tue, 01/08/2013 - 13:29 | 3133282 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Sovereign money in the form of platinum fiat is viable if the issued currency is related to real economic expansion. For example, to issue fiat to service existing debt ONLY would amount to about 2% of GDP, so would not be inflationary if there was at least a 2% annual growth in GDP - as long as the Fed took that currency expansion into account when setting its policies.

However, the trillion-dollar coin is just a way to continue spending beyond our means. Still, printing fiat and spending it into the economy, never to be extracted, is no more inflationary than borrowing money off the Fed's press, spending that into the economy, never to be paid off, only rolled over infinitely.

At least the trillion dollar coin has a limit to its inflationary effect. The trillion-dollar debt incurred by borrowing will also require further borrowing to convert interest into principal each time that debt is rolled over, resulting in still more inflation.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:24 | 3132859 ZetaEx
ZetaEx's picture

double post



Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:08 | 3132555 unplugged
unplugged's picture

I've got some Zimbab $100 Trillion bills on the wall in my office.  Timmah boy, I'll sell them to you for only US $10 Trillion each.  Deal?

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:07 | 3132556 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

If Obama Can Just Create A Trillion Dollar Coin, Then Why Do We Have To Pay Taxes?

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:21 | 3132606 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"hence the problem." this coin thing STILL doesn't solve the problem of "solving a debt problem with more debt." in fact the coin thing would only make it worse. Vexing indeed when one must "pay for these things." from whence the GOVERNMENT revenue since with a Bailout Regime Corporate taxes will only go down not up. Payroll taxes are a good start...that actually goes to pay a benefit. So does a fully funded Obama Care. Cutting spending is the wrong answer however since that will clearly cause a second recession. Hence "sound budgets" that put the USA on a path towards "fiscal sanity" are a must have. Hmm. Haven't had one of those in a while.'

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:39 | 3132668 HungryPorkChop
HungryPorkChop's picture

Just revalue platinum to $1,000,000,000,000 an ounce.  Problem solved.  Ohhhh, where's Dr. Evil and Mini Me when you need them..  One Trillion Dollars!

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:42 | 3132670 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

More taxes than you could ever imagine, my friend, just not the kind paid on a tax return.

It's still currency debasement, just in it's most raw and naked form.  No need to worry about issuing Treasury bonds and then having the Fed buy (many but not all) of them back with printed dollars.  You just go straight to outright printing of dollars.  A trillion of them, which would NOT just sit there- they would hit the money supply over the course of about 10 months as the government spent them to cover their spending deficit. 

So f-ing what, we're pretty much doing that already, right?

Here's the difference, as I see it:

In theory the Fed could reverse course and start selling off it's balance sheet to rein things in if inflation gets too hot.  Forget whether they will or not, just realize that the capacity exists.  With the coin there is no way to pull that money back- ever.  It drops straight to diluting the value of every other dollar in circulation with no "reverse" gear if you start a nasty inflationary spiral.

AND... it WOULD likely start a nasty inflationary spiral because $1T only covers about 10 months of a single year of deficit spending.  Great trick, but what do you do in month 11?  Mint more trillion dollar coins, of course!

Also, such foolishness would (rightly) be perceived by the world as the USA going all "Zimbabwe" on our own currency.  You think confidence is low now, do this dumb idea and you'll see what real lack of confidence looks like.


Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:48 | 3132731 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

The United States Note (the Lincoln Greenback) is the longest running currency of our land, printed directly from the Treasury with no debt or interest attached.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:00 | 3132784 Roosting Chicken
Roosting Chicken's picture

"In theory the Fed could reverse course and start selling off it's balance sheet to rein things in if inflation gets too hot." theory.  But we live in reality.  In reality, you have to have buyers in order to sell.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 15:00 | 3133652 DosZap
DosZap's picture

If Obama Can Just Create A Trillion Dollar Coin, Then Why Do We Have To Pay Taxes?

C_O_N_ T_R_O_L


Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:07 | 3132557 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

1. Sovereign debt is an odious concept. Sovereign countries do not have to borrow from private corporations (who create money for free) - at interest and with the collateral of your productive labor.

2. The odious debt should be defaulted on.

3. A platinum coin is a form of default.

4. Ergo, this is a great idea. Default!

I don't get why this idea receives such vitrol at ZH. It should fit nicely with the anti-Fed beliefs of many readers.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:28 | 3132592 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That is the logical conclusion of this conversation. We have come to an agreement in purpose that default and linking the currency to a precious metal is the solution. Now it comes down to the degree of the currency devaluation and the metal to back the currency with..

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:30 | 3132634 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Again "we have a bailout regime" hence "there is no odius debt that cannot be re created" even if paid off. This is why bailouts sound good to the laypeople of Wall Street...but in fact are bad. "the only thing you are funding is Government." and with no hope of ever "de-funding" it. The irony that the least popular (the banks) do best in this environment should be lost on no one...least of all the Government itself which is "only financing debt instead of Givernment services." I'm sure if Jack Lew is nominated as Treasury Secretaryp he'll have all sorts of solutions for his problem.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 10:19 | 3132596 pods
pods's picture

I think it irks most (myself included) is that they are putting a value on it.  

And that chicanery is the only way it works.  

Stamp a certified assay and weight and be done with it. That is how it was supposed to work.

Like a dollar.  The dollar (coinage act) was specified in terms of wt and purity.

The problem is a fiat "value" declared versus a market value.

Declared value just changes my master from the FED to the Treasury.  I want no master.


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