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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traderjoe's picture

Not to put words into your mouth, but it sounds like you would be more in favor of a freegold than a gold standard.

I want the abolition of all legal tender laws, the issuance of the United States Note, and a system of freegold/silver/barter, etc. running along side the US Note. Let the people decide their medium of Exchange and the value thereto.

pods's picture

The more free the market, the better.  I am also for removing the fractional reserve privilege of banks, or removing the FDIC so a bank's moral hazard must be faced.  

The current monetary system is so beneficial for the banks I don't think I could devise a better and more hidden one (in plain sight).

I think I am so jaded that I could not trust a US Note ATM.  I could not trust the amount in circulation, etc.

But our credit based, exponential expansion model has got to die a wicked, horrible death. That way people will wake the hell up about what is going on.

People will naturally work out a system that will be beneficial to them. If we can just keep the sociopaths at bay.


DCFusor's picture

You don't have to do away with the FDIC, just make the bankers own wealth first in line, like Switzerland.  It greatly increases the "give a shit" factor, as Kyle Bass says.

dark pools of soros's picture

you dont have to get complicated..  just murder usury when found

Overfed's picture

Why, that's akin to anarchy! How will the corp. track and tax every penny you make and spend?

rqb1's picture

I agree, let the govt cut the private federal reserve bank out of the equation. I'm surprised that this has gotten so much press, since this is a threat to them and they own the msm.

traderjoe's picture

The (ironically attractive) aspect of the $1 trillion coin idea is it demonstrates the utter lack of intrinsic value of FRN's and the whim by which government could devalue.

Investor Wizard's picture

The real question is when you use it at McDonalds or WalMart will they be able to give you change?

Seer's picture

By the time hyperinflation kicks in I think that the real question will be whether it'll be enough!

SilverIsKing's picture

It'll always be enough as long as it's made of pure platinum.

XitSam's picture

Waiting for a business to put up a sign:

Nothing over a $20 bill accepted. This includes $1,000,000,000,000 coins.

krispkritter's picture

At least he realized the value toilet paper has in this situation...and in our near future. Got TP?

Dr. Engali's picture

That's pretty damn funny.I say we mint a 16 trillion dollar coin with a big naked ass on the front of it , and tell the rest of the world to kiss it.

unplugged's picture

Best idea I've heard yet !

THX 1178's picture

And we'll just watch those Treasuries and US dollars come hurtling homeward.


Just the fact that we're even discussing this in the first place shows how desperate we are.

madcows's picture

Why a big naked ass?  Couldn't we just put Obama or Bernanke on it?  Same thing, right?

Lmo Mutton's picture

Make a $20 Trillion dole r coin.

Problem solved


madcows's picture

How about they just devalue all the currency.  A $100 bill is now worth a dollar, etc...  Why do we have to go through all this inflationary debt monitization crap?  Just declare that everything is worth 1% of what it used to be.

Or, better yet, just tell the FED that we won't be paying them back.  Really, it's their fault that they made bad loans.

Winston Churchill's picture

Which is exactly the plan if TPTB nanage to keep control of the rapidly deteriating situation.

That or War,They appear to be planning on both.

Madcow's picture

i think its a great idea - 

our creditors - the Chinese Govt - are stupid and will accept the coins as payment. 

but why platinum?  why not magic beans?  or paper money?


magpie's picture

I think Krugman and Weisenthal are betting on a collectors' market later on; honestly i might buy in with Texan scrip, Gold yuan etc if the design is good enough.

DavosSherman's picture

Wooden nickes, platinum coins.  Debt monetization is debt monetization.

HpDeskjet's picture

Off topic, but worth a new one...

Greek coalition will likely not survive 2013

razorthin's picture

Yes, it is a lunatic idea.  But I am not going to let Tom Keane of Bloomberg radio, the Keynesian with the voice of a constipated lesbian, off the hook.  He said he idea was, "so stupid that Ron Paul's likeness should be on the head of the coin."

Fukk you Keane, and fukk you bloomberg shills!

madcows's picture

can i bring it down to Kroger's and buy a loaf of bread with it?  Can they make change or will I need to bring two trillion dollar coins with me? So long America.  It was nice knowing you.  Time to break it up.  Break the coasts off to form the Western Socialist States and the Eastern Socialist States... include the Socialist Great Lake States with it.  Then group the middle states together to form Texas and the Conservative Farm States.

unplugged's picture

Or lets just trade all the liberals/marxists for illegal immigrants - deport the libs/marxists to cuba - 2 problems solved.

unplugged's picture

What ever happened to the gold & silver coins required by law?  Oh ya, nobody gives a rats ass about law anymore - stoopid me.

Super Broccoli's picture

sounds like Mugabe

martens50's picture

Minting a $1,000,000,000,000.00 coin of platinum would be runinous to the environment given the mining damage and the need for more coins in this denomination. Just mint one $1,000,000,000,000,000.00 coin and make us fiscally responsible for a few more decades.


10PastMidnight's picture

As if printing more money has made us fiscally responsible now? Beney just needs a few more good men to suck the rest of us dry.

10PastMidnight's picture

Maybe they can print an automatic debt clock on each one, at least they would then have value.

Downtoolong's picture

The biggest reason it will never be done - It would cut Wall Street out of the profit loop on all the new funny money being created.

disabledvet's picture

Simple Bankruptcy is still an option. I find it odd that everyone still skirts this issue. "Just go out of business." understanding of course that "every pet project in DC must still be heard." I mean the simple question of "what can actually be funded here" must be answered lest all that be created is a debt regime. /:-0

azzhatter's picture

You could make the coin or you could just default, it's the same thing. Why bother with the coin

andyupnorth's picture

Why does it have to be made of platinum?  Just mint coins out of feces, with the Bernank's image on it, stamped at a billion USD each, declare it legal tender, and use it to pay off all of the U.S.'s creditors.  Problem solved!  What can go wrong?

andyupnorth's picture


"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."

rufusbird's picture

I think it would good to consider a plan to issue a X-trillion dollars in an instrument with a current value of par that accrue interest at a fixed rate until maturity 100 years from now. They could be issued to pay off the current debt using a retroactive collective action clause of some sort. By the time the payments are due the world may be so different that they may not be significant. They could be made attractive by making them exempt from Federal estate taxes or something similar.

The problem, as I see it is, the effect it could have on the current politcal and trade relationships between the US and China, and Japan.

Hayabusa's picture

Look, this isn't about what works, but how far they can convince the American people to bend over and take the "extend and pretend" "solutions"... many of you might be laughing at the trillion dollar coin idea, but you ain't seen nutin yet - desperate men do desperate things.  The trillion dollar coin idea is just the tip of the iceberg... buckle up cuz lots more fun "gubmint solutions" are coming your way.


The last one (QE) simply gave wall street bankers more $$ to gamble with in the derivative markets... it's been "hypothecated" away.  I wanna take the trillion dollar coin, put it on red or black and spin the roulette wheel - I wonder if I won if they'd hand me over their casinos in lieu of cash?


I used to ask myself, "how stupid do they think we are?"... man was that naive.

tradewithdave's picture

The trillion dollar plantinum coin seigniorage idea has fully saturated the media and even has its own Wikipedia page, yet no one has mentioned that the originator of the concept of accrual of the seigniorage, from everything I can see, originated with George Soros.

unununium's picture

Yes, it's ludicrous, but


The Fed has printed 2 trillion-dollar coins in the recent past.  Those haven't helped the debt at all, and those are just the trillions the unaudited entity admits to.

CheapBastard's picture
'New York Times' Moves All Content You Won't Give A Shit About Unless You Make At Least $200K A Year Into One Convenient Section


"From now on, people looking for helpful hints on renovating a $4 million Manhattan townhouse won't have to waste time sifting through articles on the crisis of public education," Times executive editor Bill Keller said of the new section, which will be printed in smudge-proof ink so it doesn't soil the soft, pink hands of its readers.

jomama's picture

am i really the only one who thinks Colbert's brand of humor is formulaic and predictable?

Dr. Sandi's picture

That's the basis of his popularity.

If he was unpredicatable, he would scare the average TV zombie.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Him and Jon Stewart must have some semblance of an idea of what is going on, and yet, they only go about 50% of the way, any time they criticize the gov't, Wall Street, The Fed, etc.  They JOKE about the issues, but don't straight faced tell you how absurd it is, and honestly, what the solution is. 

I get it, back in the day the court jester was the only one who could speak his mind, and criticize the king, albeit indirectly, and through the use of humor, but there comes a time where we need a bit more from our 'jesters', at the very least to prove to us they aren't on the take, and are part of the good guys.

I have given Colbert and Stewart all the chances in the world, they have yet to impress.

Dr. Sandi's picture

They like their jobs and they know where the line is. And it's the unemployment line if they stray too far from the official line.

Ask Bill Maher. Ask the Smothers Brothers.

It's not censorship, it's just a business decision. Nothing personal, sorry we have to let you go. You can pick up your personal possessions from the dumpster out back.

steve from virginia's picture


Hmmm ... the bosses are moving in the right direction.


Forget coins, the Treasury needs to make a supreme Ring of Power:


"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In the District of Columbia where the Shadows lie."


Obama could put it on and disappear ...

mendigo's picture

Leaving aside that this would seem to be pretty much a joke. It might be displaying some friction btween admin and fed. Basically the fed has threaten to pull the pucnchbowl right. Which was only a hypothetical punchbowl anyway right. So this is a hypothetical response to a hypothetical threat to hypothetically discontinue a virtual fed policy right. I suspect that in fact that this is an effort to silience the truth by creating a senario so ludicrous that words will escape Tyler and he will suffer severe disorientation - a news drone targeted at Tyler.

But it is also a match of wits Tyler vs the algos to which can resolve this recurve loop of stupidity - I recall most compilers were limited to about 7 levels of recursion but that was long ago.

Tylers poppin the crazy pills I hope.