Law Professor Slams Summers: "Cash Is The Currency Of Freedom"

Tyler Durden's picture

By Glenn Harlan Reyonds, aka Instapundit, a University of Tennessee law professor, originally posted on USA Today

Cash Is The Currency Of Freedom

As Fed inflates away dollar's value, government gains more control to manipulate taxpayers and savers

Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers wants to get rid of the $100 bill. But I think he has it exactly backward. I think we need to restore the $500 and $1000 bills. And the reason is that people like Larry Summers have done a horrible job.

Summers wrote recently in The Washington Post that the $100 bill needs to go. The reason, he says, is that it’s a favorite of criminals, along with the 500 euro note, which is likely to be discontinued. The New York Times editorialized in agreement, writing: “Getting rid of big bills will make it harder for criminals to do business and make it easier for law enforcement to detect illicit activity. ... There is no need for large-denomination currency. Britain’s top bill is the 50-pound note ($72), which has been perfectly sufficient. The United States stopped distributing $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills in 1969. There are now so many ways to pay for things, and eliminating big bills should create few problems.”

Reading this got me to thinking: What is a $100 bill worth now, compared to 1969? According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator online, a $100 bill today has the equivalent purchasing power of $15.49 in 1969 dollars. Likewise, in 1969, a $100 bill had the equivalent purchasing power of $645.55 in today’s dollars.

For the remainder of this article, please visit the USA Today. Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.

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Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) Feb 29, 2016 9:18 PM

I say we get rid of all the aggrevation of pot metal change, and just use paper. Fiddling around with worthless coins is a huge drag. But "junk" silver is still fun to run through the fingers!

Captain Debtcrash's picture
Captain Debtcrash (not verified) Father Thyme Feb 29, 2016 9:22 PM

Why exactly would an economist want to ban cash for law enforcement reasons?  Sounds like something someone in law enforcement would be advocating.


It has nothing to do with law enforcement, its to allow negative interest rates. 

"If you have more than one reason to do something (choose a doctor or veterinarian, hire a gardener or an employee, marry a person, go on a trip), just don't do it. It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do something. Obvious decisions (robust to error) require no more than a single reason."

Nassim Taleb

SMG's picture

Mr. Reynolds you are exactly right.  Thank God for people like you standing up to scumbags like Larry Summers.

Pheonyte's picture

Larry wants to replace cash so it can be replaced with the flesh of goyim, denominated in pounds.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Summers just doin' his Mark of the Beast duty...all in a days work. Next up, soldiers will be training robots to take their jobs...just sayin'. Progress people progress. 

TeamDepends's picture

Looking forward to the $1,000,000 Obama "circus progress" bills. With one of those babies, a guy could get himself some Skittles, Swisher Sweets, purple drank and a damned good time.

GeezerGeek's picture

Obama belongs on the three dollar bill. Nothing else will do. Phoney as a three dollar bill is an old saying but quite appropriate.

AllMightyDollar's picture

Or ....... Queer as a three dollar bill

jcaz's picture

Nah,  it's more about Summers consistantly being the dumbest guy in the room.

It's like having Gartman as Treasury Secretary and Fed chairman wrapped up into one big ball of shit.

Nice to see that even Academia is finally calling out this fraud.

Frankie Carbone's picture

LOL. Only a ZH'er would know what that meant. Upvote. 

DeadFred's picture

And his prize is... a nail gun!!!

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Ah, but how many of you have the "guts" to viscerally shout out: "FREEEEDOM!" ?

Mareka's picture

Amen Bruddah !

There is another benefit to the banksters of going to all digital currency.

People learn the value of money better when it is something tangible.

It's been proven that people spend more freely when they are swiping a card instead of handing over cash.

As a young man I budegeted with cash, $100 had to last the whole week.

When it was gone, it was gone, no food no fuel.

Easier to put the population into maximum debt-voluntary slavery with digital currency.


Groundhog Day's picture

Then what will law enforcement steal? Debt cards

TheEndIsNear's picture

Why not, they steal debt based fiat paper already.

lincolnsteffens's picture

There is no credit card transaction fee with cash. Fuck you banker trash!! 

Citi just got fined again. I junked their cards 5 years ago. Don't use credit or debit  cards unless absolutely necessary.

Oh yeah, revoke your voter registration.

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) Father Thyme Feb 29, 2016 9:27 PM

They just need to re-denominate the coins .... $5, $1 and maybe keep the quarters .... dimes are too small and nickles and pennies aren't worth enough .... maybe a dime the size of a nickle ?

lincolnsteffens's picture

Have you noticed the piss poor quality of the new coins?? What garbage.

css1971's picture

Thats why they call it debasement.

garlansm's picture

I recently visited the US Mint website and the garbage we are coining today is simply shameful. The US is certinly in dire straights. 

Agstacker's picture

I save every penny I get in change that is 1981 and older, and some 1982 ones, they are 95% copper.  I also save all nickels as they are the only money we use that still has a base metal backing it, being a cupronickel alloy.

Innominate's picture

If they made the coins out of plastic they could use a heated press to stamp new denominations on the coins.

They might as well use plastic since the money is a joke now.

junction's picture

I suggest the Treasury authorize a $250 bill with a picture of Marilyn Monroe. 

GeezerGeek's picture

Bring back Grover Cleveland! Bloated, but less disgusting than Hitlery or Mr. Yellen.

GtownSLV's picture

 We already have $1200 coins, soon to be $2000, $5000... that have no counter  liability to the FED. So go ahead and ban those c-notes and start by seeing how many you can stuff Summer's arse.

Screwball's picture

Fuck Larry Summers

Frankie Carbone's picture

Your point is quite cogent and exact. For that I thank you. ;-}

Let me ask you, and for that matter, all the other members of Fight Club this, because I'd like to hear another opinion on the matter:

I know why the masses love guys like this. It's because they are told to love them. I know why the pundits love him. It's because they are paid to love him and they attend the same cocktail parties that he does. 

But why are so many investors, accountants, traders, ect, still so enamored with the guy? I mean, his track record, and that of others like him is shit. Yet they STILL listen to what he has to say, as do the academics. 

I certainly have my thoughts on this. I would like to hear what others think. Have a go? 

Zero Point's picture

Greedy never did equal smart.

zhandax's picture

"But why are so many investors, accountants, traders, ect, still so enamored with the guy?"

Because they want to become the pundits who get paid to attend the same cocktail parties.  Accounting, investing and trading can begin to look like work when you have people asking 'what have you done for me lately?'

Pundits are immune to that.

Clowns on Acid's picture

" investors, accountants, traders, ect," . By selecting these 3 descriptions you illustrate that your knowledge base is severely limited. The 3 descriptions are not mutually exclusive at all, and therefore deeply discount any point / insightful question you were trying to make. 

Furthermore no one thinks Larry Summers is anything but a fat slob, both intellectually and physically. Maybe a few overpaid shill at CFR will publicly state support for Summers... but even they know he is nothing but a Math PhD and a crooked bagman for Robert Rubin.

You have been at ZH for 5 years.... and have learned nothing.

petroglyph's picture

Frankie, I was hoping someone, which often happens, would lay out some smack on Larry. I particulary like to read what Bill Black has to say on sculldugery in the financial world. So as I like to do more often all the time, I used the ZH search function and there are pages and pages on LS.

Frankie Carbone's picture

Have not read Bill Black in a while. Thanks. Speaking of Bills, whatever happened to Bill Fleckenstein? He just seemed to disappear from columns and interviews. 

Lore's picture

That's neither fair nor reasonable IMO, but a straight answer to the question, particularly in this context, would draw unwanted attention, so we'll just take turns upvoting and downvoting and clicking to the next article...

Frankie Carbone's picture

I answered him. I am pretty sure that I know why he took a shot at me. If he wants to take a shot a me, fine. But he should keep it confined to those cesspool Trump threads, and not here. 

Clowns on Acid's picture

You said nothing. As per usual. You spout shit on a constant basis. STFU and just read.

Frankie Carbone's picture

You make an inference based a few words, which tells me that you are looking for a conclusion before even reading. Also, you know that I have been here for 5 years, which I just happened to mentioned in the Trump thread a mere hour or so ago, and hence you would also know that I vicerally despise Trump and think that his supporters are F'ing morons. If you're a Trump supporter then, well, hopefully you can draw a better conclusion than the one you tried to draw here. Sorry, but the slip up in knowing my time here so conveniently after I posted it in a thread that pisses off a lot of Trumpers just seems a bit too coincidental. Coincidental especially given that I err'ed in that statement. I have been here since about the 09'-10' time frame, which is 6 years. Check my profile. Gotcha! You quoted my error.  

Furthermore no one thinks Larry Summers is anything but a fat slob, both intellectually and physically.

Here you state opinion as fact, belying the fact that you are not here to make a valid point, and also belying the fact that you have a fault in your thinking process. I myself have personally met several people that think that guys like him and Krugman, and others of a similar ilk are indeed "the experts", even though they are wrong most of the time. If you have not met anyone to the contrary, then I suggest that you stop insulating yourself from alternate opinions. It's not healthy. 

Furthermore, traders and investors ARE different, and although not uncommon to not be mutually exclusive, their manner of approach for dealing in financial instruments are often quite bifurcated, and often at odds. And, not all accountants trade, nor do they invest. My brother is an accountant, and a fool as he leaves his portfolio completely in the hands of an investment broker. So, while you are technically correct that they MAY not be mutually exclusive, this statement actually belies your ignorance of financial matters, particularly given that I bunched those three professions into a "catch all" to represent participants in the marketplace. To infer otherwise is an engagement in mere quibbling for which I should conclude that you are here to grind an ax. 

Tall Tom's picture

Since Summers is close to both the FED and the US Treasury then it is wise to listen as he may inadvertently, or even intentionally, spill some inside information.


The edge gives a trader or investor an advantage over those less informed.


That is the reason to listen to any of them...and carefully listen at that.

Frankie Carbone's picture

Absolutely Tom. Idiots that shut guys like Summers out are missing a lot of important open source information. Like the moron just below you that responded to you. Talk about a guy that lives in the fairy tales between his ears. Ohh, so does Summers. LOL

Clowns on Acid's picture

yeh, yeh, yeh. Do yourself a favor and do more reading than posting. You actually might learn something. Cause you surely don't know shiite right now.

Frankie Carbone's picture

You know, if you go back and re-read all of the tripe that you post, you'd soon realize two things: First, your posts have the content of pork rinds dipped in Crisco, and Secondly, when people around here are making fun of "them", we're talking about you. 

TheReplacement's picture

Are you talking finance or politics?  It has nothing to do with his being right about anything but with whom he is connected.  Fail and get adulation in the press.  Go figure.


Stroke's picture

Soiunds like a fuckin' Homo to me

Strelnikov's picture

You can follow Reynolds' comments at

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Where you can find out that the place is infested with neocons.


TheReplacement's picture

No better place to shine the light of truth and reason - pick off the less dedicated/convinced/indoctrinated.  Seems like there are a lot of doubters out there these days.

runswithscissors's picture

cash is the currency of fraud

Pheonyte's picture

1s and 0s are the currency of tyrrany.

Oldwood's picture

Fraud is the currency of government.

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Debt is the currency of slaves, which is exactly why the won't outlaw any of THAT. Think about it.