Matt Levin, Carlos Mucha, Treasury discussed on Morning Edition


Extend the debt ceiling into December This would buy lawmakers time to figure out a longer term solution the debt ceiling is of course the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow and if it's not lifted by October 18th the country won't be able to pay its bills and our economy would fall into recession according to economists Be desperate times call for desperate measures and there is an idea floating around out there mostly on the fringes for another way around congressional gridlock just print the money At a thin air specifically create a $1 trillion coin made of platinum Marketplaces Matt Levin has more The $1 trillion coin idea did not come from a Nobel Prize winning economist It came from this guy I have never studied economics formerly in my life Carlos Mucha is a lawyer in Atlanta and he used to spend his downtime in the comments sections of econ blogs for fun During Obama's first term one threat in particular sucked him in What could the Treasury Department do if Congress didn't raise the debt ceiling It's like guys on a blog chatting like who is the best left handed pitcher of all time or something It had no real world application Here was much his idea Treasury has the power to mint money but it can legally print only so many dollars and coins are denominated based on what they're made of like gold silver copper Mucha spotted a loophole platinum a platinum coin could be worth whatever the treasury wanted it to be There's no reason that tomorrow the Secretary of the Treasury says you know what I want to change the denomination to $1 trillion Then the coin is deposited in the treasury's bank account with the fed and presto Money to fund the government Debt ceiling problem solved Legal Probably But likely it sounds absurd but the more you think about it actually the shinier it looks Donald marron was on the council of economic advisers during the George W. Bush administration He says if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling minting platinum coins might be better than other options like breaking the economy You know not paying social security right There's a whole bunch of people they wouldn't be able to pay There's debate over whether the coin gambit could supercharge inflation Maren thinks the fed could manage it but a platinum based solution won't exactly inspire confidence in government bonds says Mark zandy and economists with moody's If I were a global investor and I saw that I'd say hey this is just not going to work It's unsustainable Zandy says interest rates could shoot up overnight which could spell catastrophe So when I asked who should be on the face of a $1 trillion platinum coin he hesitated I don't know that I'd want to put anyone on that coin I think that would be an ignominious kind of honor Carlos Mucha the guy who came up with the idea he doesn't want to be on it either I'm Matt Levin for marketplace All right so a $1 trillion coin is not going to happen anytime soon but the fed is seriously considering whether to create a different kind of money a digital currency In fact 67 countries around the world or at least looking into this right now according to the Atlantic council Right now the fed is studying the risks and benefits and may release a report as soon as this month marketplaces Nancy Marshall guns or takes a look at how this all might work A Central Bank digital currency would just be a digital version of the dollar issued and managed directly by the fed At last month's press conference fed chair Jerome Powell said the ultimate test for a digital dollar will be or they're clear and tangible benefits that outweigh any costs and risks A digital dollar could make it cheaper and faster to move money around and people without access to a regular bank account could get one with the fed says Danielle dimartino booth a former adviser at the Dallas fed They would have if you will a checking account they're at the Federal Reserve Demartino booth says that would make it easier for the government to distribute federal aid There is a flip side says Richard Levine chair of the FinTech and regulation practice at the law firm Nelson Mullins The fed would know a lot about you They would know exactly where you spent every digital dollar Living says it would be better for consumers to keep digital dollars at traditional commercial banks that are required to protect your data I'm Nancy Marshall gensert for marketplace Let's.

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