Those new $100 bills get delayed yet again
This time shoddy ink work is the culprit. The cost of botched Benjamins goes beyond the toll on taxpayers.
The Federal Reserve originally planned to put a redesigned $100 bill into circulation by 2011. It was going to have tiny 3-D bits that moved when you tilted the bill, a revised hidden message on Ben Franklin's collar and a Liberty Bell that changes color.
Instead, the project has been plagued by setback after setback and, according to The New Yorker, yet another production error has postponed the new bills again. Take your time, Fed: It's not as if the $100 bill is one of our nation's biggest exports or anything.
A massive printing error, in which some notes were left with a blank spot, prevented the new $100 from going public in 2011. Now, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) says the latest batch of bills have been scuttled by "mashing," which occurs when too much ink is applied to the paper and the artwork's lines aren't as crisp as they should be.
Recent batches of cash from the Washington, D.C., plant contained "clearly unacceptable" notes mixed with passable ones, according to a July memo to employees from Larry Felix, the bureau's director. The Fed is returning more than 30 million $100 notes and demanding a refund, while another $30 billion dollars' worth waits to be examined.
The Fed has told the BEP that it won't accept any $100 notes made at the Washington, D.C., facility until further notice.
Thanks to the quality-control breakdown, the bureau now has very little breathing room to hit an Oct. 8 deadline for delivering this year's cash orders and getting the new $100 bill into circulation. The country's other money printer, in Fort Worth, Texas, has been ordered to step up production and given a harsh ultimatum from Felix: "If the BEP does not meet the order, the BEP does not get paid."
This currency conundrum has far more costly consequences. Taxpayers are on the hook for inspecting, correcting, producing, transporting and securing all the reprinted money, as well as disposing of the errant bills. A far higher cost could be the erosion of trust in the denomination that's quickly become a global favorite.
Roughly 84% of the new cash in circulation since 1990 has been in the form of $100 bills. They made up 77% of the value of all cash in circulation in 2012, up from just 52% in 1990. Basically, anyone who wants to stash $1 million away from Uncle Sam or exchange it for something the government doesn't like only needs a bunch of $100 bills, a large briefcase and some motivation.
Meanwhile, the amount of U.S. currency being held abroad has jumped from $280.4 billion in 1990 to more than $454 billion today. The Commerce Department considers it an increase in foreign-owned assets in the U.S. -- kind of like a zero-interest loan. But folks in financially troubled countries like Greece and Cyprus are using U.S. currency as a hedge against the euro, and a Federal Reserve study says 65% of all $100 bills in existence circulate outside the U.S.
The Fed is already having a tough time making friends at home, where a growing number of angry voices press it to justify its existence. If these printing slip-ups disrupt the wrong people's cash flow abroad, a tea party might seem charming compared to what awaits it around the globe.
Shoddy? Anybody else notice that a lot of things are getting that way in the USA? Building, service, just to name a few.
With RFID embedded paper all of your money in your pocket and wallet can be counted and tracked. Think about how useful that information is to any store you frequent.
And if you're a plastic card holder, don't think technology hasn't worked on a method to wirelessly obtain your credit limit. If you think I'm just paranoid do a google search for this article:
While some of us are concerned and angry that our phone calls, emails, internet behavior, and snail mail are tracked and scanned, think about all of your financial info also being out there as soon as you walk through ANY door.
Quote "Thanks to the quality-control breakdown, the bureau now has very little breathing room to hit an Oct. 8 deadline for delivering this year's cash orders and getting the new $100 bill into circulation. The country's other money printer, in Fort Worth, Texas, has been ordered to step up production and given a harsh ultimatum from Felix: "If the BEP does not meet the order, the BEP does not get paid."End Quote
What is to keep them from using the badly printed money and putting it in the Cayman Islands and bring back old worn out $100 notes back into the USA??
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