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Steal the trillion dollar coin

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There has been consideration that the US Mint would produce a trillion dollar platinum coin to pay down the deficit. This would be a single coin. The idea is serious; see link.

Never in the history of the world has there been a target for robbers so huge. I envision a fictional work (please let this craziness stay fiction!) in which supervillians, rogue states, rouge states, rouged and mascaraed barbarian hordes, master spy ninjas, Confederate pirate cyborgs and all manner of evildoers converge on the mint with one goal: Steal the Trillion Dollar Coin. The work would depict excess in all forms except problem solving. One would think that at least a few of the various villains would cooperate given the size of the trophy, but that never winds up happening.

bungston, Jan 07 2013

No trillion dollar coins! http://www.washingt...llion-dollar-coins/
But what about a gogozillion dollar coin! The God Coin! Worth ALL! [bungston, Jan 07 2013]

ZGoogol$ pocket money to add to coin [xenzag, Jan 07 2013]

Simpsons episode "The Trouble with Trillions" http://en.wikipedia...uble_with_Trillions
[xaviergisz, Jan 07 2013]

The Million Pound Note http://www.imdb.com...46072/?mode=desktop
Such notes do actually exist … [8th of 7, Jan 08 2013]

'Wired' article on this very topic http://www.wired.co...one-trillion-theft/
Something in the air perhaps. [DrBob, Jan 10 2013]

[link]






       OMG [+]
xandram, Jan 07 2013
  

       Why would the US mint a trillion dollar coin (or even several of them)? Would it not be simpler just to print several trillion dollars' worth of regular banknotes? Or to declare that Obama's ballpoint pen has a value of one trillion dollars?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2013
  

       I think the concept is that the US isn't actually restricted on the value of bullion coins it can mint, while there are legal restrictions on the bills it can print (although why they couldn't print 10 million hundreds remains open).   

       I'm assuming this is supposed to be a fiat value coin that happens to be made out of platinum, rather than a bullion value coin since, as near as I can tell, it would require the worlds total supply of platinum and then some otherwise (~20,000 tons).
MechE, Jan 07 2013
  

       Ah, that makes sense. No, hang on, it doesn't. Shirley the government can remove legal restrictions on currency printing? It's no more whimsical than declaring a coin to be worth a trillion dollars.   

       (Aside - the English Brittania coin is one ounce of gold, but has a face value of only £100.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2013
  

       Obviously, the plot would be thwarted by a similar alliance for Good, including Batman and Robin, Thunderbirds, Ghostbusters, the A-team, Dr. Who, Superman, and Bond … James Bond …
8th of 7, Jan 07 2013
  

       Hang on again.   

       If the trillion dollar coin were stolen, all the government has to do is to re-declare its value to be that of the platinum content.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2013
  

       //Shirley the government can remove legal restrictions on currency printing?//   

       Theoretically, the president could order the mint to produce this coin without congressional approval right now. That's not going to happen, but it's theoretically possible. Thus this posturing by the Congressman in question to try to portray the President as pro-inflation, with no business sense.   

       And the US 1oz gold coin is a $20 face value. I wouldn't recommend trying to use it that way though. Anecdotally, one employer tried to pay his employees in gold and only pay taxes on the face value. The IRS was not happy with him.   

       As far as demonetizing it (which is what resetting it to the metal content would be), the US has never actually done that. At this point any federal currency ever issued is legal tender, although in most cases where this might be of interest, it is worth more as a collectors item.
MechE, Jan 07 2013
  

       Such a coin would be a convenient way of paying for half a day's street parking in Central London …
8th of 7, Jan 07 2013
  

       The whole thing is so close to the Triganic Pu I think Douglas Adams must be chortling somewhere.
DrCurry, Jan 07 2013
  

       Max, I think you are getting confused. In Westminster, parliament can pass any law it wants. In the Colonies they are a bit more constrained and have this constitution thing that is full of very inconvenient restrictions.   

       I am waiting on the fakes.
pocmloc, Jan 07 2013
  

       Would it make more sense to have a trillion dollars in a stack of Benjamins?
rcarty, Jan 07 2013
  

       Chinese ones
Brian the Painter, Jan 08 2013
  

       They'll *let* you steal it.   

       Then there will be a full paparazzi army following you around getting video of you trying to spend the damn thing.   

       Oh, the drama - will you be able to sell it to some other sucker for five grand? Or will someone shoot you for it?   

       More after these commercials...
lurch, Jan 08 2013
  

       I love this - a great idea really well written.
calum, Jan 08 2013
  

       <link>
8th of 7, Jan 08 2013
  

       //I'm wondering how I'd get the change home, like the can of coke was 40p, so that 1 trillion dollars minus 60 cents(ish)..I suspect one wheel barrow might not be enough?//   

       Assuming you could get the change in $100 bills, it would weigh about 10,000 metric tons, and would require over 330 20-foot-long ISO containers to hold it all.
ytk, Jan 08 2013
  

       The fun of the trillion dollar coin idea is that you don't actually have to make one in order for the concept to work. Just use publicity to establish in people's minds that such a thing exists. Then let everyone 'know' that it's housed in your most high security vault and then act as if it really does exist. The concept's the thing with money, you see.
DrBob, Jan 08 2013
  

       That's exactly what has been happening. Do keep up! The problem is, that once all this new money gets into circulation then inflation starts eating away at its value so it turns out that you didn't create as much money as you thought you did and if you haven't got an economy to back it up with then it becomes completely worthless.
DrBob, Jan 08 2013
  

       //their own excesses//   

       Yes, it really has to be the banks. Otherwise it would have to be us.
theircompetitor, Jan 10 2013
  

       The value of this coin is so great that normally trivial risks, such as an earthquake destroys the vault where it's stored, or a thief from the future travels back in time to steal it, become significant.
phundug, Jan 10 2013
  

       I was about to say that the "coin" should be about the size of a manhole cover - but then I remembered a comment in a novel I read many years ago (probably Asimov, I think it was a Foundation novel) where he presented the idea of an object impossible for humans to pick up unassisted by equipment. Seems like it was a 1-meter cube of iridium; the number of people required to lift it would be more than can simultaneously get close enough to touch it. That would make a respectable 'coin'.
lurch, Jan 10 2013
  

       //The value of this coin is so great that normally trivial risks... become significant.//   

       No they don't. The value of the coin is so great, but the value of the _stolen_ coin is trivial. It could only be resold by melting it down for scrap.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2013
  

       Incidentally, the US national debt is around $45,000 for every American man, woman and child.   

       The UK national debt, on the other hand, is about £16,000 for every British man, woman and child. This is about $24,000. On the third hand, we do have Wales which can be sold to relieve the debt.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2013
  

       For Wales, my offering price (about the cost of a used Toyota spare wheel at a junkyard) may be a bit small in absolute terms, but I think you'll find it about average overall.
lurch, Jan 10 2013
  

       We could always give it to Scotland, and charge them a trillion quid to take it back. Whether they pay or not, we win.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2013
  

       //It could only be resold by melting it down for scrap.// It doesn't have to be resold for its absence to be a problem.
phundug, Jan 11 2013
  

       If it is found to be absent, you just declare it no longer legal tender, and mint a new coin.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 11 2013
  

       [MB] We have Texas, which serves roughly the same purpose.
MechE, Jan 11 2013
  

       Didn't we sell you that?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 11 2013
  

       No, they stole it off the Mexicans; unlike Louisiana (bought from the french), Alaska (bought from the Russians), Panama (won in a card game) and Canada (returned as being the wrong size, the wrong colour, the wrong flavour, and not what was originally ordered anyway ).
8th of 7, Jan 11 2013
  

       To be fair, they really kind of stole themselves, and then we just sort of played finders keepers.
MechE, Jan 11 2013
  

       Trillion dollar coin? Didn't that idea originate HERE?
smendler, Jan 12 2013
  
      
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