What if one of the results of this pandemic is the elimination of physical US dollars? No more wad of cash, no more summer gigs “under the table” and no more loose change. My thought is the first phase of this exercise would be a one time “Great Coin Return.” The government allows for a deposit of ALL your change with no questions asked as to where it came from or how you got it. I can’t even imagine the lines at every bank and every credit union. Thousands of people lined up with their Carlo Rossi wine jugs filled with coins spilling pennies with every small step towards the teller. I would opt for pulling my children’s little red wagon full of their piggy banks. 🙂
According to the Federal Reserve website, in 2018 the cost of new currency was just south of 800 million dollars. That’s not how much new currency was made, that is simply what it cost the Fed to transport and print new money and destroy old or “mutilated” currency. According to the 2018 numbers from the website Visual Capitalist (one of my favorites by the way), there was about 1.4 trillion dollars worth of paper US currency in circulation. However, I could not find a solid number for the value or amount of all the coins still in existence. What would the cost be for us to transport, destroy or repurpose the Great Coin Return? How many tons of currency would need to be moved? So many geeky and very likely unnecessary questions flying through my head!
Up until very recently, I never got too bogged down worrying about how much money exists or what it would cost to collect it all. However, I find this issue springing into my thought track with more regularity as the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury team up to pump money into the financial system. Our economy and our country are able to function as a result of the level of trust that we as Americans, and the world, have placed in the value of our dollar. No longer is there gold or metal backing that value. There is only trust, or faith.
In the end, I am onboard with using every financial tool available to defeat this microscopic enemy. I just hope that if the days come for me to pull my little red wagon full of money to the bank, the dollars handed back to me are worth the trip.
Happy Friday! Be healthy, please stay safe!