Could We Solve the Debt-Ceiling Crisis With Trillion-Dollar Coins?

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BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 05:  In this photo illustration a craftsmen puts the finishing touches to a limited edition commerative coin depicting US President elect Barack Obama sits in the workshop of a die makers on November 5, 2008, in Birmingham, England. The coin has been struck to mark the historic election of Barack Obama in the United States. Birmingham company Winston Elizabeth & Windsor in association with UK Fine Arts has already sold more than 300 limited edition commemorative silver coins with solid gold versions in production. The coins depict Senator Obama's face, along with a picture of the White House and the legend "President of the United States of America".  (Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 05: In this photo illustration a craftsmen puts the finishing touches to a limited edition commerative coin depicting US President elect Barack Obama sits in the workshop of a die makers on November 5, 2008, in Birmingham, England. The coin has been struck to mark the historic election of Barack Obama in the United States. Birmingham company Winston Elizabeth & Windsor in association with UK Fine Arts has already sold more than 300 limited edition commemorative silver coins with solid gold versions in production. The coins depict Senator Obama's face, along with a picture of the White House and the legend "President of the United States of America". (Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) Photo: Christopher Furlong/2008 Getty Images

Here's one way out of the debt-ceiling impasse, courtesy of well-known Yale constitutional-law professor Jack Balkin:


Sovereign governments such as the United States can print new money. However, there's a statutory limit to the amount of paper currency that can be in circulation at any one time. Ironically, there's no similar limit on the amount of coinage. A little-known statute gives the secretary of the Treasury the authority to issue platinum coins in any denomination. So some commentators have suggested that the Treasury create two $1 trillion coins, deposit them in its account in the Federal Reserve and write checks on the proceeds.

We don't know, this proposal seems kind of ... bizarre. Why mint two trillion-dollar coins when you can just mint a single two-trillion-dollar coin? Other than that, it's perfect.

3 ways Obama could bypass Congress [CNN]