E The Trillion Dollar Coin

Change is good, but dollars are better.


Recently I penned an article highlighting the country’s fiscal condition.  This year’s Ides of March (15th) acquires special significance with the expiration of the Obama-Boehner debt ceiling deal, the Fed meeting, and an election in the Netherlands. 

Unless there’s an increase in the debt ceiling, the Treasury will be limited to servicing the government’s expenses to their operating cash balance.  The Treasury publishes a Daily Treasury Statement that tells the world how much cash they have on hand.  On the first day of the 2017 fiscal year (10/3/16), they had $339 billion.  The day after the election (11/9/16) they had $365 billion.  On January 25th, a few days after the inauguration, their balance was $401 billion.  Since that time, the Treasury drained their coffers to the tune of $370 billion to a balance of $30 billion as of the close of March 10, 2017. 

I’m not sure how long the $30 billion will last.  When that balance falls to zero, they’ll have to resort to other techniques to keep the government afloat.  This will be a politicized event.  What follows, is an excerpt from my upcoming book where I muse about a number of economic and social topics.  The excerpt discusses an alternative once considered for circumventing the debt ceiling.  I’m not advocating this approach.  Rather, I want to illustrate the extent of financial machinations considered in times of financial crisis.  Enjoy.

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