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Why the White House Killed the Platinum Coin

Why the White House Killed the Platinum Coin
Photograph by Mike Groll/AP Photo

Over the weekend, the White House shot down the idea of having the Treasury print a $1 trillion platinum coin as a way of avoiding national default if Republicans, as they are threatening, refuse to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. “Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” Treasury spokesman Anthony Coley told Bloomberg News in an e-mailed statement on Saturday.

This was a heartbreaking turn of events to the bloggers and columnists who’d pushed the once-obscure idea to the forefront of the national debate. But it wasn’t a particularly surprising one.