At this point, the noise surrounding the coin is so great that it probably behooves Treasury to break its silence. By staying quiet about the coin, Treasury might think that it’s somehow preserving the option of using it. But at this point, the noise surrounding the coin is becoming unhelpful in and of itself. If Treasury isn’t going to use the coin, then Jack Lew should probably take the opportunity of mollifying House Republicans and saying so explicitly. If he fails to do so, that’s going to send the message that he’s keeping the option open. And I’m not at all sure that’s a message he really wants to send.
The Treasury Department will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to get around the debt ceiling. If they did, the Federal Reserve would not accept it.
That’s the bottom line of the statement that Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, gave me today. ”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,” he said.
Obviously, I’m taking full credit and responsibility for this development.