What if the threat of a voluntary default by the United States could be erased by simply turning one tiny scrap of platinum into a coin?
That’s right. No debt ceiling problem. No bickering in Congress. No market jitters. The only thing needed is for the Treasury Department to mint a platinum coin with a face value of $1 trillion.
Of course, this is not going to happen. Creating money out of thin air is hardly a solution. It could lead to even more concerns from those worried about inflation. Critics of the Federal Reserve’s monetary easing programs would likely be apoplectic if the Treasury Department trumped Ben Bernanke’s “helicopter drop” by minting a trillion more new dollars.
The influential New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has already dubbed the talk a “gimmick.” But here is why some people think this bizarre strategy could work.