Monday, June 23, 2008
Bring Back the $500 Bill
The US $500 dollar bill, once not uncommon to our more affluent grandparents, but now extinct except to collectors of old bills.
I'd like to propose that the Federal Reserve begin printing the $500 bill again. Yes, yes I know the $500 and $1000 bill were stopped in order to make it harder for drug dealers and other unsavory peoples to conduct business.
I would argue that, that may have been true in the 70's and 80's but here in the 21st century with gas at nearly $100 a fill-up and Blue-Ray DVD players in the $500 plus range, the need for a consolidated currency is more relevant.
Certainly the Federal Reserve would like us to all go to a "cashless" society where we use nothing but credit/debit cards, but really do you want the banks and government to be able to track every transaction you make, and isn't there time when you just don't feel safe making a debit card purchase (Restaurants come to mind with who knows how trustworthy wait staff skimming your card!)
The EU already produces the 500E as a bill as well as other European countries. Carrying around a Latvian 500 LVL is like having $1000 US in your pocket. Which is another nail in the coffin against the crime argument. US Greenbacks isn't the currency of choice anymore around the world. The continuing devaluing dollar makes it much less attractive to do even legitimate business in. Heck even some entertainment biz pros are asking to be paid in Euro's not Dollars.
The $500 bill might just be a currency booster for us as well, as people use it more and more to make big purchases worldwide, I might not want to have 50 $100 bills in my pocket, might carry 10 $500 bills.
If the $500 bill is unpalatable to the US Treasury. Then how about we meet half way and make a new bill the $250 dollar bill. Ronald Reagan could be front and center on it!