Monday, January 21, 2013

Trillion Dollar #DIV/0!


This whole thing about the "trillion dollar coin" brings up an interesting problem. To rehash it, it's that the U.S. Treasury may use an unintended consequence of an obscure earmark amendment to stamp a platinum coin denominated as $1-trillion dollars, and deposit it with the Federal Reserve as collateral for new loans, which the government can then use to pay its bills.  It is an accounting hack, (the programmers equivalent to the side effect of a function) and one that even an eminent NYTimes economist believes should technically work.

This of course begs the question in regard to what one means by "technically" and "work," but hey, he's got a Nobel Prize in Economics so I'm sure he knows what he's talking about. To a point, anyway...