OK, OK. We know that you don't actually need $1 trillion worth of platinum to make this debt-defying coin.
But just for the sake of some financial fun, how much platinum would you actually need to mint a coin that contains a trillion dollars worth of platinum?
Turns out, it's probably more than mankind has available on the market right now.
Before we do the math, we need to be sure we're on the same page about what a trillion is. In many countries, a trillion is one million million million, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.
But here in the U.S., it's just a million million, or 1,000,000,000,000. So let's go with that.
If you log on to your favorite precious metal website, you can pick up some platinum coins today for about $1,620 an ounce. (Though you'd probably get a bulk discount — you've got a hefty order).
To make a coin that contains $1 trillion worth of platinum, you'd need about 617 million ounces. That's about 19,300 tons of platinum. Or, approximately 2,000 school buses or two Eiffel Towers.
Face it, you're not going to be flipping that coin. As for vending machines, we expect they'd short-circuit at the sight of one.
And just what would 19,000 tons of platinum look like? It would take up about 30,000 cubic feet of space, so you would need about five 18-wheelers to haul it around.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the world mined about 192 tons of platinum in 2011, so at today's rate, it would take about 100 years to get it out of the ground.
But as we said, if the president decided he wanted Treasury to produce a $1 trillion platinum coin, he just has to say so. And we all just have to agree that's what it's worth. Whether it really is or isn't.
in March a year ago the St Louis Fed, home to the FRED graphs, changed their graphs to an interactive format, which apparently necessitated eliminating some of the incompatible options which we had used in creating our static graphs before then...as a result, many of the FRED graphs we've included on this website previous to that date, all of which were all created and stored at the FRED site and which we'd always hyperlinked back there, were reformatted, which in many cases changed our bar graphs to line graphs, and some cases rendered them unreadable... however, you can still click the text links we've always used in referring to them to view versions of our graphs as interactive graphs on the FRED site, or in the case where an older graph has gone missing, click on the blank space where it had been in order to view it in the new format....