The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
So far, the Biden Administration has rejected the idea of the trillion dollar platinum coin. But the President could change his mind, quickly. Axios explains that the entire process of minting the coin would take a few hours.
A trillion-dollar platinum coin could be minted "within hours of the Treasury Secretary's decision to do so," Philip Diehl, former director of the United States Mint, tells Axios. . . . The U.S. Mint, which Diehl ran from 1994 to 2000, already produces a one-ounce Platinum Eagle and has no shortage of platinum blanks already in stock. Producing a trillion-dollar Eagle would require only the denomination to be changed. "This could be quickly executed on the existing plaster mold of the Platinum Eagle," says Diehl. Then an automated process would transfer the new design to a plastic resin mold. Even if Janet Yellen,the Treasury secretary, has no intention of minting such a coin, there is no reason for her not to quietly instruct the Mint director to take those steps a day or two in advance. At that point, a coin could be struck in minutes at the West Point mint. Even if it then needed to be physically deposited at the New York Fed, that's only a short helicopter ride away.
The thought of a chopper couriering a trillion dollar coin is something out of the movies. I imagine some kind of Ocean's 11-style caper to pilfer the loot.