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The American Crisis: To Free a Lender-Owned Nation (Part IV)

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[Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2]

In Part III, we saw how the 2011 report updated its trick for not stating the accumulated tax revenue gain as a government benefit, from the guilty underlining of two words in 1990, to the brazen assertion that the Fed is part of the government.   Is the same degeneration evident in the trick for concealing interest relief benefits?   Yes indeed.

Here is how the 1990 report properly explained the moments of tax recognition and actual value (page 50):

"Although the Treasury recognizes seigniorage at the time coins are manufactured, it does not actually obtain value for newly manufactured coins until they are deposited with the Federal Reserve banks."

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The accounting example given (quoted at the start of Part III, section 2) made it plain that the Treasury's account at the Fed is credited with $1 per coin, upon delivery to the Fed.  

Here is the equivalent excerpt from the 2011 report (page 27, emphasis added):

"Currently, about 1 billion of the approximately 4 billion $1 coins that the Mint has produced since it started minting the Susan B. Anthony $1 coin in 1979 are stored with the Federal Reserve. We do not count these coins as contributing toward the net benefit to the government because these coins are not being held by the public, and therefore, government wide, there has not been a financial gain. The Mint recognizes the seigniorage as soon as the coins are transferred to the Federal Reserve for initial distribution, even if the coins do not necessarily enter active circulation. However, because the Treasury will not have a reduced need to issue debt until coins are put into public circulation, we treat the actualization of seigniorage as occurring at that time.   It is only when debt issuance is reduced that the benefit of saved interest expense begins to accrue." [8]

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This is new, for two reasons.   First, the moments of recognition and actual value are both put back a notch.   The Fed is so sick of looking after coins it can't push, that its model now says that the Treasury cannot cannot acknowledge any benefit until the Fed has purged itself of its non-interest bearing money.

Second, to accomplish this, the Fed is again deemed part of the government.   Until the Fed has got rid of its coins, the government can't possibly have benefited.  

If there were really such a hold on Treasury benefits, there would be no need for the "debt issuance" argument that sets another high watermark for la-la-land insults to public intelligence.   Debt issuance is reduced by $1 whenever the Treasury calls off a bond sale.   The Fed can do its 18.5% bond sale whenever it wants.   Both can happen in sync, before the coin is swapped for a note.

More importantly, except for the new rule that pretends there are no cash Treasury benefits while coins are being stored by the Fed, this trickery is beside the point.   Even assuming that the Treasury and Fed are as indistinguishably locked in governing together as the Fed is privately-owned, dividend-paying, and independent, the error remains.   The government as a whole recovers the omitted 81.5% of interest relief.   It does not come from the Fed.

Coinage is the Fed's Achilles' heel.

Stay tuned.

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Occupy Wall Street.

These are the times.

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Clifford Johnson is a semi-academic naturalized Brit. He first entered the U.S. as a rah-rah Harkness Fellow. For theater, language, and also as a questionable ex-Brit, Johnson adopts a Tom Paine II persona. His activist credentials comprise serial (more...)

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The American Crisis: To Free a Lender-Owned Nation (Part IV)