The Treasury is having trouble printing the monumental sums of money needed to stimulate the economy. “The defective bills – which could number into the tens of millions, potentially representing billions of dollars in face value – will have to be burned, they say. American taxpayers have already spent an enormous amount of money to print the bills. ”
The Daily Mail writes “some of the new bills have a vertical crease that, when the sides of the bill are pulled, unfolds and reveals a blank space on the face of the bill.” MSNBC writes:
According to a person familiar with the matter, the bills are the most costly ever produced, with a per-note cost of about 12 cents – twice the cost of a conventional bill. That means the government spent about $120 million to produce bills it can’t use. On top of that, it is not yet clear how much more it will cost to sort the existing horde of hundred dollar bills. …
An official familiar with the situation told CNBC that 1.1 billion of the new bills have been printed, but they are unusable because of a creasing problem in which paper folds over during production, revealing a blank unlinked portion of the bill face. …
The redesigned bills are the first $100 bills to feature Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s signature. But to stave off a cash crunch as existing $100 bills deteriorate and can’t be replaced, the Federal Reserve has ordered renewed production of the current-design $100 bills, which feature Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s signature and do not have the new security features.
MSNBC says the finger pointing has already begun. “Somebody has to pay for this.”
Officials have mixed views on what caused the problem, and who is responsible for it. “This is not about assigning blame,” said one. But another person familiar with the matter said finger-pointing has already begun. “The Fed’s very unhappy, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is taking a beating unnecessarily,” the person said. “Somebody has to pay for this.”