Tag Archives: currency

All about the Benjamins

New $100 bill

New $100 bill

The new $100 bill design was unveiled today, and will go into circulation next February. The new $100s are aimed at preventing counterfeiting. NPR’s Planet Money reports:

The $100 is a favorite of counterfeiters, for obvious reasons, and the government’s rolling out new bills to try and make life harder for them. It seems like the old antibiotics-versus-bacteria thing, where the pathogens/counterfeiters are always catching up to the drugs/government.

Watch the unveiling of the new bill, complete with patriotic theme music:

Financial field trips

Ever see millions of dollars get shredded into the trash? When does a dollar bill not, well, fit the bill anymore? Yesterday, EconomyStory took a field trip to the Federal Reserve branch in downtown LA with a group of NPR reporters here for the week from across the country to learn from experts about expanding their coverage of the economy.

The training program (more on that here) is taking reporters from places as remote as Rapid City, South Dakota and as bustling as New York City to hear from professors, researchers, and other journalists about concepts and issues like the mortgage crisis, securities regulation, and financial literacy.

At the Federal Reserve, one of 12 branch offices of the country’s central bank around the country, we learned how cash is transported and stored for banks around the country, what circumstances take a bill out of circulation, and even saw a real-live $10,000 bill. Most of our trip was off the record, so no pictures from the vault…sorry!)

Currency does seem to be the name of the game this week. Fittingly for our location in LA, Nightly Business Report tells us the True Hollywood Story of the dollar.

And NPR’s Planet Money blog shows us how one artist is taking coinage matters into his own hands.

Strange currencies

When I was in 6th grade, my teacher came up with a currency for our classroom – we could earn various denominations of the bills, printed on colored papered with homegrown cartoons drawn on them, for special projects, or we could take it in lieu of extra credit on tests, or lose it for bad behavior. To 11-year-olds with limited allowances, those bills proved more valuable than the ones with presidents on them.

But like Monopoly, sometimes these types of games aren’t just for kids. In Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Torch Project “aims to create a local currency to benefit both local area businesses and artists,” according to their website. WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show spoke with the project’s founder, Mary Jeys, about how it works.

The Brooklyn Torch isn’t the first experiment of its kind. In Michigan, a bar decided to mint its own currency to fund a renovation. According to an NPR piece from 2007, the bar’s plans were legal and in fact nothing new – local currencies date back to the 1800s.

Interested in learning more about making money (literally)? Check out some of these resources:

History Detectives: The $6 Bill Mystery

NOVA’s History of Money

Review on NPR.org of: The Art of Making Money