US /
Feds Quarantine $110B in Potentially Defective $100 Bills
New security features caused wide-scale printing problem
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2010 11:38 AM CST
In this Aug. 10, 2010 photo, United States Treasury Department Bureau of Engraving and Printing manager Kevin Brown displays a new $100 bill at the World's Fair of Money in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – The new $100 bills were designed to thwart counterfeiters—but instead, the complex process required to create the high-tech bills has thwarted printers, resulting in $110 billion in currently unusable bills. The new hundreds, planned for roll-out in February, include a 3D security strip and color-shifting bell image—and producing them is so tricky that as many as 30% of those printed so far creased down the face during the process, resulting in a blank area, sources tell CNBC.

The government shut down production and quarantined the 1.1 billion printed so far—which amounts to more than 10% of all US currency on the planet. Officials must now create a mechanized system to determine which bills include the flaw—doing so by hand would take between 20 and 30 years, versus about one year by machine. Until the usable bills can be released, the current design will be produced again in order to avoid a shortage. The new bills cost twice as much to produce as a normal bill, a source says, meaning the government spent about $120 million on the defective batch.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
NoddaAndYou
Dec 6, 2010 3:46 PM CST
Mother. Fuckers. Sooooo, it took printing 1,100,000,000 fucking bills before someone did a proofing? You'd think around 40,000,000 or so someone would write on one of those fuckers with the little magic markers to see if they goddamn work.
ExceleRater
Dec 6, 2010 3:00 PM CST
Give them to me. I don't mind the flaws. Was the picture of Bernanke smudged?
Cat-Lover
Dec 6, 2010 1:41 PM CST
Why do we even use cash? Give everybody a free usage financial account and a debit card (without overdraft privileges) and be done with it!