Why We Should Stop Printing $100 Bills

In short, because only criminals use them
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2010 11:16 AM CST
A money changer shows U.S. $100 bills as she counts them Friday, Aug. 17, 2007 in Manila.   (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

(Newser) – The really pretty amusing news that the US had screwed up in printing its latest batch of a billion new $100 bills got Timothy Noah of Slate wondering: “Why does the world need 1 billion $100 bills? Indeed, why does the US continue to print C-notes at all?” The only people who use the dang things are drug dealers, tax evaders, and other criminals. “Flash a $100 at the typical American retailer and you’re liable to inspire befuddlement.”

If you ask the government why we still print them, they’ll probably mention overseas demand. “But guess what? Foreigners have fishy reasons for holding onto C-notes too!” Legitimate foreign dollar-buyers want bank deposits and Treasury notes; physical bills are only useful if you want to hand bags of cash to Hamid Karzai. True, banning Benjamins might just drive the crooks to the 500 Euro note. “But that doesn’t seem a particularly noble reason to keep printing the damned things.”

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