Tags: summers | 100 dollar bill | phase out

Summers: $100 Bill and 500 Euro Note Aid Crime, Should Be Phased Out

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By    |   Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016 12:14 PM

Former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers said that the $100 bill and other high denomination bank notes contribute to corruption, crime, and terrorism, and should be phased out.

"I’d guess the idea of removing existing notes is a step too far," Summers wrote in The Washington Post on Tuesday.

"But a moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place."

Summers cited a new study published by Harvard University's Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government that shows which bills are used most commonly for illicit purposes.

While the $100 bill issued by the United States is a favorite, by far the worst offender is the European Union's 500 euro note, which is worth a whopping $556 USD.

"[I]n certain circles the 500 euro note is known as the 'Bin Laden,'" Summers points out.

"[I]llicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note."

Summers went on to say that the bills bearing the faces of Benjamin Franklin and President Ulysses S. Grant (the $50 bill) have their share of the blame, too.

Speaking about steps Western governments could take, Summer said that "the most important actor by far is the European Union. The €500 is almost six times as valuable as the $100 . . . If Europe moved, pressure could likely be brought on others, notably Switzerland."

The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch reported that some of the biggest U.S. bills ever produced — including the $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 notes — were phased out in 1969. Up until that point, they were mostly used by banks, and today many collectors seek them. 

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Former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers said that the $100 bill and other high denomination bank notes contribute to corruption, crime, and terrorism, and should be phased out.
summers, 100 dollar bill, phase out
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2016-14-17
Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016 12:14 PM
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