This afternoon, disquiet washed over the Business Insider newsroom as we considered a scenario. What if the government shuts down tomorrow and stays shut down all the way through Oct. 17, when the federal government hits its debt limit?
Will it still be possible to mint the trillion-dollar coin, or will U.S. Mint staff have been deemed "non-essential" and sent home?
You can breathe easy. Even during a government shutdown, minting the coin is possible.
A government shutdown only affects government agencies that are funded through annual congressional appropriations. The U.S. Mint isn't one of them — it's funded through the sale of the coins it produces. As such, the Treasury Department's shutdown plan indicates the mint will stay open.
For the platinum coin strategy to work, the coin would then have to be deposited with the Federal Reserve. Since the Fed is funded from its own activities, it would stay open too.
At a time when Washington is topsy-turvy, it's good to know that at least one thing can still work like it's supposed to: The use of large-denomination platinum coins to circumvent the debt limit.
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