In a neat admission that his bosses are rotting the money in our pockets, Chicago Fed economist Francois Velde has come up with a bright idea: debase the nickel by a factor of five!
“The problem [of the current high price of metal] remains for the nickel, but there is a simple fix that encompasses both coins. If we formally discontinue the one-cent denomination, the existing stock of pennies (a billion dollars’ worth of resources sitting in cash registers, jars, and sofas across America) could be recycled as five-cent coins, by simply declaring that pennies are henceforth worth five cents. Rebasing the penny would at the same time debase the five-cent piece and put it safely away from its melting point. The new value would be instantly established by the Treasury’s standing ready to exchange 20 pennies for a dollar bill.”