Who watches the Watchmen? Elizabeth Warren, apparently…

My own Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, kicking ass and taking names: Erin, let’s think about how we might work some of these questions and issues (and the debate over them) into E.6 of GOV?

I need to be subsidized

Dec Workshop: Day 4, Government

Rehearsals for the final pair of storylines, Marketing and Government, are humming along this week, with our playwrights Erin and KJ diving into rewrites after two solid days of table work apiece. Today we looked at Government. Erin has been weaving a series of scenes that take us from the desk of a Senator, to … Continue reading

Dec Workshop: getting started on Marketing and Government

We’ve been doing great work with KJ Sanchez’s Marketing line, and Erin Courtney and her Government story. Performers Dax Valdes, Nina Hellman, Sheila Tapia and Eboni Booth are working with us this week, as well as sound designer and composer Jane Shaw, video designer Jared Mezzochi, and lighting designer Chris Kuhl. We are following the … Continue reading

Interstitial (trading round) videos

T.1 (preshow) Robert: introductory promo video playing (on loop?) at start MEDIA SAMPLES: COMPANY AD, TRAILER   T.2 (after E.1) Erin: maybe about the Currency Industry? Showing what money is, the different aspects of it? Or a rudimentary econ lesson about how money moves etc (like the Banking YouTube videos we found?) Have this conversation … Continue reading

Current denominations of U.S. currency

Wikipedia says: Currently printed denominations are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Notes above the $100 denomination stopped being printed in 1946 and were officially withdrawn from circulation in 1969. These notes were used primarily in inter-bank transactions or by organized crime; it was the latter usage that prompted President Richard Nixon to issue an executive order in 1969 halting their use. With … Continue reading


Great example from Wikipedia, baby: The “50 State” series of quarters (25-cent coins) was launched in the U.S. in 1999. The U.S. government planned on a large number of people collecting each new quarter as it rolled out of the U.S. Mint, thus taking the pieces out of circulation[citation needed]. Each set of quarters is worth $14.00 (a complete set includes quarters … Continue reading

The Stock Market: Explained! by 1950s educational videos

Two gems I found on DVD. Sadly, since I don’t own the copyright, and don’t feel like getting into a kerfuffle with anyone, for now I’m just going to put them behind a password on Vimeo for our own internal use. So, Team TRADE PRACTICES, you know what to do. If anyone else is reading … Continue reading

Canada: New Polymer Currency

Canada just recently introduced a new $100 banknote, made with a polymer substrate rather than paper. Its security features include two see-through windows. According to the Bank of Canada, you can “feel, look, and flip” to make sure the bill is real. The polymer bills can last much longer (up to two-and-a-half times longer) than … Continue reading

The (Il)Legality of Scanning Currency

Reproductions of money: Federal laws don’t ban reproducing images of United States currency, but they do restrict how you can legally display those reproductions. According to the Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992, Public Law 102-550, Section 411 of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations, you can make and display color reproductions of bills … Continue reading

New $5 bill video

Yes, this was actually produced by the US government.

Security Printing Risks

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). There are a number of risks involved in the security printing process, which must be managed by the printer. The security printer and supplier have a responsibility to operate under best practices in order to ensure the safety, health, … Continue reading

What does it take to be a security printer?

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). A carefully customized security system should incorporate the following attributes: It should respond to the threats the customer is facing. The supplier therefore needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the type of counterfeits that are found in the … Continue reading

Security Printing Inks

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). There are two types of security printing inks. Anti-duplication inks are meant to prevent, you guessed it, unauthorized copying. They are usually a covert security feature. Anti-alteration inks are an overt feature, and they are used to indicate when … Continue reading

Making Security Paper

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). Security printing papers must be a suitable substrate for the many security devices that will be embedded in or printed on them. Rag pulp is used to produce currency paper. It’s made from cotton fiber, and produces the highest … Continue reading

Security Printing Overview

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). Security printing: “the process of converting printed products using limited-access materials and supplies along with unique or specialized technologies and a multiplicity of printing processes to produce security end products under secure operating procedures and manufacturing/distribution protocols.” Security end … Continue reading

State Bank of North Dakota

North Dakota’s been in pretty good shape since the financial crisis — the only state to have consistent budget surpluses, a low unemployment rate, the lowest foreclosure rate. Yes, it’s got oil — but when compared with other oil-drilling states (Alaska, for example) its stats are unreasonably good.  Many people say that’s because of the … Continue reading

New $100 Note Video Series

Monopoly Economics

The perennially popular board game Monopoly is a reasonable simulacrum of capitalism. At the beginning of the game, players move around a commons and try to privatize as much as they can. The player who privatizes the most invariably wins. But Monopoly has two features currently lacking in American capitalism: all players start with the same amount of … Continue reading


Supernotes are a certain kind of counterfeit US hundred-dollar bill. They are virtually indistinguishable from a legitimate C-note, which is not at all a good thing. Most batches are not even discovered to be counterfeit until they make it to a Federal Reserve Bank, which has the most advanced screening technology. As with other new species … Continue reading