Description of the Crane papermaking plant

Crane tells us that currency paper is made of more durable linen and cotton fibers. When NPR visited, the company was preparing tons of dull-brown linen fibers to be an ingredient in the paper. One of the first things we see is a giant iron ball swinging from the rafters. If you’re at all familiar … Continue reading

LIBOR Manipulation Emails

Earlier this week, news broke that LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, has been manipulated by at least one bank (Barclays). LIBOR is “the bedrock of the financial system — the majority of American mortgages are somehow pegged to LIBOR.” LIBOR is a “global interest rate, calculated every day, which tells you how much interest … Continue reading

GAO Reports on $1 Coin vs $1 Note

I just read both the 2011 GAO Report on the dollar coin (“US Coins: Replacing the $1 Note With a $1 Coin Would Provide a Financial Benefit to the Government”) and its 2012 followup, “US Coins: Alternative Scenarios Suggest Different Benefits and Losses from Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin.” I’m not going … Continue reading

Notes on Planet Money – “Where Dollar Bills Come From”

via Planet Money One kind of quality check– called a “fold test,” a machine folds a bill back and forth until it breaks. Currency paper lasts 5000 folds, normal paper lasts about 100. Company lore– pre-1879, USgov is using a non-Crane paper co. to get currency paper, decides that the 75cents/pound price is too expensive. … Continue reading