It may have been “the single most important comment in the history of Internet comments,” said Matthew O’Brien in TheAtlantic.com. In 2011, a blog commenter known as Beowulf offered a simple solution to America’s debt problem: Have the U.S. Treasury mint a $1 trillion platinum coin. Beowulf’s idea languished in obscurity until late last year, when it took off “as an inventive way around the debt ceiling.” So many economists and journalists were talking about “the platinum coin option” that last week the Obama administration finally had to announce that it wasn’t under consideration. So who is this genius Beo-wulf? An Atlanta lawyer, Carlos Mucha, who never took an economics class.

Rare is the blogger who can claim he almost re-engineered “the funding of the entire federal budget,” said Ryan Tate in Wired.com. Mucha says he came up with his idea after reading an article about travelers earning frequent flyer miles by buying up commemorative coins from the U.S. Mint, claiming rewards points on their credit cards, and depositing the $1 coins back into their bank accounts. “It may be an example of the guy who doesn’t know the rules,” said Mucha. “If I had economic training, I wouldn’t have even had this thought.”