How the $1 trillion platinum coin would work, and how it could defuse the debt standoff

After weeks of high-stakes brinksmanship over raising the debt limit, Senate Democrats and Republicans appeared close to a deal early Thursday to, well, defuse the self-inflicted crisis for an entire three months. At some point, everybody seems to agree, 50 Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris will raise the debt limit; the only question is how difficult Republicans will make the process.

Or, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen could just mint a $1 trillion platinum coin and deposit it at the Federal Reserve. Discussion of the $1 trillion coin has been a mix of "clearly half-joking commentary on the nature of money itself," half-serious concerns about inflation and mixing monetary and fiscal policy, and "entirely sincere" assertions that a platinum coin is "a feasible solution for lowering the debt," Philip Bump writes at The Washington Post.

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