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May 13, 2003


NEW MONEY!....Well, I don't know if it counts as good news, but at least this is interesting news: our new $20 bill, delayed by Gulf War II, has finally been announced. The circle around Andy's portrait is gone, and the background is now a multicolored green, peach, and light blue. So is it still a greenback?

The new bills will go into circulation in October. The Treasury Department says it plans to redesign our paper currency every 7 to 10 years to keep ahead of counterfeiters.

Posted by Kevin Drum at May 13, 2003 11:02 AM | TrackBack


Comments

"Greenback" refers to the color of the ink on the back of the bill. Showing us a picture of the front tells us nothing.

Posted by: David Margolies at May 13, 2003 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Just click the link to see both sides!

Posted by: Kevin Drum at May 13, 2003 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

For my money (Oops. Sorry.) the great loss in currency was the euro replacing the French franc banknotes: Great French scientists, philosophers, and writers. And engineers: Eiffel. Everyone's favorite was Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupery, which even featured his "Drawing Number Two" from The Little Prince: a doodle of a snake that had swallowed an elephant. We ought to bump our presidents off the bills--they got statues--and emulate the French.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at May 13, 2003 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with this bill? Andy Jackson, genocidal lunatic. Other than that, it looks pretty good.

Posted by: Emma at May 13, 2003 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

The portrait on the $20 looks like Henry Fonda channeling Andy Jackson, IMO.

Posted by: David Wilford at May 13, 2003 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

To me, it looks more like Fred Astaire channeling Andy Gibb.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at May 13, 2003 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I just noticed this a week ago: On the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton looks like Paul Newman.

Posted by: hamletta at May 13, 2003 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the link, I'm testing some of these bills out today!

Posted by: jerry at May 13, 2003 01:50 PM | PERMALINK

Brian C.B.: If the House GOP gets wind of your proposal to emulate French currency, they'll immediately start a campaign to have it replaced by "freedom bills," maybe something like Monopoly money.

Posted by: Haggai at May 13, 2003 02:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jackson's head seems awfully big to me.

Posted by: Bill at May 13, 2003 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

I forgot to point out that they could also replace Jackson on the $20 with ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons.

Posted by: Haggai at May 13, 2003 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

It's about time the U.S. caught up with the rest of the world and started using different colors and sizes for bills of different denominations.

As for the euro, I heard that the "buildings" depicted on the notes are just abstract designs rather than depictions of real structures. This was done to avoid squabbling between the EU member nations over whose national icons should be used on the currency. But I love the Euro. It sure makes travelling in Europe easier.

Posted by: Don P at May 13, 2003 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bill is right--look at Jackson's shoulder's. His head is freakishly large.

Posted by: paradox at May 13, 2003 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

Germany had Karl Friedrich Gauss on a bill once. That was freakin' cool. If Gauss lived in my country I'd want his face on the money. As it is I'll settle for Mark Twain.

Different sizes for bills would be completely out of the question since it would require a complete mechanical redesign of cash registers and vending machines.

Most of the engineering that went into the Sacagawea dollar was just to get it to work in coin-operated machines calibrated for the Susan B. Anthony dollar (coin-op manufacturers were a major political force behind the new dollar coin-- strangely enough, considering that many vending machines don't even take dollar coins).

Posted by: Matt McIrvin at May 13, 2003 03:43 PM | PERMALINK

Different sizes for bills would be completely out of the question since it would require a complete mechanical redesign of cash registers and vending machines.

This is silly. How do you think they overcame these problems in Europe when the euro was introduced? For cash registers, it would require at worst an updated drawer layout. For vending machines, it would require at worst a change in the bill-handling mechanism. Vending machines have been updated in the past to add support for paper money and for new coins, like the dollar coin. And there would probably be an extended period of time when the new currency coexisted with the old one, to allow time for these changes to be made.

Posted by: Don P at May 13, 2003 04:45 PM | PERMALINK

Go ahead - make fun of Jackson. Wait until
you learn whose picture will be on the c-note.

Hint: aWol

Posted by: Bart at May 13, 2003 04:59 PM | PERMALINK

That's got to be a joke.

Posted by: John Isbell at May 13, 2003 06:32 PM | PERMALINK

Bill is right--look at Jackson's shoulder's. His head is freakishly large.

That's a raised collar, not a shoulder. Notice there's no neck showing?

Posted by: jimBOB at May 13, 2003 08:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised at the Bureau's stated intention of redesigning bills every 7 to 10 years. Doesn't that kind of destabilize things, making it so the general public isn't quite sure what paper money is supposed to look like, because several different designs would be in circulation simultaneously? Or am I mistaken and the expected life-span of a bill is under the 7-10 year cycle they suggest?

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald at May 13, 2003 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Ed, Denmark has been doing that for decades, and there is no problem. There are a period where both types are in circulation, but after a fairly short period, only the new ones are around. Of course, we have a lot less currency around, so the transition period would probably be longer in the US.

Posted by: Kristjan Wager at May 14, 2003 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

We have old and new 5s, 10s, 20s and 100s. Nobody gets confused. I suppose if you changed size, color and the designs on the front and back it might cause a stir. As long as the denomination is printed on the bill, we'll manage.

Then again, not too long ago I was in a McDonald's and paid with a traveler's check. The cashiers didn't know what a traveler's check was. They had to call the manager over to tell them to just treat it like cash.

And I still think Jackson's head is HUGE.

Posted by: Bill at May 14, 2003 06:40 AM | PERMALINK

I remember talking to a Briton about their money being different colors and sizes, and he asked me: "How can you tell yours apart?"

Well, they have these numbers in the corners, see....

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