Concept of trillion dollar coin gains currency

A novel proposal to mint a trillion dollar coin from platinum to deal with the USA's debt woes has gained surprising momentum, going viral in both the mainstream media as well as on Twitter.

Business Insider reports that the proposal exploits a technical loophole in US monetary legislation which rules that while the Treasury cannot create money ex nihilio for the purpose of discharging its debts, it does possess the right to mint platinum coins of any denomination.

According to advocates Tim Geithner need only authorize the minting of trillion dollar coin from a ounce's worth of a platinum, stroll over to the Federal Reserve and have it popped on the Treasury's balance sheet.

The idea was first floated by financial and economic blogs in the summer of 2011, with Pragmatic Capitalist doing much to promote the novel idea.

The proposal was swiftly forgotten once the debt ceiling the US confronted at the time was overcome, but has since sprung back to life with renewed vigor as new debt ceiling approaches.

Authoritative pundits such as Nobel-Prize winner Paul Krugman are addressing the issue, while Josh Barro from Bloomberg has given a tongue-in-cheek endorsement to the proposal as a bargaining chip that Obama can employ against dilatory Republicans.

In the meantime, the idea of minting a trillion dollar coin has garnered a surprising level of support and attention on Twitter, one of the best barometers of popular online sentiment.

Hat tip to Business Insider