From the comments on the platinum coin:
... there's another way Tsy could mint its way around the debt ceiling. I've read in a coin collector publication that the Mint has long had wide open coinage power ("general numismatic authority") under 31 USC 5111(a)(3) (signed into law October 1973; good 'ol Dick Nixon, Johnny on the spot once again):
"The Secretary of the Treasury— may prepare and distribute numismatic items..."
Section 5134 defines numismatic item as:
"any medal, proof coin, uncirculated coin, bullion coin, or other coin specifically designated by statute as a numismatic item..."
That definition is from 1992, but it seems clear that "may prepare and distribute numismatic items" includes the authority to mint coins, which is as they say, the ball game because the legal tender act (section 5103, on the books since at least 1965) says "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender..."
Clonal cites the statute:
The links to the Sections pointed out by Carlos (Beowulf) aboveThank, guys. See what you are missing if you are not reading the comments.
31 USC § 5103 - Legal tender
Quote: United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.
31 USC § 5111 - Minting and issuing coins, medals, and numismatic items
Quote: (1) shall mint and issue coins described in section 5112 of this title in amounts the Secretary decides are necessary to meet the needs of the United States; . . . .
(b) The Department of the Treasury has a coinage metal fund and a coinage profit fund. The Secretary may use the coinage metal fund to buy metal to mint coins. The Secretary shall credit the coinage profit fund with the amount by which the nominal value of the coins minted from the metal exceeds the cost of the metal. The Secretary shall charge the coinage profit fund with waste incurred in minting coins and the cost of distributing the coins, including the cost of coin bags and pallets. The Secretary shall deposit in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts excess amounts in the coinage profit fund.
Section 5112 I have linked to in my previous post - That is where the Secretary of Treasury has the discretion about the nominal value of the platinum coins. It should also be noted that coins are not covered by the debt ceiling law only paper money is.
(k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.
31 USC § 5134 - Numismatic Public Enterprise Fund
Here, the Fed becomes a "coin collector" not much different than collecting stuff that the TBTF banks want to dispose off!
Clonal, June 23, 2012 10:36 AM
OK, let the legal beagles have at.