A frequently asked question by a customer is "Can you break a hundred
dollar bill?" If this request has been granted, why do the cashiers take the
bill and turn it into a biology experiment? Between pouring a liquid on the note
and/or holding it up to the light to check for authenticity, is our currency
system in danger? As of the beginning of 1996, the Chairman of the Federal
Reserve and the Secretary of the United States Treasury, prove their economic
wizardry by making the new one hundred dollar bill nearly impossible to
counterfeit in attempt to protect our economy. This is just the first step in
improving our currency system.
Counterfeiting U.S. currency is an illegal practice that has has been
around for years and, unfortunately,is getting worse. "Last year, ...the Secret
Service cooperated with the Italian authorities' seizure of $43.8 million in
counterfeit U.S. currency, Germany's capture of more than $19 million in
counterfeit cash, and the Canadian authorities; seizure of than $129 million in
counterfeit U.S. currency." (Gomez, Bertha. "Officials Say..") In a small town
north of Chicago, two high school seniors were arrested for the use of
counterfeit bills. With the use of the internet and a color printer, these two
teenagers were able to create and pass their counterfeit twenty dollar bills
through the high school cafeteria but were later arrest by police after trying
to use their money at a local Taco Bell. If teenagers are finding ways to
counterfeit money, that should tell someone that we need to do something to
protect our economy for the future.
In attempt to enhance our currency system, the one hundred dollar bill
was completely redesigned last year and released at the beginning of this year.
This new bill contains a security thread, a watermark, a larger portrait,
varriable-color ink and infrared fibers. It is called the 1996 series. Next year
the fifty dollar bill will change and so forth. At first, economist talked about
recalling all of US currency, but later this idea was ruled out o keep a smooth
transition and to honor the new bills at current face value.
If our economy is at its strongest, who paid for the creation of the
series 1996? The Federal Reserve, under the direction of Alan Greenspan, paid
for this currency improvement. When the fed decides the economy is growing at a
too quick a pace, or inflation is getting out of hand, it can take action to
slow spending and decrease the money supply. The fed does this by selling
securities on the open market. This in turn, reduces bank's reserves and forces
the interest rate to rise so the bank can afford to make loans. People seeing
these rises in rate will tend to sell their low interest assets, in order to
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