“Nothing is stopping the U.S…. from…directly-issued interest-free currency, other than lack of political will.”
According to the December 2012 report by the U.S. Treasury Dept., out of the $450 million Greenbacks issued during the American Civil War, there is an estimated $239 million still outstanding.
In 2013 dollars, this would be at least $10 billion, according to this inflation calculator. While not significant today, it’s significant that such a huge percentage of the Greenbacks are still in circulation, given that they were ordered to be taken out of circulation in 1971, so there have been many that are being privately circulated or collected.
While there were $500 million in interest-bearing bonds that were issued as backing for them, the money supply grew by a total of $950 million, and the interest-free Greenbacks provided significant funding for the Civil War, when the total debt was $2.7 billion by 1865, and no interest was due, nor will ever be due, on the $450…
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