There’s no question: Today was a major game-changer for the movement to circumvent the debt ceiling by minting a platinum coin, a strategy that would take advantage of an arcane area of the law relating to coinage.
Today White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about whether The White House saw the coin as a viable option, and rather than shooting it down he just evaded the question.
The response from the media has been unanimous: Carney left the door open.
Here’s the front of Marketwatch.com:
Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo has the best take on what happened today:
Today’s White House press briefing changes things.
If I had to, I’d still bet against the Obama administration minting a platinum coin to meet payment obligations, even if we breach the debt ceiling. But that’s just a feeble attempt at mind reading. By contrast, the fact that Jay Carney neither foreclosed on the seigniorage option nor questioned its legality today is actually meaningful.
Remember, he and Obama (and Obama’s lawyers) have explicitly rejected the argument that the 14th Amendment empowers the administration to ignore debt limit. They haven’t left themselves any wiggle room on that idea.
Felix Salmon has a good post today on the game theory of #MintTheCoin (do you pre-announce that you might use it?).
Clearly it’s become part of the conversation.
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