30 Million New Hundred-Dollar Bills Are About To Go To Waste

There’s been yet another major snag in the Federal Reserve’s mission to introduce the hundred-dollar bill.

This time, a printing error called “mashing” — when too much ink is applied to the paper — has rendered 30 million bills totally useless, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing confirmed to the New Yorker’s David Wolman.

“This time, recent batches of cash from the Washington, D.C., plant contained ‘clearly unacceptable’ bills intermixed with passable ones, according to a July memo to employees from Larry Felix, the bureau’s director,” Wolman explains. “So the Fed is returning more than 30 million hundred-dollar notes and demanding its money back, Felix wrote. Another 30 billion dollars’ worth of paper sits in limbo awaiting examination, and Fed officials have informed the bureau that they will not accept any hundred-dollar notes made at the Washington, D.C., facility until further notice.”

This is only the latest in a string of screw-ups that have kept the $US100 bill out of circulation well past its original 2011 due date. Another printing error caused bills to be printed with a blank spot. And just a year ago, thieves made off with a massive shipment of the new bills.

Now, the Bureau is on major damage control, sprinting to meet an October 8 deadline to get the notes printed — correctly — and finally into circulation.

A spokesperson issued this statement to BI:

“The release of the redesigned $US100 note by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the issuing authority for U.S. currency, is expected this fall. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is on schedule to deliver the complete order of redesigned $US100 notes to the Federal Reserve for circulation. Production of the note continues ahead of schedule at the Bureau’s Western Currency Facility (WCF), though production at the Washington, DC Facility has been temporarily halted to address concerns encountered during production validation, which the Bureau expects to resolve shortly.”

In the meantime, taxpayers will likely be left to pick up the tab for disposing of the bills and whatever extra time is needed to print them again.

Just in case you’re sick of waiting for the new bills to arrive, here’s a mock-up of what the new bill will look like.

It’s going to be tricked out with colours that change when you bend it, an image of the liberty bell, and a new blue, 3-D anti-counterfeit strip hidden inside.

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