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$1 trillion platinum coin? Don't bank on it

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 6:28 p.m.

The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve oppose the idea of minting platinum coins as a way to avoid the debt ceiling, according to a statement from Treasury spokesman Anthony Coley.

“Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” Coley said in an email.

Amid Republican opposition to raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts, some Democrats, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, have proposed invoking the Constitution's 14th amendment and minting a platinum coin with a face value of $1 trillion to pay government bills.

The U.S. reached the statutory borrowing limit on Dec. 31 and the Treasury Department is using what it calls “extraordinary” measures to finance the government. The Congressional Budget Office estimates those steps will be exhausted by mid-February.

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