Badly Printed $100 Bills Are a Multibillion Dollar Problem

one hundred dollar billThe Federal Reserve and Treasury have a multibillion dollar problem sitting in vaults in Texas.

In April, the government announced a new high-tech $100 bill that would feature security features such as a 3-D security strip and color-shifting image of a bell, CNBC reported.

The process hit a costly snag when it came to actually printing the money. The government has produced 1.1 billion of the new bills. Unfortunately, millions of these folded during the printing process, leaving a blank portion running across the bill face.

The total face value of these bills is $110 billion, more than 10% of the entire physical supply of U.S. currency.

"There is something drastically wrong here," a person familiar with the situation told CNBC. "The frustration level is off the charts."

Authorities can't work out what caused the problem, or even what they should do about it. Sorting the bills by hand could take as long as 30 years and nobody has come up with a mechanized system to separate the good bills from the bad.

The defective bills, which could have a face value worth billions of dollars, will have to be burned.

For now, the bills, which cost a total of $120 million to print, are simply sitting in vaults in Fort Worth.

"The Fed's very unhappy, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is taking a beating unnecessarily," the person told CNBC. "Somebody has to pay for this."

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Sebastian Sebastini

I lived in Switzerland for a few years. Their currency is super high tech from a 10 francs note to the 1000 francs note. They don't seem to have a problem printing in. Maybe the US should face up to the face it is just the number 1 3rd world Latin American country (Spanish is already the 2nd language here) and let the Swiss print the money. An American who is disgusted with the US and it's government.

April 23 2011 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As an amateur numismatic [coin and bill collecter], I see no problem if all the defective bills are identical. In my feeble opinion introducing that much new currency into the market place will only force a new higher inflation.

December 14 2010 at 6:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 11 2010 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"The Fed's very unhappy, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is taking a beating unnecessarily," the person told CNBC. "Somebody has to pay for this." ------------------------------ And we all know who has to pay, don't we? Let's hear it now, "WE THE TAXPAYERS"

December 11 2010 at 8:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Those guys at the treasury need one word stamped in their foreheads: INSURANCE! Hey guys, you don't get it. This is not a real story! IT IS GARY LARSON AND "THE FAR SIDE CARTOONS" FINALLY COMING TO LIFE! Midvale School For The Gifted is now the US Treasury! :) :) :)

December 11 2010 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Distribute the money overseas! Some us can then keep the money as souvenirs! At least it's not counterfeit! Give it out as "normal" currency! It's unique!

December 10 2010 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nobody will ever be fired for this colossal screw-up. This is the government where no one is ever held accountable for anything. They all have job security. There is no way to get rid of the self-perpetuating cancer we call the federal government. The only way they can get rid of the mistakes is to burn the whole lot. If a few got out they'd be worth a fortune to collectors. Remember the upside-down airplane stamp? So it costs them 12 cents to print a hundred dollar bill? Here's my suggestion, bring back the thousand dollar bill, we'll need it for the coming inflation and it will save 90% of the printing costs to print Obama's trillions. Even better, a hundred thousand dollar bill!

December 09 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

WOW!!!wISH I had these guys talent!I have been dirt poor all my life cant even afford to buy christmas for my kids or grandkids this year but oh well.MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND A GREAT NEWYEARS

December 09 2010 at 1:25 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Don't laugh at what you are about to read, it will come to pass. because of the cash problem you are reading about,tracking who is a terrorist, missing persons,(mostly women and children) and much more! One day they will impliment and number system like the Bible speaks of: Where a World Ruler, causes everyone to recieve a number, that they cant buy sell or trade without it! (probably a micro chip) that is how they would track everyone of us. This cash story is one of many reasons (possibly made to happen on purpose) Ask your self why do hear so much Global this and Global that? Its because the day is approaching, but dont take my word for it, just read the Bible. GOD predicts the future not me.

December 09 2010 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We know the US Government can't spend money wisely, but they can't even print it correctly. Boy! what a mess with this idiot's. Maybe we can use "Sea Shells" instead.

December 09 2010 at 7:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply