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New $100 Bill Printing Problems

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$100 BillThe fancy new $100 bill, with all its security bells and whistles, is so complicated that even the official manufacturers of those bills can’t get it right. CNBC reported earlier this week that $110 billion worth of $100 bills are currently wrapped in storage at Fort Worth because of a defect. During production, the paper may fold over and leave an uninked portion of the bill face… which is bad news. The bills are in “cash packs” of 16,000 bills per pack.

They’re currently looking at ways to mechanically scan the bills for defects because looking by hand would take twenty to thirty years. Until they can sort it out and fix the manufacturing problem, they’ll be producing more of the old $100 bills.

As for the new bills themselves, it costs about twelve cents to produce which puts the total bill of the bills, so far anyway, at $120 million. That really drives home the phrase “it takes money to make money.” :)

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28 Responses to “New $100 Bill Printing Problems”

  1. zapeta says:

    I’m hoping that a few of the messed up ones make it in to circulation…they’ll be quite valuable from a collectors point of view. Unfortunately I never have hundred dollar bills so I’m not going to be the lucky one who finds the mistake bill.

  2. cdiver says:

    Wonder if the crooks are having such a hard time with this one also…

  3. Shirley says:

    “They’re currently looking at ways to mechanically scan the bills for defects because looking by hand would take twenty to thirty years.”

    And even mechanically scanned, it will take at least two years.

    • NateUVM says:

      That would still get them into circulation. It’s not like you have to check all of them before you release the ones you checked first.

  4. At this point, wouldn’t it be cheaper to destroy the lot and reprint them?

    • NateUVM says:

      I dunno. $120million may SEEM like a little, but I applaud any effort to try to save having to spend it again. I’m sure a cost/benefit analysis will be a part of this decision.

      • I realize that is a lot of money, but I can’t imagine how much it is going to cost to scan all of those. Plus, once they find them and destroy them, they do still have to reprint all that were bad. AND, you still have to figure in the risk of distributing bad ones that were missed.

        But yes, I’m sure they will run a cost/benefit analysis on it.

        • Grant says:

          I wouldn’t put it past the US Gov’t to pass on the cost/benefit analysis. Who needs sound logic to make deicisons?

  5. cubiclegeoff says:

    I assume they did a test run before the real run. If not, that was a dumb decision.

  6. Sun says:

    If govt wants to create some jobs, you have an opportunity here.

    Can’t they bleach the paper and reprint on it? That’s what the criminals do. I guess Bernake will have to wait to print more money…

    • uclalien says:

      Except that all The Ben Bernank has to do is push a button. Physically printed money only accounts for about 1/14th of all outstanding dollars if I remember the data correctly.

      Here’s a funny, but informative video that’s making its way around the blogosphere.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k

  7. govenar says:

    What I don’t understand is why they didn’t notice the problem until they printed over 1 billion bills; seems like they could’ve printed 1000 bills and then stopped and checked the quality before printing the rest.

    • LovePrepaid says:

      Visit the BEP in DC sometime, and you’ll see why they can’t print just 1000 bills and check. The bills don’t come off individually, they come off in huge sheets, which are then cut etc. I forget what the size of an uncut sheet is and how many bills are on it, but it was interesting to see them made.

      • cdiver says:

        In many other lines of printing and manufacturing cameras take a shot of each item to compare it to what it should look like that way they can be rejected before being grouped. I can’t believe that they do not have this in place already.

        • live green says:

          I was thinking the same thing. You are printing money, why wouldn’t you have something in place to make sure that they come out correctly.

  8. This would be hilarious if it were not also kind of infuriating.

    $120 million in printer screw-ups? WHY?????

  9. larry says:

    That goes to show the num heads that is head of a lot of these institutions,it would have cost less to run a test,i hope the goverment dont have to meet the cost for this errooooo.

  10. uclalien says:

    I’m glad these are the same people in charge of airport security.

  11. govenar says:

    Why don’t they just keep the messed up bills and say that they’re legal, to save some money? (Though I guess they wouldn’t be circulated very much since collectors would keep them.)

    • Shirley says:

      What?!… And have all those bills floating around as reminders that our gov is run by humans just like us, that actually can, and do, sometimes make mistakes? Reminders that prove they are not infallible?

  12. jsbrendog says:

    wow..epic, epic, epic fail.

    • Shirley says:

      jsbrendog,
      If your comment was to mine above it, I did put (sarcasm) at the end of it, but I used brackets and it was removed. :-(

  13. Any more word on how the search is going? I’d be interested to read a followup on what they did, and how long/how much it took.

  14. The government can always send the defective bills to me if they don’t want them.


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