Shortly after the Nov. 8 presidential election, some unsubstantiated
speculation made the rounds questioning whether the upcoming Trump
administration would renege on the plans for redesigning U.S. paper money.
“The Challenge of Selecting a New Secretary,” by Bouree Lamm in
The Atlantic of Nov. 18, addressed the priorities facing the
incoming Treasury secretary. That the currency topic was finally
addressed in the final two paragraphs of an otherwise lengthy and
wide-ranging analysis is as good an indication as any regarding where
that issue sits on a very full plate of them. Among the issues
addressed are managing finances, collecting taxes, paying the public
debt, supervising national banks, and creating new economic policies
related to the deficit and global trade.
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Lamm turned to Susan Ades Stone, the executive director of Women on 20s, for her viewpoint. She
acknowledged that “The new treasury secretary has complete discretion
over design, though it is really up to the Federal Reserve Board to
approve the production-ready bills and decide when to issue them into circulation.”
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She also mentioned that all three bills up for revision, the $5,
$10, and $20 notes, are already in various stages of development and
still projected to be unveiled in 2020. She said that the further
along a bill is in the production process, the harder it becomes for
the secretary to stop the process. Ades Stone did not mention the
added expense any revisions at this point would incur. Since the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing has already announced that testing
with the visually-impaired will commence in 2017, it is possible the
that process is already too far along to interrupt for what would be
nothing more than another political statement.