Paper Money

Federal Reserve increases FY 2020 order for paper money

The Federal Reserve’s order for $50 notes for fiscal year 2020 increased 208.3 percent compared to the 2019 order. No $50 Federal Reserve notes were printed from October 2019 to May 2020.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Regarding money, one prevailing theme of the past seven months of pandemic has been that it is not good for you to use — considered unsafe and infected, it was thought to breed disease and was to be avoided in favor of forms of payment not requiring human contact.

If that is so, the question arises why the Federal Reserve Board cites “the high demand for currency resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic” when increasing the size of its initial fiscal year 2020 print order for Federal Reserve notes by 19.7 percent.

Without fanfare, the board approved on April 16 an increase from the 5.2 billion notes in its order of Aug. 6, 2019, to 6.2 billion notes. The original order was a decrease of 1.1 billion notes, or 18 percent, from the final FY2019 order. The new order for 6,185,600,000 notes is still substantially lower, however, than the 7,046,400,000 and 7,404,800,000 notes ordered for the 2019 and 2018 fiscal years.

No additional $2 notes were ordered, and the request for the $10 note declined by 7 percent, to 684,800,000 notes from an original 736,000,000 notes. The orders for all other denominations rose, the highest ones substantially. The $1 note was up to 1,811,200,000 notes from 1,574,400,000 (15 percent); the $20 to 1,689,600,000 from 1,241,600,000 (36.1 percent); the $50 to 236,800,000 from 76,800,000 (208.3 percent); and the $100 1,302,400,000 from 224,000,000 (20.8 percent).

A possible explanation for the increased demand for notes is the experience of other nations, where hoarding of cash is more noticeable since the pandemic began.

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