Paper Money

Jacob Lew on $10 redesign: 'Based on the security of our currency'

Face and back of a Series 2013 $10 Federal Reserve note. The $10 FRN currently stars Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first secretary of the Treasury, among his many accomplishments.

Of course Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was asked about the plans for the new $10 bill during a Brookings Institution talk on July 8, the day after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke out on the topic and said that a woman should not have to share space on the bill with Alexander Hamilton, and that perhaps kicking Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill is a better option.  

"I will say that what we meant to do was trigger a broad public debate and we have trigged a broad public debate," Lew said to chuckles from the audience. 

He said the $10 was picked simply because it needs an update more than any other denomination.

"It's based on the security of our currency," Lew said. "The next bill up is the $10."

And what about former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke denouncing the idea of taking away Hamilton's spot on a note, and Clinton's insistence that a woman get her own bill and not share space with Hamilton or anyone else?

"We have every intention of honoring Alexander Hamilton. We have every intention of honoring a woman. We are looking forward to making a decision very soon." 

Skip to the 1:03:35 mark in the video below to hear Lew's full comments on the topic.

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