Boy, do We miss Frank Annunzio and Mike Castle, who did it right

?Does the investor market really need a palladium bullion coin? That question had been answered but Congress in its “wisdom” has overridden hard data to require the United States Mint to issue such a coin anyway.

Congress in 2010 authorized the Mint to issue a palladium bullion coin but required Mint officials to study the matter first to determine whether the idea was viable. The Mint released its findings on March 1, 2013.

As Coin World reported then, “The palladium market study was completed by New York City-based CPM Group under provisions of the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-303). CPM Group is a commodities market research, consulting, asset management and investment-banking firm.”

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The findings were clear. CPM Group researchers found that demand would be insufficient to profitably sustain a palladium bullion coin program.
Here’s what Coin World’s Paul Gilkes reported after reading the 2013 study: “CPM Group outlined a 10-year demand forecast, suggesting 150,000 troy ounces in total sales the first year — 100,000 ounces in bullion coins, 33,333 ounces in Proof coins and 16,667 ounces in Uncirculated pieces. Demand is projected to slip to 40,000 ounces the second year — 20,000 in bullion coins, 13,333 in Proof pieces and 6,667 in Uncirculated coins. By the 10th year, demand is projected at 4,500 ounces — 3,000 in bullion coins, 1,000 in Proof coins and 500 in Uncirculated coins
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In general, the study found that a bullion coin program likely would not be profitable on its own though a collector-based program could be. Since 2013, Mint officials had not entirely abandoned the possibility of an American Eagle palladium coin program, but the project was not a high priority.
Well, whether it needs one or not, it appears that an American Eagle palladium bullion coin is in the nation’s future.
Legislation passed by Congress in December 2015 has rendered the 2013 survey moot. The Mint must move forward with a 1-ounce .9995 fine palladium bullion coin, no matter if the program will not be viable.
Congress’ action is all too typical when it comes to coin- and bullion-related legislation. Ignore facts and go ahead anyway. So what if an in-depth survey suggested that a bullion program might not be financially wise.
Gone are the days when Congress had a legislator who was keenly interested in the hobby and who actually conducted hearings on important legislation. Today commemorative coin and congressional gold medal legislation is passed when enough co-sponsors sign on to move it to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote. No one actually seeks outside expert opinion on the legislation as in the good old days when legislators like Frank Annunzio and Michael Castle really cared about numismatics and actually legislated by scheduling hearings from hobby and industry leaders. Today it is merely who can line up the votes.
We miss those days, those wise legislators.