Posts Tagged ‘money’

His public awaits. AP Photo / LM Otero

If there was ever a backdrop for a heist film, the last few weeks would have been it. In preparation for the launch of the new $100 bill, pallets of millions of dollars worth of bank notes emblazoned with Ben Franklin’s visage arrived in US Federal Reserve banks across the country. The new C-note is chock-a-block with fancy security features, including:



  • A blue “security ribbon” with images that look like they’re moving when the note is tilted
  • An image of a copper inkwell, with a holographic Liberty Bell inside that turns green when tilted

Here’s what it looks like.



Of course, its unclear how long these high-tech banknotes will stay in the country. As we’ve told you before, the working theory is that a large chunk of US $100 billsfinds its way outside of the US. (Though, incredibly, there are few good answers about exactly how much.) And the growth of foreign holdings of $100 bills is one of the main reasons that the share of US currency outstanding denominated in $100 remains near 80%. It was 76.6% at the end of 2012, up from 75.5% in 2011, according to the Federal Reserve. The $100 bill is the world’s most popular bank note.



So when will you see one? It’s really up to the banks. The notes started circulating today. And that basically means that banks who put in new orders for paper currency to the Federal Reserve will start getting the new bills today. But it’s up to the banks to dole them out over time. So it could take awhile before they start appearing more broadly in circulation.



Oh, and it might pay to take a look at the serial numbers on the bills when you finally do get them. Currency collectors prize bills with so-called fancy numbers. (Those are especially low serial numbers or other strings of digits that are particularly distinctive.) The fanciest of them all would be the redesigned $100 note with the serial number 00000001. That could be worth as much as $15,000,according to the Boston Globe.

Obama: “I want to make sure that the norm against [the] use of chemical weapons is maintained”

US President Barack Obama has said he will put plans for a US military strike against Syria on hold if the country agrees to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control.

But he said he was sceptical the Syrian government would follow through.

As the US Congress debates authorising an attack, Russia on Monday proposed Syria relinquish its chemical weapons.

The US accuses Damascus of war crimes including use of chemical weapons, allegations denied by the regime.

The US president on Monday gave a series of television interviews aimed at building support among a US Congress and public wary of new military action in the Middle East.

The president maintains a limited strike is needed to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the use of chemical weapons and to deter it from using them again.

“I want to make sure that norm against use of chemical weapons is maintained,” Mr Obama told ABC News.

“That’s in our national security interest. If we can do that without a military strike, that is overwhelmingly my preference.”

Asked by Diane Sawyer of ABC News if he would put plans for an attack on pause should Mr Assad yield control of his chemical weapons, Mr Obama answered: “Absolutely, if in fact that happened.”

Mr Obama said he would continue to press the US Congress to back a resolution authorising him to take military action against Syria, but he implied the timeline for action had shifted.

“The stakes are high, but they are long term,” he said, adding that he did not “foresee a succession of votes this week, or any time in the immediate future”.

FSA fighters

On the ground, the Syrian conflict is still raging

But he added: “I don’t think that we would have gotten to this point unless we had maintained a credible possibility of a military strike, and I don’t think now is the time for us to let up on that.”

US senators had been expected to take a first vote on the issue on Wednesday, but the test vote on the legislation was postponed on Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who cited “international discussions” as a reason for the delay.

Many US politicians and members of the public remain concerned that military action could draw the nation into a prolonged war and spark broader hostilities in the region.

Support in Congress for a measure authorising attacks on Syria has remained relatively low, with more than 230 of the 433 members in the House of Representatives reportedly either opposed to or likely to oppose strikes as of Friday.

In addition, opinion polls suggest Americans remain wary of a strike against Syria, with only one in five believing that a failure to respond to chemical weapons attacks would embolden other governments, according to an Associated Press poll concluded on Monday.

Meanwhile, a new report by US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), said evidence “strongly suggests” Syrian government forces were behind the deadly 21 August chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb that killed hundreds of people.

HRW concludes that the nerve agent used in the incident was “most likely sarin”.