Cash Production in US Falls to All-Time Low

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Yesterday, our partner The New York Times reported that the United States Treasury Department is printing far less cash than it had been in recent years. Production of dollar bills fell to a modern low last year, the number of $5 bills rolling off the presses dropped to its lowest level in 30 years, and the Treasury did not print any $10 bills at all. As the number of places that don't accept cash at all increases — Internet retail sites, in-flight purchases on airlines, and certain New York restaurants fall into that category — it would seem that cash is in decline. With no quantifiable data to support this, however, we can only speculate. Do you find yourself using cash less and less, and opting for credit instead?

David Wolman, author of the forthcoming book "The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--and the Coming Cashless Society," speaks with us about whether or not cash is dying out in the U.S.  


David Wolman

Produced by:

Joseph Capriglione

Comments [5]

Kris Berg from new york,ny

Asa is wrong, it is not illegal to give a discount gas stations do it, also cash has it costs, theft , security
, transportation to the bank, and handling cost money, asa seems to think that everything is "free"
sure that piece of paper may seem transaction free
but tell a retailer who used to moves millions brinks
trucks that brinks will do it for free. Costs are lower
than credit of course, so one would wonder why a wise business would accept it at all, it could be increased sales, and handling, plenty of businesses are cash only, also the vendors can speak for themselves they want your money not your gratitude unless its a server,

Oct. 12 2011 06:00 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

As long as there is a black market in the US and around the world - which will be always - there will be cash.

Jul. 07 2011 09:52 AM
Asa from Manhattan

I have always tried to use cash over plastic. Mostly to help the vendors who have to pay a premium on credit cards but also to avoid being tracked by marketing firms and others who want to watch my buying habits.

If there were a serious move to do away with cash it would need to be replaced with a non partial medium of exchange. If the government stops making paper money it needs to make something else since we cannot leave our money to the whims of banks and credit card companies.

I think the government should move to defend cash by making it illegal for credit card companies to withdraw services from merchants who offer official cash discounts. People would be more inclined to use cash if it resulted in 2-4% savings on each purchase.

Jul. 07 2011 08:36 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

Several weeks ago I opened an account at a new bank. My options - 0% regular checking, 0.05% savings OR 2% checking if I used their credit card 10 times a month. This is crazy - to offer higher interest on checking than savings AND that 2% for using plastic gets added onto everyone's price when purchasing! Some LOCAL businesses will no longer accept my LOCAL checks (which I have been using with them for over 30 years - they only want cash or plastic) AND, by the way, their prices went way up this year (to cover the plastic payments).

Gas stations seem to understand that they will be paying that 2% for credit card use and they offer a lower price for cash payment. I think that's a smart way to go everywhere. Offer a lower percentage for paying with cash.

AND, bankers, please come up with a reasonable way to get people choosing to save again. The shaky foundations of your industry are fashioned with plastic.

Jul. 07 2011 07:23 AM
David Bean from Arlington MA

Cash...??? Everytime you use plastic, some bank is taking a commission on the transaction. And the government/big brother is in a position to monitor the transaction. The elimination of cash will make it easy to track everything.

Jul. 07 2011 06:18 AM

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