The True Story of the Time the Government Printed a $100,000 Bill

Wikimedia Commons

A $1 trillion-dollar coin seems like a high denomination to ask the government to print.

Some say its weight could sink the Titanic! (This is benightedly ludicrous).

But one time, the U.S. government actually got 1/10000000th of the way there — by printing a $100,000 bill. And it really helped the economy.

The year was 1933. We were in the midst of a worldwide depression characterized by massive deflation.

St. Louis Fed

President Roosevelt ordered Americans to surrender any gold they held to the government.


The reason: no one was buying anything with cash.

Library of Congress

Gold hoarding and bartering were also reducing the amount of funds flowing into the government.
Library of Congress


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