Where Money Goes to Die | Fox Business
A lot of businesses want to attract “old money.”
Ford is no exception – only it’s more interested in the shredded-up variety than in the kind that belongs to a fancy country club.
Stepping up its efforts to curb the use of petroleum-based products, the automaker announced last month that it’s attempting to use old U.S. cash to make trays and bins for its vehicles. Ford [F: 10.92, -0.18, -1.62%] already employs a range of alternative materials in the manufacturing of its products, including plastic bottles to make seat fabric and denim to muffle sound. The company is looking at ways to incorporate dandelions, coconuts and sugarcane into future vehicle parts as well.
But U.S. paper currency is arguably the most interesting ingredient in Ford’s recipe book. After all, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a supply of old bills that exists outside of a collector’s safe or government vault – and if there is, that it isn’t serving some lofty purpose.
The reality is that old cash abounds, and with almost nowhere to go but the landfill.
What makes a bill old
Contrary to what you might believe, the only thing that makes a bill unusable is its physical condition. The year it was issued, the length of time it’s been sitting in your piggy bank – none of it matters. As the Federal Reserve notes on its website, “All U.S. currency, regardless of when it was issued, remains legal tender.”
Because it’s 75% cotton and 25% linen, currency paper is more durable than everyday paper, which is made mostly of wood pulp. It can withstand a lot of wear and tear – the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing estimates that it takes about 4,000 double folds meaning one fold forward and one fold back to rip a bill.
Still, bills do eventually wear out. Bills of smaller denominations tend to age the fastest, as they’re passed around more frequently than those of larger denominations. The Federal Reserve estimates that the average $1 bill lasts 4.8 years, while $5 and $10 bills last 3.8 years and 3.6 years, respectively. On the higher end of the spectrum, the average $20 bill lasts 6.7 years, while $50 bills and $100 bills last 9.6 years and 17.9 years, respectively.
Strange Random Money Quote:
- Ford considers injecting old money into car manufacture (gizmag.com)
- The distinction between legal tender for payment of debts and payment for goods and services (fauxcapitalist.com)
- North Korea’s Secret Weapon — Counterfeitted $100 Bills (business.time.com)
- Learn About the Field of Numismatics (optionsanimal.com)
- How the U.S. Could Pressure North Korea Tomorrow: Quit the $100 Bill (business.time.com)
- Official Counterfeiters Run the World (lewrockwell.com)
- Car parts made from cash? Ford tests ‘green’ arm rests, trays (usnews.msnbc.msn.com)
- Behind the scenes with the next-gen $100 bill (news.cnet.com)
Posted on May 4, 2012, in Article and tagged Ayn Rand, Banknote, Bureau of Engraving & Printing, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve Note, Federal Reserve System, Ford Motor Company, Legal tender, Old money, United State, United States dollar. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.