$100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

$100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

Summary: New special paper doesn't go through a printer correctly. Sound familiar? It just happened to U.S. government presses printing 1.1 billion $100 bills.


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  • The bill.

  • The U.S. Treasury showed off the new bill around the world. Here is its unveiling in Kiev.

Topics: Data Management, Banking, Enterprise Software, Software

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  • Unemployment

    Good opportunity to bring in a bunch of people that are unemployed and pay them to sort through all the bills. Gets the job done and makes some people actually earn their unemployment!
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

      I'm sorry to say it, but that wouldn't work out. "Off the street", unemployed or not, would not have the fortitude to not make a mistake and mis-pile the money. After just a few hours, such a task makes people get easily confused and mistake prone. And that doesn't count the ones that don't really care.
      I'd imagine a scanner would be the only way to accurately and reliably catch those mistakes since they're all known errors, or seem to be according to the article. Even so, not perfectly matching a template could easily enough kick them out with scanners.
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

      People "actually earn" their unemployment at things called JOBS. You know, where they pay for unemployment insurance out of their paycheck?
      • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

        Unemployment insurance is a tax that is placed on businesses. Not something taken from my paycheck. Now if it were not a business tax then i might see more in my paycheck, in which case I could set that money aside myself for use in the event that i was unemployed.
  • It costs money to make money

  • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

    Wait, let me guess, the printer people went to lunch while the bills were printing, so no one saw the problem until the print run was done! Typical government. If this were in the real world, heads would roll; but no, it's in the government world, so we the taxpayers will pay the costs, including the pensions for the emptyheads who allowed this to happen.
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

      @jfkcpa@... thats how ivory soap was made ? lol
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable


      More anti-government clap trap. Stuff like this happens all the time in business, with no one being fired, and the expense written off as a business loss. I.e. you the tax payer still pays for it.
  • Reflects the Printing Industry in America

    No Quality Control. Just print faster for lower cost. Use less people.
    J Hawkins
  • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

    Was the paper fiasco due to the paper vendor, the graphic processes, or what? Was it printer calibration, lack of attention to setup, or what, that caused this?
    In this case I can see where a first trial run may have looked perfect and only shown up later in the printing process, so heads should probably roll, but not necessarily within the government. Direct responsibility should be assigned, whether it was the process or human or whatever, but get the culprit/s right.
    • Printing

      I read an article earlier this week that stated that the problem is that the new security features are very hard to print properly. The problem is in the printing and not in the paper or set up.

      The article said that it would take 20 years to sort through the printed bills and that it would take about 6 or more months for machine based scanning. Apparently the costs to sort are bigger than the cost to destroy the bills and reprint them.
      • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

        @sboverie@... Note that the post we're replying to says specifically that the paper didn't feed properly through the presses. A mechanical/materials problem, not a graphics problem.
  • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

    Uh... where was the sampling? This should have been discovered during sampling and eye-balling the product. Typical government workers.
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

      @ITOdeed <br>I don't know what they do these days, but many years ago de la Rue published that bank-notes were 100% automatically against a reference, and the line stopped if more than a defined proportion failed. It is commonly believed that low-denomination US notes are not produced to the same standard, but I at least assumed that every note would be checked to whatever standard was required. If they don't even check adequate samples to stop the press, you should blame the management, not the workers.<br>If, on the other hand, the problem is that auto-equipment can't check the new 'security' features, it means that the security features won't be very valuable anyway - and you should still blame the management. (But you would also know where to go to make a living as a counterfeiter).
  • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

    God help us if Treasury bosses figure out how to out-source our money making!
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

      ... many other countries do this successfully
      • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable

        @shtromer ...and have for a long time.
  • Just give them away

    had the whole lot out to banks, and let them replace $100 faulty bills when they find them. it might take years to find all the faulty ones, but it wouldn't matter. <br><br>Take it a stage further - pretty soon people will pay a premium to find the faulty bills (like faulty stamps, and in UK like the faulty 20p coin that appeared last year, was changing hands for #50 or 250x its face value).<br><br>I suppose it depends if the faults make them a whole lot less secure
  • Misreporting

    The story has been misreported, as I'd expect from a tech web site that publishes off-topic blogs and stories when it denigrates its own government. They're printing a new design, which always takes a lot of tweaking. The problem at its worst only had about 30% defective bills, the rest less. The bills aren't unusable; they're going to scan them to separate the defective bills.
    • RE: $100 bill printing error: Over $110 billion unusable


      Until they scan through that fat stack of bill sheets, the bills are 100% unusable. Even after they scan them, they will have to re-scan and then human verify (As in not scanned but looked at by trained eyes) the bills before they ever release them to the public because just one error makes that 100 dollar bill worth a thousand or more on the market and embarrasses the US Treasury department one more time.