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Should the U.S. stop printing $100 bills?

Posted at 2:36 PM, Feb 16, 2016

Should the U.S. stop printing $100 bills? The former Treasury Secretary thinks so.

In a column published by The Washington Post on Tuesday, Larry Summers writes, "I'd guess the idea of removing existing notes is a step too far. But a moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place."

But, that may be easier said than done, considering how many $100 bills are already in circulation.

"Seventy-eight percent of our bills circulating make up the 100 dollar bill," said Charlie Rockney, Manager of Rocky Mountain Coin. "78 percent!"

The $100 dollar bill is the most common counterfeit bill in the country because the government has struggled to keep up with criminal technology. The government has added security features like a vertical 3-D ribbon in recent years.

And Benjamin Franklin's face wouldn't be the first to get cut out, at least partially because of crime.

"They said, because of drug use, the $500 and $1,000 made it much easier to carry and transport bills," said Rockney.

Summers cites a Harvard University study in his argument, saying, not only will the change reduce crime, it also could be good for commerce worldwide. Still, saying goodbye is never easy.

"We're not really losing it. It's evolution," said Rockney. "Things change in life and we have to accept that, too."

The Harvard findings also considered eliminating the 500 euro note, the 50-pound note in the United Kingdom and the 1,000 Swiss franc.