THE SOLUTION TO OUR GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS PAILS INTO INSIGNIFICANCE
In a letter we received over this last weekend, a spokesperson for the Treasury Department of the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing said that, ‘the cost of reprogramming vending machines would be astronomically expensive and would also put many small manufacturers out of business,’ and therefore, it will not be possible to redesign the currency of the United States ‘at this time.’ Thank you.
However, according to a spokesperson for the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) ‘their members have had to make changes such as this in the past,’ for instance ‘when the Treasury revised the $5 bill.’ They also said that the cost to reprogram a machine is relatively small, approximately $500, or less, in their estimation – it’s not loose change, sure, but it’s not ‘astronomically’ expensive or financially crippling. As the NAMA spokesperson said, ‘these kind of changes would in fact be a cost that each vending machine owner could in theory right off.’
‘The government’s bailout of Wall Street is estimated to cost approximately $23.7 trillion.’ – Neil Barofsky, special inspector-general for TARP – ABC News
Regarding design, the Bureau said, unfortunately ‘aesthetic consideration’ is also not placed high on their agenda. Counterfeiting, security and worldwide familiarity ‘with a universally recognized’ bank note is actually their prime concern. In addition, advances in technology and reprographic techniques are also very important, as they should be. But printing processes and security devices are really just technical details, that are very important yes, and should definitely be part of any redesign for sure, but they do not answer the real issue which is that the Dollar’s brand ‘image’ has been broken and the world at large no longer believes in our stability. It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles you throw at the manufacturing of our currency, if you don’t fix the brand then you’re simply wasting your time.
‘The existing set of reserve currencies, including the US Dollar, have failed to perform their functions.’ – Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev – CNN Money
CLEARLY THEY’RE MISSING THE POINT.
When our campaign actually comes to fruition, everyone in the world will know about ‘our’ story: a ‘US initiative to redesign the Dollar currency as a means of stimulating our global economy’ – it would be on CNN, the BBC, it would be everywhere. Simply consider the global media frenzy over Michael Jackson. In the same way, it would be a story on every front page of every newspaper and every magazine cover for months and months, all around the world. It would be the biggest news story ever. It would simply be a story that would literally sell itself.
‘In 2002, the 4.4% jump in the Euro’s reserve currency status was the direct result of the introduction of Euro banknotes and coins in the same year and of increased international public awareness.’ – Wikipedia
Yes, of course it’s not just about the design. Of course security and public recognition are important, but the premise of our campaign has always been to ‘rebrand, rebuild and revive our country’ and to bring it back off its knees and give everyone a chance of hope and prosperity again. Really, these arguments against redesigning the US currency, in our opinion seem somewhat absurd. They are not insignificant by any means, but when you consider the bigger picture – stimulating the economy and rebuilding our country – these ‘issues’ could very easily be overcome. We figured out segregation, we put a man on the moon, we even put the first African American President in the White House. So why is rebranding and redesigning the US Dollar such a big deal?
THE BIGGER PICTURE – NO LONGER #1.
Towards a New Reserve Currency?
According to many global economists ‘the possibility of the Euro becoming the first international reserve currency’ is quickly becoming a reality. In September 2007, former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, said ‘it is absolutely conceivable that the Euro will replace the Dollar as a reserve currency’ in the years to come. With more than €751 billion (Euros) in circulation, the Euro has become the currency with the highest combined value of cash in circulation in the world, surpassing the US Dollar.
‘Since its introduction, the Euro has become the second most widely held international reserve currency after the US Dollar.’ – Wikipedia
No More Bad Debts Please.
In May, 2009, Russian news agency Pravda announced that Russia had ‘dumped’ the US Dollar as a basic reserve currency, thus loosing its status of basic reserve currency for the Russian Central Bank. In the New York Times, in March, ‘in another indication that China is growing increasingly concerned about holding huge Dollar reserves, the head of its central bank has called for the eventual creation of a new international currency reserve to replace the Dollar. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said a new system is necessary because the global economic crisis has revealed the “inherent vulnerabilities and systemic risks in the existing international monetary system”.’
‘Through its proposal, China was indicating that the Dollar’s long dominance was unfair, allowing the United States to run huge deficits by borrowing from abroad, and that the risks to holders of Treasuries were growing.’ – Nicholas Lardy, an economist and China specialist at the Peterson Institute in Washington – New York Times
SEEKING ‘RADICAL’ IDEAS, AGAIN
The Call to Action.
‘In FDR’s day, the notion that the US government could step into the economic fray of a depressed economy and provide what was hoped to be a far-reaching impact was something this country had never experienced. It was not only controversial it was radical even. Such a move by the government to take a deep, hands-on action to help turn the nation’s sinking economy around was unprecedented.’ (http://tinyurl.com/kwx7aw)
Request for Proposal.
‘Our client is looking for a way to pull them out of the gutter and put them back on the global map. Over the last few years, previous administrations and misguided worldwide initiatives have led to a break down of our client’s brand values and global stature. The result? Virtual bankruptcy, economic failure, social unhappiness, and quiet dissatisfaction: need we say anymore.’ – Chief Brand Strategy Officer and Special Advisor to the ‘Person in Charge.’
What Needs to be Done.
– Rebrand our broken vision.
– Rebuild everyone’s livelihood.
– Revive our failed economy.
So is $500 really a lot of money? Yes, there are around 7 million vending machines in the US (Vending Times magazine), but when you consider the cost of the government’s bailout in comparison, isn’t $500 for each vending machine manufacturer actually a rather small sum? Yes, we are facing a global economic crisis, yes $500 IS a considerable amount of money to many people, but we also have to consider the global shortsightedness of such claims.