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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Obama Looking for Change, Wants to Pinch Pennies, Nick Nickels

H/T to myself: Reduced mining production of base metals such as copper and nickel among others, will mean less silver mined as nearly 2/3rds of silver is mined as a residual quantity from base metals. Any causal increase in silver's price could mean higher profits for primary silver miners, particularly the juniors.

Penny-pinching President Obama wants your loose change.

In a budget proposal that aims to make government more efficient, Obama floated the idea of either phasing out penny and nickel coins or using cheaper metals to produce them.

David Zalubowski / AP file

Pennies at the U.S. Mint in Denver. President Obama wants to phase them out, along with nickels, because they cost more than face value to produce.

The fiscal 2015 budget, released on Tuesday, points out that the coins' manufacturing and circulation have not changed in decades and that the Treasury Department has been reviewing the coins' production. 

Obama has proposed similar reviews in the past but the measures stalled despite not being partisan points of contention.

The budget does not include a specific cost savings figure for the potential changes but it identifies the rise of electronic commerce as a reason to review the coins' makeup and distribution. Last year's budget had pegged the cost of manufacturing a penny at two cents and the price of a nickel at 11 cents.

Past attempts to change penny and nickel production have faced resistance from interest groups, such as the Coin Laundry Association, which warned its small-business owner members would be hurt.