New US $20

“More Secure, Colorful $20 Bill Makes Its Debut”:

bq. we want to emphasize that older-design $20 notes are still in circulation, and still maintain their value,” said Marsha Reidhill, the Federal Reserve Board’s assistant director for cash and fiscal agency. A genuine U.S. $20 bill – whether it has the new background colors or the familiar green and black – is legal tender, worth $20.

“Treasury will spend $53 million over 5 years to market new pink greenbacks”:

bq. The Department of the Treasury will spend $53 million over the next five years on a public relations campaign to market new money. […] the BEP wants to make sure nobody is confused into questioning the authenticity of the bills, despite their radically altered look.

I’m glad to see that the USA is upgrading their money. It is apparently the most counterfeited bill on the planet, and that’s not only because it is a popular international currency; it’s also because it is easy to copy.

I was amused that people need to be _told_ that the new bill really is legal tender. I have two different $5 bills in my pocket right now, and I remember once having _three_ different $20 bills, so I’m used to regularly changing currency. As I recall, US paper money hasn’t changed much during my lifetime. On the other hand, Canada also advertises currency changes, so I guess I can’t really complain :-)

As for “radically altered look”? _This_ is “radically altered look”:

* 1972: “! $5 bill)!”:
* 1986: “! $5 bill)!”:
* 2002: “! $5 bill)!”:

Also from the CNN article:

bq. In an age of media saturation, no publicity campaign is complete without some sort of Hollywood spin. “We did a lot of research,” said Haley. “The focus groups all told us that if you want broad reach, you have to be on TV.”

Which translates to _product placements_ on Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and even America’s Funniest Home Videos. Yikes!

posted at 8:30 pm on Thursday, October 09, 2003 in Current Events | Comments (3)


  1. No fair making fun of us Americans and our bland, easy-to-copy money.

    I’ve always envied the multicolored money from other countries. The varying sizes, however, I could do without. However, seems to me, if we keep changing it, won’t it be easier for someone to slip a fake one in? All they have to say is: It’s the new 20; haven’t you seen it, yet?”


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