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Chloe Effron
Chloe Effron

How Much Does it Cost to Manufacture U.S. Paper Money? 

Chloe Effron
Chloe Effron

To make money, you gotta spend money—and no one does this to better effect than the Federal Reserve. In fiscal year 2014, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing created 6.9 billion paper notes, with a total value of $130.1 billion, which adds up to about 24.8 million notes a day. That might seem like an enormous amount to be adding to the pool, but in fact, more than 90 percent of the notes are used to replace ones already in circulation (or recently taken out). It never stops, either: In the current fiscal year, the BEP plans on making 7.2 billion notes, valued at $188.7 billion, a 20 percent increase from last year. It’s just a fraction of the total amount of money currently circulating—about $1.37 trillion as of June 4, 2015—of which $1.32 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes.

So how much money is it costing the government to produce all that dough? Well, $1 and $2 bills cost 4.9 cents per note to make, while $5 cost 10.9 cents, $10 cost 10.3 cents, both $20 and $50 bills cost 10.5 cents, and $100 bills cost 12.3 cents. In other words, the more it’s worth, the more it costs to produce.

While each individual note costs a fraction of what it's worth to produce, those bills do add up. Not to mention raw materials: Between the facilities in Fort Worth and Washington D.C., about 8.9 tons of ink was used each day in the last fiscal year. When it’s all said and done, if the new currency budget is an accurate prediction, the Fed will spend about $717.9 million this year alone.

Graphic by Chloe Effron

(And yes, the $10,000 bill is a real thing. It's officially still legal tender, but the Fed discontinued them in 1969).

Graphic by Chloe Effron

After all that effort and money, the government does its best to make the bills last—which includes laws against defacing currency. You can’t draw on, cut up, glue anything on, disfigure, perforate, or otherwise mutilate currency under Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Such actions could land you with a fine and/or jail time. If you have any doubts about the severity of this fact, we can attest to its reach. Pulling a bill into Photoshop (for purely digital and educational purposes) yields this alert: “This application does not support the editing of banknote images. For more information, select the information button below for Internet-based information on restrictions for copying and distributing banknote images or go to www.rulesforuse.org.”

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GoPro Will Let You Trade in Your Old Digital Camera for One of Their Cool New Ones
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iStock

If your camera is aging, GoPro just gave you a great incentive to trade it in for a new model. The company has launched a buyback program that discounts its latest models if you send in your old camera, according to TechCrunch.

If you participate in the GoPro TradeUp program, the company will lop $50 off the price of the new GoPro HERO6 Black and $100 off the price of the Fusion, both released in late 2017. The offer applies to any digital camera—GoPro or not. Now might be a good time to offload that digital point-and-shoot you’ve been sitting on. (It does have to have an original retail value of at least $100.)

GoPro tried a similar initiative in 2017, giving customers 60 days to send in older GoPro models and get a discount on new models. Almost 12,000 customers answered the call. Now, the company is bringing it back with no end date, and the program will now accept any digital camera, whether GoPro-made it or not. “Dented, dinged, destroyed—no problem, we’ll take it,” the site promises.

If you’re already looking to get a new camera and want to dispose of your old one properly, this is a good way to do it. According to the company, “returned cameras will be recycled responsibly via zero landfill and recycling methods appropriate to material type.”

When you order one of the two available GoPro models through the TradeUp program, the company will direct you to dust off your old camera and send it in, with shipping costs covered. Once GoPro receives your old camera, it will send you the discounted new one.

With the discounts, a HERO6 Black would cost $350, and the 360°-shooting Fusion would cost $600.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

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