- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2003


Treasury Secretary John W. Snow is the nation’s top money man, but he might need a refresher course on the greenbacks the United States makes these days.

Mr. Snow was asked during an online “chat” yesterday what form of currency he would like to have his image on.

“I would put it on the $500 bill,” he replied. “It has the least circulation. That way I wouldn’t have to see myself too often.”


The United States stopped printing new $500 bills in 1945 and stopped issuing them altogether — with $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 notes — in 1969 because of lack of use, says the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Since 1969, the $100 bill has been the largest note in circulation.

The image of William McKinley, the nation’s 25th president, appears on the front of $500 bills. Higher, discontinued denominations are more likely to be in the hands of collectors than in cash registers.

Even if the $500 bill were brought back, Mr. Snow’s image couldn’t be put on it, at least not currently. Living people’s visages cannot appear on U.S. currency.

Afterward, Treasury spokesman Rob Nichols said Mr. Snow was joking when he made the comments during an interactive exchange posted on the White House Web site, www.whitehouse.gov.

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