Grassroots Commentary

Obama Favors Sacking Expensive 'Two-Cent' Penny

By Albert Maslar · Feb. 19, 2013

The penny might be worthless but big money investors place their High Frequency Trading (HFT) bets on the smallest common denominator, and do it by algorithms that in a micro-second respond to the slightest change in price. Traders make big profits but small investors are left with sparse pickings, if any, as they are always a day late or a dollar short.

The US Mint claims that it costs two-cents to coin a penny, lending some penny sayings null and void. How much should be paid when offering “A penny for your thoughts?” Do you get change of a penny or get two thoughts?

Benjamin Franklin is famous for one of his sayings, “A penny saved is is a penny earned.” So do you gain one cent or two cents when a penny is saved? And should one invest in pennies and gain an instant 100% profit? But who will pay two cents for one penny? Hmmm…Maybe the government. They’ve been known to make worse investments.

Other sayings, “For two cents, I would”… “This is my two cents worth…” And of course, it puts the lie to “A penny isn’t worth anything”…It’s worth two cents, but not at the store; “Penny wise and pound foolish”…“Penny Pincher”… “A million dollars starts with a penny,” are other popular penny sayings.

“Penny Candy” is non-existent in today’s world as the nickel, dime, and quarter candy are likewise ancient relics. “Pick up a lost penny for Good Luck.” Then there is the famous “Penny Loafer shoe” that sports a penny placed between the split strap on the front of the shoe.

Curiously, the penny is not the smallest denomination as there are ten mills to the penny, most commonly used in the price of gas for cars that ends up quoted a 9/10 of a cent; or 9 mills. For oil companies, there are big bucks in the diminutive Mill, and ten times as much in the diminutive 10 mill Penny. Then there are infamous penny stocks, or famous if the price goes through the roof. If a penny stock gains $1.00, there is a gain of 100 times the original investment.

There are 100 basis points in each one percent and one percent of a Dollar is a Penny. There are 100 basis point in one percent, and basis points are generally used for government bond transactions.

President Obama said he supports eliminating pennies, but that it’s unlikely to happen because he says “It is so low on the list of congressional priorities…Until Congress grants me that authority, it was up to them to act on eliminating the penny…The penny is something I need legislation for, and frankly given all the big issues, we’re not able to get to it.” R E A L L Y ! What happened to “If Congress does not act, I will?”

Eliminate the penny? Not a chance. That would make it too hard for investors, day traders, oil companies, penny-slots at the casinos, and speculators, who need the penny to make profits on denominations as low as 1/10th of a penny, or 1/100th of one percent.