Last month, the European Central Bank announced that it would stop printing €500 notes, because the only people who use them are criminals and terrorists. One of the guys who came up with that idea, former Standard Chartered CEO and current Harvard thinker Peter Sands, thinks it’d be nice if the U.S. one-upped Frankfurt and got rid of the C-note. But before you start to write a musical to save Ben Franklin from currency oblivion, fear not: The $100 bill isn’t going anywhere. It would just be too big a pain in the ass.
There are 11.1 billion $100 bills in circulation, and about 75% of them are held in other countries, in part because the U.S. dollar is the dominant international reserve currency. Retiring it would have a ripple effect beyond the borders of the U.S….
Replacing the bill would be expensive. It costs 14.3 cents to produce a $100 bill. The next largest denomination, the $50 bill, costs 10.6 cents, but twice as many would have to be printed, at a higher cost overall….
Regular Americans use $100 bills. Some automated-teller machines even dispense them.