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Obama's history of the trillion dollar coin

Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Obama sat down with the political podcast, Pod Save America, yesterday and discussed his "scariest moment" in the White House — the debt ceiling crisis of 2013:

  • "There were all kinds of wacky ideas about how potentially you could have this massive coin I mean... it was like some primitive — it was like out of the stone age or something. And I pictured rolling in some coin..."
  • "It gets pretty technical, but there was this theory that I had the authority to just issue... through the mint... this massive trillion dollar coin... and that on that basis we could try to pay off our U.S. treasuries."
  • "It was a very realistic possibility that we couldn't get the votes for that and that we couldn't get those debts rolled over... and at that point you were in uncharted territory."