"This is what's happening to our money": CNBC's Kudlow lights dollar bill on fire

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On CNBC's The Call, while purporting to describe "the value of our money," Larry Kudlow lit a U.S. dollar bill on fire, destroying part of the bill -- a possible violation of Title 18, Section 333, of the U.S. Code.

During the March 19 edition of CNBC's The Call, while purporting to describe "the value of our money," co-host Larry Kudlow lit a U.S. dollar bill on fire, destroying part of the bill. In an August 2004 "Answer Desk" article, MSNBC.com senior producer John W. Schoen reported that "turning cash into ashes is a no-no, according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing ... this is a violation of Title 18, Section 333, of the United States Code." Title 18, Section 333, states: "Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both."

In a December 19, 2007, article, PolitiFact.com reported that "Claudia Dickens, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said it only becomes a violation when it is mutilated so much that it is 'unacceptable to a merchant or vending machine. That's defacing.' "

During The Call, Kudlow stated: "The Fed is kicking off its highly anticipated TALF [Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility] program later today. They're just going to throw more money at the economy. This is a day after announcing it will buy long-term treasuries and mortgage-backed securities." After introducing CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman and asking him, "Are we going to do this in unison? You get your dollar bill?" Kudlow lit a U.S. dollar bill on fire, destroying part of the bill:

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Kudlow has stated that he is considering a run for U.S. Senate.

From the March 19 edition of CNBC's The Call:

KUDLOW: The Fed is kicking off its highly anticipated TALF program later today. They're just going to throw more money at the economy. This is a day after announcing it will buy long-term treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Nobody better to report on this one than our great friend, senior economics reporter Steve Liesman. More on the TALF. Are we going to do this in unison? You get your dollar bill?

LIESMAN: Oh, no, no, Larry.

KUDLOW: All right. You go ahead.

LIESMAN: Larry had asked what happened to his money. I said, "Put a lighter to it." But we'll do that later. But Larry, the important thing --

MELISSA FRANCIS (co-host): There you go. Yeah.

LIESMAN: Larry asked what's going to happen to his money.

KUDLOW: This is the value of our money. This is the value of our money.

LIESMAN: Oh my goodness.

KUDLOW: That's what's going on.

LIESMAN: OK.

KUDLOW: All right. I don't want to burn the place up, but unfortunately --

FRANCIS: Yikes.

KUDLOW: -- we are going to see a lot of people lighting flame to the U.S. dollar, which is going down in flames.

LIESMAN: Well, that's -- that's an interesting debate.

FRANCIS: [Inaudible] the fire alarm.

LIESMAN: We're going to have that debate later.

KUDLOW: Going down in flames. No one is thinking about it. No one is worrying about it. It's going down in flames.

LIESMAN: But, Larry, for the moment it looks like an underwhelming start to a program. The Fed and the Treasury hope it will be overwhelming when it comes to kick-starting the consumer credit and the consumer -- and the credit crisis.

Posted In
Economy, Budget
Network/Outlet
CNBC
Person
Lawrence Kudlow
Show/Publication
The Call
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