The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago had a money party Tuesday morning. They introduced the new high-tech $100 bill that we will soon be appearing at a bank near you. Ben's on the front of the bill, Independence Hall on the back. Now they're being processed by the millions.
"By processing, I mean we distribute the bills to banks and other financial institutions in most of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin," said Donna Dziak, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
There's a big difference between that old C-note and the new one. The new bill is more colorful and good luck counterfeiters.
"The 3D Security Ribbon. . . when you tilt the note back and forth, hundreds of dots move side to side and when tilt the side to side, they move up and down. The Bell in the inkwell is a color changing feature, and when you tilt the note the bell turns to green and when you tilt again it turns to copper," said Dziak.
And then for us a rare treat: we are given a tour of the Fed's vault. We can look at but not touch, for instance, a small truck filled with $8.5 million in twenties. And then, workers processing the $100 bills. And they have plenty to supply the Midwest.
"We are currently holding $4 billion worth of new hundreds at the Fed. It's a little less than half of our total holdings," said Mary Sherburne, VP of cash operations, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Four billion in hundreds. That's 40 million individual C-notes. The Federal Reserve Bank almost never lets the media into their giant underground vault. But they did it Tuesday to celebrate the new $100 bill. It's fascinating! All this money, there's actually. . . Sniff, sniff. What is that aroma?
"It's the smell of money. Yes, it is. Uh huh, yes," said Sherburne.
But all we got was a sniff, and the vault was closed.