Stashing Cash

Greenbacks burst out all over

Although many people believe that the U.S. is fast becoming a cashless society, it is actually awash in a glut of paper money. In 1980 there was some $600 in cash in the economy for every person in the country, compared with just $162 in 1960. The number of $100 bills increased more than eightfold during that period, and the $100 bill has now replaced the $20 as the denomination with the highest total value in circulation.

Economists find this cash explosion puzzling. Many thought the rise in crime...

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