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Brother, Can You Spare a Trill?

Economists?Mark J. Kamstra and?Robert J. Shiller propose?a new tool for government financing: “trills” — i.e., shares in U.S. GDP. “We propose a small-denomination GDP share paying a coupon each year of one-trillionth of that year’s GDP, or about $14.60 at current levels,” they write. “Similar to shares issued by corporations paying a fraction of corporate earnings in dividends, the trill would pay a fraction of the ‘earnings’ of the U.S.” Kamstra and Shiller point out that the trills could be great for public confidence: “Public confidence may be boosted if the U.S. government does something fundamental to correct the faulty risk management implicit in pure-debt government financing that helped make the current crisis as bad as it is, and that inhibits a constructive response to the crisis.” [%comments]