Debt Ceiling Platinum Coins And Heist Flicks

In the midst of the delightfully distracting debate over whether the Treasury Department could solve the debt ceiling crisis by minting a couple of trillion-dollar coins, Jon Chait suggests that such a scenario lends itself to a whole bunch of wacky movie ideas:

I actually feel like this plan could, in addition to rescuing the economy, provide the spark our film industry requires. I could sit here for ten minutes and rattle off a half-dozen great film concepts based on this story.

Bank caper: a dashing Clooney-esque figure assembles a team to steal the trillion dollar coin.

Comedy: a bumbling assistant Treasury Secretary played by Jack Black accidentally picks up the trillion dollar coin and spends it on a Mountain Dew, sending the entire government into a mad scramble for the coin before the world economy collapses.


Noir: Regular person somehow acquires the coin, and is slowly twisted.

Action: Super-villain plots to destroy the coin and bring the economy to its knees, from which he stands to profit due to a nefariously brilliant hedge he has prepared. Maybe we’ll call him “Eric Cantor.”

I like these, but I have some doubts about the first idea. A lot of what makes heist movies fun is the brilliant solutions to the logistical challenges of moving the loot. We’d never have the sheer joy of the Mini Cooper chase scene in The Italian Job if all we had to move was a couple of little coins:

On the other hand, you could do a gorgeous, high-level three card monte, like the climax of the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, one of my favorite movie sequences for pure fun and style (the clip spoils the end of the movie):