Bernanke 'appalled' by plan to drop Hamilton from $10 bill

Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke
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Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke

"Say it ain't so, Jack." That's the headline on Ben Bernanke's blog post about Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's plan to replace Alexander Hamilton with a woman on the $10 bill.

The former Federal Reserve chairman said he's "appalled" by the announcement. ( Tweet This)

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Atop Bernanke's list of qualms was the glaring irony of dislodging Hamilton of all people. "Hamilton's 1791 Report on the Mint set the basis for U.S. currency arrangements, which makes his demotion from the ten dollar bill all the more ironic," Bernanke said.

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The Brookings blog post goes on to point out Hamilton "played a leading role in creating U.S. monetary and financial institutions," as evidenced by founding the nation's first major bank, the Bank of New York. Bernanke said featuring a woman on U.S. currency is a fine idea, "but it shouldn't come at Hamilton's expense."

Woman will grace the $10 bill in 2020
Woman will grace the $10 bill in 2020   

As an alternative, Bernanke proposed a woman replace the president behind the Indian Removal Act of 1830, Andrew Jackson, on the $20—a cause already led by the nonprofit Women on $20s.

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"Given his views on central banking, Jackson would probably be fine with having his image dropped from a Federal Reserve note," Bernanke wrote. However, Lew previously said that due to more pressing counterfeit concerns with the $10 bill, the $20 bill is not next up for a redesign.

Bernanke conceded that his time in government taught him programs are hard to reverse after they are announced, but urged the Treasury Department to "do everything within its power to defend the honor of Jack Lew's most illustrious predecessor."

You can read Bernanke's full post here.