Dead Presidents

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Dead Presidents'

Slang referring to U.S. paper currency. Dead presidents can refer to any unit of currency, but most often refers to George Washington, whose picture is on the $1 bill. Therefore an item that costs six dead presidents would mean that it costs $6.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Dead Presidents'

During the Civil War, the Union Congress ordered the printing of half a million 5-cent notes due to a shortage of the metals used to produce traditional coinage. However, when the notes appeared to the public, the engraved portrait on the bill was of someone named Spencer M. Clark. Naturally, no one in the Union (or anywhere else) had any idea who this was. An investigation quickly revealed that Lincoln had appointed him as the first superintendent of the National Currency Bureau. Because Congress had not specified that any particular historical figure be placed upon the bill, he had simply taken the liberty of putting his own picture there. Needless to say, Congress was furious. They immediately enacted a law stipulating that from that point on, any person who appeared on the face of any U.S. currency had to be famous -and dead.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Currency

    A generally accepted form of money, including coins and paper ...
  2. Hard Currency

    A currency, usually from a highly industrialized country, that ...
  3. Soft Currency

    A currency with a value that fluctuates as a result of the country's ...
  4. Confederate Dollar

    A currency issued by the Confederate States of America during ...
  5. USD (United States Dollar)

    The currency abbreviation for the United States dollar (USD), ...
  6. WM/Reuters Benchmark Rates

    Spot and forward foreign exchange rates that are used as standard ...
Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Hedge Against Exchange Rate Risk With ...

  2. Forex Education

    Profiting From A Weak U.S. Dollar

  3. Forex Education

    Top 7 Questions About Currency Trading ...

  4. Forex Education

    Dollarization Explained

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitulation

    When investors give up any previous gains in stock price by selling equities in an effort to get out of the market and into ...
  2. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  3. Conduit Issuer

    An organization, usually a government agency, that issues municipal securities to raise capital for revenue-generating projects ...
  4. Financing Entity

    The party in a financing arrangement that provides money, property, or another asset to an intermediate entity or financed ...
  5. Hyperinflation

    Extremely rapid or out of control inflation. There is no precise numerical definition to hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is ...
  6. Gross Rate Of Return

    The total rate of return on an investment before the deduction of any fees or expenses. The gross rate of return is quoted ...
Trading Center