Z-MaxX writes to point out Reuters coverage following up on last month's news that the US Mint has made it illegal to melt or export US coins in bulk
, since the value of their constituent metals — in the case of pennies and nickels — now exceeds their face value. The new story quotes Francois Velde, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who thinks the new rules will not be enough — he believes that determined speculators are already piling up pennies. Velde suggests "rebasing" the penny to be worth five cents
. Quoting Velde: "These factors suggest that, sooner or later, the penny will join the farthing (one-quarter of a penny) and the hapenny (one-half of a penny) in coin museums."