The Instigator
TheDevilsAdvocate
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
DoctorDeku
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

If a $1 Trillion coin is minted, and if I stole it, I would be the most powerful man in the world

Do you like this debate?NoYes+5
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
TheDevilsAdvocate
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,869 times Debate No: 28975
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (5)

 

TheDevilsAdvocate

Pro

Hey y'all this is my first debate here! Glad to join everyone. I thought I could start on something rather mild and fun so I get used to how things are. Please point me in the right direction if I made any mistakes.



So the trillion dollar coin is an attempt to avoid the debt ceiling fiasco that is inevitable in the United States. Through a legal loophole, it is possible for the President to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin, since paper denominations of that size cannot be legally printed.

Personally I find it ludicrous that this will solve anything, but I am not here to debate the economic effects of this on the United States, oh no.

Let us assume that


  1. The $1 Trillion dollar coin is minted and deposited in the Federal Reserve System, the coin being specifically put into a guarded building.
  2. I break into such building and steal the coin a la Ocean's Eleven.
  3. I get away with it, going on a plane and flying somewhere far away, let your imagination go wild.
  4. The coin can be liquidated if need be, so finding someone that can give me change for a trillion, won't be a problem.Value is, obviously, $1,000,000,000,000 USD as of the time of this posting and nominal.
  5. The main argument is if I will be the most powerful person in the world, which is subjective, but we can use our imaginations a bit, and the one with the most convincing argument prevails.
  6. The current most powerful man in the world is POTUS (President of the United States), but also the Pope, Bill Gates, and the other top billionaires, political leaders and such.

    http://www.forbes.com...



Forbes can be a reference for us, but is not absolute and you can convince otherwise.

  1. No semantics
  2. The argument is whether I am or I am not the most powerful man in the world with $1 trillion, not if I can rule the world
  3. Comparison of individuals is okay, but not comparisons between a person and an entire nation

Since I am new to this, I will let the Con start it up. I will then offer the rebuttal and my arguments afterwards. Billions are in short scale.

Example of what a trillion dollars would look in Benjamin Franklins
http://s13.postimage.org...
In Order:

      • $100 - Hundred bucks
      • $10,000 - Ten grand
      • $1,000,000 - Million dollars
      • $100,000,000 - 100 million
      • $1,000,000,000 - 1 billion
      • $1,000,000,000,000 - 1 trillion





Let us define what power means exactly in this context:
Power - The ability to influence other peoples' behaviour with or without resistence.

I can use the $1 trillion to do as I wish to gain as much power as possible, but I do not have any income unless I spend the $1 trillion on something that can produce income.

The burden of proof is on me. If you accept this challenge, provide a brief introduction on why your position contending, then I we will respond with our cases in round 2.


DoctorDeku

Con

Allow me to premise this debate by welcoming you to DDO! I am impressed at how well you've framed this debate given that it is in fact your first debate. I've seen you comment on a few debates, so I want to also say that I appreciate that you've taken an effort to aquatint yourself with the customs and practices of this site before officially beginning to debate.

In case there is anyone who does not know what my opponent is referencing when he speaks of a trillion dollar coin, here is an article from CBS which explains it[1]
[1] http://www.cbsnews.com...

That said I would like to bring to the judges attention that my opponent places conflicting burdens on me in this round; he at first claims that I may start this debate after he offers three clarifications for the round to operate under and then at the end of his round 1 he claims that I should use this round solely to present the premise by which the Con's advocacy will operate under. I'm going to assume that the later burden is the one I should write this round under, so I will not provide a full argument at this point.
If this was not my opponent's intention then I urge the judges to keep my analysis here in mind and not dock me in their vote.

That said I reserve the right to expand upon the following premise and flesh the argument out to much deeper degree. in the following rounds

I make the assumption that the aforementioned trillion dollar coin would be the size of a regular coin, and not something of a much bigger size.

My position will be twofold-

First; Since these coins were created for a specific purpose and not distributed to the general public, they would be useless to you as leverage for gains of power. The moment you tried to use it you would be recognized as a thief and incarcerated.

and

Second; The coin's value would not be intrinsically related to the coin, but would be representative of wealth elsewhere. Since the Federal Government would be on the lookout for you there would be nowhere you could use the coin without drawing negative attention to yourself.

These are the two premises under which I will build my argument in following rounds. I look forward to an entertaining round, and I hope any readers enjoy this debate as well!
Debate Round No. 1
TheDevilsAdvocate

Pro

Glad to meet you DoctorDeku, I look forward to having an entertaining debate with you. I enjoy debate as sport so that could have helped in framing my first argument, but I am new to DDO. Also I would like to thank you for providing the CBS link. Anyways, let's get down to business, shall we?

Prelude

I apologize for this mistake, you are indeed correct however. My previous argument's formatting got messed up when I tried to edit it, and could not figure out how to edit at first, so I missed on deleting the first burden. Let us present our arguments in full, then offer the rebuttals for the last rounds.

I

We had already assumed that the coin would be made (I), that I would steal it (II), escape successfully (III) and that I could turn the [regular] sized coin into $1 trillion USD nominal (IV).

In that case, I would be the first real trillionaire. The US federal government, and possibly international agencies would use all resources available to apprehend me.

Bin Laden managed to hide for 10 years, and he was no trillionaire. Even if I were to get caught, I would still be, for a time, the most powerful person in the world.

II

Having escaped, I could not go to an ally of the US, as I will be extradited easily. Instead, Russia or China would be good choices. My immense wealth would allow me to find translators and such to navigate easily. I would find a hiding place in Siberia or China, and put diplomatic pressure on the US federal gov't to extradite me. [1]

III

I would use the wealth represented in the coin to hire Private Military Contracters (PMCs) for personal protection. If contracters such as Blackwater (or Academi, if you prefer) are unavailable because they are American, there are Russian PMCs and other merceneries whose only loyalty is the dollar, of which I have plenty. This offers me protection in my hiding place. I would also set up a global intelligence and counter-intelligence network to combat the CIA and possibly MI6. [2]

IV

Set up a money laundering operation of massive size. From my headquarters in a mercenery protected bunker in Siberia or China, I would meet with corrupt business officials and bankers to secure a mutual money laundering deal. I would be able to recieve funds from proxy businesses all over the world to accounts in Switzerland. It would be slow, but the money would be getting cleaned out at a certain rate. This helps some of my money become more "covert" and not so obvious that it's stolen. I would also keep a sizeable chunk of dirty money with my self, and small chunks deposited with others in my network. Let's say $200 billion. [3]

V

Through my powerful new financial network and co-accomplices, I can then buy US T-bills worth about $500 billion, but not all at once, and through a proxys, so as to not arouse suspicion. This leverages my power against the United States itself, if I dump the bonds all at once, it could jepordize the US, and possibly world economy as well as the US Dollar. The US has done this itself against the UK during the Suez Crisis [4]

VI

This clearly makes me more powerful than POTUS. I have my own private army and intelligence network at my complete control and no Rules of Engagement to follow or public to please. I have enough money to take control of entire countries (small-mid undeveloped countries, not advanced nations) through careful planning. I also run a gigantic financial network that would slowly become a legitimate part of the global financial market, because of my leveraged position.

Conclusion

I have become a real-life supervillain, but I will be the most powerful person in the world. Let us see your argument, then we can have rebuttals.

[1] http://www.justice.gov...
[2] http://www.piie.com...
[3] http://www.icrc.org...
[4] http://www.theatlantic.com...
DoctorDeku

Con

I just realized that you're not who I thought you were. Forgive my mistake but I thought that you were this user (http://www.debate.org...) which is why I thanked you for being involved in DDO and getting up to snuff on community standards before starting your first debate. Anyway it doesn't matter as you've still posed an excellent argument which I hope will be a fun debate.

That said my refutation of your arguments of power would be very simple; that being even under the six assumptions provided by the pro in round one, the coin would be useless to him as a leverage of power. This is true as it was never established where Con would go with the coin once stolen; he even says for us 'to let your imaginations run wild'. However for argument's sake he establishes he would go to either Siberia or China; both of those countries would rat him out the the US authorities.

If we where to go to Russia, then the US would be able to find him once he liquidated the coin; a trillion dollars USD is a lot of money, and it's transfer of funds isn't going to go unnoticed. Here's where my first premise comes into play, once Pro has liquidated the cash from the coin, the government of either Russia or or the United States would freeze his bank account and the money would be useless to him[1]. He wouldn't be able to be able to get the money in all cash, as it would still be suspicious and he would get caught before he had the ability to put the money to use; with this in mind, we can effectively assume that Russia is not an option.
[1] http://www.ehow.com...

Also there's the fact that Vladimir Putin is the third most powerful man in the world[2], and he knows that such a massive betrayal of the United States (the betrayal being honoring the trillion dollar liquidation) would not bode well for him or his country so again, either way the money in going to be frozen in Russia
[2] http://www.forbes.com...

As for China an even bigger problem exists in going there; the United States owes China the most money out of all of the US's debt[3]. So here's where my second premise comes into play, as I said before the coin's value would not be intrinsic to the coin, but would be representative of wealth elsewhere. This wealth however wouldn't be money in the U.S. federal reserve as the U.S. doesn't have the money there to back that coin up; it would have to come from the money borrowed from China. So, anyone in china who actually had the money to honor a trillion dollar liquidation wouldn't allow Pro to access the funds once the coin has been liquidated.
[3] http://usgovinfo.about.com...

Now at this point I direct you attention to my opponent arguments as of the prior round; by this logic the first two prongs of Pro's justification would be accepted; however as he cannot actually access the money he's stolen the , fourth, fifth and sixth prongs would never happen. He couldn't hire any PMCs for his protection, or establish a counter intelligence network to the CIA; he couldn't launder money; and he couldn't subtly take over the world Giovanni style[4]
[4] http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net...

Finally in order to cover all of my basis here, it must be mentioned that having that just having the money wouldn't give my opponent any type of power; much less justify him as the most powerful man in the world.
Furthermore as my opponent alludes that there is a chance of him getting caught, he is not the most powerful man in the world as there exists an agent who could realistically overthrow him.

This has been a fun argument to craft, and I look forward to seeing what Pro will do with it.
Back at ya!
Debate Round No. 2
TheDevilsAdvocate

Pro

I thought I was the only Devil's Advocate. Aw man. I hope you are not suggesting that I violated the community standards or anything, if I did let me know. This is why I created this debate in the first place, it's not something meant to be serious and tackle the "big issues" so I get familiar with the system. Anyways,



I

Con's argument is strong, but he made one fatal error. My opponent has assumed that I will conduct my banking through a Russian service and I have not mentioned that I would, only that I would escape to Russia because no extradition treaties exist between the United States and the Russian Federation. I did say that through the money laundering system, I would have accounts in Switzerland and proxy businesses to protect the liquidation. I also mentioned that I would not launder the money in one lump sum, that would be foolish and any bank would be suspicious that a person would want to deposit a trillion dollars, equivalent the entire GDP of Australia.

Other than Switzerland, my options are wide when it comes to offshore banking. We will use the examples of Switzerland, Singapore and Bahrain to point out how banking secrecy works out in my faovur, although I would use dozens of offshore banks to minimize risk.

Switzerland

Even Jews were able to keep their assets safe during peak Nazi hegemony in Europe. Swiss banks guarantee secrecy as said in the Swiss Banking Act of 1934 and the fact that I am not in the United States, means I avoid the IRS completely when setting up Swiss accounts. [1]

Singapore

Singapore has been competing with Switzerland as an offshore banking system and world financial centre. Singapore bank secrecy is very strict which is to my advantage. This is dealt with in Singapore Law in section 47 of the Banking Act (Chapter 19, 2008 Rev Ed.) [2]

Anonymous Internet Banking

It is theoretically possible for me to use the internet to also assist in the liquidation and money laundering process. Advances in financial cryptography has made it possible for financial transactions to be virtually absolutely secret. [3]

There are dozens of other options I may use, but not enough text to list them all, so I leave this list here. [4]

Con has assumed that I would use Russian banks to perform liquidation, however this is not the case and I pointed this out in part IV of my previous argument. Other than that, my opponent has rested his case on the aspect that I would not be able to hold the trillion dollars and has not addressed my other points of PMCs, counter-intelligence and such.

II

I may eventually be caught, but even if I was the most powerful man for a single day, my argument would still be correct. My opponent has mentioned that I could not be the most powerful man in the world since someone else could overthrow me. This doesn't mean I could not be the most powerful man in the world however, for example King Louis XVI was the most powerful man in France during his reign but was still overthrown from agents within France.

Also to note, my acquisition of US treasury bills on a massive scale would leverage my power against the United States as I have stated before, thus making me more powerful than POTUS and thus most powerful man in the world.

My opponent also mentions that having the money would not give me any type of power. I disagree and believe money itself can be used for power. Money can be used to purchase political influence for example, and is the basis for the entire lobbying sector. [5]

This debate has been fun, and I have some more ideas like this so stay tuned. I'll thank my opponent for this fun debate but for now, vote for me because how could anyone not be very super powerful with a trillion bucks?



Sources
[1] http://www.kpmg.com...
[2] http://www.singaporelaw.sg...
[3] http://orlingrabbe.com...
[4] http://www.offshore-bank-list.com...
[5] http://www.commondreams.org....
DoctorDeku

Con

Don't worry, you didn't violated any community standards; if anything it's even more impressive that you've formulated such concise logical arguments in your first DDO debate.
---

I would like to clarify one thing before I get into my line-by-line refutations,
That being, when liquidating cash one must liquidate the entire sum if it is an single bill or coin,
otherwise must get the left over change change from the liquidation. So then even if my opponent only liquidated 100 dollars to his swiss account, he would still get 999,999,999,900 back in some way or another. You're not going to go to a store and hand the cashier a 100 dollar bill and say 'I just want to get 20 of this bill, leave the rest alone'; you're going to get a 20 dollar bill and 80 more dollars in whatever form the cashier decides to return the money.
Accordingly if it is a single coin my opponent is liquidating, he would have to either liquidate the entire coin when depositing it, or else otherwise get the rest of the change from what he refused to liquidate.

Either way we understand that the money would be taken from somewhere in a simple lump exchange. Until he could exchange the coin for smaller bills, it wouldn't be worth anything to him. (who could give him change?)

Furthermore, take out any paper money you have (USD) and look in the top right corner under the word 'American'. For those of other countries here's a point of reference[5]
[5] http://www.onedollarbill.org...

If we know that the federal government would place a serial number on a single dollar bill, then it logically follows that they're going to do something similar, if not much more special, with the single largest piece of currency in human history.

Keeping this in mind, I move onto my two premise I've discussed in the previous rounds,
First: These coins were made for a special purpose and you would be caught as soon as you used them
Once the most powerful country in the world has had 1 Trillion dollars stolen from them, word is going to spread fast. Even countries who are not allies with the U.S. would know of this and be wary of you for fear of retribution from the U.S.
This is mind it logically follows that once you found someone willing and able to liquidate the coin (it would have to be a registered, certified bank) you would be caught immediately, before you would have a chance to put that money to use.

This is because,
The money's value isn't intrinsically related to the coin or bill, but indicative of wealth elsewhere,
And where do you think that elsewhere would be? the federal reserve[6]. So it is still my intention to show that Con wouldn't be able to do anything with the cash. Even operating under the premise that the federal reserve honors Pro's liquidation (as per our agreement), as soon as he had the cash in some form or another he would be immediately incarcerated and the US would get their money back.
[6] http://www.frbservices.org...

Let's consider these possibilities then; if he liquidates $1-50,000,000,000 he still has at least 50,000,000,000 on his person and the Federal Reserve will be notified of the exchange of funds. If he liquidates $50,000,000,000 - 1,000,000,000,000 then he'll $0-49,999,999,999 on his person and the federal reserve will still be notified of the transfer.

Once notified, the federal government would forcibly freeze his account; violating whatever foreign laws they needed to do so, and he wouldn't be able to leverage enough of the cash in his favor to become the most powerful man before he was caught. The most he could carry on his person would be a couple of million dollars[7]
[7] http://www.frbservices.org...

In Conclusion,
I've shown that while pro could get the money, he couldn't use it to his advantage.
All the money in the world is useless if you can't spend it.

Thanks for the debate Pro,
Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by frogbuster 1 year ago
frogbuster
I think Pro made the mistake of not clarifying why he could liquidate a $1 trillion dollar coin, which was the basis of Con's argument.
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
This is a tough debate to judge. CON has a very good idea how a real-world scenario would play out, but PRO's round #1 assumptions gave him a LOT of room for maneuverability. I have to take for granted that he was able to acquire $1 trn somehow..."use my imagination" which to me would be utilizing his off-shoring or via black market dealers. There's the question whether or not these sources would even have $1 trn to give out for liquidation, which would force CON to utilize PRO's Russian and Chinese banks...although even then I would question if they had these resources...which would force CON to utilize European banks, which would indeed result in immediate capture upon liquidation. PRO did not expound on any of this. I think PRO was onto something in attacking the actual process of liquidation, but I did not see him expound on this in a satisfactory manner, even though I am convinced it would happen in such a manner.

I found PRO's arguments about wealth siphoned away, while true, were weak in attacking CON's position. It's assumed the US would do anything and everything it could to recover $1 trn in stolen funds...

Utilizing my imagination, and given that the European/RUS/China bank assets were frozen, that still leaves off-shore and black-market sources untouched. Exactly how much this would be, and whether or not CON would truly be "the most powerful man in the world" is debatable, but wasn't debated. Therefore, I rate this a tie. However, I thought PRO's S&G was unsatisfactory, and pitted against an opponent without such problems, I found it appropriate to dock him off one point for this.

Interesting debate.
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
1) "it must be mentioned that having that just having the money wouldn't give my opponent any type of power;" At this point, there were numerous S&G mistakes by CON, awarding to PRO.
2) Hmmm...had to reread this...PRO's arguments re: getting the money in the first place go counter to CON's round #1 assumptions: "IV: The coin can be liquidated if need be, so finding someone that can give me change for a trillion, WON'T BE A PROBLEM." (emphasis mine)
3) CON talks past PRO's arguments and elaborates on money laundering.
4) CON: "...my acquisition of US treasury bills on a massive scale would leverage my power against the United States as I have stated before..." This would never, ever happen without PRO's point about your financial assets getting frozen.
5) PRO: "I would like to clarify one thing before I get into my line-by-line refutations,
That being, when liquidating cash one must liquidate the entire sum if it is an single bill or coin," There is no need for clarification. The plausibility and inevitability of this liquidation is a round #1 assumption and cannot be contested.
6) PRO's final rounds is still being used up to contest round #1 assumptions. Pity.
7) PRO: "This is mind it logically follows that once you found someone willing and able to liquidate the coin (it would have to be a registered, certified bank)" Why? Why couldn't it be a black market dealer? Or several in a cartel?
8) PRO: "...as soon as he had the cash in some form or another he would be immediately incarcerated and the US would get their money back." Immediately? How?
9) PRO: "The money's value isn't intrinsically related to the coin or bill, but indicative of wealth elsewhere..." For this debate, false. CON, in round #1: "Value is, obviously, $1,000,000,000,000 USD as of the time of this posting and nominal."

(con't with conclusion)
Posted by DoctorDeku 1 year ago
DoctorDeku
I just know I'm going to have to wait until the last minute to make my final rebuttal >->'.
Sorry I'm taking so long DA.
Posted by 1Historygenius 1 year ago
1Historygenius
I would love to take this debate.
Posted by TheDevilsAdvocate 1 year ago
TheDevilsAdvocate
Hence why I hired the PMCs. In fact assassination is not even the largest threat seeing as how the United States would utilize all resources at its disposal to take me down.
Posted by acecombat2 1 year ago
acecombat2
hmmmm..... potential to be target of assassination........
Seriously if he really does that... he might not live long enough to see the reality....
Posted by TheDevilsAdvocate 1 year ago
TheDevilsAdvocate
Haha, I have a lot extra time this night, as you can tell. I shall check back tomorrow for your arguments.
Posted by DoctorDeku 1 year ago
DoctorDeku
Wow! I really didn't expect you to respond so quickly 0-0.
I'm sorry but I don't plan to start my constructive until tomorrow.
Posted by 1Historygenius 1 year ago
1Historygenius
I might take this.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by LaL36 1 year ago
LaL36
TheDevilsAdvocateDoctorDekuTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Based on pros definition of power, he has fulfilled the BOP. Anyone with that coin can definitely influence others and pro has established that. Good arguments by con though.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
TheDevilsAdvocateDoctorDekuTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments
Vote Placed by Ike-Jin-Park 1 year ago
Ike-Jin-Park
TheDevilsAdvocateDoctorDekuTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very interesting debate and I got to admit that it was a close call. Now we really need to take a look at what it means to be powerful. Of course being in power requires money but more than that, what really is required is a political power. It is true to certain extent that money brings political power as well. However, POTUS has influence to the entire world that is not necessarily economical. He also holds power that money cannot bring. Man with a trillion dollar cannot approve on U.S. Navy's military act, defy an unanimous agreement of the Congress or grant a special pardon to a criminal. If one illegally happens to possess a trillion dollar, one can have enough sum of money to manipulate just about anything but it is in fact impossible to do so without being noticed and that makes the difference here. By some chance, if one can steal the money, one will face problem of utilizing the cash and being un tracked afterwards as well. That would be all. Interesting debate!
Vote Placed by hghppjfan 1 year ago
hghppjfan
TheDevilsAdvocateDoctorDekuTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, too close to call
Vote Placed by rross 1 year ago
rross
TheDevilsAdvocateDoctorDekuTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: In the introduction, Pro put the assumption that "the coin can be liquidated if need be, so finding someone that can give me change for a trillion, won't be a problem,". Con's argument that Pro would be incarcerated when he tried to use the coin counts as "a problem" IMO and so is invalid. I liked all Pro's talk of bank accounts too. Great topic. Funny.