The federal budget revealed that Ottawa is retiring the penny and will stop minting new ones as early as this spring. At a cost of 1.5 cents each it’s no wonder. It will be interesting to see how businesses and consumers adjust. I guess the Take-a-Penny / Leave-a-Penny people are out of business! And how about your mortgage? A few cents each month can add up to a meaningful amount over the course of 25 years. If Gus Gorman (played by Richard Pryor) made his fortune rounding transactions to the nearest penny in Superman III imagine the heyday he’d have rounding up to the nearest nickel.
I imagine that our electronic world will continue to exist rounded to the nearest penny regardless of the available currency. If we thought the world was going to end because our machines couldn’t do the math associated with a new century, imagine the horror of changing all banking and investing systems to round to the nearest nickel. Besides, bill and coins will no doubt all be retired one day and we’ll pay for our groceries and gas by waving a chip implanted in our hand.
There’s no need to worry about your mortgage or other financial transactions. Your accounts will still be rounded to the nearest penny, your cash withdrawals will just be rounded to the nearest nickel. There could be some opportunities for Gus, however, if you were to close an account and be forced to leave 2 cents behind. On second thought, you better watch your statements carefully this summer. You never know where old Gus is working these days.