Being able to slap together 10 pence worth of ink and 10 pence of paper to sell the resultant note for £50 is a pretty profitable activity. We do make rather a lot of money if we've the right to make money that is.
The plan rather falls apart when people come back with old and tattered notes and demand new ones. It's thus the increase in money supply which really turns that seigniorage profit - or the money that never does come back. Which is what makes this such a strange decision:
Mr Hammond launched the consultation into cash alongside his Spring Statement. Six in 10 copper coins are used in just one transaction and never again, either because they are saved or thrown away, according to the Treasury.
The UK’s largest note – the £50 – could also be in jeopardy after bureaucrats said it was “rarely used for routine purchases”.
It is instead usually stored for its value, with the most “significant” demand from overseas.
We could, if we were so minded, view making £50 notes as our contribution to foreigners. They're able to have a store of value free of the activities of their own governments. Do note that there are parts of the world where the greatest threat to income, wealth and economic freedom is the government of that place.
But also note what is being said there. The most significant demand for the notes is from foreigners, much of which will never circulate back to the UK. This is a proper and pure seigniorage profit - the US equivalent is said to make the Feds some $20 billion a year.
The insistence is therefore that we should close down the one part of government which is purely and wholly profitable? Who are these people working for? For it definitely doesn't appear to be us, does it?