The US government is profiting from money laundering

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The FT published this chart this week, noting that for the first time the value of US $100 bills in circulation exceeds the value of $1 bills:

What really interested me is the fact that maybe 80% of these $100 bills are thought to circulate outside the USA.

And then there was this comment:

Former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers has called for the $100 note to be scrapped to frustrate illicit activities, a move reminiscent of the European Central Bank’s decision in 2016 to stop producing €500 notes with the same aim. But the cost of replacing the $100 note with more $50s and the cut in seigniorage, the profits a government makes from issuing currency, have hindered efforts.

So the US government ould rather profit from money laundering than take the bills out of circulation.

Which says rather a lot, I think.