Congress has agreed to give a new look to the dollar coin and the quarter, starting
in 1999. A new dollar coin will replace the Susan B. Anthony coin, which was not produced
after 1981 because it was so unpopular (primarily because its too easily confused
with a quarter). The new coin will be gold-colored and otherwise more distinctive. The
primary reason to issue a coin is to save government printing costs because, with normal
use, coins last about 30 years while dollar bills have to be replaced approximately every
18 months. The new dollar coin will not replace the dollar bill, however.
In addition, Congress approved a program that redesigns the reverse side of the quarter
to honor each of the 50 states. Five states will be featured with new quarters each year,
starting with Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut.
Free Publications The Department of the Treasury has
published a pamphlet with general guidance about a law that will require most federal
payments (including Social Security and veterans benefits) to be made electronically
instead of by check starting in 1999. Although the Treasury still is developing the
specifics of the payment program (including who can qualify to continue receiving benefit
checks in the mail), the Treasury published the pamphlet to help consumers prepare for the
new system. For a copy of the pamphlet, available in English and Spanish, call (202)
874-6540, write to the Treasurys Financial Management Service, 401 14th Street, SW,
Room 318, Washington, DC 20227, or read the pamphlet on the Internet (www.fms.treas.gov/eft).
The Federal Reserve Board has published a new brochure to educate consumers about their
rights when leasing a car instead of buying one. The brochure, Keys to Vehicle
Leasing, describes new rules governing the information that leasing companies must
provide consumers as of January 1, 1998. The pamphlet also describes the differences
between buying and leasing a vehicle, and defines key terms used in leasing arrangements.
Copies are available free from the Federal Reserve Boards Publications Services,
Mail Stop 127, Washington, DC 20551 (202-452-3244) or any of the 12 regional Federal
Reserve Banks. The pamphlet also is available on the Boards Internet site at www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/leasing