By Ethan Hughes

After a successful pilot program with local Grinnell businesses, Dining Dollars have become the world’s new reserve currency.

For context, the US dollar had been the world’s reserve currency since the end of World War 2, as the Allied Powers paid for vast amounts of rations, supplies, and that fine American tradition of firearms to fuel their war machine. At this point, most foreign trades were made using gold or other valuable commodities, resulting in the US stockpiling much of the world’s gold. Most paper currency was held to the gold standard, such that you could walk into a bank and exchange that currency for its value in gold that was a constant amount.

Effectively this backing provided confidence to consumers that the worthless paper bills in their pockets were worth what they said they were worth. Because of this associated value and scarcity of gold many world banks and organizations started using gold for their transactions, maintaining reserves of the currency to use for these transactions or tying their own currency to be worth a certain amount of US dollars rather than gold. But in 1977, under Richard Nixon, countries started abusing this to diminish the US stockpile of gold by trading in their reserves of US dollars. This caused Richard Nixon to decouple the US dollar from the gold standard, effectively ending the crisis but making the value of the US dollar completely reliant on trust. A decoupling from the gold standard causing the whole system to be based on trust, declining belief in America, and the rising concerns from American adversaries (Russia and China) have caused many to speculate that the time of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency will end soon. No one expected the quick and brutal takeover of Grinnell’s Dining Dollars, though, as they took advantage of the weakened US Dollar. 

Three weeks ago the administration of Grinnell announced a pilot program to test out expanding the purchasing power of Dining Dollars beyond the Grill and Global Café. Your Dining Dollars can now be used to purchase groceries from McNally’s, sandwiches from Jay’s Deli, and weed from Sketchy Dave at the end of your dorm hall. This new demand for Dining Dollars quickly expanded as everyone was trying to obtain this valuable currency. Soon every Grinnellian had drained their bank accounts, converting their disgusting American dollars to Grinnellian Dining Dollars. Econ majors fresh off r/finance and r/wallstreetbets saw their opportunity to go to the moon and have invested heavily in Dining Dollars. Soon people from all over the world were converting their currency into Dining Dollars. The US Treasury now owes more Dining Dollars than US bonds to its creditors. The international credit system collapsed like a house of cards as the tremendous value of the Dining Dollar shook markets to their core and the value of the US Dollar tanked. A single Dining Dollar is now worth around $5000 US. Now it’s worth about $5100. Now it’s worth $6500. The value is rising exponentially as I write this. This upheaval of the market has shook the nation with skyrocketing inflation with a loaf of bread now costing 0.1 dining dollar or $500 US as stores struggle to adjust. 

Unfortunately, the average Grinnell student has been left in the dust. Most students have spent all their dining dollars already in a short sighted attempt to nourish themselves and avoid D-Hall. We spoke to Sim U. Lation ’26 about their experience. “When I first heard I could use dining dollars anywhere I got so excited but then I found out I spent them all already on moz sticks from the grill”—a common story for many Grinnellians. 

While almost all legal businesses now accept Dining Dollars as legal tender, the administration plans to expand to illegal offerings next. Insider information passed to us anonymously by Sarah Thurgood in Residential Life says the administration is looking to make Dining Dollars the go-to currency for more illicit purposes. Bribes, insider trading, and money laundering top the list of desired market influence as the administration seeks support from white collar criminals. The administration supposedly is eyeing the untapped potential of using Dining Dollars to increase Grinnell’s influence with the political elite. They have not responded to our requests for comment. 

The surprising rise of the Dining Dollar to the status of the world’s premier reserve currency has shocked many. We are just starting to unravel the tremendous implications of the event. Just wait for people to learn about Campus Cash, the luxury Dining Dollar for the elite Grinnellian.