Will This Ridiculous Signature Soon Grace Our Dollar Bills?

Gabrielle Karol
Posted

Third grade teachers everywhere, spare yourselves and look away.

President Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, may just have the worst signature we’ve ever seen (pictured, at right).

And we’re not alone in giving the side-eye to Lew’s loop-de-loop of a signature: In the past few hours, it’s been mocked by pretty much every blogger and reputable news source:

  • New York magazine: “Here are some things it reminds us of: a Slinky that has lost its spring; one of those Crazy Straws you get at Six Flags; Sally Brown’s hair in Peanuts; a slip of paper in Office Max that people use to try out new pens.”
  • The New York Times: “Amazingly, while this looks like an arbitrary series of loop-the-loops, he’s actually mostly consistent about having seven full loops each time.”
  • The Atlantic: “It is also not, strictly speaking, an autograph. It is a doodle. Or series of cursive O’s (or, equally, of upside-down cursive E’s) or “a Slinky that has lost its spring,” or a visual expression of the weary hollowness of identity.”

As The Times pointed out, Lew is very consistent … but will he have to sacrifice consistency for legibility? After all, the Treasury Secretary’s scribble will grace the corner of every newly printed bill. And he wouldn’t be the first secretary to make a switch: Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner cleaned up his handwriting after taking the position.

If confirmed by Congress, however, fixing his penmanship won’t be the only important challenge Lew has to surmount: He’ll have to contend with the brewing debt-ceiling debate, which needs to be decided in the next two months.