Back when Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was sworn in, a sense of great anticipation spread across the land. Folks could hardly wait until Lew’s notoriously bizarre and (dare we say it) loopy signature would grace the stately U.S. dollar bills issued under his leadership.

But he’s been at the helm of Treasury for more than a month, and all the new bucks we could get our hands on (an admittedly small sample, to be sure) still bear the dignified, legible John Hancock of Lew’s predecessor, Tim Geithner. Where are the Lew bills? What gives?

It turns out they aren’t coming anytime soon.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving explains that the process of capturing and reproducing the Treasury Secretary’s signature on the nation’s currency takes about 18 weeks. Meanwhile, the new bills coming off the presses are still Geithner ones, even though the man whose name they bear is a decidedly private-sector man these days, writing a book, selling a house, and entertaining job offers.

And Lew hasn’t even gotten the ball rolling yet. He still has to submit his official signature to be used in the currency-production process, we’re told.

Why the delay, we wondered? Was Lew not yet confident in his penmanship? After all, his boss, President Obama has publicly razzed him for his unreadable signature, and joked that he had made him promise to make at least one letter legible.

Just a matter of scheduling, we’re told. It will happen “soon.”

And so the wait for funny money continues.