The visual impact of the neo-Renaissance structure derives from its monumental size, fortress-like appearance, fine proportions and the overall quality of construction. It set the precedent for many later banks which were greatly influenced by its design.
Built from 1919 through 1924, this massive building occupies an entire city block, reaching fourteen stories tall with five additional floors underground. The stone exterior is reminiscent of an early Italian Renaissance palace with the horizontal and vertical joints of the stones deeply grooved or rusticated. The building was purposely designed to resemble a Florentine palazzo so as to inspire trust and confidence.
The vault rests on Manhattan's bedrock, 50 feet (15.24 m) below sea level. The weight of the vault and the gold inside would exceed the weight limits of almost any other foundation. The gold and other precious metals belong to 36 governments and is stored for free, but every time a bar is moved, a handling fee is applied. There are elaborate procedures for the handling of the gold, with three different teams monitoring every transaction.
In 2008, there was a total deposit in the vault of 216 million troy ounces of gold--a troy ounce is 1.1 times heavier than a standard ounce. In total, that amounted to 22 percent of the entire gold reserves on Earth, and at Monday's market price of $1,181, is worth about $255 billion. ...
One bar weighs about 27.4 pounds--and, at $1,181 per ounce, is worth $388,312.
You can also imagine the strain such a large collection--not to mention the enormity of the vault required to hold it--would put on the ground beneath it. That's why the gold vault was built over a rare piece of New York City foundation stable and strong enough to support the gold and its incredible cage. The vault is 80 feet below street level and was cut into a 90-ton section of steel.
Will America start prospering again — as it has not prospered for over a decade? Likely yes. But not without a fight. Now that Jim DeMint has raided Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal that card might be Heritage Foundation vs. the White House. Could be big.
John Holdren, now Obama’s White House science advisor, 40 years ago termed America “overdeveloped.” Holdren co-authored a 1993 book, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, with Anne and Paul Ehrlich reportedly saying that, “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States….” (Emphasis supplied.)
As a soldier of France, no one knew better than Professor Jacques Rueff, the famous French central banker, that World War I had brought to an end the preeminence of the classical European states system and its monetary regime, the classical gold standard. World War I had decimated the flower of European youth; it had destroyed the European continent’s industrial primacy. No less ominously, the historic monetary standard of commercial civilization had collapsed into the ruins occasioned by the Great War. The international gold standard -- the gyroscope of the Industrial Revolution, the common currency of the world trading system, the guarantor of more than one-hundred years of a stable monetary system, the balance wheel of unprecedented economic growth -- all this was brushed aside by the belligerents.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
A Rueffian Synthesis
LBMC’s integrated approach to economic forecasting can fairly be called “the Rueffian synthesis.” It would be more modest to call it “a” Rueffian synthesis, since that would allow for other Rueffians who might conceivably quibble about our application of Rueff’s ideas. But it appears that, apart from LBMC, there are no other Rueffians in the world – even in Rueff’s native France – using Rueff’s ideas as a basis for economic prediction.
"Commercial banking grew out of the desire (inspired by the profit motive) to conserve cash (gold) and by means of credit to provide financial elasticity and growth in the commercial process of exchange. That is, all producers (sellers) who desired true money (gold), instead of the short-term secured credit bills – promissory notes of their customers (the buyers) – could, through the mediation of goldsmiths-turned-bankers and bill-merchants-turned-bankers, obtain real money by discounting their bills of exchange for gold with the emerging commercial bankers of early modern Europe. The combined institutions of stable money and secured credit enabled commercial civilization to make of the entire world the only closed economy."
Argentina is floundering. Brazil is struggling. Colombia is growing. Colombia is now the third largest economy in Latin America, according to Capital Economics. The Wall Street Journal’s Darcy Crowe and Taos Turner wrote recently: “After Argentina’s economy dwarfed Colombia’s for decades, economists say the trend reversed in January as the...
One of the themes for the Akan gold counterweights is the electric mudfish.
Image courtesy of AfricanMasks.info
Spark From The Deep by William Turkel has this to say about the fish upon which this counterweight is modeled:
The electric catfish also played an important role in the west African kingdom of Benin, which...