Whether it’s cash, gold, or digital-data bits, we all know that money makes the world go round. But what our host, Jake Ward of Popular Science magazine discovers in this one hour special is that without the engines that power the world’s financial systems, that world would grind to a halt.
For the first time, National Geographic Channel takes you inside the heart of the money machine to places that you’re not allowed to bring a camera… straight into the vaults of some of the world’s largest stashes of what you want, need, and bust your butt to get: Money.
America’s Money Vault follows 55 million dollars worth of gold as it makes it’s way down into the most valuable gold vault in the world. Hidden deep under the streets of New York City, hundreds of billion dollars in gold bars—the wealth of nations—are tucked away in a bunker that is anchored to the bedrock of Manhattan Island itself.
Next, we head above ground to a place where twenty four billion dollars changes hands every year, New York’s Gold District. Jake goes behind the storefronts to see how everybody from the street level to the brokers make their money buying, selling and even finding gold. He meets Onikwa Thomas who calls himself the urban miner and claims to earn up to four hundred dollars a week off of gold specks found in the cracks of sidewalks. And steps away thousands of dollars in transactions take place, made by Dimitriy Nezhinskiy as he wheels and deals in the world of gold hawkers.
America’s Money Vault then takes you to Washington, DC to hear from one of the most powerful men in the world of money, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Chairman Bernanke gives us a window into the history of economic meltdowns.
Jake then heads to East Rutherford, New York where a vault that can reportedly hold $60 billion in cash sits in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. EROC is one of The Fed’s currency operations centers. Here rows and rows of cash and coin are counted, sorted, stacked, cleaned and shredded. EROC is equipped with special machines that are designed to detect counterfeit cash.
From the engraver’s studio to the production floor at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Jake goes deeper in the world of counterfeit deterrence and profiles the next generation $100 bill that’s not yet in circulation.
Finally, America’s Money Vault profiles the exclusive story of how the New York Federal Reserve Bank responded to the 9/11 crisis. Never-before publically-seen footage taken from the New York Fed’s security cameras help to tell the story of how the Fed’s actions prevented the terrorists from crippling the financial markets in the days and weeks that followed the collapse of the twin towers.
Secret Access Week Continues with America’s Money Vault Tonight at 8P!