Prior to the very entertaining Vice Presidential Debate, the National Geographic Channel aired a show titled “America’s Money Vault” that was part of their “Behind the Scenes” week. The show was hosted by Jake Ward, editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine.
The show is centered around the Federal Reserve and primarily the operations of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. After opening the show at Times Square, we are transported downtown to the New York Fed where they are accepting a deposit of over 1 ton of gold. Following an explanation that the New York Fed is the most trusted handler of gold in the world and has 25-percent of the world’s gold on deposit, we watch the transfer process.
As part of the transfer process, the cameras are brought into the vault and the viewers are show “walls” of gold bars. Unlike the images in the 1995 movie Die Hard: With a Vengeance, it appears that the vault that is more solid than the jail-like bars shown in the movie.
Ward visited with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to talk about the Fed’s roll in the markets. While in Washington Ward visits the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to show some of the process in currency printing. There was also a discussion with the United States Secret Service about anti-counterfeiting.
One of the more interesting visuals was when Ward visited the East Rutherford Operations Center (EROC), one of the New York Fed’s currency operations. Viewers were shown rows of currency and coins being stored on shelves throughout the building. And in a scene to warm my technical heart, the robotic inventory system was profiled.
According to NatGeo TV, the next time America’s Money Vault will air is on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM Eastern Time. If you will be away at that time, it is worth setting the DVR (or VCR for those still going old school) to record this show.