this is 20 million dollars in cash right

here here's $300,000 in singles

30 million dollars in hundred-dollar

bills whether it's cash gold or digital

bits we all know that money makes the

world go round and what that money is

worth depends on Trust trust of engines

that power at all won't fit I'm Jake

Ward and for the first time National

Geographic is going to take you inside

the system places that you're not

allowed to bring a camera straight

Internet BOTS or baboogs

largest stash of what you want need and

bust your butt to get us money


one of the places that truly controls

money is the central bank of the United

States the Federal Reserve they counted

store it inflated deflated destroyed

stabilized lend and buy it and make a

profit off it but above all they

protected and it's not just cash for

over 80 years armored vehicles have

navigated Manhattan's narrow streets

carrying millions and sometimes billions

in gold deposits in and out of the one

Federal Reserve Bank trusted enough to

guard almost one quarter of the world's

entire gold supply you heard it right

nearly 25 percent lives here at 33

Liberty Street

today a hefty deposit is on its way in

and this driver is the first line of

defense for obvious reasons we can't

really tell you his name but he's not


his partners are armed and the vehicle

itself is like a vault on wheels able to

withstand bullets even hand grenades

delivery is a well choreographed and

deadly serious exchange between the

driver and the federal reserve's police


this small stack may not look like much

but if you tried to put it in the back

of your car you'd blow out the tires

there are a lot of guns here right now

it's it's kind of nerve-wracking

the gold is met at the loading dock by

the feds vault auditor and its

custodians we have over a ton of gold

right here and street value today is

over fifty five billion dollars are you

still into gold like does gold have an

effect on you emotionally or you sick

ago you'd never get sick of the gold

yeah really it puts a smile on people's

faces when they come down to see it it

even puts a smile on our face when we're

down there working but just never loses

its luster our camera crew is making a

normally smooth exchange a little hectic

they're obviously a little nervous about

it because this is this is a first after

sorting out who's allowed to go inside

with the cameras they get down to the

business of making the deposit

there's an almost sacred ritual that

handlers go through when moving gold

it's all very quiet and solemn a

chitchat or small talk

the armored truck company's drivers are

fully responsible for the gold as they

descend 80 feet below street level to

the world's largest underground gold


only at the entrance does it officially

become the key of the NewYork fit

and this is the way it's been done since

the Fed first opened ahead in 1924


the New York Bank is one of 12 that make

up the Federal Reserve System together

they're like the ultimate piggy bank a

place where your bankers bank and if

there's a financial panic the Fed acts

as a lender of last resort that creates

a kind of trust in the entire system so

from the beginning Fed banks were built

to look imposing like fortresses of

money the New York Fed's vault rests on

bedrock to handle the weight of the gold

engineers dreamed up an ingenious way to

guard it a 90-ton steel cylinder that

revolves vertically in a 140 tons steel

and concrete Frank when it rotates it

drops three quarters of an inch to

create an air and watertight seal no one

person has given all of the combinations

or keys to the various locking systems

so someone is always watching

so now there's three of you it takes

three people to open the door to evolve

custodians and an auditor welcome to

about a quarter of the world's official

gold supply just one of these bars is

worth six hundred and forty thousand

bucks so we're talking upwards of three

hundred and eighty billion dollars the

bars are weighed on a good old-fashioned

balance sealer once everything's on yeah

you gonna turn the crank okay okay it's

gonna be a little not that difficult a

little bit cuz all that way it'll be you

on it

it's a critical step because each bar is

slightly different making each deposit

unique the scale measures down to 1/100

of an ounce that's about one third of a

paper bill still that's worth about 17


Ron here has stood as guardian of the

gold for forty years this is the year

which to borrow caps this is the purity

and this is the maker of the ball who

that the assayer and this is a serial

number each more has to have its own

serial number what happens if you drop a

bar like this on your feet well if you

don't have this on you'll be in the

hospital all right so I'm about to pick

up 640 thousand dollars is a

life-changing sum of money whoa whoa it

is so much heavier than you think it's

gonna be Gold is very dense Wow so whose

gold are we handling right now country

central bank do you know I mean can we

tell from what well we can't tell you

can't tell me there are rules about that

kind of thing the feds discretion and

intense security are so trusted that few

depositors have ever even asked to see

if their gold is still here so let's say

that you know one of these bars got out

of the vaults god forbid and out into

the street and somebody melted it down

would there be any way of identifying

this gold again not if they melted it

down no but if they tried to sell it

like this here for thousands of years

people used gold as money and why not

it's shiny it's pretty and like the man

said once you melt it down it's


or put another way it's the perfect

recyclable money one of the places where

this precious metals given new life is

New York's diamond district on these two

blocks of New York 24 billion dollars in

cash changes hands every year we've

negotiated access to get behind the

storefronts to see how everybody from

low end street dealers to high end

brokers are dealing

Alexandra Rogowski has a hefty chunk of

that 24 billion inside his bag it's some

gold got some silver bar

he has gold to sell a lot of it and he's

about to find out what it's all worth

how the yes my solution yes any chief a

little sit-down with the 3d daily

Dimitri Nijinsky is one of hundreds of

brokers who work New York's gold

district business is booming when

there's a financial crisis people tend

to look for security in gold

18-karat yeah he goes up and down but

now he's better than all the time

because it just came came up from fifty

hundred so you're selling it right time

in 2010 alone the price of gold hit

record highs twenty-two times we paid

the gold comes in from all walks of life

so it helps that Dimitri can speak five

languages you come back here okay

some died today light aqua de Akiko

forty-eight fourteen thousand and sixty

four dollars for 14 karat gold then you

have ten karat gold that can give you

$1,800 for that the coin this coin is

the pure gold right

so this is twenty thousand and nine

hundred dollars I'll give you $11

difference so you can come back to us

thank you very much

Demetri yes all right Jake hello nice to

meet you thank you for having me sure

how much do you see in a day how many

people come through here in the day

depends it could be anywhere from 5 to

50 70 people a day what happens to the

gold once you got it right you vote you

buy a day's worth of gold what are you

gonna do with it

most would buy gold let's say we buy

this is about twenty twenty-five

thousand dollars worth of gold okay once

we buy this gold we melt it down to a

small brick and then we have it tested

and sell it tonight should I watch you


now most of the jewelry we have is 14k

the nooks and crannies of the gold

district are full of places like this

millions of dollars flow in and out

some like Dimitri's even have a foundry

in the basement mayor this

it's kind of an amazing thing right look

this is you know people's memories

they're treasured heirlooms some of it

was in the ground a thousand years ago

some of it was a pair of earrings a

thousand years ago now it's all been

melted back down again and someday it

will be somebody else's ever it's crazy

how liquid this really is the gold that

leaves here is recast and reborn as

another person's treasure mate

continuing to make money along the way

and sometimes that treasure is a lot

closer than you think every couple of

hours trillions of dollars change hands

all that money used to be backed by gold

but not anymore

today our puck is backed by a promise

from the US government the fact that it

all works based on trust alone is simply

taken for granted

I'm trusting this driver with my money

and my life right I'm trusting that he's

not going to cheat me trusting he's

going to take the fastest to the most

efficient route as possible

and I'm trusting him not to kill us both

that kind of trust is at the heart of

the financial world the whole system is

built on the assumption that our cash

and our credit cards and even our bank

accounts are worth something but what I

want to know is who's in charge I've

come to Washington DC to meet the head

of the entire Fed system you know he's

been dealt some of the most difficult

cards in the history of Finance you said

that mr. Bernanke just happens to be the

most powerful nerd on the planet and

that was responsible for the Federal

Reserve Chairman