Never has it been easier to spend your money.
Simply press a screen button, swipe a card, or insert a chip, and it’s done.
In the last two decades, the total amount of U.S. currency in circulation has more than tripled , to about $1.4 trillion according to the M2 numbers.
Only approximately seventy billion dollars, or only five per cent, of that cash sits in physical form in bank vaults, neatly accounted for.
Before our currency turned into bits and chips the Federal Reserve System created an unparalleled underground bunker as a bank of sorts for the end of the world.
The compound was built just outside the small town of Culpeper, Virginia, near Mount Pony, in 1969 and it housed about $4 billion of American currency.
A mere seven computers at the facility, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, were the central node for the transfer of
All American electronic funds.
But, the facility wasn’t just for use in the post-apocalyptic future the FED was preparing for.
It was actively used by the Federal Reserve system to route and monitor financial transactions from America’s banks.
In fact, it was routing financial transactions between 5,700 banks all around the country. By the mid-1970s it was processing 25,000 messages an hour through the facility’s four computers.
Though the secretive compound was known in the high finance community (for obvious reasons), it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the Culpeper Switch started to gain national attention in the press.
And once it made headlines, not everybody thought that the Culpeper facility was a great idea. Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin painted a picture wherein we’d have billions of dollars in bills and just a handful of people.
“The Culpeper facility is in effect a huge subterranean mattress, stuffed with about $4 billion in newly printed bills of all denominations,” Proxmire said in 1976.
“Under this doomsday scenario we would have $4 billion in cash and no people except a few lonely radioactive government officials.”
In the end, you won’t be seeing current FED chief Janet Yellen here.
We suspect that a mere $4 billion in hard currency won’t cut it in a today’s post-apocalyptic QE world with a fast approaching $20 Trillion dollar debt ceiling!
If you are wondering “where’s the new bunker and how much are they storing there?”
The traditional definition of money in the dictionary stipulates that it is a medium of exchange, a unit of accounting, and a store of value.
In some understandings, it is a unit of faith in an untested system
It might seem logical that as cash becomes displaced as a medium of exchange—and that is assuredly happening at the most rapid pace in recent history—it would also become less important as a store of value.
Presumedly the reason we don’t know of a new FED bunker is because they don’t need one in a world of cryptocurrencies such as the heralded “FedCoin”
In “Some Thoughts on Fedcoin – a Fed backed cryptocurrency” Albert Szmigielski suggests, “The Fed should premine all the currency that they want to issue on a blockchain”…
In other words, the next FED Bunker may be hosted in “the cloud” like a text message from a cell phone.