IVANHOE AND THE GOLD COINS

The Jingle And The Screams

The historical novel Ivanhoe, in addition to being a literary masterpiece and a fun book to read, also offers many interesting insights into certain customs that have never changed.

One of the most significant parts, from an economic standpoint  is when Isaac of York regains possession of the gold coins he had lent to Ivanhoe to allow him to participate in the legendary tournament. The sum of 70 gold pieces is delivered by the servant Gurth, plus another 10 coins representing the interest charged upon the loan.

Thus writes Sir Walter Scott masterfully in a page of incredible descriptive vivacity:

Isaac counts every zecchin and accompanies the count with ecstatic considerations, while the servant Gurth waits until the very end to be rewarded with at least one coin, for having done his duty as an intermediary, and having returned all that was borrowed  plus the increased sum from the interest of ten additional pieces. Isaac remains in doubt as to whether or not to give up a reward coin until he counts the last zecchin, but this being of superfine quality, producing that kind of perfect jingle that is well reknown to the expert ear of the lender , it too ends up in the purse of Isaac of York along with all other coins.

The scene described above is very fitting with what happens every day in every bank.

I have been working in a banking for 31 years, I know how a bank thinks. When a bank makes a loan, it only wants one thing: that the loan be repaid with interest, up to the last dime, at any cost!

So reports economics professor Antony C. Sutton in his book:

in 1929 Wall Street boasted immense claims about Germany and Austria. Practically the American banks had lent a lot of money to Germany and Austria. Most of these credits had been frozen and American banks were concerned about how to get back the money they had lent. At that time, France was economically weak and feared Germany, but was the major beneficiary of the war sanctions disbursements that Germany had to pay following the defeat in World War I, sums that were financed to Germany by America. In other words, America lent the money to Germany, and France took it all for itself.

In June 1929 there was a meeting between the members of the Federal Reserve and the major American bankers, to decide what to do with France and in particular, to better manage its priority in receiving compensation from Germany, which were precisely financed by the bankers. Americans themselves. The meeting was attended by members of the Guaranty Trust Company (J.P. Morgan), the presidents of the Federal Reserve branches and 5 other prominent bankers, as well as Rockefeller and Royal Dutch Shell. According to reports, Rockefeller dominated the session, the others listened and nodded. At the end of the meeting, the result was that the participants all agreed on the fact that the only way to help Germany to free itself from the French grip was that of a revolution,  of the Communist type, or of the National Socialist type ....... The rest, as we all know, is history.

Even today, an unfavourable economic situation has brought the bankers together again and a similar solution has emerged. Let’s not be deceived the semantic nuance between the two systems. It is just a lexical trick with which the Bankers agree on how best to sell a control model that allows the gold coins to all go back into the master's pocket, jingle after jingle. The only sound that really matters and that resonates clearly to the banker's expert ear, above the screams of desperation of those who will lose everything in the meantime. A negligible background buzz.