Sunday, September 09, 2012

Finance & The Fed

This week's fabulous double field trip was to the Museum of American Finance for a class on Banking in America, then we got to go on a tour of the NY Federal Reserve.

The class on banking was so informative.  The instructor talked about the history of money (in colonial America up to present times), recessions, depressions, stocks, loans, mortgages, foreclosures, Bernanke, bailouts, how banks earn profits, and the purpose of the Federal Reserve.  The kids, as usual, were very engaged, asked and answered lots of questions, and even the parents got a lot out of it.

The whiteboard in the banking class

A couple of blocks away is the NY Federal Reserve.  I love the whole Wall Street/Financial District area.  The narrow streets are full of cafes, historical landmarks, and beautiful architecture everywhere you look. "The Fed" is where a lot of new money is made (literally) and where US monetary policy is implemented.  We took an elevator down to the vault which lies 80 feet below street level (and 50 feet below sea level).  It's underneath the bedrock of Manhattan.  This vault holds over $500 billion in gold - more than 90% belonging to other countries.  The security is amazing.  There are cameras everywhere, a 90-ton steel cylinder door to the vault room, and a different person is needed to open each of the 3 locks with both a key and a combination.  We got to go through the open cylinder door to the vault room and we saw stacks of gold bars (each one weighing over 20 lbs, and at around $1600 per ounce right now, they're worth about $600,000 each).  Btw, if the cylinder closed and locked us in, there's enough air to last 72 hours.

Great day, great friends, great trip.  W and I loved it.

I also took this picture of Federal Hall, which is the birthplace of American government and where George Washington took his oath as the first president.  It's a standout structure right on Wall Street and is right across the street from the NY Stock Exchange.

Federal Hall


Wendy Bandurski-Miller said...

I would love to know how to go about organizing a trip like that..... could you post how you went about getting in touch with the institutions and maybe some links and information so other people could copy your excursion.... right now i would not even know where to start to begin to organize something like this but it sounds so important and stimulating.

That would be much appreciated.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Hi Wendy. Most places of interest have an "Education" link on their website that lists what classes they offer. Call the place and confirm a date with an approximate number of kids who are coming. Then post it to your group and see who's interested.
Hope the Helps!


Tuchana said...

I love your blog! Is there a way to create these field trips if we're not a member of a homeschool group? Well, actually, I'm associated with a group but my daughter is 15 and there aren't any other teens unfortunately, so we've been going it alone. Any advice is appreciated!