Are the economics in Money Heist realistic

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Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the last couple seasons of Money Heist, but basically, after the bank heist, they go to the National Treasury of Spain and steal the gold that backs the Spanish economy, and replaces it with fake gold blocks.

At the very end, as the cops ask the Professor if he has any idea of the magnitude of what he’s done, because if a country has nothing to back its economy then there is no economy – all currency becomes worthless. The Professor in return says that if they don’t tell the general public the truth (that their economy’s backing is fake) no one will notice. The gold backing a country’s economy is simply there to exist in theory. It is never used, so replacing it with fake gold will not change a thing.

How realistic is this? I understand that most currencies in the world are no longer backed by gold, but hypothetically speaking, back when they WERE backed by gold, would this have been possible? If it was possible, why wouldn’t all governments replace their gold with fake gold and sell the real gold (possibly illegally) for some extra profit? I mean, one bar is apparently 80k, and there must have been at least 1k bars in that safe, so they could’ve made 80 million dollars, which would’ve been pretty solid money during when Spain’s economy was struggling, no?

In: Economics

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s a conspiracy theory that this happened in the US in the 1970s.

Fort Knox houses the US gold reserve, but they refuse to stock take, and they only show off their coin melt. There is very little evidence that the US actually has a gold reserve.

Of course there’s also very little evidence anyone offloaded it either. It’s probably still there, but it’s theoretically possible Nixon syphoned it off and Fort Knox is guarding a mostly empty hole.

In terms of Spain, they have about 280 tonnes of gold, but most is held in London and New York. Stealing from those locations would be extremely impractical, because it is stored with the gold reserves from other countries (when they sell gold they really just move the name tags around). Ans also it’s *280 tonnes*, what are you going to steal it with, 10 articulated trucks?

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s an interesting story here – https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/7qxvd0/alan_watts_a_story_about_gold/. More of a wee exercise.

I would imagine everything would be fine if the secret was kept and the gold never needed physically. Who would know different?

Anonymous 0 Comments

The reason you don’t do that is because when you are on a gold standard, people can exchange their money for gold. If they do so and you don’t have the gold, then they know there is no gold.

Anonymous 0 Comments

it’s a TV show, so it’s not entirely realistic. governments wouldn’t risk their entire economy for profit like that.