The Wells Fargo Hoard .. How did this happen?
2 2

190 posts in this topic

On 2/27/2022 at 11:00 PM, RWB said:

RE: "Every bit of information retrieved from NARA diving has been there since the documents were created, every blessed bit (including digital) of it. There is NOTHING new there. Roger’s contribution is LITERALLY “he has the time and local ability to rummage through it.” Literally anyone can do it, if they care."

Absolutely true -- note the last phrase "if they care." How many "care?"  Anyone can go to the archives and look. Anyone can copy large quantities of documents. How many make sense of these? How many can the Mighty All-Powerful Oz-Kurt name? How about his ignorant self? No? Hmmmm. Written any original research articles or books lately? No? Does that mean you don't care? Are simply too foolish to credit anything or anybody except your own vapid ego?

Then, once found, what does one do with the information? Just toss it over the fence as raw meat to hungry tigers? Does that actually create anything more useful than the data merely sitting in a NARA vault?

No. Once you have data on a subject, one has to study it, correlate it, relate it, analyze it --- one has to go down many dead ends until concordance of information is found - or not found.

Reality is what Mighty All-Powerful Oz-Kurt fails, and fails miserably to comprehend, is that no data has value unless it is understood. Research is an investigation of data using all the tools and methodologies available. Scientific research is the core of forensic science and any other methodology of understanding the information and meaning of isolated raw bits and pieces. Communicating that - the language, packaging, and presentation are the things that make all of this available to real people who want to know and understand.

A final remark -- sitting next to a Mint lawyer at dinner is one of the worst ways imaginable to obtain a balanced view on anything. The attorney, as Mighty All-Powerful Oz-Kurt claims to understand, is an advocate for the client at all times. Admitting anything contrary to the client's story in a public setting is be a violation of attorney-client relationships. (I happen to be friends with the government's lawyers in the 1933 case. But that does not alter the facts or one word of what was presented by anyone.

The more Mighty All-Powerful Oz-Kurt says, the less sense he makes and the less trust he appears to inspire. He is adept at belittling others, but contributes nothing original himself.

The talk with Counsel for the Mint was after the Langbord case was finished, even after the SCOTUS refusal to take up the case, and BETWEEN the time that the “11th 1933” was voluntarily surrendered, but before the numismatic press knew about it. Our table at Pittsburgh knew, but few others did. I pressed about the identity of the previous holder of the 11th, but the most I could get was “an instantly recognizable name in the numismatic field”. Perhaps QDB? Strictly speculation on my part, but it would fit with Bowers’ previous advocacy, wouldn’t it? I hope whoever it was got a tax deduction for voluntarily surrendering it once the case was final. 

Edited by VKurtB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 12:01 PM, VKurtB said:

I do not recall WHY I always knew EXTREMELY few Saints ever circulated, but I did. It has been a core of my basic knowledge for literally many decades. It is only a SLIGHT exaggeration historically, that with exception of the Carolina, Georgia, and California gold rushes, gold coins almost NEVER circulated. This makes sense when you stop to think that in the early 19th century, even Bust halves seldom circulated. These high denomination coins were reserves held in major banks. 

Sadly, I didn't do much reading on coins when I was collecting coins in the 1970's.  And my studies in the 1980's really didn't cover it.

We barely touched on the Gold Standard.  Had we gone more in-depth, I think we would have touched upon the specific coins utilized in settling trade and/or the coins being struck more for backing GCs than trade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 12:09 PM, VKurtB said:

Roger, your “contribution” (as if…) is nothing more then glorified REGURGITATION of known material. And it is worth exactly that … vomit. 

That's harsh and uncalled for, Kurt. :o

You're free to not value it as highly as some of us.  But I think most of us believe there's definite worth in assembling this research and hidden gems and putting it into easily-accessible notes, books, articles, etc.

Taken to your logical extreme, all the information on everything is already out there....so nobody should write about anything since they're just "regurgitating" what is already out there.

Quality original research is always good.  Might not be your cup of tea, I admit.  I'm not into some of Roger's topics or books (like Peace Dollars) but I wouldn't say it is junk just because I don't like it.  Someone might say the same thing about his Saints book that I love.(thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting Back To Wells Fargo Hoard.....not only should this thread go back to the topic it was created for, but it's actually a nice segue from the back-and-forth you guys have had.  Because Ron Gillio, the guy behind the Wells Fargo NM Hoard, has NOT told all of the details regarding the Hoard.  Let's hope he does because it gets to the heart of the worth of "original research" that you 2 guys are debating. xD

Similarly, the details on the largest hoard ever found -- the 1983 El Salvador MTB Hoard -- got destroyed in flooding about a decade ago.  Gerald Bauman, the chief numismatist, is deceased as is David Akers.  This mega-hoard that may have included 150,000 total gold coins (including tens of thousands of Saints) is the source for the bulk of many otherwise-rare Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles.

Those of you older than me....with good memories....was there any notices of the 1983 MTB Hoard in the mainstream press like The New York Times ?  How about the coin periodicals....did it get lots of articles/space in them?  I wonder if NARA might be able to find them.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 11:59 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Getting Back To Wells Fargo Hoard.....not only should this thread go back to the topic it was created for, but it's actually a nice segue from the back-and-forth you guys have had.  Because Ron Gillio, the guy behind the Wells Fargo NM Hoard, has NOT told all of the details regarding the Hoard.  Let's hope he does because it gets to the heart of the worth of "original research" that you 2 guys are debating. xD

Similarly, the details on the largest hoard ever found -- the 1983 El Salvador MTB Hoard -- got destroyed in flooding about a decade ago.  Gerald Bauman, the chief numismatist, is deceased as is David Akers.  This mega-hoard that may have included 150,000 total gold coins (including tens of thousands of Saints) is the source for the bulk of many otherwise-rare Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles.

Those of you older than me....with good memories....was there any notices of the 1983 MTB Hoard in the mainstream press like The New York Times ?  How about the coin periodicals....did it get lots of articles/space in them?  I wonder if NARA might be able to find them.

Hoards are frequently the key to survival rates in higher quality, not only in precious metal terms, but often in base metal coins as well. Just stop and think about the incredible numbers of modern small sized dollars of several types laying around somewhere in canvas bags. Those pups do circulate in places, in Ecuador if nowhere else. But the hoards OF HOARDS got so severe that only the first 20 Presidents were struck for the banking system. 

Edited by VKurtB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 12:39 PM, VKurtB said:

The talk with Counsel for the Mint was after the Langbord case was finished, even after the SCOTUS refusal to take up the case, and BETWEEN the time that the “11th 1933” was voluntarily surrendered, but before the numismatic press knew about it. Our table at Pittsburgh knew, but few others did. I pressed about the identity of the previous holder of the 11th, but the most I could get was “an instantly recognizable name in the numismatic field”. Perhaps QDB? Strictly speculation on my part, but it would fit with Bowers’ previous advocacy, wouldn’t it? I hope whoever it was got a tax deduction for voluntarily surrendering it once the case was final. 

I saw the guy's presentation and slide show.  Interesting but quite frankly, not that impressive.  My opinion, of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 12:16 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I saw the guy's presentation and slide show.  Interesting but quite frankly, not that impressive.  My opinion, of course.

Your own private rooting interest was of course irrelevant, right? :roflmao:

“Muh, more gold coin good, muh.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 11:50 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

We barely touched on the Gold Standard.

This MIGHT BE a key cause for our departure. My formal education in economics at Franklin & Marshall could fairly be called a 12 professor wide, 4 years long, daily condemnation of all gold standards in history. 
 

We never did econometrics. We never treated Austrian school as anything but clowns. We did hard core political macroeconomics. The department head literally walked around campus in the old 1970’s Chinese blue peasant wear with the stupid hat. He wasn’t Asian, he was from a Boston old money family. The Intro to Macroeconomics prof eventually became the Prime Minister of Turkey.  The Money and Banking prof became the PA Secretary of Banking under Governor Casey. 

Edited by VKurtB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 12:54 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

That's harsh and uncalled for, Kurt. :o

You're free to not value it as highly as some of us.  But I think most of us believe there's definite worth in assembling this research and hidden gems and putting it into easily-accessible notes, books, articles, etc.

Taken to your logical extreme, all the information on everything is already out there....so nobody should write about anything since they're just "regurgitating" what is already out there.

Quality original research is always good.  Might not be your cup of tea, I admit.  I'm not into some of Roger's topics or books (like Peace Dollars) but I wouldn't say it is junk just because I don't like it.  Someone might say the same thing about his Saints book that I love.(thumbsu

..."most of us"...is a bit of a reach, that would imply a majority??...im not sure those numbers r there...anyway dont include me in ur "most"...in this instance...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 12:59 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Similarly, the details on the largest hoard ever found -- the 1983 El Salvador MTB Hoard -- got destroyed in flooding about a decade ago.  Gerald Bauman, the chief numismatist, is deceased as is David Akers.  This mega-hoard that may have included 150,000 total gold coins (including tens of thousands of Saints) is the source for the bulk of many otherwise-rare Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles.

This is a meaningful point. If no one asks questions, or people directly involved in such transactions refuse to put facts on public record, the knowledge and insights will be lost forever. We see that in every aspect of numismatic as researchers, collectors and specialists do their best to figure out how and why certain were made. The truth was once there, but it was not recorded. Even though modern research into both the physical coins and documentation has come a very long way in the past 25+ years, the facts about how and why the US Mint or Treasury did many ordinary tasks are unknown. Here's a really basic example:

"How were coins distributed from the Mints?"

We have some partial answers for the 19th and early 20th century, but some general procedures and most details are missing.

Mint foremen used to carry pocket notebooks. So did Cashiers, M&R foremen, etc. They were summaries of what happened each day and how equipment was used. Almost all are gone.

We will lose today's information knowledge in much the same manner, unless interested people invest the time and resources to ask questions of the people who do the real work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:19 PM, VKurtB said:

Your own private rooting interest was of course irrelevant, right? “Muh, more gold coin good, muh.”

Read my comments, Kurt.  I didn't say the talk was lousy just because it was a POV different than mine.  I said it was interesting -- he made some good points, had some interesting slides -- but I didn't find it compelling.   It was very plain-vanilla and had no Smoking Gun.

If he had proved his point even against the position I took, I'd say it and admit it.  I wish I was there to have asked him some (hard) questions. xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:23 PM, VKurtB said:

This MIGHT BE a key cause for our departure. My formal education in economics at Franklin & Marshall could fairly be called a 12 professor wide, 4 years long, daily condemnation of all gold standards in history. We never did econometrics. We never treated Austrian school as anything but clowns. We did hard core political macroeconomics. The department head literally walked around campus in the old 1970’s Chinese blue peasant wear with the stupid hat. He wasn’t Asian, he was from a Boston old money family. The Intro to Macroeconomics prof eventually became the Prime Minister of Turkey.  The Money and Banking prof became the PA Secretary of Banking under Governor Casey. 

(1)  Economics major from Hamilton College, graduated with honors. xD

(2)  I like the Austrian School. (thumbsu

(3)  I LOVE Milton Friedman.  (thumbsu

(4)  I covered the Gold Standard but read alot more about it because Alan Greenspan (Fed Chair) was a backer of the gold standard up to the early-1970's.  The WSJ also had dozens of Op-Eds on it during the Reagan Years. (thumbsu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:26 PM, zadok said:

..."most of us"...is a bit of a reach, that would imply a majority??...im not sure those numbers r there...anyway dont include me in ur "most"...in this instance...

I think most readers here think that anything that expands the knowledge base is worthwhile, right Zad ?

I'm not into alot of the obscure letters and notes that Roger uncovers, but I know they are of interst to some here.  So I think it's good he found them and posts them even if don't find them compelling or interesting.  Supported by 1 person or every person, it's valuable information.

Obviously, stuff he posts on coins I collect -- Saints, Morgans, commemoratives -- is much more of interest to me.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:10 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Read my comments, Kurt.  I didn't say it was .  I said it was interesting -- he made some good points, had some interesting slides -- but I didn't find it compelling.   It was very plain-vanilla and had no Smoking Gun.

If he had proved his point even against the position I took, I'd say it and admit it.  I wish I was there to have asked him some (hard) questions. xD

He would have liked that. Look, we to some extent are all captives of the life choices we make. I needed a near-death experience to focus my life down to 1) my work in POLICY, working WITH politics, 2) my son, and 3) numismatics. That’s it. There was no #4. I didn’t have room in my brain for a #4. I could barely drive 55mph.

I put EVERYTHING I had into my service as part of the Host Committee for ANA Philadelphia 2012, and was INSTANTLY recruited to be a National Volunteer for the ANA. I go everywhere they go, and I work for them, gratis, to the point of complete physical and mental exhaustion. I also get really cool insider access to lots of stuff, some of which is NDA’ed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:16 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think most readers here think that anything that expands the knowledge base is worthwhile, right Zad ?

I'm not into alot of the obscure letters and notes that Roger uncovers, but I know they are of interst to some here.  So I think it's good he found them and posts them even if don't find them compelling or interesting.  Supported by 1 person or every person, it's valuable information.

Obviously, stuff he posts on coins I collect -- Saints, Morgans, commemoratives -- is much more of interest to me.  

Actually, I enjoy the raw letters themselves. I can discern what they mean without help. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:13 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

(1)  Economics major from Hamilton College, graduated with honors. xD

(2)  I like the Austrian School. (thumbsu

(3)  I LOVE Milton Friedman.  (thumbsu

(4)  I covered the Gold Standard but read alot more about it because Alan Greenspan (Fed Chair) was a backer of the gold standard up to the early-1970's.  The WSJ also had dozens of Op-Eds on it during the Reagan Years. (thumbsu

If you’re an Austrian School admirer, our ability to find common ground may be forever doomed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 2:21 PM, VKurtB said:

Actually, I enjoy the raw letters themselves. I can discern what they mean without help. 

I would like more of those on Saints and Morgans, but he probably put most of them into the Saints book, understandably, so I have them there.

Wonder if there are more internal correspondences from the Mint/Treasury and Leland Howard/Mary O'Reilly/etc. on the 1933 Saints and/or any other coins after the recall.  That would be interesting.  They probably had tough calls to make regarding "numismatic interest" in keeping gold coins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 2:23 PM, VKurtB said:

If you’re an Austrian School admirer, our ability to find common ground may be forever doomed. 

They have some interesting ideas, you have to admit.  Just because they may not work in real life as they do in a textbook doesn't make them uninteresting.

Rather have studied them for a semester than that Marxist course I took. xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:26 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

They have some interesting ideas, you have to admit.  Just because they may not work in real life as they do in a textbook doesn't make them uninteresting.

Rather have studied them for a semester than that Marxist course I took. xD

Their praexology, their “self-evident truths”, are demonstrably false. “In all things, man can be assumed to act rationally.” ???????? Nope. Disproven. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:25 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Wonder if there are more internal correspondences from the Mint/Treasury and Leland Howard/Mary O'Reilly/etc. on the 1933 Saints and/or any other coins after the recall.  That would be interesting.  They probably had tough calls to make regarding "numismatic interest" in keeping gold coins.

I really hope there is more like this. I don’t like the options for their absence. None of what follows are even suggested facts - merely scenarios that COULD lead us to where we now are. 
1) And we HAVE TO count this in a world where narratives are so key - could such letters exist that counter the RWB narrative and have been “conveniently” set aside?

2) “Numismatic interest” had NO widely agreed upon definition whatsoever, even inside the government, much less in the hobby. 
 

3) Converse of 1). There IS documentation and the GOVERNMENT “disappeared it”.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 2:29 PM, VKurtB said:

Their praexology, their “self-evident truths”, are demonstrably false. “In all things, man can be assumed to act rationally.” ???????? Nope. Disproven. 

Ehhh....like worrying about "perfect information" and other microeconomic rules and assumptions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 2:37 PM, VKurtB said:

I really hope there is more like this. I don’t like the options for their absence. None of what follows are even suggested facts - merely scenarios that COULD lead us to where we now are.  1) And we HAVE TO count this in a world where narratives are so key - could such letters exist that counter the RWB narrative and have been “conveniently” set aside? 2) “Numismatic interest” had NO widely agreed upon definition whatsoever, even inside the government, much less in the hobby.  3) Converse of 1). There IS documentation and the GOVERNMENT “disappeared it”.

Well, the stuff he uncovered tended to strengthen the L10 position, like the Exchange Letter from March 7th that confounded David Tripp.  Roger doesn't control that info, it's available to all.  If anything, the government might have more stuff that we don't know about (like the Export-Import Letter).

I can't envision a smoking gun KO'ing the L10 position; I could imagine a letter opening the door to post-April 1933 legality of Philly Mint insiders being able to get coins for themselves or their Coin Collector Sugar Daddies in NYC or Philly.

As interesting as these debates are to us, the probability is that the day-to-day running of the Treasury and Mint were what consumed 99.99% of their time, and you might only find 1 or 2 letters or comments over a 10 year period on stuff that we obsess about today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:53 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Well, the stuff he uncovered tended to strengthen the L10 position, like the Exchange Letter from March 7th that confounded David Tripp.  Roger doesn't control that info, it's available to all.  If anything, the government might have more stuff that we don't know about (like the Export-Import Letter).

I can't envision a smoking gun KO'ing the L10 position; I could imagine a letter opening the door to post-April 1933 legality of Philly Mint insiders being able to get coins for themselves or their Coin Collector Sugar Daddies in NYC or Philly.

As interesting as these debates are to us, the probability is that the day-to-day running of the Treasury and Mint were what consumed 99.99% of their time, and you might only find 1 or 2 letters or comments over a 10 year period on stuff that we obsess about today.

Here’s the thing a lot of people forget. March 4, 1933 was more than a change of President. It was a wholesale removal of one party from power and the takeover by another. And one loved gold, and the other hated it. These incoming apparatchiks were committed small s socialists. It was not that different from January 20, 2021. I ascribe NO INNOCENT MOTIVES to ANYONE either aye or nay, to the FDR beginning. My maternal grandfather considered FDR literally Satan incarnate. 

Edited by VKurtB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a page from one of the SF Mint's Cashier's notebooks. By itself it's not a lot of info., But imagine hundreds of pages of notes, personal memos, comments of coins condemned and why.

1510738001_19090708SFCashiernotebook-3.thumb.jpg.3f7094808ead15eb3505dfaca827a214.jpg

The few pages we have from John Sinnock's hand show evidence of the nearly constant tinkering with master dies. The 1936-42 proof coin notebooks tell us when dies were re-polished, how many coins they struck, why some dies failed, etc.

The memories of former and present employees likely offer similar revelations of current practices -- if we are smart enough to approach their mental regurgitations not as "vomit" but as meaningful knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, not sure what a SF cashier book has to do with 1936-42 proofs, but okay. Truck loading notes. Fascinating. Tell us what it means, Uncle Roger. It’s fairy tale time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:53 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Well, the stuff he uncovered tended to strengthen the L10 position, like the Exchange Letter from March 7th that confounded David Tripp.  Roger doesn't control that info, it's available to all.  If anything, the government might have more stuff that we don't know about (like the Export-Import Letter).

I can't envision a smoking gun KO'ing the L10 position; I could imagine a letter opening the door to post-April 1933 legality of Philly Mint insiders being able to get coins for themselves or their Coin Collector Sugar Daddies in NYC or Philly.

As interesting as these debates are to us, the probability is that the day-to-day running of the Treasury and Mint were what consumed 99.99% of their time, and you might only find 1 or 2 letters or comments over a 10 year period on stuff that we obsess about today.

Sooooo many normalized 1932 activities were STRICTLY prohibited by the FDR orders. I don’t see why this evades you. Why would THIS ONE THING be an exception? It’s not credible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 1:49 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Ehhh....like worrying about "perfect information" and other microeconomic rules and assumptions.

Rational markets assumption? More bullsnot. Markets are nearly always irrational. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 3:09 PM, VKurtB said:

Sooooo many normalized 1932 activities were STRICTLY prohibited by the FDR orders. I don’t see why this evades you. Why would THIS ONE THING be an exception? It’s not credible. 

Suppose I worked at the Philly Mint and wanted a few 1933's for myself or my coin contacts.  I don't have the money at that time.  My supervisor tells me as long as we have the coins in-house, I can exchange at any time since I didn't have the $$$ or coins a bit earlier in late-March/early-April 1933.

Well ?

Especially once it was apparent we wouldn't be striking gold coins for a while after all the EOs and pronouncements and I realize that the $20 Double Eagle can probably fetch $35 or so from my cointacts.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/1/2022 at 4:18 PM, Alex in PA. said:

I must have lost track but what does all this have to do with the Wells Fargo Hoard?  Speaking of Saints I have a Patron Saint; does that count?

We keep going off the rails here, more than a defective luge track at the Olympics. xD

At least the 1933 debate concerns the Langboard Hoard, if you call it that.  Not sure what economics does.(thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
2 2