Blogs

The Eye In The Triangle

The Eye In The Triangle (not affiliated with the U.S. government) provides an excellent summary history of the formulation of the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States.  The Great Seal is, of course, depicted, front and back, on the back of every dollar bill.  The eye in the triangle at the top of the pyramid motif has evoked recurrent speculation down the years as to Masonic, or even "Illuminati," symbolism.  The reality is much simpler. The original dsign suggestion "was made by Pierre Du Simitière, the consultant and artist on the first Great Seal committee ..." Simitière's design ... This design was …Read more

Spring is Breaking Out Badly

It’s spring but the world is gloomy. There may be plenty of bulls on Wall Street, but their still a lot of bears around the bears – bears worried about the fate of kidnapped girls in Nigeria, student protestors in Venezuelan, religious tolerance in India, and bombed out towns in Syria. Many are also depressed by the state of the world’s economy. The headline in the Financial Times told part of the story: “Survey shows gloomy mood of EU voters.” The article by Gordon Smith began: “Two-third of French voters believed the state of their country’s economy was worse than it was a year ago and felt …Read more

The Chinese Reserve Dilemma

Debate continues about the role of the Chine renminbi as a reserve currency. As the portion grows of the world economy in Chinese hands, so does the portion of world trade settled in Chinese currency. Reality confronts worry. Back in February CNBC reported that a “survey of 200 institutional investors - 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it - published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world's major reserve currency.” Ansuya Harjani wrote that “skeptics of yuan …Read more

The Owl On The Dollar

The Owl On The DollarOnce upon a time, lore has it, an engraver inscribed a tiny image of an owl nested into a curlicue on the back of the dollar bill. Image courtesy of Some claim it to be a spider.  Others claim it is an artifact of the engraving.  It has given rise to considerable speculation as to whether it might be a sign of a secret group called "the Illuminati."  Only the long-ago craftsman who produced the design for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing knows.  And if he knew, he didn't tell. This writer likes the idea of owl.  An owl a symbol of wisdom.  That association may well have derived from its …Read more
 

Kathleen M. Packard, Publisher
Ralph J. Benko, Editor

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff
(1896-1978)

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