Will We Never Learn? 1840's Gold Rush Edition

Tyler Durden's picture

1840's Gold Rush or 2014 Dot-Com 2.0?

Despite the amazingly high cost of living and the extraordinary opportunities for frittering away money, everyone in early San Francisco was supremely confident that he would soon be able to return home with an incalculable amount of [wealth].


Everything was conceived on a vast scale, and there was always plenty of cash available for any scheme that might be proposed, no matter how impossible or bizarre it seemed. No one hesitated to borrow money...


-The Barbary Coast (describing the gold rush)



Source: @signejb


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NoDebt's picture

Bah!  It's different this time.  You'll see.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Was out west this summer and picked up a few books on the Comstock Lode.  

Very few of the mine owners and miners made any real money.  The serious riches went to the bankers and stock brokers in San Francisco  More money was made on mine stock manipulation than ever came directly from the mine production.

CClarity's picture

And some other fortunes were made too, like Levi Strauss, for supplying the rugged denin pants that held up better for physical labor, Studebaker, who made wheelbarrows before he made autos, and many other merchants, along with the bankers.

NEOSERF's picture

Same exact thing will happen with the marijuana mania...it will be the grow light providers, electric companies and banks that make all the money..  Retail dispensaries will lose their margins as they fight with eachother over potheads...

monad's picture

Big Pharma and the Order paid the Washington cockroaches big money for their respective monopoly franchises. They are going to make sure Gansta Holder goes Pinkerton on those interlopers. Just like Kalifornia pig roast.


monad's picture

Roughing It by Mark Twain could have been written today about the dotcom boom and virtual crypto poker. Makes contemporary msm carpetbaggers and scalawags look like the bottom feeders they are. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

The smart money has learned its lesson from gold rush San Francisco.  Now they invest in fracking!


Villageidiot777's picture

Fracking is completely safe and good for everyone, unless you have a site near EXXON CEO's backyard...

fonestar's picture

Today we have Bitcoin!  The superior system!

Winston Churchill's picture

Shame Mt. Gox proved it could be fractionally reserved,

So is it different again ?

You said this was unpossible.

Skateboarder's picture

fonestar is very much like Gollum. He will gladly follow his precious bitcoin into the very fires of Mount Doom.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Sensors indicate your one down arrow is from one Fonestar. His name was Fomestat. Gollum gollum.

tenpanhandle's picture

he should have paid real money for that 100 down arrow program.

unrulian's picture

 funny, but you missed an opportunity to say... into the very fires of Mount Gox

seek's picture

It was always known you could simulate fractional reserve with bitcoin, inside your own accounting system, but that a run would kill the bank, just like with fractionally reserved gold banking in the 30s.

In the 30s, if you held physical in your position, or in 2014, if you make sure your BTC is in the blockchain, none of the failures affected you.

The lesson here isn't about bitcoin, it's about possession and control. If you don't have verifiable possession/control of any asset, it's not really yours. AU, BTC, Fiat cash v. numbers on a bank computer, etc.

Jendrzejczyk's picture

Thank you Seek,

"Posession and Control" of your assets is exactly the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family.

This goes for those of you who have partners in business ventures too.

Urban Redneck's picture

Speaking of "Possession and Control" - to all the stackers:

Never forget the lesson of the LOST DUTCHMAN

HyBrasilian's picture

Everyone wanted GOLD... Everyone wanted TULIPS... Everyone wanted PET ROCKS... Everyone wanted CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS... Everybody wanted BEANIE BABIES...


My FUCKING GOD! ~ What could 'POPSSIBLY' come next?

aVileRat's picture

Anything that lets a person with declining purchasing power feel smug and validated that their lives mean something.

That thing can come in the form of a shiny "gold" iphone5s, or a tax/social trend endorsed by celeb_A.


On another note, it does suck to be Gross today. Build largest bond fund, best friend you hire back TWICE, calls you a dick in the Wall St. Journal. Trade desk does not get to buy junk bond? so they leak shit to the press on positions and trade desk drama during a 200 bp bond world implosion.

Then 9 of your former trusted Lt's who you pulled out of bond-trading hell during the 1980's dogpile in during the day WSJ breaks the story on your fallout, making it seem like your AUM + GIPS was just a "who you knew" scam.

Yeah, the money makes the good times more fun, but at the end of the day it still sucks to get thrown under the bus by everyone you made a career for. Your employees & board know all the dirty laundry now and the investors/pensions definitly will be asking questions on the Mind & Management of PIMCO next month. It's not called Redemption March for nothing. All this on the eve of Tapering starting down another 10B & being one of the largest holders of global USD bonds.

Maybe someone should make a bill gross meme.


Real Estate Geek's picture

Here's a lesson to learn:  don't forget where you buried your 1,400 $20 gold pieces.  Here's another lesson.  If you see something, dig it up!!! 


Crash Overide's picture

Nice collection of pre-internet coins.

darteaus's picture

Some poor buy buried them there and bought BitCoins.

0b1knob's picture

I hate to be debbie downer on this, but it seems very suspicious to me.   The technology exists to make perfect casts of rare coins and then reverse engineer the dies to stamp out new ones.   All you need is a cute story of how you magically found the stash.   A few thousand dollars worth of gold becomes $10 million dollars worth of rare coins.

Why are so many of the coins mint state?   I imagine few circulating coins in California from that time were in such good shape.   And no identification of the owner?   And they are going to be sold on Amazon bypassing the usual rare coin dealers?

Caveat emptor..

Renewable Life's picture

I just spent the evening out in SF on Saturday and I hadn't been there "partying" in years, and i must say, its worse then the media is making it out to be in SF with these techy bullshit millenials! I lived in SF thru the height of the dotcom 1.0 and the City was still awesome!  

But these Apple/Facebook/Google/App Startup fucks are a new breed of BS that really was unreal to see from the outside looking in!! Its hard to describe to the "average person" unfamiliar with the West Coast, but geeezus was i ready to kick their skinny little asses by midnight! (im sure the cocktails only made shit worse)  

I really do hope the USD collapses in a heep of burning shit, for no other reason to watch this crowd of idiots wake up one morning and find ALL their fucking imaginary money gone!!!  Tesla payments and ALL! (note: i like the Tesla s-model, its fucking awesome, ive driven it, but i hate MOST the MFers driving them after Saturday night) 

christiangustafson's picture

The Barbary Coast is such a great book, written by the same author who wrote Gangs of New York.  I picked up a very nice first edition recently.  It's still in print; I recommend it highly.

Asbury describes the sheer lawlessness of SF in the 19th Century, especially as outsiders, from Australia, from Mexico, from NYC, descended in waves upon the place to plunder it. 

Several times, appalled by the uncontrollable crime, the citizens would form an ad hoc Vigilance Committee, whereupon they would then promptly lynch a few examples until things calmed down.  The mayors were terrified of these efforts, which were threatened again and again when things got out of hand.

It took the 1906 quake really to clean up the city.

lordbyroniv's picture

Back than...wasnt it much easier to borrow and disappear?  I imagine moving to a different state would'a really thown the banksters for a loop.  Man,...I was born in the wrong century.  :(

The Wisp's picture

then again there wasn't a lot of people to hide among, everybody knew everybody and if you said Who came in on the last stage coach, 50 people could give you an answer

RafterManFMJ's picture

A plague on you. A plague on the whole stinking lot of ya, without morals or laws. And all you whores got no laws. You got no honor. It's no wonder you all emigrated to America, because they wouldn't have you in England. You're a lot of savages, that's what you all are. A bunch of bloody savages. A plague on you. I'll be back.

Jendrzejczyk's picture

FAFS  (funny as fucking shit.)

Leaning on a cane and frothing spittle through gapped black toofs.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Human are pathological optimists.    And the sociopaths use it against them every chance they get.

Clycntct's picture

Fk man why didn't you tell me that 40years ago?

AldoHux_IV's picture

the best part is the roundtrip in this whole concept: "buy gold bitchez"


Jackfish's picture

Which one of them forgot where they buried their gold though?



Winston Churchill's picture

Never go full retard ,and forget where you buried it.

Or someone killed the owner thinking it was in a bank box.

Jackfish's picture

Whenever I hear of a Viking hoard finding in the UK, I think the same thing. 

Someone killed before being able to retrieve.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

If someone as really thinking, they'd invest in some scuba gear and take advantage of all the lost fortunes at the bottom of Lake Xxxxxxx

booboo's picture

Well shit, look at Amway, what amount of revenue is generated by "a greater fool" and they own a fucking NBA team that sucks.

Lumberjack's picture


Meet the Boss: Former Amway executive opens faith-based nonprofit and restaurant



You just got my up vote. Saw this happen in the energy sector...Faith based. (my ass).

AUD's picture

Despite the amazingly high cost of living

I'll wager that this cost was actually denominated in the "plenty of cash available", derived from "no one hesitated to borrow money". That is, it was denominated in bank credit, not physical gold.

LetsGetPhysical's picture

20 yr old kids making $200k a year for working 2 hrs a day and driving around government subsidized Teslas.... What could go wrong?  Ahhh...California...gotta love it. 

pitz's picture

Where's that?  I can assure you, there are very few 20-year-olds working in the Silicon Valley these days. 

The Wisp's picture

How soon we Forget,  ( Link is to the San Fran Quake pictures )

Que Sara Sara's picture

Is anyone else having the issue I am having, I am getting "web pae canot be displaed" frequently on ZH, Is some one trying to take dow ZH?