The Nation: Sale of the Centuries

Yes sir, folks, step right up, today only, one per customer, all sales final, for the price of eight crisp $10 bills or four used 20s, get your red-hot $100 bills!

Chicago's United America Bank needed no such carny-barker approach to create a run on the bank. To celebrate the firm's tenth anniversary, officials decided to forgo the standard promotional hoopla and instead advertised a money sale. Each of the first 35 customers in line last Wednesday morning got to purchase a $100 bill for $80. There were similar sales of descending denominations capped by the sale of 1,800 silver dollars at...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!