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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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12

In Defense of Sterling

I

THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of New York stands on the block bounded by Liberty, Nassau, and William Streets and Maiden Lane, on the slope of one of the few noticeable hillocks remaining in the bulldozed, skyscraper-flattened earth of downtown Manhattan. Its entrance faces Liberty, and its mien is dignified and grim. Its arched ground-floor windows, designed in imitation of those of the Pitti and Riccardi Palaces in Florence, are protected by iron grilles made of bars as thick as a boy’s wrist, and above them are rows of small rectangular windows set in a blufflike fourteen-story wall of sandstone and limestone, the blocks of which once varied in color from brown through gray to blue, but which soot has reduced to a common ...

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