File under: things Janet Yellen doesn't have to worry about (yet).
With Libya suffering dire economic problems, a stash of golden and silver coins worth $184 million locked in a Gaddafi-era vault in the eastern city of Beyda could be worth its weight in gold. The snag is, the local officials don’t have the code.
As if the crash in the price of oil was not enough for energy-rich Libya, the country is also having to deal with two rival governments opposed to one another, as well as the threat posed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which has made gains in coastal areas.
Oil output is currently less than a quarter of the 1.6 million barrels per day, which were being produced in Libya under former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
These financial problems have led to a catastrophic shortage of cash in Libya, so the $184 million locked in the central bank vault in Beyda would come in more than handy. However, the local central bank governor doesn’t have the necessary five-digit code to unlock the vault, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The rival government in Tripoli has the code but will not hand it over, fearing the cash could end up funding militias.
Even if the authorities do manage to get to the coins, they will face another significant problem as they all bear Gaddafi’s face.
“I can’t sell them as they are,” Ali El Hibri, the central bank governor in eastern Libya told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t want to cause any controversy in the street by advertising the face of Gaddafi.”
El Hibri has even contemplated melting down the gold and silver coins in order to provide the much-needed funds. However, the governor still has the task of trying to crack open the safe. El Hibri has a plan for this as well and has enlisted the help of a pair of safecrackers, who believe they are capable of forcing open the almost 50-year-old safe....MORE