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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Pawn Shop Bank

In my last post, I took you on a video tour of Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny. As you’re well aware, in addition to his fame after death, ‘ole Claude was famous while he was alive! A happy condition not shared by the majority of his Impressionist pals. (Sisley comes particularly to mind.)

Fame, of course usually brings financial dividends. And, verily, so it was for M. Monet.
However, possibly to keep up his “jus’ an average guy who paints” persona, Mr C. secretly deposited his gold bars in an equally secret French Bank. (Hey – no Swiss/off-shore haven options back then!)

He was in some pretty high octane company there. Other secretive(overly discreet?) depositors were Napolean’s first wife – Josephine, Victor Hugo, and Prince Francois d’Orleans, who pawned his watch to settle a gambling debt.

The good news – The French Pawn Shop Bank is still open. And, this time, for the people who need it most. The rest of the story is HERE.


What are ya thinkin’?

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37 Responses to “French Pawn Shop Bank”

  1. tad stevens says:

    very cool!

  2. agnes restovick says:

    Amazing! A bank that actually CARES about people. Think it could catch on in the USA?

  3. randy barstow says:

    agnes – not a snowballs chance in hell!

  4. gaylee shannon says:

    what a dream! a bank that loans you money on what you’ve got. unbelieveable.

  5. constance morgan-whyte says:

    For all the negatives of the current french social system – and they are many – it’s refreshing, and, obviously inspiring to learn of this very special, and, need I add, eternally relevant bank.

  6. william gaines says:

    wonderful to learn that at least somewhere, there is some humanity in the banking world; too bad it’s not in MY banking world! (lol!)

  7. martel eston says:

    a very unusual bank, and, as usual, a great story. something i can always count on here.

  8. nanci questor says:

    sigh…..only in france!

  9. charlie patel says:

    good to know i can get a loan if i’m ever stuck in paris!

  10. neil paterson says:

    Charlie – heads up there! I wouldn’t count on a loan if you’re not French. Why would a State sponsored bank by helping non-French?

    Just speculating. If anyone has a real answer – let ‘er rip!

  11. silas merryman says:

    hey everyone – i don’t have a real answer to neils question, but it just seems logical that he’s right. don’t you think?

  12. tina swindon says:

    i’m thinkin that every country could use a bank like this!

  13. rea dennison says:

    like the others have said, too bad this is only in france!

  14. issy makeo says:

    another informative post! Keep them coming! I’ll be here!!!

  15. mario pandosi says:

    this is the first time i can remember you’ve done a post that wasn’t about your personal adventures. I like it, but I like your stories better.

  16. wendy patterson says:

    I’m with Mario! – like your stuff better..but this is a good one.

  17. eric lundstrrom says:

    What I find amazing about this bank is the fact that, if I understand correctly, it was created not principally as a haven for the rich(Monet, etc) but to actually help people with no money.

  18. lindy western says:

    the rich have always had an “offshore” place to stash their cash…not news of course…but what is news is the nature /purpose of this bank.

  19. sara temmerston says:

    my impression of banking is that it’s always been part of the power elite. Refreshing to see that this bank, created so long ago, still continues with it’s main idea of helping those who need it most. a big lesson to be learned here for all “progressive” countries!

  20. alison tresmet says:

    sara – that’s a big “10-4” sister! Right on!!!

  21. carlson frommer says:

    After reading this excellent post I’m wondering, what to me, is the obvious: “Are there any other European countries with a similiar bank?”

  22. beatrice damon says:

    carlson – good question! i dont have the answer, but i would suspect that in more socially progressive countries, sweden for instance, there would be enough of a “social blanket” that would provide sufficient aid.

  23. evan wilson says:

    Good to hear about this bank..but i’m wondeirng what happens to the poor in France who have nothing to pawn?

  24. carla sfeffens says:

    evan – i guess what happens to the poor in france with nothing to pawn is just what happens to the poor everywhere – they get the short end of the stick…or worse, no stick at all.

  25. jewel says:

    for a change, some good news about how banks treat people without money! the world canuse more like this that’s for sure!!!

  26. malcom everight says:

    A great story. As most of the true ones are. I’m interested to learn the reason why such a progressive bank was created. Especially considering it was hundreds of years ago. Hardly a time of great charity generally speaking.

  27. angus mclean says:

    seconded malcom!…….maybe there’s an even greater story as to why/how this bank came to be?

  28. tara yetinsky says:

    I was wondering the same thing as angus and malcom…..maybe you could shine some light here mr bg?

  29. barton fedstone says:

    Why is it that everything remotely human/progressive in the social sphere seems to originate in Europe?

  30. denise overlee says:

    nice to get some good news in these times of financial difficultly!

  31. anston cooper says:

    Your fine post is a much needed reminder that not everything worthwhile came out of our modern culture. Thanks for that.

  32. charlie penn-smith says:

    this was a real eye-opener. looking forward to more!

  33. agnes van den bosch says:

    this was an interesting post. even here in holland where we have a better social system than france, i don’t think there’s anything exactly like this bank.

  34. staci taylor says:

    yes, I agree with the others; This was good. But more of youyr videos please!

  35. homer winslow says:

    you sure got a flair for this stuff son. keep it up!

  36. jean pierre boudin says:

    very fine that you should be telling the world about this bank. there are many french people who i think also are learning about this for the first time.

  37. clyde attersley says:

    put me down as another reader who’d like top now how this all started.

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