In this dour global economy, a country will take money where it can get it, even if it means scrounging through the couch cushions of the high seas to find it. According to the Times, $18 million worth of silver sits inside the British ship Mantola, which was sunk in 1917 by a German sub and now lies off the coast of Ireland. Odyssey Marine Exploration, a Tampa-based company, plans to retrieve the silver and split the profits 80/20 with the British government. Maybe Ron Paul and those "silver standard" folks are right: at least you can retrieve this money when it gets torpedoed.

Advanced technology allows companies like Odyssey to find and pluck these shipwrecks from a mile below sea level, and governments, which lack the expertise and are unwilling to risk the money, are happy to let them try. Another ship containing $200 million in silver that was sunk in 1941 is also being excavated by Odyssey, which is still smarting for having to return $500 million worth of treasure to Spain after they attempted to invoke "finders keepers" when they removed it from a ship off the coast of Portugal. However the US government has agreed to pay Odyssey $500 million if it deposits every copy of Pirates of the Caribbean IV onto the ocean floor.