Row upon row of 85-pound wheels of straw-colored Parmesan cheese, stacked some 33 feet high at a secure warehouse, age for as many as two years under the care of bank employees trained in the centuries-old art of Parmesan making.So how much can that be worth?
Typically, a Parmesan maker who produces 7,000 wheels a year might put up 2,000 as collateral for a loan. According to Morini's calculations, each wheel is worth as much as 300 euros ($425), valuing the cheese collateral at 600,000 euros. The bank would then issue a loan of 60 percent to 70 percent of the value, so around 420,000 euros.I wonder if they have similar arrangements elsewhere... Sheep banks in Australia? Pilsner banks in Czech Republic? Opium banks in Afghanistan? Vanilla banks in Madagascar?