« Counting and fake-metering the money occupied six men four hours.”
100,000 banknotes to check/count, by 6 men in 4 hours. The arithmetics of this depend on several factors : how many fake-meters are available, how they work, how are the checked/counted bills gathered, etc.
From what we know, Gersen used a very simple fake-meter as described by Ignace Wodlecki in his article “How the Planets Trade” (Cosmopolis, September, 1509):
“This is a pocket device which, when a counterfeit note is passed through a slot, sounds a warning buzzer.”
“Gersen brought forth his fake-meter, passed the paper rectangle into the slot. No red light, but rather the heart-warming buzz of authenticity.”
So, let us assume that 6 of those devices were easily available at Interchange, and that each of the six men was using one. So each guy must have processed 100000/6/4/3600 = 1.157 notes per second. 0.864 seconds to pick up a banknote, insert it in the slot, wait for the buzz, retrieve the note, put it down somewhere… Then pick up the next one. And counting all the while, since I’m not sure the fake-meter has an integrated counter.
This doesn’t seem possible, and certainly not for 4 hours non-stop. And one aspect has not even be covered : gathering the cheked/counted notes.
There is of course another possibilty. The pocket fake-meter may be for individual use, but businesses such as Interchange probably have much more sophisticated bill-counters/checkers. Such devices exist today (I see them in films where dug-dealers count the booty). Those devices can easily count/verify 15 (or more) notes per second, they have a hopper and a stacker with a large capacity: see for instance bill-counter
Interchange must have at least on of those, and maube even two (a spare one in case of problem).
This changes the whole picture: one such device could check/count 100,000 notes in 1.85 hours. It would require one operator to keep the hopper loaded, and one operator to empty the stacker every 100 bills to make tidy piles with rubber bands around. So, let’s say 2 men, 2 hours. Not 6 men, 4 hours.
But maybe Jack meant that there were 6 guys in all, in 3 shifts of 2. Furthermore, let’s imagine that the fake-meter device tends to overheat after a prolonged use, leading to “banknote jams” (very damaging… You can put up with tearing a page in your printer, but not a 100,000 SVU banknote). So, let’s assume that after a while, the device must rest to cool down. And finally, let’s suppose that the “checking part” is a bit slower. Let’s say that the device can process 100,000 notes in 3 hours.
Here’s the result :
A team of two starts the job, works for 20 minutes, then takes a break for 7 minutes, then back to a work spell of 20 minutes, another 7 minutes break (time for a coffee or a cigarette), and a final 20 minutes.
7 minutes later, the second team of 2 steps in, fresh and eager, and the process goes on.
The whole process will be finished after 9x20 + 8x7 = 236 minutes, close enough to 4 hours, as Jack said. QED…