True, the market is a precarious beast, but Keats says the only "monetary instabilities" he exploits are "metallic." Pennies are made of copper while fen are composed of aluminum - two metals susceptible to galvanic corrosion when submerged in seawater. So Keats is giving the coins a saltwater bath. As the pennies and fen exchange ions, they generate electricity that can be tapped.
"You can think of it as electro-chemical arbitrage," said Keats. "And it works equally well in bull and bear markets. With our current setup, using several dozen cells filled with saltwater from the Pacific Ocean, we've generated as much as 18.7 volts."
That will be enough juice to power all three units of 20 Rock's data processing center, with a budget of just under three dollars.
So if you're in Manhattan next month, stop by the Engineer's Office Gallery and head to the basement hallway of 20 Rockefeller Plaza.
Unlike some historical landmarks in Texas would lead you to believe, who says you can't find what you're looking for in the basement?