The Past Made New

Niall Ferguson’s “The Pity of War” is an excellent analysis of the causes and effects of World War I. He is particularly good on economic matters, locating this quote from Polish banker and author Ivan Bloch:

The immediate consequence of war would be to send securities all round down from 25 to 50 percent, and in such a tumbling market it would be difficult to float loans. Recourse would therefore have to be had to forced loans and unconvertible paper money … Prices … would go up enormously.

Sound like any economy we’re familiar with?


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