16 August 2010

Quote of the Day: When Money Dies, Double Edition

On 7 August, I told you I would be reading the book When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse.  After relaying my start of the book, I didn't make it past the prologue until this weekend.

Before I get to the main Quote of the Day (QOTD), I will give you this one that is too important to overlook from the last paragraph of the prologue:
"This is, I believe, a moral tale.  It goes far to prove the revolutionary axiom that if you wish to destroy a nation you must corrupt its currency.  Thus must sound money be the first bastion of society's defense. 
With this in mind, Adam Fergusson's book isn't so much economic theory, as it is historical context of what happens to the people in an economic crisis of epic proportions.  No need to hold an economics degree to follow this writting because Fergusson thus far, has done an excellent job of recanting the almost mind numbing price escalations and the corresponding fall of the German Mark and Austrian's Krone in a post WWI environment.  So fast was the devaluation, we have the main QOTD:
"A Roman who was born under Theodosius and died under Romulus Augustulus had seventy years in which to pass through the changes which Austria has seen in three."
It leaves us to wonder, where exactly are we headed as we leave interest rates at near zero percent rate for such an extended time frame (approaching two years).  It is apparent that we are headed towards a currency devaluation that as Fergusson has already eluded to in three short chapters transferred wealth from savers, retirees, and those of nobility, to the political class, the paupers, the debtors, and the wealthy bankers.  What we are seeing in this crisis is ultimately a greater groundwork for a revolution that may not necessarily be for the better.  If history repeats itself, the misery depicted through the end of chapter three is one that will cause "joyless streets" for an extended period of time.

More updates and comments to come.

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