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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary, and deeply depressing. But a must read., 28 July 2010
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This review is from: When Money Dies: The nightmare of the Weimar Hyper-Inflation (Paperback)
The parallels with today are clear for all to see - just substitute `credit crunch' for WW1, and `bankers' for `Jews'.
Then, as now, the colossal costs of disaster were met, not by higher taxation (or reduced government spending), but by printing money. Then, as now, it was politically expedient to conjure up a populist hate target, rather than deal with the real causes. Then, as now, the political imperative was full employment, regardless of its economic merit. Then, as now, there was a refusal to acknowledge that printing money, or debasing the currency, was the cause of the Mark's decline (consider, for example, the nonsense being put about that UK taxpayers have benefitted because the Bank of England has made a "profit" on the gilts that it purchased with £200bn of imaginary money. The reality is that, in just twenty four brief months, it has lost the nation 25% of its entire wealth, accumulated over centuries. But, as in the Weimar Republic, nobody sees that - they see only how expensive things have become overseas).
This is not what might be termed a `popular' novel. Indeed, it says much for Mr Fergusson's dour Scottish academic thoroughness that he should have been able to make a book about truly momentous events - social collapse, mass destitution, breakdown of law and order, widespread political assassination - such relentlesly hard work to read.
Nevertheless, despite its heavy-going style, the book is a must-read for anyone wishing to gain insight into a financial and social cataclysm that really did occur in modern times, and an understanding of the appalling risks inherent within present political and monetary policies. It is both scary and deeply depressing.
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