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World War I - 'Debt was the economic terror of the world when the war ended..'

Posted by ProjectC 
'We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely a power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.'

- Richard Chartres, '..an increase of loving wisdom and reverence..' 29th April 2011


'But a delusion affecting the mentality of the entire world at one time was hitherto unknown .. This is a delusion about credit.'

'Mass delusions are not rare. They salt the human story. The hallucinatory types are well known; so also is the sudden variation called mania, generally localized, like the tulip mania in Holland many years ago or the common-stock mania of a recent time in Wall Street. But a delusion affecting the mentality of the entire world at one time was hitherto unknown. All our experience with it is original.

This is a delusion about credit. And whereas from the nature of credit it is to be expected that a certain line will divide the view between creditor and debtor, the irrational fact in this case is that for more than ten years debtors and creditors together have pursued the same deceptions. In many ways, as will appear, the folly of the lender has exceeded the extravagance of the borrower. The general shape of this universal delusion may be indicated by three of its familiar features..

First, the idea that the panacea for debt is credit. Debt in the present order of magnitude began with the World War. Without credit, the war could not have continued above four months; with benefit of credit it went more than four years. Victory followed the credit. The price was appalling debt. In Europe the war debt was both internal and external. The American war debt was internal only. This was the one country that borrowed nothing; not only did it borrow nothing, but parallel to its own war exertions it loaned to its European associates more than ten billions of dollars..

..

Debt was the economic terror of the world when the war ended. How to pay it was the colossal problem. Yet you will find hardly a nation, hardly any subdivision of a nation, state, city, town or region that has not multiplied its debt since the war. The aggregate of this increase is prodigious, and a very high proportion of it represents recourse to credit to avoid payment of debt.'

- Garet Garrett, A Bubble that Broke the World (1932), page(s) 3 and 4


'Throughout history, governments have fought against the use of sound money..'

'Throughout history, governments have fought against the use of sound money. In 1912, Ludwig von Mises identified the reason for this:

The sound-money principle has two aspects. It is affirmative in approving the market's choice of a commonly-used medium of exchange. It is negative in obstructing the government's propensity to meddle with the currency system.[1]'

- George F. Smith, Inflation Inferno I, April 28, 2011


'..It is simply not possible to create wealth by printing money .. Japan's economy has enormous potential – a potential that won't be realized to its fullest extent as long as the government deficit and massive fiscal spending burden the economy..'

'..If we look back in history, all the great destructive inflation episodes have happened in this manner – the authorities always insisted that they were only 'temporarily' engaging in yet another round of money printing to 'give industry a shot in the arm'. In the most egregious cases this continued until the underlying currency system collapsed and the very things the inflationary policy was meant to avert – rising unemployment, bankruptcies and economic contraction – became far worse than they would have been had the policy not been pursued in the first place.

..

..It is simply not possible to create wealth by printing money – on the contrary, there is nothing that is more likely to destroy wealth.

Mr. Yosano was appointed in January to help bring Japan's deficit under control. This endeavor has taken a backseat after the earthquake, but it should remain a top priority. Japan's economy has enormous potential – a potential that won't be realized to its fullest extent as long as the government deficit and massive fiscal spending burden the economy. Doing the same thing over and over again won't bring about different results. It is high time to abandon and reverse the destructive Keynesian policies that have produced Japan's 'soft depression' over the past two decades.'

- Acting Man, Japan And The Ministry of Dreadful Dreams, April 29th, 2011



Ron Paul asks "When is Bernanke Going to Admit Fed Policy is a Total Failure?" April 29, 2011


'..Bernanke reiterated his belief..'

'In answering the questions he did get, Bernanke reiterated his belief that the current rise in inflation is transitory, a result of higher food and energy prices, not the Fed’s overly aggressive monetary policy. Which brings me to one last question: What if you’re wrong?'

- Caroline Baum, Bernanke Must Have Lost My List of Questions: Caroline Baum, April 27, 2011