When Money Dies The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-10-12
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
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When Money Diesis the classic history of what happens when a nationrs"s currency depreciates beyond recovery. In 1923, with its currency effectively worthless (the exchange rate in December of that year was one dollar to 4,200,000,000,000 marks), the German republic was all but reduced to a barter economy. Expensive cigars, artworks, and jewels were routinely exchanged for staples such as bread; a cinema ticket could be bought for a lump of coal; and a bottle of paraffin for a silk shirt. People watched helplessly as their life savings disappeared and their loved ones starved. Germanyrs"s finances descended into chaos, with severe social unrest in its wake. Money may no longer be physically printed and distributed in the voluminous quantities of 1923. However, "quantitative easing," that modern euphemism for surreptitious deficit financing in an electronic era, can no less become an assault on monetary discipline. Whatever the reason for a countryrs"s deficit-necessity or profligacy, unwillingness to tax or blindness to expenditure-it is beguiling to suppose that if the day of reckoning is postponed economic recovery will come in time to prevent higher unemployment or deeper recession. What if it does not? Germany in 1923 provides a vivid, compelling, sobering moral tale. "Engrossing and sobering." -Daily Express(London)

Author Biography

Adam Fergusson has been a member of the European Parliament, a special adviser at the Foreign Office, a consultant on European affairs for international industry and commerce, and a political adviser during Margaret Thatcher's government. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of five books, he lives in London.

Table of Contents

Note to the 2010 editionp. vii
Prologuep. ix
Gold for Ironp. 1
Joyless Streetsp. 17
The Bill Presentedp. 27
Delirium of Milliardsp. 39
The Slide to Hyperinglationp. 61
Summer of'22p. 80
The Hapsburg Inheritancep. 92
Autumn Paper-chasep. 108
Ruhrkampfp. 129
Summer of'23p. 158
Havensteinp. 170
The Bottom of the Abyssp. 186
Schachtp. 205
Unemployment Breaks Outp. 218
The Wounds are Baredp. 233
Epiloguep. 248
Acknowledgmentsp. 257
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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