Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
The latest from John Williams’ ShadowStats.com
- Even the Modest Headline CPI-U Inflation Is Troubling for Flagging Personal Income and Investments
- Fourth-Quarter GDP Estimates Remained Statistically Insignificant
- Patterns of Low-Level Stagnation Continued in Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales
No. 513: Individual Income and Investments, GDP Revision, February Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales"
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Recommended reading from Dean Harry Schultz.
FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
How It Came, What It Brought, and How It Ended
by Andrew Dickson White, LL.D., Ph.D., D.C.L.
Late President and Professor of History at Cornell University; Sometime United States Minister to Russia and Ambassador to Germany; Author of "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology," etc.
As far back as just before our Civil War I made, in France and elsewhere, a large collection of documents which had appeared during the French Revolution, including newspapers, reports, speeches, pamphlets, illustrative material of every sort, and, especially, specimens of nearly all the Revolutionary issues of paper money,—from notes of ten thousand livres to those of one sou.
Upon this material, mainly, was based a course of lectures then given to my students, first at the University of Michigan and later at Cornell University, and among these lectures, one on "Paper Money Inflation in France."
This was given simply because it showed one important line of facts in that great struggle; and I recall, as if it were yesterday, my feeling of regret at being obliged to bestow so much care and labor upon a subject to all appearance so utterly devoid of practical value. I am sure that it never occurred, either to my Michigan students or to myself, that it could ever have any bearing on our own country. It certainly never entered into our minds that any such folly as that exhibited in those French documents of the eighteenth century could ever find supporters in the United States of the nineteenth.
Some years later, when there began to be demands for large issues of paper money in the United States, I wrought some of the facts thus collected into a speech in the Senate of the State of New York, showing the need of especial care in such dealings with financial necessities.
In 1876, during the "greenback craze," General Garfield and Mr. S. B. Crittenden, both members of the House of Representatives at that time, asked me to read a paper on the same general subject before an audience of Senators and Representatives of both parties in Washington. This I did, and also gave it later before an assemblage of men of business at the Union League Club in New York.
Various editions of the paper were afterward published, among them, two or three for campaign purposes, in the hope that they might be of use in showing to what folly, cruelty, wrong and rain the passion for "fiat money" may lead.
Other editions were issued at a later period, in view of the principle involved in the proposed unlimited coinage of silver in the United States, which was, at bottom, the idea which led to that fearful wreck of public and private prosperity in France.