Tuesday, December 11, 2012

sharks and swindlers

"Now it is clear that an inflationary boom of the kind which was described in the last chapter, besides having the quantitative effect of over-stimulating the capital goods industries, also has the qualitative effect of providing a favourable atmosphere for the fraudulent operations of sharks and swindlers. It is not when money is tight, when men look twice at each shilling before they spend it, t h a t the Kreugers and Hatrys get away with it. It is when money is easy, when profits seem to be there for the taking and everyone is anxious to be in a little earlier than his neighbour. This has been the case in all the major booms of history. The big frauds almost all have been perpetrated on a rising market.

  Blest paper credit. Last and best supply To lend corruption lighter wings to fly,

 sang Pope two hundred years ago. There is no need to multiply evidence of this influence of inflationary credit in the boom from whose aftermath we are still suffering." Lionel Robbins The Great Depression, 1933

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