Saturday, July 04, 2009


From Ezra Pound's An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States

"""History, as seen by a Monetary Economist, is a continuous struggle between producers and non-producers, and those who try to make a living by inserting a false system of book-keeping between tile producers and their just recompense. The Bank of England was based on the discovery that instead of loaning money, the Bank’s paper could be put out on loan. The Philadelphia financiers, not entirely severed from their friends in foreign countries, saw the possibility of speculation and the monopolizers of money tried their usual tricks on a thick-headed public.

“Financiers and Congressmen bought a great quantity of soldier’s pay certificates which had been issued during the war. The certificates were simply printing press money without anything of value behind them. Years had passed since their date of issue and, as their hope for redemption went down, their value went down, and down. In 1789 they could be bought for 10 or 15 cents to the dollar. Alexander Hamilton proposed that the Continental certificates be redeemed at par.”[1] And then the nation “assumed” the responsibility of paying them as proposed. These were the famous certificates of pay due to the Veterans. This constituted the “Scandal of the Assumption.”

England was trying diverse methods of usury and sanctions. The lack of caution on the part of the great property owners of the South, reduced them to indebtedness. Slavery became less profitable than the new industrial system, in which the owner did not have to take care of his employees.

Let us note that at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the “Mercantile” concept still retained traces of decency. Adams judged it “hardly mercantile” to do business on borrowed capital. At that time individualism had its own probity, a modest but secure income was called an “independence”.

History taken as a lesson, and taking into account the difference between certainty and supposition, would be an exposition of the nature of events, rather than a chronicle of names.""""

(yo le gusta!).

""""The true history of the economy of the United States, as I see it, is to be found in the correspondence between Adams and Jefferson, in the writings of Van Buren, and in quotations from the intimate letters of the Fathers of the Republic. The elements remain the same: debts, altering the value of monetary units, and the attempts, and triumphs of usury, due to monopolies, or to a “Corner”.

In order to please those who love to gamble, the Exchange permits Mr. A to sell to Mr. B what Mr. A does not possess; on condition that Mr. A. succeeds in buying it and consigning it to Mr. B within a determined time.

The Americans have chosen this game instead of bull-fighting. And naturally, if a group of financiers succeeds in inducing simpletons to sell more than actually exists, or to sell more of it than can be obtained, the late-comers can be made to “pay through the nose”. In 1869, Gould, Fisk and others almost succeeded in monopolizing the available gold in New York. Roosevelt followed Jim Fisk.

The speculators boast about their courage or temerity, but this courage is a different kind of courage from that displayed at the Roulette, or other games of chance; for, by speculating on wheat and other commodities these gamblers are not just gambling among themselves, they are deciding on the prices the public must pay for its necessities."""

(Yo le gusta, tambien)

""""From the War of Secession up to now, the economic history of the United States has consisted in a series of exchange manoeuvers in New York and in Chicago; attempts to impose monopolies, corners, variations in the prices of the shares of new industries, and of the means of transportation. In the beginning they speculated on the value of land. An inflation in its value was stimulated without bothering about the difficulty, or the impossibility of transporting products from distant fields to the market. Then they speculated on the values of the railroads.

If it is in the interest of the common worker, producer, or citizen to have an equitable and fixed price, this is not at all in the interest of the speculator or broker. “Hell”, he says, “I don’t want a still market. I couldn’t make any money.”

Like a patient fisher, the broker waits for the rise or fall of even ¼ or 1/8 per cent, and there is his fifty or one hundred dollars.

He waits for a “break”. It may come once in a life time. This may be the starting point to a fortune. The great Morgan, during the Civil War, bought on credit a certain quantity of damaged rifles from the War Department in Washington, and sold them to a Military Command in Texas, and was paid by the latter before he had to pay the former. He made $75,000.00 profit. Later he was even sentenced, but that did not prevent his becoming the great Mahatma of Wall Street, and a world politico-economical power. Such is the material of which the economic and human history of the United states is made.""""

Bastante, por ahora

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