Alexander Del Mar’s book delves below the trite explanations and glib catch-phrases used by a superficial media to mask the true, and always unsavoury, source of monetary crises - greed of gain. Beginning over three hundred years ago, Del Mar traces the continuing attempts, by select groups of bankers and politicians, to manipulate the currency, flout national laws, and ultimately to take sole command of the Holy Grail of Finance - control of a nation’s money supply. That such ‘monetary crimes’ have met with unparalleled success in our own times makes the reissue of this book both timely and extremely relevant to current events.
Del Mar was uniquely qualified for such a work. He became by turns the first Director of the US Bureau of Statistics, the American delegate to the International Monetary Congress in both Turin and St. Petersburg, and commissioner to the US Monetary Commission, set up to investigate the Panic of 1873, (which had led to a worldwide economic depression). His conclusion, (that bank reserves had been far too small for the amount of notes issued), made him unpopular in academic circles, and his prescient views were all but ignored. Others, however, recognised his virtues. John Stuart Mill called Del Mar a man with “…stuff in him. He knows what he is about. He is the sort of man to put things right … in any country”.
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