The Great Depression of the 1930s bringing unprecedented world-wide unemployment in its wake was not caused by the “contractionist nature ” of the gold standard as alleged by John M. Keynes. Nor was it caused by “fractional reserve banking ” as alleged by Murray N. Rothbard. It was caused by national governments sabotaging the clearing system of the international gold standard, the bill market, thereby destroying the wage fund of workers employed in the production and distribution of consumer goods. In throwing out the bath-water of real bills governments have thrown out the baby of full employment. Unemployment is the modern version of the earlier religious practice of making human sacrifice on the altar of Mammon The tale of the cuckoo’s egg 1909 was a milestone in the history of money. That year, in preparation for the coming war, the note issues of the Bank of France and of the Reichsbank of Germany were made legal tender. Most people did not even notice the subtle change. Gold coins stayed in circulation for another five years. It was not the disappearance of gold coins from circulation that heralded th
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