Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Fascinating thesis.
I'm not enough of an economic historian to critique it, but a couple questions come to mind.

  1. Motive. Could you or someone better versed than I discuss possible motives for such a draconian plan? Why do this?

  2. Opportunity. This attributes a huge amount of power to Norman personally, and many attempts to describe collusion fall apart on the rocks of complexity--could this really, practically, be done?

  3. Cost-benefit. Do the potential gains surpass, by a sufficient margin, the risks to be endured if the scheme  runs amok?

  4. How many people would have to be "in the know"? Is this plausible? Are they really smart enough to make it work? Is ANYONE really able to execute a plan on this scale reliably?

  5. Imagine the decision-making process involved. Norman (or his associates) propose an incredibly audacious and risky plan to destabilize the world economy and the world banking system, to the traditionalist- conservative, highly immobile political forces that at least partly controlled great Britain at the time, ---and they say- what?
"Bloody good idea, old boy. We'll just get our bags packed for the move to Australia in case it should encounter a hiccup."

The political elite do indeed conspire to arrange things to their advantage-- but not generally stupidly. The great flaw in historical interpretations that assume widesdpread collusion to accomplish audacious crimes is that they assume either that the conspiratorws are fools--or geniuses. Or both.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Mar 5th, 2008 at 02:41:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series