Economic Crises

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Macmillan, 1900 - Business cycles - 251 pages
 

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Page 216 - A native of the United States clings to this world's goods as if he were certain never to die ; and he is so hasty in grasping at all within his reach, that one would suppose he was constantly afraid of not living long enough to enjoy them. He clutches everything, he holds nothing fast, but soon loosens his grasp to pursue fresh gratifications.
Page 214 - The more they are instructed, the less liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition, which, among ignorant nations, frequently occasion the most dreadful disorders.
Page 142 - ANY sudden event which creates a great demand for actual cash may cause, and will tend to cause, a panic in a country where cash is much economized, and where debts payable on demand are large. In such a country an immense credit rests on a small cash reserve : and an unexpected and large diminution of that reserve may easily break up and shatter very much if not the whole of that credit. Such accidental events are of the most various...
Page 3 - Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution.
Page 3 - ... off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit, and speculation which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began — in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again.
Page 2 - As a matter of fact, since 1825, when the first general crisis broke out, the whole industrial and commercial world, production and exchange among all civilized peoples and their more or less barbaric hangers-on, are thrown out of joint about once every ten years. Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are...
Page 197 - ... combinations. It is, however, but too well known that the reverse is the case. The more familiar a man becomes with the multitude of such combinations, the more confidently he believes in the possibility of foretelling, — not, indeed, any special event, but the general run of several approaching events. There has never been a successful gambler who has not believed that his success (temporary though such success ever is, where games of pure chance are concerned ) has been the result of skilful...
Page 146 - ... clothing. The recurring period of the great industrial crises is stated in the text as five years. This was the period apparently indicated by the course of events from 1825 to 1842. But the industrial history from 1842 to 1868 has shown that the real period is one of ten years; that the intermediate revulsions were secondary, and tended more and more to disappear. Since 1868 the state of things has changed again, of which more anon. I have taken care not to strike out of the text the many prophecies,...
Page 192 - The good times too of high price almost always engender much fraud. All people are most credulous when they are most happy ; and when much money has just been made, when some people are really making it, when most people think they are making it, there is a happy opportunity for ingenious mendacity.
Page 200 - The effect of this, the unanimous belief of an ignorant people upon the mind of a stranger, is extremely, curious, and well worth noticing. A man coming freshly from Europe is at first proof against the nonsense with which he is assailed, but often it happens that after a little while the social atmosphere in which he lives will begin to infect him, and if he has been unaccustomed to the cunning of fence by which Reason prepares the means of guarding herself against fallacy, he will yield himself...

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