If the UK received the highest amount of Marshall Aid, why was it broke?

If the UK received the highest amount of Marshall Aid, why was it broke?


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After WW2, Marshall Aid was distributed across Europe to facilitate the rebuilding of countries devastated by the war. West Germany received a large amount of this, and soon had a thriving economy.

However, the UK (one of the victors of the war) apparently received the single highest volume of aid, but was quite obviously on its knees financially (some bomb damage in London apparently not being repaired for decades). Was post-war bankruptcy purely down to the outstanding debt incurred through Anglo-American war time loans?

Finally, if these outstanding debts owed to the US and Canada really were what crippled the UK financially, why not just write off the debt and not bother with Marshall Aid at all to the UK?


I remember being told as a boy in the 1970's that the reason our economy and industry was in such a poor state, particularly when compared with the West German "economic miracle", was that the RAF and USAF had bombed most of the German factories flat, and they had then re-built with the latest technologies paid for with Marshall Aid dollars. In the meantime, Britain, as the victor, had to struggle on with bomb-damaged factories full of worn-out and outdated kit.

It was all nonsense of course, but it became part of the national myth. The truth is that the British government made a deliberate decision to spend the money on maintaining her position as a world power, rather than on investment and reconstruction at home.


On 8 May 1945, Britain celebrated VE day, marking the formal conclusion of the war in Europe. Three months later, the surrender of Japan marked the end of World War 2, and VJ Day was celebrated in the UK, the USA and in Australia.

Between those two celebrations, the UK had held a General Election on 5 July, and elected Clement Attlee's Labour Party. That government is remembered today for the founding of the Welfare State and National Health Service. In fact, the foundation for these policies was laid by the wartime coalition government, and the differences between the campaign promises of the two main parties (Labour, led by Clement Attlee, and the Conservatives, led by Winston Churchill) look surprisingly small from a modern perspective.

The problem was that Britain was almost bankrupt. The Second World War had followed hard on the heels of the Great Depression. Britain's financial situation had not been great when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Although she had won the war, she had relied on American subsidies under the Lend-Lease programme to do so. That programme was ended by the US Congress just one week after VJ Day.

To bridge the gap, the new government was able to arrange a $4 billion loan from the USA. Despite that loan, the British economy remained in a parlous state, and the situation was not helped by the global post-war recession that preceded the post-war economic expansion of the 1950's. Rationing had been introduced at the beginning of the war. Food rationing would remain in place in the UK until 1954. Derelict bomb sites in London were still being redeveloped into the 21st century!


Britain had won the war. Together with the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, the UK was one of the "Four Powers". The British government and people still saw themselves as a major world power (many still do!). That world role involved maintaining large and expensive establishments around the globe. The economist John Maynard Keynes was appointed chief economic adviser to the new Labour government. He calculated the annual cost of those establishments at some £725 million, and observed:

"These are burdens which there is no reasonable expectation of our being able to carry."

  • [Kynaston, 2010, p433]

However, the alternative was:

"… a sudden and humiliating withdrawal from our onerous responsibilities with great loss of prestige and the acceptance for the time being of the position of second-class Power, rather like the present position of France."

Furthermore, in may cases, British withdrawal would leave a vacuum which could be exploited by the Soviet Union.

This meant that a withdrawal was not only politically unthinkable for any government, it was also militarily unthinkable in the light of the developing Cold War. An excellent recent examination of this transitional post-war period is Britain and the Cold War: 1945 as Geopolitical Transition by Peter J. Taylor.


In 1948, the United States passed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948 which created the European Recovery Program (better known as the Marshall Plan, named after the American Secretary of State, George Marshall).

France and Germany used the aid provided under the Marshall Plan to fund strategies for reconstructing their industry and infrastructure. As you pointed out, Britain received more aid than any other country in Europe. But rather than using this money to rebuild, the government (presumably with the agreement of the US) used it to fund Britain's role as a world power, while gradually dismantling her empire and creating the British Commonwealth. Put simply, the $4 billion post-war loan, and the subsequent Marshall Aid allowed Britain to maintain her position in the world.

In this context, where we are thinking about rebuilding economies and infrastructure following the war, it is worth remembering that in 1951 (the final year of Marshall Aid) Britain's estimated defence expenditure amounted to something like 7.7 per cent of her GDP. This was a deliberate political decision. Germany was still occupied by the allies, and so paid nothing for defence. That was money that could be invested in their economy.

During the 1950s, the post-war economic expansion enabled Britain to maintain that world role, but the opportunity to invest in the country's industry and infrastructure using Marshall Aid had passed.


Interestingly, people often point to the fact that the 1945 Labour government was a "socialist" government as a reason that the Marshall Aid was "wasted".

That government certainly implemented large-scale social reforms. However, the foundations of those reforms had been laid by the wartime coalition government. As mentioned above, the reforms promised by both the main parties during the 1945 election actually look surprisingly similar (although the reforms actually enacted by the Labour government certainly went further than those that had been promised by the Conservatives).

The challenges imposed by Britain's perceived global position would have been the same, no matter who was in power. The same is true of the global political situation and Britain's economic position.


Sources

  • Kynaston, David: Austerity Britain, 1945-1951, Bloomsbury, 2010
  • Taylor, Peter J: Britain and the Cold War: 1945 as Geopolitical Transition, Bloomsbury, 2016

Page options

The long 18th century, from the Glorious Revolution until Waterloo, was the period in which Britain rose to a dominant position among European trading empires, and became the first western nation to industrialise.

The extent of economic change between 1688 and 1815 can be discerned through a glimpse at the state of economic and social conditions at home, and the growth of trade and empire at the beginning and end of that period.

In 1688 England and Wales had a population of 4.9 million, and the internal economy was still largely based on agricultural work and production.

Domestic industry flourished, with many workers pursuing dual occupations on a seasonal basis in industry and agriculture. English society contained a flourishing and more extensive middling sector than any other western country, including the Dutch Republic. This provided a strong platform for commerce with, and settlement in, far-flung territories.

The long 18th century was the period in which Britain rose to a dominant position among European trading empires.

Merchants sent out ships to trade with North America and the West Indies, where England had established a network of colonies, following on from the permanent settlement of Virginia in 1607 and the acquisition of Barbados in 1625. Some 350,000 people had emigrated from England across the Atlantic by the end of the 17th century.

In 1686 alone these colonies shipped goods worth over £1 million to London. Exports to the colonies consisted mainly of woollen textiles imports included sugar, tobacco and other tropical groceries for which there was a growing consumer demand.

The triangular slave trade had begun to supply these Atlantic colonies with unfree African labour, for work on tobacco, rice and sugar plantations. It was based around the activities of the Royal African Company, with headquarters in London.

Trade and settlement also occurred in Asian waters. This was mainly based around the activities of the East India Company, a large joint-stock company based in London. The ships of the East India Company fleet traded mainly in bullion, textiles and tea with Bengal.

Overseas commerce was conducted within the mercantilist framework of the Navigation Acts, which stipulated that all commodity trade should take place in British ships, manned by British seamen, trading between British ports and those within the empire.

Despite these developments, in 1688 Britain was still a vulnerable competitor for stakes in overseas colonies and trade - her rivals were the trading empires of France and the Netherlands, as well as Spain and her client state, Portugal.


What We Do

Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321. If your information does not relate to an imminent threat, you can also contact MI5.

Current national threat level

The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is SUBSTANTIAL.

Current Northern Ireland-related terrorism threat level

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What the threat levels mean

Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

  • LOW means an attack is highly unlikely
  • MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
  • SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is likely
  • SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
  • CRITICAL means an attack is highly likely in the near future

How are threat levels decided?

The threat level for the UK from international terrorism is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).

MI5 is responsible for setting the threat levels from Irish and other domestic terrorism both in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain.

In reaching a judgement on the appropriate threat level in any given circumstance several factors need to be taken into account.

  • Available intelligence. It is rare that specific threat information is available and can be relied upon. More often, judgements about the threat will be based on a wide range of information, which is often fragmentary, including the level and nature of current terrorist activity, comparison with events in other countries and previous attacks. Intelligence is only ever likely to reveal part of the picture.
  • Terrorist capability. An examination of what is known about the capabilities of the terrorists in question and the method they may use based on previous attacks or from intelligence. This would also analyse the potential scale of the attack.
  • Terrorist intentions. Using intelligence and publicly available information to examine the overall aims of the terrorists and the ways they may achieve them including what sort of targets they would consider attacking.
  • Timescale. The threat level expresses the likelihood of an attack in the near term. We know from past incidents that some attacks take years to plan, while others are put together more quickly. In the absence of specific intelligence, a judgement will need to be made about how close an attack might be to fruition. Threat levels do not have any set expiry date, but are regularly subject to review in order to ensure that they remain current.

How should you respond?

Threat levels in themselves do not require specific responses from the public. They are a tool for security practitioners working across different sectors of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and the police to use in determining what protective security response may be required.

Vigilance is vital regardless of the current national threat level. It is especially important given the current national threat. Sharing national threat levels with the general public keeps everyone informed. It explains the context for the various security measures (for example airport security or bag searches) which we may encounter in our daily lives.

If you have information about possible terrorist activity, call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline: 0800 789 321.

The Anti-Terrorist Hotline is for tip-offs and confidential information. For warnings about possible bombs or other urgent threats please call 999.

Threat level history

Since 2006, information about the national threat level has been available on the MI5 and Home Office websites. In September 2010 the threat levels for Northern Ireland-related terrorism were also made available.

In July 2019 changes were made to the terrorism threat level system, to reflect the threat posed by all forms of terrorism, irrespective of ideology. There is now a single national threat level describing the threat to the UK, which includes Islamist, Northern Ireland, left-wing and right-wing terrorism.

National Threat Level

Northern Ireland-related Threat Level to Northern Ireland


1980s

In 1981, cases of a rare lung infection called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) were found in five young, previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles.2 At the same time, there were reports of a group of men in New York and California with an unusually aggressive cancer named Kaposi’s Sarcoma.3

In December 1981, the first cases of PCP were reported in people who inject drugs.4

By the end of the year, there were 270 reported cases of severe immune deficiency among gay men - 121 of them had died.5

In June 1982, a group of cases among gay men in Southern California suggested that the cause of the immune deficiency was sexual and the syndrome was initially called gay-related immune deficiency (or GRID).6

Later that month, the disease was reported in haemophiliacs and Haitians leading many to believe it had originated in Haiti.7 8

In September, the CDC used the term 'AIDS' (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) for the first time, describing it as

a disease at least moderately predictive of a defect in cell mediated immunity, occurring in a person with no known case for diminished resistance to that disease.9

AIDS cases were also being reported in a number of European countries.10 11 12

In Uganda, doctors reported cases of a new, fatal wasting disease locally known as 'slim'.13

By this point, a number of AIDS-specific organisations had been set up including the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) in the USA and the Terrence Higgins Trust in the UK.14

In January 1983, AIDS was reported among the female partners of men who had the disease suggesting it could be passed on via heterosexual sex.15

In May, doctors at the Pasteur Institute in France reported the discovery of a new retrovirus called Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus (or LAV) that could be the cause of AIDS.16

In June, the first reports of AIDS in children hinted that it could be passed via casual contact but this was later ruled out and it was concluded that they had probably directly acquired AIDS from their mothers before, during or shortly after birth.17

By September, the CDC identified all major routes of transmission and ruled out transmission by casual contact, food, water, air or surfaces.18

The CDC also published their first set of recommended precautions for healthcare workers and allied health professionals to prevent "AIDS transmission".19

In November, the World Health Organization (WHO) held its first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation and began international surveillance.20

By the end of the year the number of AIDS cases in the USA had risen to 3,064 - of this number, 1,292 had died.21

In April 1984, the National Cancer Institute announced they had found the cause of AIDS, the retrovirus HTLV-III. In a joint conference with the Pasteur Institute they announced that LAV and HTLV-III are identical and the likely cause of AIDS.22 A blood test was created to screen for the virus with the hope that a vaccine would be developed in two years.23

In July, the CDC state that avoiding injecting drug use and sharing needles "should also be effective in preventing transmission of the virus."24

In October, bath houses and private sex clubs in San Francisco were closed due to high-risk sexual activity. New York and Los Angeles followed suit within a year.25

By the end of 1984, there had been 7,699 AIDS cases and 3,665 AIDS deaths in the USA with 762 cases reported in Europe.26

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the first needle and syringe programme was set up with growing concerns about HTLV-III/LAV.27

In March 1985, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the first commercial blood test, ELISA, to detect antibodies to the virus. Blood banks began to screen the USA blood supply.28

In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) hosted the first International AIDS Conference in Atlanta Georgia.29

Ryan White, a teenager from Indiana, USA who acquired AIDS through contaminated blood products used to treat his haemophilia was banned from school.30

On 2 October, the actor Rock Hudson dies from AIDS - the first high profile fatality. He left $250,000 to set up the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).31

In December, the U.S. Public Health Service issued the first recommendations for preventing mother to child transmission of the virus.32

By the end of 1985, every region in the world had reported at least one case of AIDS, with 20,303 cases in total.33

In May 1986, the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses said that the virus that causes AIDS will officially be called HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) instead of HTLV-III/LAV.34

By the end of the year, 85 countries had reported 38,401 cases of AIDS to the World Health Organization. By region these were Africa 2,323, Americas 31,741, Asia 84, Europe 3,858, and Oceania 395.35

In February 1987, the WHO launched The Global Program on AIDS to raise awareness generate evidence-based policies provide technical and financial support to countries conduct research promote participation by NGOs and promote the rights of people living with HIV.36

In March, the FDA approved the first antiretroviral drug, zidovudine (AZT), as treatment for HIV.37

In April, the FDA approved the western blot blood test kit, a more specific HIV antibody test.38

In July, the WHO confirmed that HIV could be passed from mother to child during breastfeeding.39

In October, AIDS became the first illness debated in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.40

By December, 71,751 cases of AIDS had been reported to the WHO, with 47,022 of these in the USA. The WHO estimated that 5-10 million people were living with HIV worldwide.41

In 1988, the WHO declared 1st December as the first World AIDS Day.42

The groundwork was laid for a nationwide HIV and AIDS care system in the USA that was later funded by the Ryan White CARE Act.43

In March 1989, 145 countries had reported 142,000 AIDS cases. However, the WHO estimated there were up to 400,000 cases worldwide.44

In June, the CDC released the first guidelines to prevent PCP - an opportunistic infection that was a major cause of death among people with AIDS.45

The number of reported AIDS cases in the USA reached 100,000.


Women in the Armed Forces in World War II

In addition to factory work and other home front jobs, approximately 350,000 women joined the Armed Services, serving at home and abroad. At the urging of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and women’s groups, and impressed by the British use of women in service, General George Marshall supported the idea of introducing a women’s service branch into the Army. In May 1942, Congress instituted the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps, later upgraded to the Women’s Army Corps, which had full military status. Its members, known as WACs, worked in more than 200 non-combatant jobs stateside and in every theater of the war. By 1945, there were more than 100,000 WACs and 6,000 female officers. In the Navy, members of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) held the same status as naval reservists and provided support stateside. The Coast Guard and Marine Corps soon followed suit, though in smaller numbers.

Did you know? On March 10, 2010, nearly 70 years after they were disbanded, the Women Airforce Service Pilots received the Congressional Gold Medal.


Update on a potential fourth payment

Millions have been clamoring for recurring stimulus payments, and some lawmakers have expressed support for more relief aid through the pandemic. But President Joe Biden hasn't pledged support to a fourth check, focusing instead on his proposed American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan.

In a press conference on June 3, White House press secretary Jen Psaki played down the possibility of a fourth stimulus payment, asserting that the administration has already put forward an economic recovery plan. We'll continue to follow the debate in Washington over additional economic impact payments .


ReliefWeb

Over the past 100 years, foreign aid structures that began with European colonialism have become tied to shifting economic and political interests, as well as a growing humanitarian movement. Keri Phillips investigates the competing motives behind foreign aid, and how emerging global powers are changing the game.

An ideological battle has been playing out for decades over whether foreign aid should be used to facilitate economic growth, or to provide programs that directly meet people&rsquos basic needs. As new global powers emerge as donors, a third 'horizontal' structure is now being discussed, based on mutual self-interest.

Rich countries started giving money to poorer countries in the 19th century, and by the 1920s and '30s countries like Germany, France and Britain were providing regular aid to their colonies in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Colonial powers used their money to build infrastructure&mdashports, roads, railways&mdashand wealthy American industrialists were also involved in development aid through the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.

Even after the colonies gained their independence, foreign support continued to focus on economic development, says author and academic Rosalind Eyben.

'There was the idea that countries had to catch up, that Western Europe and countries like Australia, Canada and North America were developed. they were the goal that everybody else had to reach,' says Ms Eyben.

During the Cold War, dramatic shifts in political, economic and moral allegiances emerged.

&lsquoWithin a few years the world had split into what were called three worlds: the first world, Western democratic countries the second world which was the Soviet Union and its Communist satellites and then what became known as the third world, which were the former colonies and countries that had come under imperial influence, which were now all independent and that formed themselves into the non-aligned movement in the early 1950s,&rsquo Ms Eyben says.

In the post-war decades, the United States became the world&rsquos biggest aid donor, starting with the Marshall Plan to help Europe rebuild. As the Cold War developed, the two super powers and their allies would use aid to encourage political allegiances.

Howard White, executive director of non-profit organisation 3ie, says the assumption during this period was that the old colonial powers would gradually phase out their direct financial aid as colonies became independent and multilateral organisations like the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund took over development work.

&lsquoIt was really through the 1960s that the aid programs started to formulate and take shape and become a more definite commitment. That's where you see the start of the evolution of a 0.7 per cent target of countries giving 0.7 per cent of national income in development assistance,&rsquo says Mr White.

&lsquoThe northern European donors like Sweden, which historically hadn't had colonies, so it didn't have the reason to be giving money to ex-colonies in the way that Britain and France did, started to recognise the need for aid on humanitarian grounds and so also adopted these targets and started to develop aid programs in particular focus countries. And it took off from there.&rsquo

At the end of the 1960s, ideas about the purpose of aid began to change under the influence of Robert McNamara, who became head of the World Bank in 1968. He promoted the idea of using donor-funded programs to meet people's basic needs in health, education, water and sanitation.

By that time, Ms Eyben says there began to be a feeling that the people had been forgotten about, that there was still massive poverty in aid recipient countries, and that the investment in economic infrastructure was not necessarily making any difference to the lives of the majority.

&lsquoThat was a decade where people began to talk about poverty, and they began to talk about why are people poor, and whether it was possible to have economic growth that was more equitable, economic growth that focused on reducing poverty rather than just assuming that if you had growth everybody would ultimately benefit. That discussion about what kind of growth is one that is alive and very well today as well, it's a constant theme in discussions about development,&rsquo says Ms Eyben.

&lsquoIn the 1980s basic needs disappeared off the agenda as a result of the global recession that was a result of the oil shock of the 1970s. Many developing countries were heavily indebted as a result of the recession, and donor countries lent them money in order to manage their debts, but on the basis of them having to restructure their economies, and to particularly stop spending so much money on social services. This was called structural adjustment, and it's very similar to what is happening in Europe at the moment with what we are calling austerity programs.&rsquo

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War led to a return to democracy in many countries and the increasing participation in development projects by both non-government organisations and wealthy philanthropists like Bill Gates and George Soros during the 1990s. But many poor countries were still staggering under impossible-to-repay debt.

Steve Radelet, an academic and former chief economist for the US Agency for International Development, worked in the US Treasury on international debt relief deals from 1999 through 2002. He says that ironically the first countries that were able to get out from under their debt burdens were the ones that had borrowed from commercial markets, not from aid agencies.

&lsquoThose that had borrowed from Citibank and other commercial banks were able to do deals in the late '80s and early '90s under a program called the Brady bonds where essentially the commercial banks would swap old debt for new debt at 70 per cent of the face value or 50 per cent or 30 per cent, it varied by country,&rsquo says Mr Radelet.

&lsquoThe commercial banks pretty quickly figured out that they weren't going to get fully repaid and were willing to go in and do a deal where they would accept a write-down in order to get some things repaid. But for loans that were made by donor governments, and by the World Bank and the IMF, many more years went by until those donors were willing to recognise that they were going to have to write their debts down.&rsquo

&lsquoFinally in 1998 the big movement forward happened when the World Bank and the IMF finally decided that it did not make sense for them to demand repayment of these old loans because countries were really stagnating under the weight of the burden of repaying it.&rsquo

&lsquoMost of the really poor countries that had built up a lot of debt have now had that debt forgiven. There's really only a few countries remaining with large debt burdens, and they are tough cases. Somalia is one, Sudan is another, Zimbabwe is another, and the progress on debt relief there is frankly waiting for a transition to a government where the donor countries are more willing to move forward with debt relief.&rsquo

Over the past decade, more attention has been paid to working out the most effective way to spend aid money. This has included the rise of impact evaluation, a set of methodologies that allows agencies to determine how effective development programs are for the people they are trying to reach.

The shift in global power relations that has occurred over the past 10 years has also been playing out in aid relationships. Some former aid recipient countries have now become important economic and political powers in their own right. These &lsquorising powers&rsquo have a different approach to aid, which they describe as development cooperation on the basis of mutual self-interest. One of the most prominent examples of this is the relationship between China and Africa, says Ms Eyben.

&lsquoChina provides a lot of economic infrastructure and support for social development, and in return becomes the privileged buyer of African raw materials for China's growing economy,&rsquo she says.

&lsquoOn the philosophical side, which is important here because it influences how people think about what they are doing, these new sovereign powers stress that the corporation is horizontal, that it's not the old vertical relationship that the former colonial powers have with their erstwhile colonies who are now aid recipients.&rsquo

While this is an attractive philosophical position, a number of observers believe is not much different from what the old donors were doing in the 1960s when they emphasised support for economic development.

&lsquoWhen development is primarily understood as economic growth, then most of the money will go on supporting the growth of markets, supporting the infrastructure that helps markets work better,&rsquo says Ms Eyben.

&lsquoWhen the emphasis shifts to development being understood as greater human wellbeing, then donors have been spending more money on supporting the strengthening of civil society, supporting the attainment of gender equality, putting more money into education and health and so on and so forth.&rsquo

This is a division, she says, that remains one of the enduring points of contention within governments and NGOs.

&lsquoAt any particular moment you will find people in the aid agencies who want the one and not the other. Inside every aid agency you will find ideological arguments going on.&rsquo


Classic Financial and Corporate Scandals

Although this series of scandals first came to light in the early 1980s the Vatican Bank has continued to be dogged by scandal.

Prosecutors investigate Vatican Bank mafia link Anti Mafia prosecutors have asked the secretive Vatican Bank to disclose details of an account held by a priest in connection with a money laundering and fraud investigation. Telegraph, 10 June 2012. Vatican bank's former president accused of negligence The ousted head of the Vatican bank was accused of negligence and leaked documents were published casting doubt on his mental health. Guardian, 10 June 2012. Five are cleared in 'God's banker' case The death of Roberto Calvi, an Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London 25 years ago remains shrouded in mystery after a court in Rome cleared five people accused of luring him to his death. Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2007. Four charged over Calvi killing Four people have been charged with murder over the 1982 London death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi. BBC, 18 April 2005. Mafia squad probe Calvi bag theft Italy's anti-Mafia police are looking into the theft of files from the UK coroner, Paul Matthews, who is re-examining the death of Roberto Calvi. BBC, 4 May 2004. Four go on trial for murder of God's banker More than 20 years after the death of the banker Roberto Calvi was dismissed as suicide, four people, including a jailed Mafia boss, have gone on trial in Rome, charged with his murder. Guardian, March 17 2004. Police investigating murder of God's Banker Detectives investigating the murder of "God's banker" Roberto Calvi, have discovered more than $70 million hidden in a Bahamian bank. The money is believed to be connected to the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano and is thought to be the proceeds of Mafia drugs deals. The Scotsman, 18 February 2004. Calvi bank's $70m traced Investigators probing the death of Roberto Calvi are close to seizing $70 million missing from the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano. The Observer, December 14, 2003. Key witness held on Calvi Police have arrested Odette Morris, the woman who provided an alibi for Flavio Carboni who has been charged with Calvi's murder. Evening Standard, 10 December 2003. A son's quest for truth Carlo Calvi has spent over two decades trying to get justice for his murdered father. Evening Standard, 7 October 2003. 'God's banker' death case reopened Italian prosecutors have concluded the Mafia murdered the Italian banker, Roberto Calvi, who was found dead more than 20 years ago, and have named four people suspected of carrying out the killing. BBC, 24 July 2003. New clue turns up in 'God's banker' death Italian investigators have discovered a safety deposit box belonging to Roberto Calvi some 20 years after "God's banker" was found hanging from scaffolding under Blackfriars Bridge in London. The Guardian, October 14, 2002. New tests 'say Calvi was murdered' Long-awaited forensic tests into the death of Vatican banker Roberto Calvi - found hanging from a bridge in London in 1982 - are reported to show he was murdered. BBC, 19 April 2002. Ban looms over Vatican bank movie The film God's Bankers (I Banchieri Di Dio) based on the death of financier Roberto Calvi, could be pulled from cinemas over claims it slanders Flavio Carbonim an Italian businessman. BBC, 27 March 2002. I Banchieri di Dio Information about the film from the Internet Movie Database. Who Killed Calvi? An essay by Edward Jay Epstein. Operation Gladio by David Guyatt. Claims that there were links between the Calvi affair and Operation Gladio, a joint project of the US and British secret services to set up a Europe-wide network of anti-communist guerrillas who would fight behind the lines in the event of a Soviet invasion. Exhumation of Italian banker's body The remains of the prominent Italian banker, Roberto Calvi, were exhumed on 16 December 1998, 16 years after his death, to try and determine whether or not he had been murdered. BBC, 16 December 1998. DNA May Solve Banker's Murder The latest investigation into the death of Roberto Calvi has produced evidence that could prove the Italian banker was murdered, and possibly even identify his assassin. The Guardian, December 30, 1998. Who is Licio Gelli? Who is Licio Gelli? A Monster Of The Times An article about Licio Gelli who is closely associated with the Vatican Bank. Toronto Street News, June 8-21, 2007. Vatican Bank Claims Allegations concerning the Role of the Vatican Bank in WWII. Among the allegations is the claim that the Vatican, through its banking system, laundered loot valued at hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Serb, Jewish, Ukrainian, and other victims of the Nazis and their Croatian supporters. Nazi-Era Victims Demand Army, CIA Release Documents on Vatican This is in connection with the class action lawsuit against the Vatican Bank and the monastic Franciscan Order. CNS, September 04, 2000.

Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)

Nick Leeson and Barings Bank

The collapse of Barings Bank was probably the most discussed financial scandal of the 1990s. The bank was subsequently taken over by the Dutch-based ING Bank.

Conclusion of the Bank of England Report on the Collapse of Barings IFCI Risk Institute Not Just One Man - Barings A detailed case study by the IFCI Risk Institute. It includes data on the positions taken by Nick Leeson, and a discussion of the lessons that can be drawn from the case.

Numa Financial Systems

The Collapse of Barings Bank a collection of links to articles on the scandal maintained by Numa Financial Systems.

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Response

Other Articles on Barings

Deloitte & Touche negligent in Barings audit, rules judge The high court has ruled that accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche was negligent in its auditing of Barings, the London merchant bank brought down by rogue trader Nick Leeson in 1995. Guardian, June 12, 2003. Coopers fined in Barings disciplinary case An appeal tribunal for the profession's senior watchdog today upheld its findings against Coopers & Lybrand for the firm's role as auditor in the collapse of Barings. Accountancy Age, 20 April 2002. Barings: A Random Walk to Self-Destruction This article argues that regulators and human nature do not always coincide in their objectives. In the old days, speculators were protected by the twin devils of fear and greed - the gambler's emotions. Computers do not know fear or greed, they do not have any common sense, either. Anyone trading off a screen soon loses touch with reality and common sense. The article appeared in Scandals in Justice which regularly publishes online articles attacking the British legal system. Leeson Scandal 'could happen again' A report from the BBC following the premier of the film Rogue Trader. Leeson paid £61,000 for speech The former Barings trader was paid $100,000 (£61,000) to speak at a business conference in the Netherlands, BBC Friday 29 October 1999.

The central figure in the debacle has written a book about the Barings affair.
Rogue trader by Nick Leeson.

Locking the Stable Door After the Horse has Bolted

Whenever a scandal like the Barings debacle is uncovered there is a demand that legislators and regulators should ensure that nothing similar occurs again. All too often such action is merely a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Could frauds on a massive scale be foreseen? Regulators are hardly likely to answer yes because that would undermine their excuses for their failures.

However, immediately after the news of the Barings affair broke, Allan Fotheringham writing in the leading Canadian news and current affairs magazine Maclean's made the following points.

See also the Psychology of Risk, Speculation and Fraud the text of a speech by Linda Davies at the European Research Center's annual Financial Panel, Amsterdam, 11 June 1997.

Bre-X and Canadian Mining Scandals

The Butcher Brothers and the United American Bank

Carousel Fraud.

Cendant Corp.

Credit Lyonnais

Toshihide Iguchi and Daiwa Bank

The Dot-Com Bubble and Investment Banks

Enron Corp. and Arthur Andersen

The Flaming Ferraris

Because of the relatively small sums involved this is unlikely to go down in history as a classic financial scandal but it is one that in February and March 1999 received plenty of publicity following reports that a member of the team had been involved in illegal trades in the Swedish stock market.

Securities and Futures Authority Disciplinary Action The report on three of the Flaming Ferraris. Archer son lied to cover his tracks The Securities and Futures Authority found that Mr Archer, along with Adrian Ezra and David Crisanti, lacked the integrity to work in the City. Guardian July 28, 2001 Flaming Ferraris sacked James Archer, whizz-kid son of Lord Archer, the millionaire novelist, was sacked along with two of his colleagues by Credit-Suisse First Boston, the investment bank, for their role in an alleged attempt to manipulate share prices on the Swedish stock exchange. Guardian, March 6, 1999. How 'Flaming Ferraris' burned their bridges The five 'Flaming Ferraris', the world's most successful share traders, based their reputation on a simple publicity stunt. Observer, February 28, 1999.


494 thoughts on &ldquo List of Countries with Universal Healthcare &rdquo

Free health care for inmates of concentration camps? – that probably was for Mengels experiments I guess. Sorry that must be Nazi propaganda. If not I must say those ” lucky beneficieries of free healthcare’ looked bonny and brimming with health (irony)
– skin and bones any that managed to survive! We have all seen the piles of skeletal bodies that died by other means than the gas ovens. Surely you heard about or saw the propaganda videos depicting life in the camps which looked like Club Med. They have been shown on programs about the Nazis. We know this was just the opposite of these horrific death camps..

Don’t be fooled by the name of the party that swept Hitler into power. To say that Hitler understood the value of language would be an enormous understatement. The Nazis were neither a party of socialists nor a party of workers. By tying Hitler’s racist nationalism to socialist rhetoric that appealed to the suffering lower middle classes. They managed to expand the Nazi reach beyond its traditional Bavarian base and we all know where that led.

A bit like what Trump and the network of far right parties are doing with Steve Bannons help first in the US then right across Europe and beyond. Exploiting the hatred of Muslims and fear of foreigners created or exacerbated by the rise of the Taiban El Quaeda and ISiS too. Uk’s Farage managed to use same sort of strategy Bannon is helping promote which mimics that of the Nasis and those that helped them as outlined above. The US and Russia both do not want a strong United Europe for economic as well as political reasons. Trump’s attacks on education which is already bad in the US are part of the strategy as the uneducated are more easily manipulated and conned than those who are more aware of what is going on and differentiating between real and fake news. Far right media such as Breitbart ( co-founded by Bannon) and Fox News with its dominstion of the news market as well as fake face book pages and web sites funded and promoted by Russia have helped brainwash the masses.
(Partial source Were the Nazis Socialists? | Britannica.com).
https://www.britannica.com/story/were-the-nazis-socialists)

I just saw your list of countries with universal health care. I am Japanese. I wanted to tell you Japan does not have single payer system although I have seen many websites claiming such. Japan has mainly 3 type of health insurances.
1) government run health insurance (NHI)
2) employees’ insurances
3) senior citizen healthcare system (>75y)
All three are not free. But senior citizen insurance used to be free but now they regreted so they started to charge little more. Both government & employees’ insurances are getting more expensive each year & average medical-insurance rates are 8

10% of your income. There are few main differences between US & Japan.
1) all Health insurance rates are calculated according to your income level, not your health conditions or age. More you make more you pay.
2) Fees for all approved medical procedures & medicine are fixed & uniform throughout Japan. Prices are the same regardless where you go.
3) For large employees’ insurances, many Japanese corporations form their own health insurance associations (kenko Kumiai) which manage their health funds for their workers unlike US companies use private insurances companies for their workers at discounted rate. There are about 1400 such associations (insures) & they can set their own insurance rate and usually their family members are free. However many such associations are in debt (60%) currently not because of their members’ medical costs being high but because of mandatory contributions to senior health care system being too high.

Love the discussion. America should give us universal health care. It is a basic right.

Germany is listed above as having started universal health care with mandated insurance in 1941. That did catch my eye, the year of the start of the Holocaust! What does that mean? I checked the historical record of Germany in this report. National Socialist Germany gradually removed free health care from its discriminated against populations. However in the German detention camps, the inmates received free health care when it was available until the end of the war.

Free health care for inmates of comcentration camps – that probsbly was for Mengels experiments I guess. Sorry that must be Nazi propaganda. If not I must day those ” lucky beneficieries of free healthcare’ looked bonny and brimming with health (irony)
– skin and bones any that managed to survive! We have all seen the piles of skeletal bodies that died by other means than the gas ovens. Surely you heard about or saw the propaganda videos depicting life in the camps which looked like Club Med. They have been shiwn on prigrams about the Nazis. We know this was just the opposite of these horrific death camps..

Don’t be fooled by the name of the party that swept Hitler into power. To say that Hitler understood the value of language would be an enormous understatement. The Nazis were neither a party of socialists nor a party of workers. By tying Hitler’s racist nationalism to socialist rhetoric that appealed to the suffering lower middle classes. They managed to expand the Nazi reach beyond its traditional Bavarian base and we all know where that led.

A bit like what Trump and the network of far right parties are doing with Steve Bannons help first in the US then right across Europe and beyond. Exploiting the hatred of Muslims and fear of foreigners created or exacerbated by the rise of the Taiban El Quaeda and ISiS too. Uk’s Farage managed to use same sort of strategy Bannon is helping promote which mimics that of the Nasis and those that helped them as outlined above. The US and Russia both do not want a strong United Europe for economic as well as political reasons. Trump’s attacks on education which is already bad in the US are part of the strategy as the uneducated are more easily manipulated and conned than those who are more aware of what is going on and differentiating between real and fake news. Far right media such as Breitbart ( co-founded by Bannon) and Fox News with its dominstion of the news market as well as fake face book pages and web sites funded and promoted by Russia have helped brainwash the masses.
(Partial source Were the Nazis Socialists? | Britannica.com).
https://www.britannica.com/story/were-the-nazis-socialists)

Brazil should be added in this list. Brazil has an universal health system called “Sistema Único de Saúde – SUS” since 1988.

Hallo! I am looking for the original publication from the WHO where you found the list of countries and their classification into different types of Universal Health Care Systems. Could you be so kind to send the link or the publication itself by email to [email protected]? I need it for a research. Thank you for your kind attention!

This is less than half of all the countries with universal healthcare

I looked up “Countries that provide universal healthcare” to discover that our great country is last on the list. I thought… we do not have to reinvent the wheel – conduct a study and implement what works. Then I read all the comments, and I now understand why politicians are having such a hard time. They are representative of their constituents. God help us!

ya god help u! it is 2018 and U.S does not have universal healthcare

Shame on the U.S. If I’m a citizen of the USA and I pay taxes and follow the countries laws, then I feel the government is obligated to provide affordable healthcare. Shame on you, USA Government!

Sometimes I wonder what country we live in…..too much emphasis on money and things here in the USA and our vision must be for the health of our children and grandchildren….no drilling anything that poisons our humanity……it is a human right to have the basic right of well being for all of our people as if we really matter health care is a human right for supporting all life. We live in a great country yet we must remember empathy and compassion….listen to the hearts of the children and remember we all live as relatives together on this grandmother Earth.

I agree totally when we live in one of the wealthiest countries on earth and spend huge amounts on war and space, we need to remember that we are stewards of that wealth to benefit all. Healthcare should be available to all and people should be able to carry it from job to job.

We really do need single-payer health-care in America. I am sick and tired of the government (NOT ONLY REPUBLICAN BUT BOTH PARTIES) are bribed not attempt as such. Both parties are responsible for accepting briberies to continue with this insurance farce. It only forces us to pay high premiums and killing us in the process. Quit catering to the fear mongering about paying for the poor and such. That is bunch of crap. Healthcare should be universal regardless. If we went single-payer health care, i hope medicare will be used cos its super cheap.

As with most politically based disputes in America. The best test to first put to any argument is to look back 15 years and then from there, FOLLOW THE MONEY. Health care from the government in the US is the ONLY developed country where the medical end of it is a for profit enterprise. If you think that the resistance to universal health care is coming from the people, think again. We are bombarded by propaganda paid for by Doctors associations and moreso big pharmaceutical companies. For Profit, right? They are just as liable to LOBBY as war material companies, oil companies etc. The object? TO MAKE MONEY. The Republican congress as of now, March of 2017, Is primarily concentrating on taking as much money OUT of government as they can to make it possible to lower taxes on the uber rich and corporations who are the Republican congress’ sponsors. The Republican congress is loyal to their financial backers much more than to their constituents. The constituents get them there, the lobbyists make them rich. The congress is treating their jobs, as time progresses, more like a job in business. Traditionally, being a member of congress was a ‘public service’ job. It has become in a way ‘Big Business’. Until the political/public service rift problem is fixed in this country, WE THE PEOPLE are relegated to a type of ‘serfdom’ as far as many, now the majority, in Washington are concerned. They only have to deceive us enough to get elected. The MONEY carries them on from there. I have over simplified that a bit, but It’s more easily readable this way. REMEMBER, this is only my opinion, and yours can differ mightily.

I only want to add that it is the same with both parties actually. They are both bought and paid for.
But if you ask the citizens in those other countries about the quality of their health care you might rethink just what kind of health care you really want.

George-working hard and being responsible are great attributes. Please tell me what you plan to do if diagnosed with a major medical problem that takes you out of work before you’re eligible for Medicare-cancer, MS, major car wreck with permanent injuries,etc. I’m a doctor and you are quite naive to believe it could never happen to you-I see it happen all the time. These people are not “loser, lazy” people. Hope it works out for you for your life to go exactly as you plan for.

I’m a little curious about how you’re defining ‘single-payer’ here. I’ve lived in Japan, and I’ve never heard the system here described as ‘single-payer’ before. We do have ‘National Health Insurance,’ which is government run health care, paid for by the users on a sliding scale based on income, but most people are not on that system. Most Japanese are on ‘Social Insurance,’ which is employer-based. I’ve lived in Taiwan too, which is generally described as ‘single-payer,’ but that was very different from the Japanese system. Anyway, not trying to criticize here and I love both systems, but what makes the Japanese system single-payer?

2008, PBS Frontline documentary on health care called “Sick Around the World” This is great information on how and why the USA should provide Universal Health Care. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

Like, maybe we should all cut it with the ideology and look at the facts? Reading the above, seemed to me there’s more emotion and ideology than verifiable facts. Of course getting the real facts is harder and harder out there on the web.
I happen to be a US citizen, living and working in France. Pay’s not great, the wine and the food’s good. Sales taxes are high (20%), but surprise: income taxes are proportionally much lower than in the US, and you pay a year after making the cash, not at the source.
Anyway, my son had an appendicitis while in the states, the bill came out to about $15000 – I had 100% coverage, zero deductible French travel insurance that paid it all, so they probably took me for all they could : 5 doctors billed on top of the hospital’s bill (2 I never saw), a CAT scan(unnecessary), etc. But see, I’d paid $130 per person for full travel insurance for 2 weeks, so didn’t sweat it too much, although the bill seemed really steep compared to the reference price in France of 886 euros ($1100) for appendicitis + Xray. Granted, they gave my son a private room for his 20 hour stay, unnecessary as well, but the room was empty, so…
Just sayin’, it’s hard to explain the tremendous difference in price. Of course the surgeon who operated my son explained to me that over half of his bill went to covering insurance, legal fees, and recovery expenses. Also, and we’ve all heard of hospitals being bailed out repeatedly in the US, like the guy who’s a RN wrote about above.
The French system was a single payer state system, has become a two-tiers system with primary state coverage + complementary insurance with small deductibles for frequent care, 100% state coverage of referenced costs for major hospital care.No “stop loss” annual deductibles. Some complementaries are like HMO’s in the states, but for the most part you can go where you what, see who you want as long as it’s traced through your primary phisician. Seein your primary phisician costs 23 euros ($30), if you don’t have complementary you pay at most $10. Private doctors and clinics can bill over the referenced prices but the complementary insurances cover rates up to 200% of reference prices. Funny thing is, if something goes wrong, the private clinics tend to ship you off in a helicopter to the public hospitals. In childbirth, private clinics in France do 2 to 3 times more cesareans than public hospitals here. Hearsay would have it that cesareans pay better…
There are experts that have published what appear to be serious studies. A lot of the time, recent research isn’t directly accessible online, but sometimes it is. For example this study compares health care costs and patient satisfaction in Canada, the US and Germany:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633404/
The point I really want to make is what is important? For me, selfishly, it’s getting good care for me and mine at a price I can afford, and I don’t mean the price of the care, but the cost of good coverage for the going care rates, knowing I’m covered and that good care is available close by. Beyond our own personal needs, seems to me we should look and what is most cost effective for our economy, our society. Reportedly health care costs is the primary cause of personal bankruptcy in the US in France, its unheard of. I don’t see a difference in the level of health technology or health care between the two systems.
I’m not saying the US should follow the examples of the European or other heavily state controlled health care systems, simply that looking at the costs, including the indirect costs to society where hospitals can balance the budget and many people can’t afford insurance, it seems to me anyone in their right mind and not all worked up about free market vs communism, or paying for the lazy, should come to recognize that something has been going array in US healthcare and health insurance for years. Seems to me the money’s goin somwhere, someone’s making bucks.

Really pathetic that the richest countries like the USA, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea only have mandate insurance. i.e DONT have universal healthcare, not even two tier. And we all know this is NOT why they are rich. And they all have very high inequality revolutions needed me thinks!

Lots of intelegent comments, sone not so much. I have done a little comparison of health care and life expectancy. Has anyone else noticed a coreletion between public healthcare and life span. I have seen maps that show life span and maps that show health care. The seem to match up nicely.

Someone pointed out to me that the contries with single payer also have stricter laws about products. For example lead paint on child toys. The government pays for sickness so they legislate a healthier environment.

This is America, as long as companies make money, it’s ok if we die sooner then others.

Anything the US government runs becomes corrupt and ends up costing more. We also spend the most on end of life services of any country. These costs are not sustainable. The US also has the highest rate of obesity, which adds tremendously to the cost of healthcare. Other countries like the Japanese are much healthier because of their diet. I think a 2 tiered system would be good, and the 2nd tier would have some added cost for consumers based on their lifestyle. For example, if someone smokes they should pay more.

You are ignorant. These countries don’t have a military or enemies wanting to destroy them all. These countries want Americans to remain depended on Private insurance for everything. These countries want free protection. Europe wants their free trade agreement so their citizens can sit around and be lazy and Americans build their products. You single payer supporters are dumber then Bernie Sanders

I only really started looking into this issue when I learned that Aetna was pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges in eleven out of fifteen states. Also, be aware that my political leanings are libertarian. Having pled guilty to all of that, and having did a little of the reading above, I would have to say, on the basis of what little I know, I favor the two-tier system.

Health care is the first priority of human rights … If the government really cares about the health care of its citizens, then do it … We call universal health care countries – civilized nations where its people dignity prevail …

“Thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care” Looks like 25/33 have single payer or two-tier, and seven other countries have the insurance mandate. Please clarify. (No, I did not read all the comments but hope others saw the problem)

Let’s put the Mandate in the tax code and demand a progressive tax system. And for the second tier: Render it analogous to obscenely wealthy people buying insurance to cover their boutique care desires, but limit them buying quality clinicians away from heath care to boutique industry.

Two-tier would be perfect for America

We cannot be the only nation with so little intelligence that we don’t realize the value of a universal health care system..oh wait
.yes we are

I am embarrassed to be an American sometimes,we are always last,healthcare is not a right in America….Thanx ignorant uneducated Republicans….Vote Democrats!

The left has taken over the Democratic Party and destroys everything it touches.+

The Supremes, the Supreme Court upheld the Healthcare subsidies on a vote of 6-3 with Chief Justice Roberts who wrote the opinion for the majority on June 26th. So it looks like universal healthcare in the Grand United States of America is here to stay. A Republican in 2016 can talk about repealing the ACA but if they were sucessful at repealing the ACA the would pull the rug from under over millions of Americans that were able to get health insurance through the ACA

The Healthcare system in the US baffles me. I’m from the UK, the NHS is far from perfect. Is it not better that everyone has the right to treatment, than having the best treatment in the world, and having people who can’t afford it. After all, the US spends a higher percentage of GDP on health than any other country in the world. Yet can’t offer treatment to all. One word comes to mind, priorities. Health over profit.

300,000,000 people in America. Roughly $500 a month insurance payment. Puts about $150 billion into the pocket of the insurance companies monthly. Annually that’s a 1.8 trillion guaranteed revenue stream.

Each working person pays somewhere around $3.25 an hour per person on their insurance tax.
Compare this to just twenty five years ago, in 1989, the minimum wage in the USA was $3.35.

16 countries pay for it all?

This list also omits Taiwan, which has national health care. I believe they are single payer and have had it for at least a decade. Since you include Hong Kong, you should include Taiwan.

I came here to research and article on MSN on Top 5 economies in the world. All are on this list, 5th being USA. We are way behind in how we implement and getting things done right.

All the above comments about how bad the U.S. is, why don’t you all move the hell out. If you know so much about health care stop complaining & try doing something to better it.

What I meant to say in the 3rd and 2nd to last lines was that b/c of the fact that Obama, and “of course” all his constituents that set him up to be president (I remember that phony ass crap to when they found him as a a community activist of all things b/c he couldn’t get a REAL associate lawyer’s job or no real experience at anything. Anyway, the fact that our country allowed this man to become president based on this #1 serious case of FRAUD if I have ever seen one, has and will continue to have an effect on what I meant to say was the “American PEOPLE,” not government. Do you really think that people here are gonna honor this country and do the right thing and not commit welfare fraud, and any other fraud against the government when our government did this…TO US. Are u F’n kidding me. I’ll DEFRAUD them, and I am NOT ALONE, at every goddamned chance I have. Cuz, I can’t wait to go to court and say, “but your honor, I know u voted for Obama b/c this is a liberal state, so I know u approved of his FRAUD, why can’t you approve of mine? How is that constitutionally fair. Waaaah Waaahhh Waaa Waaaa. LMAO.
Of course, I’d be looked at like, “are you kidding?” and, “how dare you,” by my states judicial department b/c this state I am in is the MOST LIBERAL in the nation. Next to NY, and CA. Those judges that sit on those benches to which I have known of personally are some pretty corrupt people that definitely do NOT belong on those benches. Kissed a lot of A S S to get there, no doubt. I’d rather have some crazy manic frenzied person on the bench that is honest! Who cares if they gotta little passion behind them! It’s a hell of a lot better than having some apparently cool and emotionally collected “acting” (buncha BS) put together “acting” white collar sociopaths and psychopaths behind the bench. Did you know that most liberal politicians today, that are men, were BETA males in high school? These are the guys with lots of baggage and resentment towards the world as a whole. What we need is a businessman that’s got a mental illness like bipolar disorder for president! Don’t condemn. At least what you see is what you get and they are very smart and creative people. Unlike your sneaky conniving white collar beta-male sociopaths & liberal “I need to make a name for myself b/c being a mother isn’t just important enough” woman psychopaths! Oh by the way, did you know that’s it is in vogue now to be Queer. Christ when I grew up it was in the DSM-III as a Identity Crisis Disorder!! Ha ha ha ha, I can’t believe I remember that? Now, its in vogue, and the entertainment industry will pay you big bucks and give you a lot of power to be one. Let me tell you, if I was ever RAISED by two GAYS, I would F’n kill myself. It is got to be the worse thing you can do to a kid. That is just totally unbalanced to bring a kid in this world DELIBERATELY that way. By gosh, at least adopt children out there who don’t have a chance at anything. Christ, if I had a chance to adopt, I would adopt or at least foster teen-aged kids, easily, even the ones that are “so called” troubled.

Your rant is yet another reason to add to my “Why I won’t cross the boarder even for the cheaper gas” argument.
By the way, and keeping on topic, our Health Care system in Canada is doing just fine thank you.

But we do enjoy, and get a laugh at, the critics out there that have no experience or knowledge of Health Care in Canada.
Now if you would excuse me I have a Doctors appointment, yes even on a Sunday, that I made yesterday to get a prescription, that will be filled within an hour.
No need to bring the debit card or cash.
The only inconvenience will be missing a good football game.
Life is so hard here in Canada.

What I meant to say in the 3rd and 2nd to last lines was that b/c of the fact that Obama, and “of course” all his constituents that set him up to be president (I remember that phony ass crap to when they found him as a a community activist of all things b/c he couldn’t get a REAL associate lawyer’s job or no real experience at anything. Anyway, the fact that our country allowed this man to become president based on this #1 serious case of FRAUD if I have ever seen one, has and will continue to have an effect on what I meant to say was the “American PEOPLE,” not government. Do you really think that people here are gonna honor this country and do the right thing and not commit welfare fraud, and any other fraud against the government when our government did this…TO US. Are u F’n kidding me. I’ll DEFRAUD them, and I am NOT ALONE, at every goddamned chance I have. Cuz, I can’t wait to go to court and say, “but your honor, I know u voted for Obama b/c this is a liberal state, so I know u approved of his FRAUD, why can’t you approve of mine? How is that constitutionally fair. Waaaah Waaahhh Waaa Waaaa. LMAO.
Of course, I’d be looked at like, “are you kidding?” and, “how dare you,” by my states judicial department b/c this state I am in is the MOST LIBERAL in the nation. Next to NY, and CA. Those judges that sit on those benches to which I have known of personally are some pretty corrupt people that definitely do NOT belong on those benches. Kissed a lot of A S S to get there, no doubt. I’d rather have some crazy manic frenzied person on the bench that is honest! Who cares if they gotta little passion behind them! It’s a hell of a lot better than having some apparently cool and emotionally collected “acting” (buncha BS) put together “acting” white collar sociopaths and psychopaths behind the bench. Did you know that most liberal politicians today, that are men, were BETA males in high school? These are the guys with lots of baggage and resentment towards the world as a whole. What we need is a businessman that’s got a mental illness like bipolar disorder for president! Don’t condemn. At least what you see is what you get and they are very smart and creative people. Unlike your sneaky conniving white collar beta-male sociopaths & liberal “I need to make a name for myself b/c being a mother isn’t just important enough” woman psychopaths! Oh by the way, did you know that’s it is in vogue now to be Queer. Christ when I grew up it was in the DSM-III as a Identity Crisis Disorder!! Ha ha ha ha, I can’t believe I remember that? Now, its in vogue, and the entertainment industry will pay you big bucks and give you a lot of power to be one. Let me tell you, if I was ever RAISED by two GAYS, I would F’n kill myself. It is got to be the worse thing you can do to a kid. That is just totally unbalanced to bring a kid in this world DELIBERATELY that way. By gosh, at least adopt children out there who don’t have a chance at anything. Christ, if I had a chance to adopt, I would adopt or at least foster teen-aged kids, easily, even the ones that are “so called” troubled.

Sorry, folks, HealthCare is not, was not, and never intended to be “a right,” for American people. I can’t believe our Supreme Court, our president and his puppet masters (cuz I don’t for a second believe this man is smart enough to come up with all the ideas everybody is given him credit for coming up with. Come on, this idiot was an affirmative rights throwback, which consequently is a lot of bullshit too. If blacks were so unhappy with this nation, then why not go back to Africa? Why not? Cuz, there are GD lucky, and they know they are to be here in this country no matter how their ANCESTORS got here, not them. In fact, what most people don’t know is that blacks that were treated badly during America’s short duration of slavery was definitely NOT the norm! In fact, many blacks idealistically wanted to be “free,” but many of them (over 85%) opted out of leaving a stayed on as indentured servants. This country has made any many of black people rich, i.e., entertainment industry, sports industry, and even those on welfare are able to supplement their income big time with the selling of drugs that they will NOT let “whitey” in on. So, whose got it the worst? White american’s that can’t find jobs, or can’t keep a job b/c of getting fired over and over again for their disability (which was my case, so I finally had to give in and collect SSI and live in dumps of Baltimore where everyone that is supplementing their welfare incomes (or their baby mama’s welfare incomes with mega-bucks from drug dealing money, which white people are ostracized by the blacks from being able to do. Every corner down here in Baltimore is NOT filled w/white dealers in fact, I’ve never seen one. So, truly, the poorest is Whitey on welfare, not the blacks they got it made for not having to work! And don’t tell me that I don’t know what I am talking about b/c they all tell me this is true and LTFAO b/c of it.
As for affirmative action, throw it out!! Anybody, I don’t care what their color is that comes from a third world nation who got it the way they got it otay, doesn’t need affirmative action. This country doesn’t owe anybody anything. Those people are all dead. You want owe somebody something, then how about affirmative action GLOBALLY for the Jews. I’m half Jewish and I know that my people and ancestors have been treated more poorly, been ENSLAVED THE LONGEST,, been without a country in a mass diaspora for 2000 years before having a country to call home, have been persecuted for all THE WORLDS ILLS, and have had the BIGGEST MASS GENOCIDE per capita 6 million Jews, and this was IN MODERN HISTORY for Christ Sake. Where’s our Global affirmative action for that? Actually, the American’s IGNORED what was going on over in Germany for serveral F’n years before they got involved when they KNEW what was going on!! My grandfather who was a lawyer (of course) said that they all (Jews) stood here in the country HELPLESSLY ASHAMED b/c 6 million Jews didn’t have to die. The Americans didn’t care about the Jews! That’s not why they FINALLY joined the war after 4 years of genociding 6 millions Jews.
As for the American constitution my friend(s), nothing there says ANYTHING about Healthcare being a right. You have the RIGHT to marriage, to procreate (thus IVF should be FREE. ), to religious freedom, free speech I covered most of them. Education isn’t even a RIGHT that OUR FOREFATHERS CRAFTED for this nation. I can’t F’n believe that Obama’s puppet masters, along with our Supreme Court Justices, are RE-WRITING THE F’n UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION instead of taking their people up and moving to Russia to start a new socialist party out there. Ironically, they have become more democratic then we are. OMG. LMAO when I grew up in the Ronald Reagan Era. LMAO, when Russia was Communists, and we hated everything they stood for. I can’t f’n believe, and neither would I believe a fiction novel based on such absurdities as this less than 20 year ole switcheroo act. Whoooda F would have believed such a “false premise?” No one, I tell you. Such a book would never had sold based on lunacy alone. But, here it is AND I can’t stop LMAO that we got a president who couldn’t even HONOR the #1 Rule for becoming President, “Thou shall NOT create no other birth certificates then the one before me, even if I wasn’t born in the USA therefore, I don’t qualify.” What S H I …is this. I mean for real. All the ludicrous S H I…… that’s going on wouldn’t even be believable in a fiction novel!! No way, would a novel based on the real facts of what this nation has turned into in just the last 8 years, and another 8 years plant’n the seeds w/Clinton. Look, I’m on welfare b/c of I have no choice b/c I am disabled. If any of you will glady hire me in my profession and not fire me based on my disability, I will QUIT TOMORROW receiving SSI benefits: Here is my email address: [email protected] I graduated in the 1/4 of my class, and got the ONLY “A” in my entire class for my final “thesis/brief” for my doctorate degree. Even if I don’t work again, and even if I didn’t have medical insurance, I still do NOT agree its a RIGHT by any means, and I am still a a very conservative independent who thinks liberals are a bunch of lying crooks and are LTFAO at you, you, you and you for being so F’n dumb to think that they are helping you when they are LTFAO at you for being so gullible to believe that what they are doing is in your interest. Whenever you go against and change a countries CONSTITUTION instead of packing your S H I…and leaving here, you are up to no good and are doing something insidious so that you and a few elite few will get rich, and have different rules than those that the liberals are imposing on us, all of us. Those in the government, and I don’t mean Federal Gov. Workers either. I mean politicians and the likes, are the ONLY ones that don’t have to abide by this F’n mandate for health care. Oh BTW, this health care crap didn’t pass the first time around, senators & house of reps from key states were coerced and/or bribed into CHANGING THEIR MIND. This is NOT an American system that I know at work. Boy , do I miss the Ronald Reagan years 1980-1988. I was 11 years old when this man was elected president, and 19 when he left office! We were a NATION of PRIDE. Back then. That’s right. Real Good American Pride. The Forefathers of this nation would be jumping up and down shouting for glee back then, just as everybody during that LANDSLIDE was, baby. Truthfully, I don’t agree with a total Republican Agenda, not at all, but much less, I am totally EMBARRASSED that what the liberals have done, and done to brainwash the American mind, except you can’t brainwash this mind. Nope, I am known as the 3% of having a personality that constitutionally incapably of being brainwashed and can smell out and see plainly right through the truth just by looking at the expression on your face!! Obama, couldn’t NOT believe it and was in gross shock at the site of winning presidency. It was NOT a good kinda shock on his face either. He couldn’t believe with his lying antics of what would put ANY OF US IN JAIL for FRAUD for years, for lying at the #1 requirement for being president. Don’t you think people this in of itself has an effect on the American government? YOu betcha. I’d screw over the government at any chance I’d get b/c I’m NOT a proud American anymore like I was with who I consider to be the real father of this country: Ronald Reagan.

You take yourself far too seriously, and the blog post you just plagiarized has many errors in it. Nobody is impressed, “Casey.”


Money in North American History

How did the United States develop into the world's richest and most powerful nation from an inauspicious beginning as a collection of colonies where currency was in such chronically short supply that all sorts of substitutes, e.g. tobacco and wampum, had to be used as money?

Apart from its intrinsic interest, history can often shed light on current political controversies. Many political disputes revolve around questions of economics and of all the matters that fall under the purview of economic history there is one that has had, and still has, a profound impact on many aspects of everyone's daily life, and that is money. This essay is based on a book on monetary history by Glyn Davies which contains a considerable amount of material on the financial development of the United States.

Davies, Glyn. A history of money from ancient times to the present day, 3rd ed. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002. 720 pages. Paperback: ISBN 0 7083 1717 0.

The Potlatch, Gift Exchange and Barter

Money is often, mistakenly, thought to have been invented simply because of the inconvenience of barter. In fact the development of money was due to many causes and even barter itself often had important social functions in addition to its purely economic purposes.

The potlatch ceremonies of Native Americans were a form of barter that had social and ceremonial functions that were at least as important as its economic functions. Consequently when the potlatch was outlawed in Canada (by an act that was later repealed) some of the most powerful work incentives were removed - to the detriment of the younger sections of the Indian communities. This form of barter was not unique to North America. Glyn Davies points out that the most celebrated example of competitive gift exchange was the encounter, around 950 BC, of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. "Extravagant ostentation, the attempt to outdo each other in the splendour of the exchanges, and above all, the obligations of reciprocity, were just as typical in this celebrated encounter, though at a fittingly princely level, as with the more mundane types of barter in other parts of the world." (page 13).

Wampum - Monetary Uses by Native Americans and Settlers

Since the use of primitive forms of money in North America (as in the Third World) is more recent and better documented than in Europe, the American experience is discussed in the introductory chapter on the origins of money. Whereas the Incas in Peru had reached a high level of civilization without the use of money, in Mexico the Aztecs and Mayas used gold dust (kept in transparent quills) and cocoa beans (kept for large payments in sacks of 24,000) as money. The best known form of money among the native Americans north of Mexico was wampum, made out of the shells of a type of clam. However its use was not confined to the coastal states but spread far inland, e.g. the powerful Iroquois amassed large quantities by way of tribute. Wampum's use as money undoubtedly came about as an extension of its desirability for ornamentation. Beads of it were strung together in short lengths of about 18 inches or much longer ones of about 6 feet.

Wampum came to be used extensively for trade by the colonists as well as the natives, e.g. in 1664 Stuyvesant arranged a loan in wampum worth over 5,000 guilders for paying the wages of workers constructing the New York citadel (page 458). Like more modern forms of money, wampum could be affected by inflation. Some tribes such as the Narragansetts specialized in manufacturing wampum (by drilling holes in the shells so that the beads could be strung together) but their original craft skills were made redundant when the spread of steel drills enabled unskilled workers, including the colonists themselves, to increase the supply of wampum a hundredfold thus causing a massive decrease in its value. A factory for drilling and assembling wampum was started by J.W. Campbell in New Jersey in 1760 and remained in production for a hundred years.

Forms of Money in use in the American Colonies

The British colonies in north America suffered a chronic shortage of official coins with which to carry out their normal, everyday commercial activities. An indication of the severity of this shortage and of the resultant wide variety of substitutes is given by the fact that during 1775 in North Carolina alone as many as seventeen different forms of money were declared to be legal tender. However, it should be remembered that all these numerous forms of means of payment had a common accounting basis in the pounds, shillings and pence of the imperial system.

The main sources which provided the colonists with their essential money supplies fall into five groups.

  1. Traditional native currencies such as furs and wampum which were essential for frontier trading with the indigenous population but thereafter were widely adopted by the colonists themselves, e.g. in 1637 Massachusetts declared white wampum legal tender for sums up to one shilling, a limit raised substantially in 1643.
  2. The so-called "Country Pay" or "Country Money" such as tobacco, rice, indigo, wheat, maize, etc. - "cash crops" in more than one sense. Like the traditional Indian currencies these were mostly natural commodities. Tobacco was used as money in and around Virginia for nearly 200 years, so lasting about twice as long as the US gold standard.
  3. Unofficial coinages, mostly foreign, and especially Spanish and Portuguese coins. These played an important role in distant as well as local trade. Not all the unofficial coins were foreign. John Hall set up a private mint in Massachusetts in 1652 and his popular "pine-tree" shillings and other coins circulated widely until the mint was forced to close down in 1684.
  4. The scarce but official British coinage.
  5. Paper currency of various kinds, particularly in the colonies' later years.

The first State issue of notes (in north America) was made in 1690 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These notes, or "bills of credit". were issued to pay soldiers returning from an expedition to Quebec. The notes promised eventual redemption in gold or silver and could be used immediately to pay taxes and were accepted as legal tender. The example of Massachusetts was followed by other colonies who thought that by printing money they could avoid the necessity to raise taxes.

Another early form of paper money used in north America was "tobacco notes". These were certificates attesting to the quality and quantity of tobacco deposited in public warehouses. These certificates circulated much more conveniently than the actual leaf and were authorized as legal tender in Virginia in 1727 and regularly accepted as such throughout most of the eighteenth century.

In addition to the State issues, a number of public banks began issuing loans in the form of paper money secured by mortgages on the property of the borrowers. In these early cases the term "bank" meant simply the collection or batch of bills of credit issued for a temporary period. If successful, reissues would lead to a permanent institution or bank in the more modern sense of the term. One of the best examples was the Pennsylvania Land Bank which authorized three series of note issues between 1723 and 1729. This bank received the enthusiastic support of Benjamin Franklin who in 1729 published his Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency. His advocacy did not go unrewarded as the Pennsylvania Land Bank awarded Franklin the contract for printing its third issue of notes.

Gradually the British government began to restrict the rights of the colonies to issue paper money. In 1740 a dispute arose involving a "Land Bank or Manufactury Scheme" in Boston, and the following year the British parliament ruled that the bank was illegal in that it transgressed the provisions of the Bubble Act of 1720 (passed after the collapse of the South Sea Bubble - one of the most notorious outbreaks of financial speculation in history). Restrictions were subsequently tightened because some colonies, including Massachusetts and especially Rhode Island, issued excessive quantities of paper money thus causing inflation. Finally, in 1764 a complete ban on paper money (except when needed for military purposes) was extended to all the colonies.

The American Revolution and the War of 1812

When he was in London in 1766 Benjamin Franklin tried in vain to convince Parliament of the need for a general issue of colonial paper money, but to no avail. The constitutional struggle between Britain and the colonies over the right to issue paper money was a significant factor in provoking the American Revolution.

When the war broke out the monetary brakes were released completely and the revolution was financed overwhelmingly with an expansionary flood of paper money and so the American Congress financed its first war with hyperinflation. By the end of the war the Continentals had fallen to one-thousandth of their nominal value. Yet although the phrase not worth a Continental has subsequently symbolized utter worthlessness, in the perspective of economic history such notes should be counted as invaluable as being the only major practical means then available for financing the successful revolution.

During the Revolution the Bank of Pennsylvania was established (with the support of Thomas Paine) in June 1780 but it was little more than a temporary means of raising funds to pay for the desperate needs of a practically starving army. The Bank of North America was a more permanent institution, granted a charter by Congress (by a narrow margin of votes) in 1781 and beginning its operations in Pennsylvania on 1 January 1782. It was followed after the war by the Bank of New York and the Bank of Massachusetts, which both opened in 1784, and the Bank of Maryland in 1790.

The financial chaos of the aftermath of the revolution and outbreaks of violent conflict between debtors and creditors led to the establishment of the dollar as the new national currency replacing those of individual states. However, owing to shortages of gold and silver bullion and the rapid disappearance of coins from circulation legal tender was restored to Spanish dollars in 1797 and it was not until 1857 that the federal government felt able to repeal all former acts authorizing the currency of foreign gold or silver coins, but by then coins were merely the small change of commerce.

After the revolution one might have expected the newly independent Americans to have welcomed with enthusiasm their freedom to set up banks but in fact there was a great deal of opposition to banking in general. The first true American bank, the Bank of North America had its congressional charter repealed in 1785. The first national bank, the Bank of the United States, though a financial success, was forced to close when its charter was not renewed. As a result, when the 1812 War broke out there was no government bank to exert a restraining hand on the commercial banks which issued far too many notes backed by far too little specie and the American financial scene reverted to its familiar inflationary pattern.

After the 1812 War the Second Bank of the United States was set up but once one of the heroes of that war, General Jackson, became president it was doomed to failure. Jackson admitted to Nicholas Biddle, the last president of the Bank, "ever since I read the history of the South Sea Bubble I have been afraid of banks." By killing the Second Bank Jackson delayed the establishment of a sensibly regulated banking system for eighty years. During this period the Treasury was left to carry out the increasingly difficult task of being its own banker. There was a divergence between the more settled areas of the country, such as New England where opinion veered towards sounder money, and the frontier states which tended to welcome easy credit but following the Californian gold discoveries in 1848 even the sound-money men became expansionist.

A Banking free-for-all, 1833-1861

The Second Bank of the United States was the only bank whose notes circulated at face value throughout the country. All other banknotes circulated at a discount, if not locally, then at a distance from the issuing bank. The death notice of the Second Bank was a green light to the States to charter their own banks or to encourage their citizens the set up banks for themselves. A "Free Banking" movement sprang up which claimed that citizens had a right to set up banks rather than be dependent on seeking a privilege granted by the State. Banks varied from worthless "wild-catters" that profited from making quick note issues and then quickly moving on, to the opposite example of prudently managed institutions. Some large islands of sanity and security were to be found in the general sea of financial chaos. The total number of banks rose from 330 in 1830 to a pre-Civil War peak of 1,601 in 1861. They poured out a flood of notes most of which were accepted only at a discount from their face value.

Not only every banker but every trader of any importance had to make constant reference in the course of his everyday business to one or other of a series of banknote guides. Thus Hodges Genuine Bank Notes of America, 1859 listed 9,916 notes issued by 1,365 banks, and even then around 200 genuine banknotes had been omitted. In addition there were, according to the Nicholas Bank Note Reporter, counterfeit notes of 5,400 different kinds in circulation, and this dispite the best efforts of the banks themselves, which had set up in 1853 their Association for the Prevention of Counterfeiting.

The US Civil War

The war required a rapid transfer of resources from diffused and decentralized civilian expenditure to concentrated and centrally controlled military expenditure, by means of some combination of taxing, borrowing and printing money. The mixture actually chosen differed markedly between the Unionists and the Confederates.

The Union government levied two direct taxes the first was on each of the states in proportion to population rather than ability to pay and it was therefore regarded as unfair by the poorer states. Rather better yields were obtained by a general income tax but even so these two taxes together yielded less than $200 million. Much more important were indirect taxes which at their maximum rates yielded over a billion dollars. Initial attempts at long term borrowing were not very successful but after an Ohio banker, Jay Cooke, was put in charge of marketing bonds an issue of $500 million was oversubscribed by the public. During 1863 and 1864 another $900 million were issued but the low interest rate no longer appealed to the public and so the Union had to rely on the assistance of the banks to ensure the sale of the debt instruments.

In the South the imposition of adequate taxes and their collection was a case of too little too late. The Confederacy's borrowing policy was more successful than its taxation policies but was still inadequate. The Southern states relied on Europe's dependence on "King Cotton" to raise loans of $15 million but because of the blockade only around a quarter of the expected supplies came from such sources. The one seemingly unlimited resource was the printing press and hyperinflation resulted from its use. The South could probably at best only have moderated hyperinflation to a limited degree as the mix of fiscal and financial policies available to the Union was just not possible for the Confederacy to put into effect.

Greenbacks

The secession by the anti-federalists opened the way for monetary reforms by the Union government, and "Greenbacks" came into existence when the Treasury was given the right, in 1862, to issue notes that were not convertible into specie but were authorized as legal tender for most purposes. Although the North's record on inflation stands up well in comparison with the experience of victorious countries in later wars, the Greenbacks worth in gold fell to half their nominal value. Their use had in any case only been intended as a temporary measure and the government started reducing the number in circulation, but this coincided with and reinforced a depression which led to the formation of a Greenback Party in 1875 which campaigned for an increase in note circulation and returned 14 members to Congress in 1878. As a compromise it was agreed to fix the number of Greenbacks in circulation at the then current amount.

The Gold Standard

In practice, if not in law, by 1873 when the silver dollar ceased to be the standard of value America was virtually on the gold standard. Williams Jennings Bryan campaigned vigorously but unsuccessfully against crucifying mankind "on a cross of gold." His fears were not realized as new discoveries in Alaska, Africa and Australia led to an enormous increase in gold supplies, stimulating the world economy and in 1900 America officially accepted the gold standard. Meanwhile banking was becoming increasingly important. Already by 1890 over 90 percent in value terms of all transactions were carried out by cheque (or check, to use the American spelling) and in 1913, after a series of bank failures in New York and growing public unease about the concentration of financial power in a few hands, the Federal Reserve System ("Fed") was set up to provide a more effective supervision of banking.

The Great Depression

If the years 1914-1928 were the period in which the Fed found its feet the next 5 years revealed it to have feet of clay. In 1928 the New York Federal Reserve Bank cut its rediscount rate, partly to help Britain to stay on the gold standard (a goal more easily achieved if US rates were lower than those of Britain) and the Fed also expanded credit by purchasing securities. These moves came at the worst possible time. The speculatory fever that gripped America during the second half of the 1920s had just moved from land in Florida to the New York Stock Exchange and the easing of credit helped feed the boom on to its inevitable collapse.

On Black Thursday 24 October 1929 the collapse came. Having fed the fever the monetary authorities now proceeded to starve the sick economy by persisting in a contraction of credit which is probably the most severe in American history. Net national product fell by 53 per cent. The Fed which had been set up to provide an elastic currency strangled its patient. Roosevelt's first action on becoming president was to declare a bank holiday. The world's largest economy was left virtually bankless for at least 10 days as a necessary prelude to the enforced reform of the whole financial system.

From the New Deal to the Apogee of American Power

The New Deal required a new banking system to restore business confidence in order to revive industry and agriculture and reduce the country's appalling total of 13 million unemployed. The first relief agency (which had already been set up by President Hoover in 1932) was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation which played an important role not only in the recovery from the Depression but also supplied vitally needed investment for military purposes during the 2nd World War.

From $16 million in 1930 the national debt rose to $269 million in 1946. This immense increase in borrowing was accomplished at very low interest rates (2.5% or less) which showed the great strength of the reformed financial system, as did the swift and gigantic change over that the US economy made from war to peace afterwards. American strength was also manifested in helping to rebuild war-shattered Europe, through the Marshall plan, and in helping to ensure a generation of growth and relative stability for the world economy, through the Bretton Woods agreement.

Relative Decline of the US Financial System?

However in the last couple of decades certain signs of relative decline have become apparent, in the financial sector as well as in American industry. Losses estimated by the Brookings Institute as exceeding $100 billion, or $400 per US citizen, were incurred as a result of the numerous failures of Savings and Loan Associations or thrifts in the late 80s. A more insidious relative decline is demonstrated by the fact that in 1970 the ten largest banks in the world were all American but by June 1991 there were no American banks in the top 20.

It is still incredibly incongruous when millions of dollars can instantly be transmitted across the globe by satellite that US banks, the main creators of the country's money, may still not be allowed to open a branch even a few miles away (especially in other States) without quite disproportionate effort. The complexity of the American financial system has provided a paradise for lawyers, while the Byzantine supervisory structure has imposed heavy annual operating costs, currently of over a billion dollars, which have to be carried by banks and their customers, quite apart from the periodic massive reconstruction costs borne impatiently by the US taxpayers.

Although America has officially enjoyed a single currency since 1790 it has not yet achieved a single banking market. It is one of history's exquisite ironies that Europe, or most of it, reached the goal of a single market by 1992 and, despite considerable scepticism, has now achieved its other goal of a single currency. The Euro was adopted by the banking systems of the participating countries in 2001 and although it lost value against the dollar after its launch it nevertheless remains a potential threat to the supremacy of the dollar in the international financial system, despite the interest in dollarization, or the substitution of the US dollar for national currencies, in parts of Latin America.

Nevertheless whatever the future of money, an optimally adjusted supply is the foundation both of capitalism and of freedom. In the words of Dostoevsky (in House of the Dead, part 1, chapter 2):


Private grants

Aside from the scholarships and student loans, private grants are another alternative resource of financial aid for international students in UK. Often there are companies or non-governmental organizations that are ready to finance your education in UK.

You can ask them for these much-coveted funds either in the form of loans or charitable funds. If you take a loan you can sign a certain agreement that defines the time limit within which you must give your money back or the method how this is going to be done.

More often than not, companies are ready to help students in UK under the condition that they will come back to work for them once they get their degree. In such a scenario, it’s a win-win situation for both of you: you get your university degree in UK while the company hires an exceptional employee.



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