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Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire; Endgame For The Rating Agencies May Be Close

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September 09, 2009 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: MCO

"The Roman people, the mass of the population, had but one wish after being captured by the barbarians: to never again fall under the rule of the Roman bureaucracy."

MY COMMENT: I am huge Roman history fan. I read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire etc and lived in Italy for a few years.

People love to throw out the Fall of Rome examples with out knowing what they are talking about, but that does not have to be you.

You can start here:

http://mises.org/story/3663

Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Mises Daily by Joseph R. Peden

Joseph Peden taught history at Baruch College of the City University of New York. He was a close friend and colleague of Murray Rothbard's. See Joseph R. Peden's article archives. Comment on the blog. This is a transcript of Professor Joseph Peden's 50-minute lecture "Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire," given at the Seminar on Money and Government in Houston, Texas, on October 27, 1984. The original audio recording is available as a free MP3 download. This transcript ran first at LewRockwell.com

Two centuries ago, in 1776, there were two books published in England, both of which are read avidly today. One of them was Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and the other was Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon's multivolume work is the tale of a state that survived for twelve centuries in the West and for another thousand years in the East, at Constantinople.

Gibbon, in looking at this phenomenon, commented that the wonder was not that the Roman Empire had fallen, but rather that it had lasted so long. And scholars since Gibbon have devoted a great deal of energy to examining that problem: How was it that the Roman Empire lasted so long? And did it decline, or was it simply transformed into something else (that something else being the European civilization of which we are the heirs)?

I've been asked to speak on the theme of Roman history, particularly the problem of inflation and its impact. My analysis is based on the premise that monetary policy cannot be studied, or understood, in isolation from the overall policies of the state.

Monetary, fiscal, military, political, and economic issues are all very much intertwined. And they are all so intertwined because any state normally seeks to monopolize the supply of money within its own territory.

Monetary policy therefore always serves, even if it serves badly, the perceived needs of the rulers of the state. If it also happens to enhance the prosperity and progress of the masses of the people, that is a secondary benefit; but its first aim is to serve the needs of the rulers, not the ruled. This point is central, I believe, to an understanding of the course of monetary policy in the late Roman Empire.

The rest is here: 

http://mises.org/story/3663

BREAK================================

Einhorn knows, Fooldom knows and the Oracle of Omaha has learned...the rating agencies are going to get sued into oblivion. Hopefully, they can get some jail time.

Zerohedge finds the story:

David Einhorn Discusses Why The Endgame For The Rating Agencies May Be Close

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/08/2009 09:53 -0500

Agencies David Einhorn Rating Agencies


Perhaps the Oracle of Omaha was right in starting to get out of Dodge with his MCO position, after he sold 8 million shares in mid-July, and noting that he very well may continue selling his remaining 40 million share stake. David Einhorn clarifies why.












4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 09, 2009 at 5:21 AM, abitare (45.19) wrote:

The video is here:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/david-einhorn-discusses-why-endgame-rating-agencies-may-be-close

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#2) On September 09, 2009 at 9:05 AM, russiangambit (29.45) wrote:

My understanding is that Roman empire was mostly supported through continuous conquests, which brouht the influx of wealth and also solved the unemployement issue for its citizens.

Iit eventually conquered alsmost everyone in vicinity and became too big to managed and it required a lot of resources to conduct longer-range wars.

Even Great Britan's empire was based on colonies wealth.

So, the US is quite unique in a sense that its wealth is based on innovation, enterpreneurship and productivity of its citizens,and also the wonders of the 20th century - brands and marketing, not on the war loot. Now that innovation is waning, US is starting to decline.

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#3) On September 09, 2009 at 9:22 AM, abitare (45.19) wrote:

russiangambit,

The US was intact following WW2. Europe and much of Asia were leveled and lost 40 million+ people. Wealth and innovation destroying Communism and Socialism were imposed on much of what remained.

The US inherited the Reserve currency and the US benefited from the lack of capitiailist competition in the world.

Things are different now. The Communist are more capitialist then anything else. Asia produces the worlds good. The US is a net importer, borrower and largest debtor in the history of the world. 

The paradigm is shifting.  

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#4) On September 09, 2009 at 10:16 AM, dickseacup (67.70) wrote:

From the article:

Monetary policy therefore always serves, even if it serves badly, the perceived needs of the rulers of the state. If it also happens to enhance the prosperity and progress of the masses of the people, that is a secondary benefit; but its first aim is to serve the needs of the rulers, not the ruled. This point is central, I believe, to an understanding of the course of monetary policy in the late Roman Empire.

Rec for you.

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