'My dead lady, where is the State which guaranteed those securities to you? It is dead.'

In the large banking hall a great deal of business was being done... All around me animated discussions were in progress concerning the stamping of currency, the issue of new notes, the purchase of foreign money and so on.  There were always some who knew exactly what was now the best thing to do!  I went to see the bank official who always advised me.  'Well,wasn't I right?' he said.  'If you had bought Swiss francs when I suggest, you would not now have lost three-fourths of your fortune.' 'Lost!' I exclaimed in horror.  'Why, don't you think the krone will recover again?' 'Recover!' he said with a laugh... 'Just test the promise made on this ao-kronene note and try to get, say, 20 silver kronen in exchange.' 'Yes, but mine are government securities: Surely there can't be anything safer than that?' 'My dead lady, where is the State which guaranteed those securities to you?  It is dead.'


the large numbers of unemployed, their passions fermented by the Communists, are seething with discontent... a mob has attempted to set the Parliament building on fire.  Mounted policemen were torn from their horses, which were slaughtered in the Ringstrasse and the warm bleeding flesh dragged away by the crowd... the rioters clamoured for bread and work... Side by side with unprecedented want among the bulk of the population, there is a striking display of luxury among those who are benefiting from the inflation.  New nightclubs are being opened.  These clubs have the effect of greatly intensifying the class hatred of the proletariate against the bourgeoisie.

excerpts from Anna Eisenmerger's diary, in Adam Fergusson's When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Hyper-Inflation, a book which, perversely, both Warren Buffet and I recommend, albeit for drastically different reasons

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