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King World News

Today 40-year veteran, Robert Fitzwilson, wrote the following piece exclusively for King World News. Fitzwilson, who is founder of The Portola Group, stated, “History says that once set in motion, fiat money schemes cannot be reversed. Tragedy and collapse are the terminal destinations.

Below is Fitzwilson’s exclusive piece for KWN:

 

“Andrew Dickson White was a professor of history in the second half of the 19th century. He also convinced Ezra Cornell to create the great university which bears his name. White became the first president of Cornell. The goal was to create “an asylum for science where truth shall be taught for truth’s sake”. 

White’s relevance to today’s investors is his compilation of a lecture that looked at the French experience with fiat money during the French Revolution in the waning years of the 18th century. His work was published in book form under the title of “Fiat Money Inflation In France”. 

There certainly have been countless other experiments with paper-based currencies, but this episode stands out from the many other such episodes in monetary history. One of the reasons is that the French had suffered through another hyperinflation just 70 years before…. 

“John Law was the architect of that prior debacle, issuing paper backed by holdings of land in Louisiana. Reflecting on the experience, White said:

 

“…How securely it creates on the ruins of the prosperity of all men of meagre means a class of debauched speculators, the most injurious class that a nation can harbor, more injurious indeed, than professional criminals whom the law recognizes and can throttle; how it stimulates overproduction at first and leaves every industry flaccid afterward; how it breaks down thrift and develops political and social immorality.”

 

One statesman held up a piece of the old paper money and declared that it was stained with the blood and tears of their fathers. Despite the history and admonitions, France charged ahead with their new paper money scheme. In their minds and exhortations, “It was different this time.” Tragically, that was not the case.

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