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Great Depression, The

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The New Deals of America and Britain were a decade-long calamity that exceeded the damage of the economic downturn itself. The theory behind the policy was all wrong, but no one can say that the correct theory was not in circulation. This splendid book by Robbins presented the entire cause and remedy - in 1934!
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In 1934, when Lionel Robbins wrote The Great Depression, he was a committed advocate of the Austrian School of economics. This would later change, but in this book he brilliantly applies the Austrian theory of the business cycle to explain the depression — which, he notes, was of unprecedented severity.

An expansion of bank credit creates a boom that cannot be sustained, and the inevitable collapse of the boom is the depression. Robbins traces this boom/bust cycle, detailing the central bank policies of the 1920s to provide the Austrian explanation for the resulting depression.

Robbins argues forcefully that the way to end economic depressions does not lie in restrictionist measures and central planning. Instead, the free market needs to be restored and international trade encouraged. Central planning, far from helping to restore prosperity, increases economic nationalism and restricts economic growth.

If the policy gurus at the Fed had read and understood this book, they could have spared us the economic havoc of recent years. Unleash markets and stand aside.

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ISBN 9781610160711
eISBN 9781610166102
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication Date 2007
Original Publication Date 1934
Binding PB
Page Length 254
Dimensions 6" x 9"

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