MacroScope

You say ’30s, we say ’20s

April 7, 2009

Neil Dwane, fund firm RCM‘s chief investment officer in Europe, has an interesting take on the current spat between Germany and the United States over printing money to get out of trouble. You can see Juergen Stark for the latest volley.

Dwane reckons it is all a matter of history. The American psyche, he says, is scarred by the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is up there with the Civil War. Think John Steinbeck or John Boy Walton.

For Germans, however, the 1930s mean something else. It was the era that the Nazis took over, leading to the country’s great nightmare. But that, the German psyche has it, was bred in the 1920s when incompetent government led to hyperinflation and worthless money. Think one trillion marks to the dollar. Think wheelbarrows.

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