Dear God!

The historian rejects the idea that his book has had a direct influence on Merkel’s policies. But many sections of the work – on globalisation, migration and technology, to name a few pertinent topics – read differently in the light of decisions she has made since reading it, such as the treatment of Greece at the height of the eurozone crisis.

If Europe was able to pull ahead of China economically in the 19th century, Osterhammel argues, it was because the Chinese empire was hampered by a “chaotic dual system” of silver and copper coins, while much of Europe had created a “de facto single currency” with the Latin monetary union of 1866.

You what?

But, but, but…..the Latin monetary union turned out to be a disaster. And she’s using this to guide her view of the euro?


10 thoughts on “Dear God!”

  1. A large number of fists, boots, baseball bats and pickaxe handles need to leave their mark on the German Chancellors corpulent carcass.

    Even better if dissatisfied migrants can be allowed to wield them –on prime time broadcast.

  2. LMU had the same problem of two metals, didn’t it?

    Just goes to show – having one standard for your currency is obviously the way to go #barefacedcheek

  3. I believe Herman Goering had a substitute commit suicide for him, was cryogenically preserved and when unfrozen had a sex change, choosing the name Angela Merkel as his/her new identity. That’s how Goering’s rug turned up in Merkel’s office.

  4. “If Europe was able to pull ahead of China economically in the 19th century …”: I suppose it would be deeply unfashionable to suggest that it did so mainly by copying the British Industrial Revolution.

  5. Frankly I would be amazed if Jurgen Osterhammel agreed with this distortion of his brief discussion of currency unions. The Latin monetary union gets 2 brief mentions in a book of 919 pages. After noting the chaotic nature of Chinese monetary systems and how this was one factor in the country’s backwardness he goes on to say on page 731:

    For much of Europe, the Latin Monetary Union of 1866 finally created a de facto single currency that greatly facilitated business and travel. But this was not the main goal of the union. Rather it reflected a) France’s emergence as a major exporter of capital; (b) France’s political wish to make its bimetallic silver and gold currency hegemonic throughout continental Europe ; and (c) the need to restore the balance between silver and gold prices upset by the discovery of new American and Australian gold deposits…… An unforeseen “extrasystemic” development caused this edifice to topple, when the discovery of new deposits lowered the price of silver and unleashed a flood of the metal in the countries of the union.

    On page 733, he writes about the gold standard:

    Until the early 1870s Britain was the only country in the world with this kind of system. After the alternative model of the Latin Monetary Union collapsed within a short time of its introduction, the bimetallic solution fell by the wayside and one European government after another switched to the gold standard.

    As a reference he gives an article by Marc Flandreau in the Financial History Review, also given as a reference in Ken’s wiki article. It seems rather factual and balanced to me. Perhaps you can explain what is wrong about it or show me where he is, in ken’s words, “a twat”. I presume Ken is familiar with this book since he is so free with his opinion.

  6. Diogenes

    Based solely on the twat who wrote the article – who encapsulated the wrong headed description of the LMU – if Osterhammel only wrote what you say above, far less twatty. Note the word “appears” in my description. The rest of the description of his work in the article sounds OK. OTOH he is a SPD supporter, which would suggest stupidity.

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