In a recent article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on ‘The Death of Paper Money’, AEP mentioned a book on eBay which the great and the good of Wall Street and The City are reading, which is currently coming in at $699 Dollars a copy. Here’s the quote:
As they prepare for holiday reading in Tuscany, City bankers are buying up rare copies of an obscure book on the mechanics of Weimar inflation published in 1974. Ebay is offering a well-thumbed volume of “Dying of Money: Lessons of the Great German and American Inflations” at a starting bid of $699 (shipping free.. thanks a lot). The crucial passage comes in Chapter 17 entitled “Velocity”…
To save AEP’s own Tuscany holiday fund, we thought he’d like to know you can download a PDF copy of the book for free from Scribd instead, as revealed by David Kramer of LewRockwell.com.
The Cobden Centre. Always saving your money.
As you may have seen, this book has now been removed from Scribd due to copyright reasons. Oh well. It was good while it lasted. I wonder what Stephan Kinsella would say about this?
This ‘copyright infringement’ is probably a result
of ‘Dying of Money’ becoming newly available (from yesterday I believe!!) via a ‘Tradibooks’reprint on the Lulu.com publishing website.
Can’t help wondering if AEP has an interest in said
Wrong ! I am the president of Tradibooks. Seeing that “Dying of Money” by Parsson was out of print and long abandoned to the public domain I immediately reset it in clean new correct typography and put it up for sale at a fair price. I have never claimed copyright on it except as to my newly created typography and I have been ready to offer a fair share of my modest profits to any genuine copyright holder. Then a gentleman claiming to represent the copyright holder had it removed from eBay and from lulu.com/tradibooks. He is the man selling it for $700 and making it look as though he has only one copy (renewed each time it sells). He is also behind the whirlwind of activity getting the text removed from sites where it has long been available. I have backed down and am no longer selling this book. However I note that a cheap edition (put out by editions-saint-remi) is available on amazon.fr. If you search via amazon.com you don’t find it ! This book teaches a simple lesson : there are two ways of increasing prices; the first is to increase the supply of the instrument of exchange and the second is to decrease the perceived supply of the commodity – especially books. Hence I take issue with the claim that the high price tag of this book on eBay is simple supply and demand. The supply is inexhaustible and cheapand swift to renew. It is the perceived supply that is small and causes buyers to fork out exorbitant prices.
This book can be bought on amazon.fr only for 35 euro. Here the link : http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/0914688014
Just googled the book’s title and found a complete 222 page PDF available within the first page of search results (as of 3rd August 2010). Just scroll down and look for the ‘[PDF]’ next to the title.
I am not sure why this book is proving so popular. I read it myself and found the arguments to be confused and unhelpful. There are some interesting anecdotes about happenings in pre-war Germany. However, as is always the case with history books and economics history books in particular, the author selects facts to support his theory, which dilutes the usefulness of even the factual content. As for the theory – as I said – please save yourselves the trouble – it is useless positivism the whole way through with no a prior backbone. The mises website has a plethora of great depression history books with more rigorous analysis and Mises’ writings themselves explain the economics properly.
What an interesting story from J Daly. I wonder if the high price of the book adds to the mistique and therefore the value to these bankers.
In my original reportage on this, I listed my three favourite Mises.org references to the Weimar republic, which some Cobden Centres might want to check before tracking down anything else:
Omnipotent Government: Weimar and its Collapse [Part I, Ludwig von Mises]
Omnipotent Government: Weimar and its Collapse [Part II, Ludwig von Mises]
Exchange, Prices and Production in Hyper-Inflation: Germany, 1920 – 1923a>< [Frank D. Graham, Princeton University Press, 1930]
Here is the pdf file. Enjoy.
Thanks Andy. I’ve not seen those before.
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