For Bloomberg News, history professor Carl Wennerlind writes about "The Worst Debt-Crisis Solution a Country Ever Concocted." An excerpt:
"As the U.S. government lurches from crisis to crisis in resolving its long-term debt problems, Congress has debated a number of bad ideas, from indiscriminate spending cuts to minting a $1 trillion platinum coin. Plenty of countries have taken even less honorable roads to resolution, from devaluing their currency to outright default.
But arguably no country can match either the ingenuity or despicableness of the British when they tackled their own fiscal woes in the early 1700s. Faced with a ballooning national debt, English policy makers combined a complex debt-for-equity swap with promotion of the trans-Atlantic slave trade."
Read the full article.
Prof. Wennerlind is an economic historian whose recent book, Causalities of Credit, examines the intellectual and political origins of the English financial revolution that took place between 1620 and 1720.