January 29, 2009

How the Romans Handled Financial Crises

Tom Ricks tells us:
The Roman equivalent of the Fed then pumped tons of money into the financial system, and also cut interest rates to zero, which is about where we are now in our own mess.


Tiberius also raised funds by accusing Sextus Marius, the richest man in Spain, of incest -- almost certainly a trumped-up charge -- and then having him thrown headlong from the Tarpeian Rock... a cliff at the edge of Rome's Capitoline Hill. "Tiberius kept his gold mines for himself," Tacitus notes. It makes me think that Wall Street is getting off easy.
Too right. Compared to this, bank nationalizations look downright tame.

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