Here’s an item to add to Andrew Stuttaford’s list of Awful Warnings on the European Financial Crisis. It comes from Stephen Leacock’s French Politics for Beginners of 1926:
The aim of the new French government will be to put the finances of France on a basis of absolute stability. To do this they will at once borrow 4,000,000,000 Francs. The loan, however, will be offset and made good by a credit with the Bank of France, which will then float a loan with the public, who will then be authorized, by a decree, to borrow from the bank. The entire credit thus created will be added up and declared extinguished. The announcement of the budget policy was received with a salvo of enthusiasm, the entire left embracing the whole of the right.
Yes, it’s satire, but only just.