chapter  I
8 Pages

Introductory

IN a few hundred years' time, when the economic affairs of the world will presumably be regulated by international Five Year Plans, the twentieth century will be regarded as a highly romantic epoch. Amidst the dull regularity of a wellplanned economic system, our troubles, struggles and crises will be looked back upon in the same way as we look back upon the romantic glamour of the Age of Chivalry. An economic crisis, however sordid it may appear to those who have experienced it, will be regarded as a thrilling adventure by a generation to which economic crises will be only known through historical textbooks. In a world with a perfectly organized economic system, accounts of the struggle in 1931 for the stability of sterling will read like an epic

of days gone by; and those who study the history of the failure of the desperate efforts to save the pound will be stirred by it just as we are stirred by a tragedy of Sophocles.