This book blows away the conventional interpretations of the crash of 1929, not only in its contents but that this book exists at all. It was written in 1931. He ascribes the crash to the pile of up debt, which in turn was made possible by the Fed printing machine. This created distortions in the production structure that cried out for correction. So what is the answer? Let the correction happen and learn from our mistakes.
Such is the thesis of the great Garet Garrett. But take note: this book was a big seller in 1931. In other words, two years before FDR arrived with his destructive New Deal, ascribing the depression to capitalism and speculation, Garrett had already explained what was really behind the correction.
It took Murray Rothbard to resurrect these truths decades later, and when he wrote this in 1963, it was a shock and we are still fighting an uphill battle to explain the true causes of the crash and following depression. But here in this wonderful book is an actual contemporary account that spelled it out plainly for the world to see.
No more can we say that people back then could not have understood. Garrett told them. And thanks to this new edition of this classic and important work, he is telling us again today.
“Debt in the present order of magnitude began with the World War. Without credit, the war could not have continued above four months; with benefit of credit it went more than four years. Victory followed the credit. The price was appalling debt. In Europe the war debt was both internal and external. The American war debt was internal only. This was the one country that borrowed nothing; not only did it borrow nothing, but parallel to its own war exertions it loaned to its European associates more than ten billions of dollars. This the European governments owed to the United States Treasury, besides what they owed to one another and to their own people. Europe's attack upon her debt, both internal and external, was a resort to credit. She called upon this country for immense sums of private credit—sums which before the war had been unimaginable—saying that unless American credit provided her with the ways and means to begin moving her burden of debt she would be unable to move it at all.”
Garet Garrett (1878–1954), born Edward Peter Garrett, was an American journalist and author who was noted for his criticisms of the New Deal and U.S. involvement in the Second World War.
In 1911, he wrote a fairly successful book, Where the Money Grows and Anatomy of the Bubble. In 1916, at the age of 38, Garrett became the executive editor of the New York Tribune, after having worked as a financial writer for The New York Times, the Saturday Evening Post, and The Wall Street Journal. From 1920 to 1933, his primary focus was on writing books.
Between 1920 and 1932 Garrett wrote eight books, including The American Omen in 1928 and A Bubble That Broke the World in 1932.
In 1953, Garrett published The People's Pottage (later republished as The Burden of Empire and more recently as Ex America: the 50th Anniversary of the People's Pottage), which consisted of 3 essays: "The Revolution Was", "Ex America" and "The Rise of Empire"). Through these works, he questioned the aftermath of the Roosevelt administration and its impact on American society. In these works, he coined a phrase for a revolutionary methodology used by conservative thinking to understand the transformation of the old culture/regime: "revolution within the form."