Dangerous and Dishonest Men: The International Bankers of by G. Rowlands

By G. Rowlands

At first of the eighteenth century Louis XIV had to remit large sums of cash out of the country to help his armies through the conflict of the Spanish Succession. This e-book explains how overseas bankers moved French cash throughout Europe, and the way the foreign currencies method used to be so overloaded through the calls for of battle titanic banking crash resulted.

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Example text

He had an astonishingly deficient understanding of the psychology of lending and investment, and he veered between excessive dependence upon the advice of self-interested actors and personal flights of enraged fancy towards the amoral financial world. What was worse, in January 1701 Louis XIV – in what must rank as one of his worst decisions – insisted on appointing a deeply reluctant Chamillart to succeed Barbezieux as War Minister, requiring him to remain Finance Minister as well. Even for Colbert, this combination would probably have been too much, but for Chamillart and for France it was a personal and public disaster.

This tax, mothballed in 1698, was resurrected in 1701: for commoners it was linked to the collection of the taille, while privileged elites and the pays d’états could compound for their contribution. Towards the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1710, the desperate state of the royal finances further forced Louis XIV into imposing the dixième on his subjects, a new tax on all private revenues, based on self-assessment, and for which people in corporate bodies or in privileged towns and provinces could also compound.

By 1706 it had reached the point that War bills issued by the Extraordinaire were flooding the money markets and, when the depreciation costs of such bills and the interest paid to roll them over is factored in, they were accounting, quite disastrously, for more than 100 per cent of total royal expenditure on the army. What was worse, Extraordinaire bills were supposed to be short-term bridging loans, but Chamillart failed to discharge them for months, if not years, and even Desmaretz could not bring them under control before the death of Louis XIV in 1715.

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