Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quantitative Easing: Augustus Style

When Octavius (later renamed Augustus) beat Marc Anthony and Cleopatra and took Egypt for his own, he shipped the vast stores of bullion back to Rome, constituting a tremendous increase in Rome's money supply.

Consequently, the interest fell from 12% to 4%.  Much of the money was used to purchase farm land for retiring Roman soldiers.  Not surprisingly, land values doubled.

Everitt, Anthony.  Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor.  Chapter 15.  Page 194 of paperback.  2007.  Random House.

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