Paper Against Gold: Or, The History and Mystery of the Bank of England, of the Debt, of the Stocks, of the Sinking Fund, and of All the Other Tricks and Contrivances, Carried on by the Means of Paper Money

Front Cover
J. Doyle, 1834 - Finance - 432 pages

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I had to give Mr. Cobbett a mere three stars for this reason: he fails to understand the underlying principle of the "sinking fund", which unfortunately puts a damper on his line of argument.
refer you to Mr. Brand's point on page 83.
He points out that additional "dividend", or interest, earned by the sinking fund (by "redeeming" the principle and thus paying the "dividend", or interest to the government) is ultimately applied to the principle, which will compound into more interest earned the following year, again used to pay off more of the principle. This is how home mortgages work today.
Mr. Cobbett retorts by claiming that the debt actually grew while the sinking fund was in operation, and so it's obviously not working. The truth of the matter is that the government borrowed money FASTER than it was PAYING OFF the principle of the initial debt, and thusly the sinking fund is not having the desired affect. The sinking fund would only work, in theory, if no additional money was borrowed, or at the very least, less new money was borrowed than paid off yearly by the fund.
At this point I almost stopped reading the book. I was disappointed, given the fact that Mr. Cobbett was a supremely arrogant bastard, a maverick, if you like. It's hard not to root for him, especially when he rails against the corrupt establishment.
I kept reading on, however, for two reasons: the book is a veritable treasure trove of interesting historical information, and he does have good points on other matters, such as the aforementioned government corruption, etc.
*Edit: I stopped reading the book. I'm sure I can find a modern text with more accurate information. Also, at least a quarter of his writing is unnecessary, and another quarter of it is personal attacks against people he feels have slighted him. Ridiculous--Isn't that what diaries are for?

Selected pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 422 - Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Page 249 - Council made under this Act shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament within Six Weeks after issuing the same, if Parliament be then sitting, and if not, then within Six Weeks after the commencement of the then next Session of Parliament.
Page 225 - prevent Paper Bills of Credit hereafter to be issued in any of His Majesty's " Colonies or Plantations in America from being declared to be a legal tender " in payment of money, and to prevent the legal tender of such Bills as are " now subsisting from being prolonged beyond the periods limited for recalling
Page 159 - I see nothing of the character and genius of arbitrary finance ; none of the bold frauds of bankrupt power; none of the wild struggles and plunges of despotism in distress ; no lopping off from the capital of debt ; no suspension of interest; no robbery under the name of loan ; no raising the value, no debasing the substance of the coin.
Page 214 - An Act for further restraining the negotiation of Promissory Notes and inland bills of exchange under a limited sum within that part of Great Britain called England.
Page 288 - Reports of Cases argued and determined in " the Court of Common Pleas and Exchequer Chamber and •' in the House of Lords, from Michaelmas Term, in the 40th " year of the reign of George III. (1799) to Michaelmas •• Term, in the 42nd Year of the same reign (1801), both
Page 217 - England should forbear issuing any cash in payment, until the sense of parliament can be taken on that subject, and the proper measures adopted thereupon, for maintaining the means of circulation and supporting the public and commercial credit of the kingdom at this important conjuncture...
Page 192 - COMMITTEE appointed to examine and state the total Amount of Outstanding Demands on The BANK of ENGLAND, and likewise of the Funds for discharging the same...

Bibliographic information