``These two parvenu countries might have wanted to get the best mileage out of their respective victories in the battlefield. The indemnity of one thousand million dollars in gold exacted by Germany from France would be that much more valuable, in view of the falling commodity price level in terms of gold. On the other side of the water the banks could greatly enrich themselves by making the mortgages on land in the former Confederacy, assets that they now controlled and which had been denominated in silver, payable in gold. The extra value would come out of the hide of the victims of the War Between the States. The coincidence of interest of the two countries is telling. The would-be perpetrators of the crime had reasons to make speculators behave differently from the norm.''

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