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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

viii                         CONTENTS

VII

THE COMPANIES ACTS                                   PAGE

Another Government Committee—The Fallacy of imitating Ger-
many—Prussianising British Commerce—The Inquiry into
the Companies Acts—Will Labour Influence dominate the
Report ?—Increased Production the Great Need—Will it be
met by tightening up the Companies Acts?—The Dangers of
too much Strictness—Some Reforms necessary—Publicity,
Education, Higher Ideals the only Lasting Solutioi?—The
Importance of Foreign Investments—Industry cannot take
all Risks and no Profits......,91

VIII

THE YEAR'S BALANCE-SHEET

The  Figures   of the  National Budget—A Large "Increase in    *"*
Revenue and a Larger in Expenditure—Comparison with Last
Year and with the Estimates—The Proportion borne by
Taxation still too Low—The Folly of ^our Policy of Incessant
Borrowing—Its Injustice to the Fighting Men   „        .        .    106

IX

COMPARATIVE WAR FINANCE

The New Budget—Our own and Germany's Balance-sheets—The
Enemy's Difficulties—Mr Bonar Law's Optimism—Special
Advantages which Peace will bring to Germany—A Com-
parison with American Finance—How much have we raised
from Revenue ?—The Value of the Pound To-day—The 1918
Budget an Improvement on its Predecessors—But Direct
Taxation still too Low—Deductions from the Chancellor's
Estimates . . .             • « . , . .118

X

INTERNATIONAL CURRENCY

An Inopportune Proposal—What is Currency?—The Primitive
System of Barter—The Advantages possessed by the Precious
Metals—Gold as a Standard of Value—Its Failure to remain
Contant—Currency and Prices—The Complication of other
Instruments of Credit—No Substitute for Gold in Sight—Its
Acceptability not shaken by the War—A Fluctuating Stan-
dard not wholly Disadvantageous—An International Currency
fatal to the Task of Reconstruction—Stability and Certaioly
the Great Needs ......,, 134

XI

BONUS SHARES

A Deluge of Bonus Shares—The Effect on the Market—A Problem
in Financial Psychology—The Capitalisation of Reserves—
The Stock Exchange View—The Issue of Bonus-carrying
Shares—The Case of the A.B.C.—A Wiser Variation from