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Subject: Existing foreign investment in Imperial Germany come August 1914 rss

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K G
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Good people, does anyone have any good resources for understanding what happened to foreign stakes in German firms and property with the outbreak of the war? Were companies nationalized so to speak? Or would an Englishmen or Frenchman or whoever continue to receive profits from German manufacturers &c.?

EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)
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Stephan

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I don't know the answer to the original question.

However, related to the second remark, there have been plenty of civil wars among nations that were way more closely knit and inter-dependent than the EU is.

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David Peacock
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As a fan of Imperial, I find this question interesting.

this document (http://www.eclac.org/publicaciones/xml/7/22007/lcl2259i.pdf) may give some insight. I just found it and haven't read it, but looks like even if Germany, Britain and France were big investors they weren't able to prevent WWI.
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Very difficult question to answer, see this.

“firm-level equity ownership data are virtually nonexistent for the pre–World War II era. As German share companies issued mainly bearer shares and considered the identity of shareholders to be private”

Source - http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10271.pdf

For related background, see the book that led people to believe economic ties made war unthinkable.

Angell, N. 1910. The Great Illusion: A Study of the Relation of Military Power in Nations to their Economic and Social Advantage. London: William Heinemann.

Finally, understand that today, those lessons are most applicable to East Asia. That is, some people think that China's interest in healthy export markets precludes the possibility of armed conflict. That way of thinking resembles the arguments offered by Angell about Europe in 1913.
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This is all covered in great detail in one of Keynes post-war pamphlets, I believe. It is either in Economic Consequences, or Revision of the Treaty, or in that little pamphlet republished in Essays in Persuasion addressed to Lloyd George.
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Kluvon wrote:
Good people, does anyone have any good resources for understanding what happened to foreign stakes in German firms and property with the outbreak of the war? Were companies nationalized so to speak? Or would an Englishmen or Frenchman or whoever continue to receive profits from German manufacturers &c.?

EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


That belief was also common c. 1910. See The Great Illusion.
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Roger Hobden
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Kluvon wrote:

EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


Why in the world would "Mittle Europa" want to struggle against itself ?

 
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Paul Hederer
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"Capitaine Conan," by Roger Vercel (1934).
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Quote:
EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


You mean the system whereby Germany is dependent on the bankruptcy of various European states and they are dependent on her bailing them out?
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Mike Szarka
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I have a sense that all these capitalist arrangements survived the hostilities in one way or another but I don't have a reference.
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hedererp wrote:
Quote:
EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


You mean the system whereby Germany is dependent on the bankruptcy of various European states and they are dependent on her bailing them out?



Yeah, the Germans finally figured out how to conquer Europe.
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Ethan McKinney
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mcszarka wrote:
I have a sense that all these capitalist arrangements survived the hostilities in one way or another but I don't have a reference.


Well, the U.S. government stole some German companies (Bayer aspririn/heroin, for one).
 
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gorkowskij wrote:
Very difficult question to answer, see this.

“firm-level equity ownership data are virtually nonexistent for the pre–World War II era. As German share companies issued mainly bearer shares and considered the identity of shareholders to be private”

Source - http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10271.pdf



But at the aggregate level data could be estimated. They needed to estimate the value both of German foreign direct investment abroad that had been seized or frozen abroad, and Germany's liabilities incurred during the war, in order to sort out the horrible reparations mess the Allies created at Versailles. (Because they had agreed who would get compensated, and what assets could be used for which purposes, instead of negotiating the amounts directly.)

wifwendell wrote:
Kluvon wrote:
EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


That belief was also common c. 1910. See The Great Illusion.


Angell believed that the European economy had become so interdependent that no one could enrich themselves from a war. He wrote a book outlining this position because he also believed that very many people were too simple-minded to understand it. Events provided strong confirmation of both Angell's beliefs.
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Paul Hederer
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Wilhammer wrote:
hedererp wrote:
Quote:
EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


You mean the system whereby Germany is dependent on the bankruptcy of various European states and they are dependent on her bailing them out?



Yeah, the Germans finally figured out how to conquer Europe.


Yeah, I reckon. I'm just not sure the German taxpayers are too happy about what they're getting for their money!
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Philip Thomas
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Kluvon wrote:
Good people, does anyone have any good resources for understanding what happened to foreign stakes in German firms and property with the outbreak of the war? Were companies nationalized so to speak? Or would an Englishmen or Frenchman or whoever continue to receive profits from German manufacturers &c.?

EDIT: The belief now among some is that the EU has made all its members so interdependent that a European war will never occur again. (I wonder.)


You know, I just finished reading a Science fiction story which is set in the early 21st century* when it is believed war will never happen again because it would cost too much. The story was written in 1979 and its power-blocs are all wrong, but its message for prophets of peace is still valid.

*Actually no dates are given. But there are characters in their twenties whose grandparents fought in WWII.
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