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Because I am a deeply-troubled person, I spent my Sunday morning looking at centuries-old financial data from the United Kingdom. SlopeCharts – – which, if you’re not, you really should be using – – has a jaw-dropping amount of data in its economic database, and for a lunatic like me, it’s great fun just trawling through it. Here are some gems I found (descriptions captioned):

Here is the government’s surplus or deficit going back to the 1600s. What’s remarkable to me is that the enormous expense of World War 1 and 2 is a barely-discernible bump.
Here’s the monetary base. Check out the very recent spike higher. Just cramming juice into the system.
Balance sheet for the Bank of England back to about 1700. Quite the “V”-shaped bottom!
I think nothing indicates the fundamental lack of health in the economy better than a look at interest rates. What we are seeing now is absolute devastation, even when look at nearly three centuries of data.
Here are oil prices ever since oil started getting sucked out of the ground, before the U.S. Civil War. It’s interesting how long it remained dirt cheap.
The consumer price index was quite flat for hundreds of years, thanks, I can only assume, to the gold standard. That changed markedly around 1932.
I find this chart particularly fascinating. Want to get rid of unemployment? Go to war! The plunge downward to 0% was thanks to World War II.
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