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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):

slopechart FR PSNLBUKA
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.
slopechart FR MBM UKM
Here’s the monetary base. Check out the very recent spike higher. Just cramming juice into the system.
slopechart FR BOEBSTAUKA
Balance sheet for the Bank of England back to about 1700. Quite the “V”-shaped bottom!
slopechart FR LTCYUK
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.
slopechart FR OLPRUKA
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.
slopechart FR CPIUKA
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.
slopechart FR AURUKM
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.